695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
Paul Ribb led the Maryland Grizzlies to their 3rd straight Maryland AAU championship. He also led the team to 2nd place at the Deep South Classic, first place at the Blue Chip Invitational at Penn State and a top four finish at USJN in DC. I finally caught up to Coach Ribb for an interview.
695: Tell me about your coaching background…
Coach: I started coaching AAU girl’s basketball in 1999 with the Maryland Sure Shots as an assistant to Bob Mallory. In 2003 I coached the Maryland Waves 93 team, In 2004 I started as the Basketball Program Director and Varsity Coach for the Garrison Forest School in Ownings Mills. I am currently the head coach for the Grizzlies 15U/10th grade team.
695: Tell me about the Maryland Grizzlies organization...
Coach: I started the Maryland Grizzlies Program in 2005 as a feeder program to the Garrison Forest School. Mike Sauter brought his Maryland Waves team over in 2006 and became the organizations President, Ron Isaacs also joined the organization at that time and became our Vice president. Both Mike and Ron have done a great job at moving our program forward.
695: What challenges do you face with the program?
Coach: It is very difficult to really help these girls get the skills that they need with only two practices a week. We have them twice a week for a total of four hours, most of that time is spent getting ready for the next tournament. Our other big challenge is fund raising and trying to keep our player fees down to make it as affordable as possible for the parents.
695: Your team was very successful this spring and summer. How did you put this team together?
Coach: The core of this team was put together by Mike Sauter. Mike coached this team 10U thru 13U and decided to step down once they hit the high school level. I was Mike’s asst at that time and so we just reversed our roles and it has worked out well. We have lost a few players along the way and have added a few as well, the most recent players were added through our try outs.
695: How do you choose which tournaments to play in?
Coach: I talked to some college coaches and asked them which showcase tournaments they recommend and talked to other AAU coaches for feedback as well.
695: How do you feel about the overall direction of girl’s basketball in this area?
Coach: I think the numbers are way down in girls basketball and I am not really sure why. It would be nice to see more opportunities for these girls to get the skill sets that they need as well.
695: How do you manage the parents and their expectations of what club basketball can do for their child?
Coach: I am upfront with parents as to what they can expect from me as a coach, such as playing time, game strategy etcetera. I am also very clear about what direction that I plan to take the team.
695: What do you enjoy most about coaching girls basketball?
Coach: I enjoy watching them work hard in games and competing at a high level.
695: What do you do besides coach?
Coach: I spend most of my time working. I also do a lot of hiking with my dog, Maizey aka “The Maz”.
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