Today we are joined by long time supporter of the BasketballandBS podcast, Coach Detrick Jones. We have been wanting to check in on his coaching career and find out more about the coaching life. Naturally, he has been busy helping mold his team into shape to compete. He made some time today and here is how the conversation went:
K.C: So where do you coach?
Coach Jones: I’m an Assistant Coach in the UBA (Universal Basketball Association) for Team Havok in Houston Texas. Formally known as Cleveland Havok.
K.C: What got you into coaching or want to follow this pursuit?
Coach Jones: Watching my cousin play for the Air Force sparked my interest. Then coaching multiple sports in middle school and elementary sparked my interest to go further.
K.C: What is your coaching style? Who have you modeled your style after? Who is a mentor that has helped you along the way?
Coach Jones: I have a defensive mindset. That’s my priority whether it’s disguising a zone with a man look to trapping. I love Coach K, Pop, and Gino. I try to mix it all in to be a tad bit different. Kevin Franklin is my mentor. He’s the Head Coach and Owner of the team. He’s worked alongside Sam Mitchell in the Jones Cup prior to Mitchell going to the NBA. I like to get my players involved. I don’t want full control as today’s players have a mind of their own and it can create a bad situation.
K.C: So not into the 7 seconds or less motto huh?
Coach Jones: Lol. The run and gun can only work for so long. I like to mix it up a bit.
It also depends on the players I have. Houston big men are hard to find, and it’s more guard play than anything down here.
K.C: So tell me about the league you play in? I admit, I never heard of it. I know minor leagues exist for bball, but it’s not really romanticized like baseball’s different leagues.
How many teams? Where are they located?
Coach Jones: UBA is just under the NBA D-League. There are 24 teams in the geographical divisions, from Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas.
K.C: That’s a pretty good mix of locations
Coach Jones: Players don’t get paid rather they have to earn their contracts. We have agents from the NBA to International GMs, Coaches etc. come check them out if they have what it takes.
K.C: Earn their contracts? Can you go a little deeper on that?
Coach Jones: We provide many different opportunities to be signed. There is a draft in November. We send two American teams to participate in the Mitchell Copa Cup in the Dominican Republic. The All-star game is in May and playoffs are in June. We just joined the Mediterranean Cup of Champions in Spain this year. We will participate in the first ever Jamaica International Cup in August. Not to mention the Jones Cup in Taiwan.
K.C: So you are a worldwide jet setter?
Coach Jones: We try to be. The CEO/Owner of the league Jermaine Barnes whom just got signed this morning to play in Spain next year wanted to provide players with an opportunity to live out their dream. He witnessed how the ABA crashed with everyone being money hungry, decided to create his own league. With his International experience and NBA experience, he got investors and launched it. He doesn’t pay players, but he brings scouts to them so that they can be seen. He wanted players to appreciate earning money rather than it just be handed to them. This is only my second year in the league. I’ve seen a lot of both good and bad with players. This will be my first venture as Head Coach when we travel to Kingston, Jamaica to participate in the Jamaica International Cup.
K.C: So he is a player/CEO? I just wanted to ensure I heard that right?
Coach Jones: He is definitely a player CEO. He retired two years ago after a major knee injury but got the itch to play again.
K.C: What has been your greatest achievement and greatest challenge? Also, have any of your players been called up to the G-League or to the big stage?
Coach Jones: My greatest achievement so far is being invited to be a head coach in a FIBA sanctioned Cup. The greatest challenge is getting fully committed players. Houston has been poisoned with shady coaches and leagues that just take players money and provide no promise. So getting them to commit and buy into what we are doing is the challenge. Getting them to understand I do this for free right now and for the love of the game.
I have one player that was signed to play with the Harlem Globe Trotter’s last year. I have two players that went to the D.R. (Dominican Republic) and were asked to play for some GM’s in Spain in August. I have two or three right now that have a great chance to get signed in Jamaica. I also had a chance to coach a former NBA player Keith the Boss Closs last year in the Dominican Republic. He used to play for the Clippers.
K.C: Nice… So long term, what is your dream job as a coach… or at least the next desired step in your career?
Coach Jones: I’m trying to either tap into the college level or pro. I’ve been working camps with Rice University hoping to get in.
K.C: Well, let’s it speak it into existence. So how do we catch a game, follow your team, or hit up your boss to give you a raise? (Kidding on the last part). Any video or TV or social media?
Coach Jones: We are working with TSU to have interns help broadcast our games. They kinda drop the ball this year with a few guys reporting to work high. Many of our games are published on YouTube now. Next year, we should have everything up and running live. Our team website is
K.C: Well here at B&BS we wish you a successful long coaching career. Before we wrap, you care to give any advice for any kid, young adult, or whomever if they choose this career path?
Coach Jones: I do appreciate you and B&BS for everything. I love what you all are doing. To the kids, be coachable. You always have room to learn and grow. Be flexible. Be able to play more than one position. Never feel like you are bigger than your team.