Nick Friedman’s Journey to the G-League and NBA Skills Coach.
A few years ago, I had a chance to sow into a young man, who grew up watching my videos and doing my youtube workouts. He stayed and was one of our coaches at our Elev8 Prep School for about 6 months. The short amount of time I mentored him has paid off tremendously for him. May his story inspire you to do the same.
This is Nick Friedman.
If you want to chase your dreams of becoming a Head Coach at the highest level, this is a MUST READ. People all over the world have paved the way for the rest of us to chase and achieve our dreams. If I were you, I would follow those people, study them, honor them, learn from them, pray for them and go out and do what they did but BETTER! Do it your WAY!
In the world of NBA basketball and player development, Nick has an incredible story.
Nick started off as a Division III hooper at Bates College in Maine before transferring to University of Miami to finish his Bachelors. He stayed on as a Graduate Assistant for the 2015-16 season, when the Canes reached the Sweet Sixteen. The year prior, we were connected and he ended up conducting workouts and coached some of my post grad teams at Elev8. He also helped Cody Toppert and I in our NBA Pre draft summer workouts.
From there, Nick got his start with the RGV Vipers (Houston Rocket G – league team) as their video coordinator. The following season, Nick took a position with the Northern Arizona Suns (Phoenix Suns G-League team) as an Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator. Currently, he is the Associate Head Coach with the Maine Red Claws, the Boston Celtics G – League team. On top of his coaching experience, Nick has been running his own NBA Pre Draft company called “The Preparation.”
Over the last four Pre Draft classes, he has had the opportunity to work with Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith, Taurean Prince, Terry Rozier, Derrick Jones Jr., Tremont Waters, Abdel Nader, Dewan Hernandez and many more.
Now get this, he is only 29!!!
I asked him what can “Youngblood’s” take away from this young blood? Take a look at the advice below:
1) GET YOUR DEGREE
If you can, get as many degrees as you can. This won’t guarantee success but it sure does help and won’t HURT you! Stats say people with a College and a Masters degree are more successful than people that don’t have them. I have one, Nick has one, I think it’s valuable to you if you want to Coach and move up the levels.
2) CHASE PASSION NOT PAY CHECKS
The money will come but when your young and single PUT in that work. Learn, build relationships and put your reputation first, then build your bank account. I have always said, “If you want a 7 figure salary, get a 7 figure WORK ETHIC! That’s how Nick has moved up so fast being so young. He is not making millions but his INFO is high. Both will continue to grow!
3) BE GREAT WHERE YOU ARE
I see so many people looking, searching, wasting time for that “next step” that they are not PRESENT in the occupation that they are currently in. Be the best you can be TODAY. Then do it again TOMORROW. Learn and become a MASTER of your craft. If you do that, you build your character. It’s your ability to be great at your craft and your impeccable character that make opportunities FIND YOU! Your craft and character get people’s attention. Become so good they can’t IGNORE YOU. Nick was hard to ignore.
4) DEVELOP THE TRAITS OF A REAL COACH
You are a coach so act like it! It was hard NOT to notice Nick because he had the following traits:
– Always paid attention to the OG’s. Helped out when he did not HAVE to
– Asked questions and was curious
– Was proactive and found solutions on his own
– Could demonstrate at a high level
– Had great energy
– Could communicate and articulate
– Studied the game. Took notes and learned
– Cared about his players. Was truthful and loyal to them
5) NEVER LOST HIS FAITH IN HIS ABILITY
– It’s a cold and hard business to coach in the NBA. Often times you get looked down upon for not coming from the league or having league roots. It’s very cut throat and competitive to break in. Everyone wants to coach in the league therefor the market to break in, is saturated. There is a lot of guys trying to break in that look like Nick making it difficult. However, he never has stopped believing and working. He will out work them, outsmart them, out energize them, out love them! I know one day we will see Nick on an NBA bench. He has all the tools and can really help a TEAM! For whatever reason, if he doesn’t, it really does not matter. He has and will continue to impact lives and do what he loves to do. To teach this game with all his heart!
Great work so far Nick! Keep Getting After it!
Testimony from Nick:
“Coach Baker taught me that being passionate is the backbone of success in this industry. He inspired me to impact lives through the game of basketball, and pushed me to be creative. I learned to push the limits of what I know, to push the limits of being detail oriented. In order to be truly successful and unique in the game of basketball, you have to be identified as authentic. That is what Ganon has done, and continues to do.”