While his son Luke Ridnour experiences the twists and turns of another NBA offseason, Rob Ridnour pieced together back-to-back IBL titles, and proved once again that his coaching style is a perfect fit for professional basketball. Ridnour spearheaded the Bellingham Slam to another title this past week, which gave the franchise their third championship since 2008.
Ridnour spoke with RidiculousUpside.com, and explained some of the successful strategies that they have been able to incorporate in Bellingham. "A lot of our guys come from the GNAC (Great Northwest Athletic Conference) and are Division II players. A majority of them, about 70%, played at Western Washington University which is located in Bellingham. We've basically been an All-Star team for the last 8 years for the school. We have had some D-1 players too, but what has been most important is that our guys have been able to understand our mission." Ridnour said.
The Slam have been a model for success in the IBL, and by winning their third title since 2008, the team has once again placed itself atop the league. Ridnour discussed the franchise's overall mindset, "early on we wanted to make it like an NBA venue and give the fans a taste of the NBA."
There are plenty of challenges in running a minor league team, travel, funding, and ticket sales all remain challenges, even for Bellingham. However, winning can help ease those troubles, and Ridnour has done his part in making sure the Slam remain a juggernaut in the IBL.
One would think Ridnour's coaching dominance in the IBL would open doors to other professional coaching gigs, right? "Well, I haven't really had any opportunities in that regard, I would love to get into the NBADL or NBA if it presents itself though." Ridnour added.
Ridnour is also a high school P.E. teacher in the area, and commented that the situation would have to make sense for him to put aside his current profession. After all, he is close to earning his retirement. Yet, it is hard to ignore his ability to coach and implement an exciting brand of basketball in a league with highly talented players.
Despite their 18-2 record, and seven straight wins to cap off the season, Ridnour praised the league and the talent in the IBL. Many of the players in the IBL are now looking for contracts overseas, or opportunities in NBA Summer League and the NBA D-League.
In fact, over a dozen of the IBL's finest talent will be participating in an international exposure camp titled Court-Side EuroChallenge, which started in 1999. It is an opportunity for some of the league's best players to showcase their talents in front of scouts for NBA and Euroleague teams.
As for Ridnour, he's likely soaking up the joys of summer, and perhaps following the new whereabouts of his son Luke, but also enjoying his achievement of winning back-to-back titles.