The Secrets Of Up-tempo Hoops

Bob Hogue
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Wednesday - September 21, 2011
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Have you have ever wondered what it’s like to watch a team score 157 points in a basketball game? Or how the coach makes his team accomplish such a feat?

If you’re a local basketball coach, you’re in for a big treat. Eric Bovaird, the brand new men’s basketball head coach at Chaminade and the man partly responsible for the highest scoring team in the NCAA the last several years will be one of the key speakers at basketball coaches clinics on Oahu and Maui next week.

Bovaird, along with basketball greats Nancy Lieberman, Fran Fraschilla, Dave Odom and Silverswords women’s coach Bobby Keanini, will give clinics Wednesday, Sept. 28, at McKinley High gym, Thursday, Sept. 29, at Kalaheo High gym, and then Saturday, Oct. 1, at Maui High School. The cost is just $25 and you can register by going to

“It should be a great clinic,” Bovaird says. “Fran, Dave and Nancy have such great experience, and this should be very beneficial for our local coaches.”

Many of those local coaches will be coming to hear Bovaird’s incredibly highscoring philosophy. Last year, as the lead assistant at West Liberty University, his team led the nation by averaging more than 111 points a game! On a couple of occasions, they went over 145 points in a frenetic, uptempo style that has to be seen to be believed.

“The words up-tempo spark a lot of interest,” he says. “We were the winningest program in Division II the last seven years, and we were the highest scoring team in the nation six of those seven years.”

Bovaird took the Chaminade job this past June after seeing his West Liberty team achieve the No. 1 ranking in the nation this past season. They lost in the NCAA Elite Eight semi-finals 109-101 to BYUHawaii in one of the most exciting basketball games this correspondent has ever witnessed!

“Our goal at Chaminade is to play the best up-tempo brand of basketball in the country,” he says.

Bovaird, who played at West Liberty, was an assistant at the West Virginia school for seven years before taking the Silverswords’ top job. He says the key to his style of coaching is “finding kids with great awareness who have an understanding of what is going on all over the court every single second. It’s an opportunistic system,” he says, excitedly.

“As a coach, you have to have a lot of courage to let your kids make the reads and make the right on-court decisions. If they’re doing it right, they’re making something happen all the time. We play relentlessly you will never see in one of our games a player dribbling the ball up the court comfortably. We’ll be trapping and forcing players to do something out of their comfort zone. It all starts with defense, and we’re really good in transition and we shoot a lot of 3pointers. There will be nights when we’re really hot, and that will mean we’ll score a lot of points.”

Bovaird is relentlessly enthusiastic about his uptempo style, and he’s just as excited about moving to Hawaii. He and his wife Leigh have an 11-monthold daughter and another baby on the way.

“We’re loving it! We’re loving it!” he says

You can hear his enthusiasm at the basketball coaches clinics next week. Or you can call 735-4790 for more information on Chaminade athletics.

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