Alley Oop Hoops presents
"Drive & Kick" with Coach Jason "Jay" Coleman, Founder of 3D Basketball.
View the conversation summary below.
Jay started playing rec league at 5 years old at Millbrook Exchange, and then began playing at Green Road soon thereafter. His dad coached and he grew up playing with his brother. Some of the same guys he played early rec league with - Shawan Robinson, Anthony Simmons - played against through high school.
Raleigh’s rich basketball history
Basketball runs deep in the area. Discussed Raleigh’s basketball presence in ‘99 - ‘03 (Jay graduated high school from Sanderson in ‘02) - Shavlik Randolph, Shawan Robinson, Anthony Richardson, DJ Thompson, PJ Tucker, Eric Williams.
College recruiting experience
Jay played junior varsity both his freshmen and sophomore years. In his junior year of high school, colleges started showing interest but no offers. In his senior year, despite the strength of the conference, Jay averaged just under 20 per game and made All Conference. Mindset of “D1 or nothing” - he was playing at a high level with other guys and wasn’t getting the interest he thought he deserved. Planned on walking on at NC A&T, but that did not work out, so he then transferred to Shaw.
Advice to young players
The work he does now focuses on education for both parents and players. Jay educates parents and creates awareness on the pitfalls of the game and decisions kids face. College ball is your resume if you want to pursue basketball after college, take advantage of your time in playing college, no matter where you play - no matter what division. When deciding on where to go to school - go somewhere you’re going to play. “If you have plans to play after college, make sure you go somewhere where you will get the minutes and game film”.
More mid-major guys are making it now than years ago. A lot of top 50 high school players are barely panning out - “mid-major guys can make just as big of an impact” in their career playing. Get the experience, the skills, go somewhere where you’re going to play and build your portfolio to continue your career after college.
After two years at Shaw, Jay’s scholarship didn’t get renewed, and he left school, trying out overseas. Jay went to these tryouts with his father, and in hindsight, players must have adequate representation. He struggled to think outside of basketball because he loved the game for so long - “it was basketball or nothing”. He was in the corporate workforce for 10 years. He came back to the game after his son was born, coaching him in rec leagues and then helping with his AAU team.
Beginning a career in basketball training
When Jay was supporting his son’s AAU team, one of the parents asked Jay if he would train another kid on the team. Jay started training one kid, one time per week and built his program from there. It started with Friday afternoons at Grand Slam. He took time to build his career as a trainer to support himself. “Started off struggling” but made it happen because it was a passion for him. Traveling to other cities, building relationships - you have to be in the gyms. “Once I get them in the gym, they’re sold”.
Most important skill for a trainer
Many former players think it is easy to train basketball if you know the game of basketball. But that isn’t the case. The most important skill for a trainer, and where Jay has been able to excel, is patience to teach.
Biggest challenge in running a personal business
Though Jay studied business during his two years at Shaw, he did not get deep into the business school, and found the business side, specifically marketing, branding, and promotion, to be the toughest part. He learned over time with no advertising experience. The business side has a constant learning curve. He had no idea the opportunities in merchandise, but has recently made a concerted effort to grow his brand through merchandise. Constantly evolving and studying the business side of the operation, but the focus is always on the players. Represents players, prioritizes his players and guides them on making best decisions for their future.
Jay loves entrepreneurship and sharing his story with anybody who wants to work for themselves. He is big on self-starters, wants to help in any way, and many of his former players who no longer play the game, he remains in contact with to lend a hand how possible. Tells his players they need to write business plans if they have ideas.
Coaching his children vs. other children
When training his kids - he's their trainer, not dad, when they are in the gym. He is not easier on his kids than other athletes. Jay does not push his kids to want to train, even though he’s a trainer. Four years ago, when his oldest was 9 years old, he pushed more, but as he has gotten older, Jay has backed off. His oldest now asks him for feedback and wants to be pushed harder. “Parents need to be more aware of the pressure and expectations we put on our kids.” A lot of parents who did not make it far in athletics want so badly for their kids to be successful, but the kids have to want it.