As the NBA G League becomes more prevalent, the journey of up and coming prospects has come into mainstream focus that much more. Interestingly enough, the grind that coaches and executive personnel are on to carve out a career path for themselves isn’t that much different and it’s something most casual fans fail to realize.
In a conversation with RidiculousUpside.com, Stockton Kings head video coordinator Kyle Nishimoto detailed his duties and how that often means being on call for these players at any given moment.
“We’re constantly talking to our guys in the video. (Bighorns guard) Josh [Hagins] is meticulous. Whenever he wanted to, we’d sit down and talk basketball this past season,” Nishimoto explained. “There are some late nights. We look at film and past possessions. My job as video coordinator is to always be there for him and Josh really wants to get better.”
Working in basketball, especially as it relates to the G League, often means employees dedicate themselves to their craft, no questions asked. There’s a lot of hard work involved as someone invests in their future and hopes it’ll pay off in the long run. Such a process is one Nishimoto continues to enjoy and have faith in.
“Regardless of the long hours, I look back at how grateful and lucky I am to be around basketball,” he said. “This is work and being on call might sound overwhelming, but this is still basketball. I love it and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.”
Someone like Nishimoto clearly has a bright future ahead of him. Still, similar to minor league players, his career path requires patience and perseverance.
“I volunteered at the Bighorns’ open tryout and kept in touch with people for advice around how to make that jump. I was an intern with the Warriors and was trying to get in on the basketball side. After that, I was hired as the Bighorns’ basketball operations coordinator and was actually interviewing potential video coordinators,” he shared.
“One thing led to another and I was asked if I had any video experience. I ended up taking on dual roles two years ago. Having to do that was a little insane. But this is a grind and you do what you have to do. I’ve come from wiping up sweat at an open tryout to being a head video coordinator. It’s crazy how quickly things can change.”
As sports fans, it’s easy to remark how those who work professionally in the industry are lucky to do so and that might be true. Still, dreaming up this glamorous life that comes along with it might be a simple misconception. As one grinds it out, there’s a waiting game involved as it relates to achieving a greater status and higher career earnings. Nevertheless, Nishimoto is proof that the dedication pays off with each passing season.
Though the sunny skies of summer arrive during the offseason, the grind never truly stops for on the rise basketball personnel. When he’s not working hard behind the scenes for the Bighorns, Nishimoto serves as CEO of Hundred Hustle Basketball, a service that provides summer camps for novices and advanced players alike. Make no mistake: this is not merely a babysitting service for children while parents go to work.
Instead, the sessions led by Nishimoto and his staff are crafted to instill hard working values in today’s Bay Area youth. At the same time, it allows the G League video coordinator with the potential to create a pipeline for professional talent.
“We want to help kids improve and expedite the learning curve. We help them increase basketball IQ,” he said. “Our staff is creating a packet of all this information so that kids can go home and train off the basketball court as well.”
Nishimoto’s inspiration for tapping into the Bay Area market came from Bighorns assistant coach Rico Hines. Coach Hines instill similar values in up and coming professionals during the summer at UCLA, so Nishimoto saw an opportunity to begin the process with today’s youth.
“It’s a win-win for everyone. Kids have access to our trainers and ask questions. At the same time, I get to examine talent. I can look at potential players for the G League one day,” the video coordinator explained. “The longterm goal is to create an environment and a camp full of guys who want to be there and work hard to get better.”
The camps begin in mid-July in the California area. For Nishimoto, it’s proof that carving out his own basketball path is a year-long grind.