The founder of PGC Basketball, Dick was a highly decorated high school and college player who was regarded as the prototypical “coach on the court.” He was named as the best high-school point guard in America by Parade Magazine and went on to earn Academic All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) all-star honors at Duke. Later, he played and coached professionally in Europe and South America.
An English major and lover of literature, Dick authored five books during his lifetime—including STUFF! Good Players Should Know, praised as “the ultimate guide to playing the game the right way” by Larry Brown, the only coach ever to win both NCAA and NBA championships. Devenzio was considered by many to be a basketball genius, and Dick’s books continue to influence basketball lovers all over the world and have been translated into several foreign languages.
During college, Devenzio began running his own summer basketball camps, and he continued to offer sessions every summer until his sudden death in 2001 at just 52 years of age. The program he was most proud of, however, was the nationally acclaimed Point Guard Basketball College, the predecessor of PGC Basketball. Although Dick’s ingenuity, humor, and creativity are missed, his principles, ideas and teaching remain at the core of PGC's programs.
I disagree with coaches who claim that defense is the number one ingredient in winning games. I have no doubt that the most important ingredients are offensive ones. You could have a terrific defense, but if you lose the ball before getting a shot, your opponent will often have the opportunity to score against no defenders on a fast break before your great defense has a chance to form. (Most teams can be stopped nearly half the time if you just manage to get all your players standing in the lane with their hands up. I’m all for defense, but you just can’t pretend it’s as important as offense.)
Attitude means a lot of things these days. Sometimes, by itself, it means a bad attitude. Sometimes it means a way of carrying yourself with self-respect and flair. It means different things to different people. So here, let’s talk about what it means to have the right attitude, the right way, or the best way, to carry yourself and to approach your sport and your life.
You don’t win games or better your performance with positive talking. Saying you are going to win isn’t going to make you win. It may be better than walking around saying you are going to lose, but saying anything isn’t the answer. Games are won and lost on the court by performers, not by talkers.
Listen carefully, boys and girls.” Teachers, instructors, and other authorities might as well add, “or you won’t get to hear what the nice, boring man is saying.” What a warning. The precise reason you are not listening carefully is that you have no interest in what the nice, boring man is saying. But how often do you hear this sort of thing? How often do you have to put up with it yourself? In my opinion, the whole problem is one of definition.
THINK THE GAME
Join PGC Basketball and discover how to become a playmaker, lead your team, and run the show.
Few athletes are overjoyed at the thought of conditioning. It’s tough. It’s demanding. It causes pain. But everyone has to do it. Conditioning is crucial to success in every sport. The best technique and the most ability won’t help you win if you are too tired to use them. Most everyone realizes this so I don’t plan to spend any more time on the obvious. To be a champion, get in great physical condition.
To become a champion, it is necessary to practice, to the fullest extent possible, with the idea that you are playing against champions in big games that really matter. Often you may find yourself in practice playing against a second-teamer or a smaller, weaker player. So you let down, or you play carelessly, or you do things that work there but won’t work against a star.
During the course of any athlete’s season, there will be many adverse circumstances to deal with. To many athletes, these circumstances come as a big surprise and cause great distress. Their performance suffers. They “would-a” won or they “could-a” done well, but the circumstances…
There is a lot of talk in sports about underdogs. Either you are the underdog and you’re supposed to lose or the other team is the underdog and you’re supposed to beat them. For all that talk, every sports fan knows that underdogs often upset favorites.