695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
695 Caught up with James Nichols from Team Unique and discussed a few things. We talked about the program, the Real Basketball report and the state of the game in the DMV.
695: Where did you grow up?
Coach: Southeast Washington, D.C.
695: Tell me about your coaching career...
Coach: Started coaching club ball at University of Pennsylvania in 1980. Started Team Unique in 1998.
695: Tell me more about Team Unique...
Coach: Started Team Unique in 1998 with six girls. First All-merican was Monique Currie; 16 high-school All-Americans , USA basketball participants, and National Team members since.
695: .When did you start the Real Basketball Report and how are you able to watch so many games? Do you have a staff that works with you?
Coach: In 1990--I'd like to think that I know what I'm doing. And I have a crew of scouts and pundits who are out all the time, and whose opinions I trust. I probably see 5-6 high-school, college, middle-school games per week.
695: Your critics say that you give more favorable rankings or comments in the report to Team Unique players or prospects. How do you respond?
Coach: Almost EVERYONE is a prospect for Team Unique, or for a college scholarship. Over 110 girls have come through the program in 12 years of playing. So some of them are going to be chatted up in the media.
695: What do you think of the overall direction of girls basketball in the DMV
Coach: The length and athleticism are increasing by the year. But the talent level gets worse every year. Very few girls know and are learning how to play. There are too many personal basketball trainers who don't know what they're doing. And too many high school coaches who want to keep their school teams together year-round for no real reason. What are these coaches doing in fall league. The girls can't shoot, can't dribble, can't pass, can't defend, can't play.
695: How do you think the new NCAA residency rules will impact the area?
Coach: The 3-player adjoining state rule has affected this region immeasurably.
695. What challenges are you facing with Team Unique?
Coach: Dealing with the liars, of which there have always been many, and the upstarts, who've never done anything of consequence in girls grassroots basketball.
695: How do you select which tournaments your teams will play in?
Coach: The best competition, opportunities for the girls to learn how to play and to get better.
695: What else do you do besides coach?
Coach: Management and marketing for entertainment and sports.
695: What is your biggest pet peeve as a coach?
Coach: Club coaches, school coaches, and basketball trainers who only care about themselves and not the kids. Liars and disingenuous general managers.
695: Thanks for the interview.
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