Monday, October 4, 2010

The Hot Seat Featuring Reggie Hatchett (Connecticut Basketball Club)

Being a former AAU coach and director, I understand some frustrations that might enter the mind of a head man. Therefore we have developed a forum for coaches to get out how they feel respectfully. This column is called the “Hot Seat”. Next on the Hot Seat will be Reggie Hatchett from the Connecticut Basketball Club.

Welcome To The Hot Seat

BS: What do you think of our final top 10?
RH: The Top 10 was great. Do I agree with all the seedings…no. But that’s what makes it great, it spawns debate. That’s a tough position. Bottom line is, if you don’t like the way it is…go after those you feel are above you and prove it wrong. That’s what we try to do.

BS: Why do you guys always seem to play with a chip on your shoulders?
RH: I think its healthy to play with a chip on your shoulder. We call ourselves “300” because that’s our philosophy. In the movie 300 the Spartans were faced with impossible odds. They were outnumbered, they were smaller in stature…but they were better prepared! Yes we know traditionally the best players and teams come from NYC, Jersey and Philly. But just because a team is from one of those areas don’t mean they BALL like we BALL! Anyone who has seen us play will have to agree that we “get after it” like grown men! So our mentality is: you may have bigger players, bigger names on the front of the jersey and bigger names on the back the jersey, but when that ball goes up…its even steven”!

BS: What do you think of the new AAU Rules concerning grade exceptions?
RH: I strongly disagree with the new rule. I think it’s hurting the academically inclined student-athletes. We should not be rewarding those kids who are not doing well in the classroom by allowing them to dominate kids who are 2 (now in some cases 3 years) younger. It will probably increase the amount of exposure the younger tournaments get (like Basketball Spotlight), but I think the overall effect will be negative.

BS: Do you feel players from Connecticut get overshadowed?
RH: Yes. Our players do get overshadowed and overlooked, but most of that blame has to fall on us (CT Coaches). We are so divided on every issue that it seems nearly impossible that we will get to where we need to be for our kids. We dilute our talent by having a thousand different AAU programs in our tiny state. This means that our “recruitable athletes are spread apart. So when we go to a major tournament, we only have one or two major standouts, while the teams from Jersey, NYC will have 6 or 7 big time prospects playing together. So we really have no one to blame but ourselves.

BS: What are you doing to change this?
RH: I’m changing this by moving my organization towards the future. We are making CBC a full service AAU program capable of ensuring every athlete that they will reach their full potential on and off the court. We are dedicated to providing an environment where athletes will know that they are being serviced better than anywhere else in CT.

BS: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear these words?

BS: Team Battle/Final?
RH: Grade A program, classy kids with tremendous potential, Tyus Battle, Jamir Harris and Nate Pierre-Louis are definite Division 1 prospects, great coaching, very well-prepared.

BS:: F.A.C.E.S.?
RH : Also a great program, Coach Cole is one of the best I’ve seen, they are a mirror image of our team (small but tough), we always know we are in for a dog-fight when we play them…I look forward to playing them

RH: Heartbreak (I feel like we should have won this event twice already), great competition, good tool to use as a barometer of your team, very well ran.

RH: I’m happy that there is such a company dedicated to giving the younger kids exposure. It really does a lot to help coaches like myself. I use the site as a measuring stick and also as motivation to make my kids run that extra mile and to wake up before school to workout. They all want to see their names and faces on the Spotlight!

BS: What do you think the perception of your program is right now?
RH: I think CBC has established itself as the premiere AAU program in CT right now. We are still determined to grow, so there will be growing pains. As far as my teams (14u and down), I KNOW we are the best in our state, and among the best in New England (respect due to MABC, BABC, RI Breakers, etc). I think a lot of people probably view me as arrogant, but that’s a misconception. I am about my kids…that’s it! Most kids I deal with have to be tamed and trained to abandon their natural instincts. So if I tell them not argue, not to speak to refs, not to speak to fans…it’s up to me to defend them. And I do that…and always will.

BS: How do you think you will be remembered in the game of basketball?
RH: I think when my basketball days are over, I will be remembered as a fierce competitor with no fear, as a great leader with very well thought out plans and tactics, but most of all I will be remembered as the coach who originated the “300” mentality that lead to so many CT athletes making it to college and beyond.

Anyone Ready For The Hot Seat Email Me Your Reasons at