2010 Summer Workout Season – Part 3

By Don Kelbick

Tuesday August 24, 2010

It’s funny how things go. Most of the summer I have been pretty busy. Every day at least 2 groups kept me busy from 8 in the morning until at least noon, non-stop.

Now it is time to play. Anthony King has left for Cyprus, Jonathan Rodriguez left for the Dominican Republic, Guillermo Diaz has left to play for Puerto Rico in the World Championships and then will go on to Italy. Others have left to other parts of the world. I am left with 2 guys, Raja Bell and Keenan Browder. That’s ok, because now we can really concentrate on specific needs.

We have transitioned from volume shooting to more specific techniques. We still take a lot of shots but we have moved on to things such as reading screens, spot up shots off penetration, reading defenders in the post, etc. Most of the trigger movements come out of Raja’s role in Utah’s offense.

Keenan has some significant minor league professional experience and we are trying to make a higher level opportunity for him. He has really benefited from Raja’s experience and advice. He can really shoot the ball and hopefully we can add enough to his game to get him a chance.

Another player who is off to play is Ralfy Portuando. I don’t write about him because he is not a professional. But, he is the person whom I am most proud of. Ralfy came to me as a 15 -year old part time HS player. He is the definition of a gym rat. Every day he would call and ask if we could work out. We would do a 6 am workout before he went to school. His work ethic earned him a spot as a dedicated workout partner for Raja and Rasual Butler. Imagine a HS player who didn’t get much playing time turning into a mandatory piece in a workout plan for NBA players. They just would not work out without him.

He must have paid attention. He went on to play a year in Junior College and now, he is on the way to play at Florida State. The kid who did not know what to do to get himself playing time in HS has worked his way into playing in the top conference in college, the ACC.

Pretty special kid.


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2010 Summer Workout Season – Part 2

By Don Kelbick


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Workouts are going well. This week we were greeted with some good news.

Anthony King, who was selected as MVP of his league in Cyprus, has resigned in Cyprus. After spending some time this summer with the Heat and hoping for an NBA break, he decided to accept an offer that doubles his salary. Anthony is now the highest paid player in the league.

Denis Clemente, who spent time this summer with the Charlotte Bobcats and played summer league for them, has signed a 2 year contract with Maccabi Rishon in Israel.

Workouts are going in 2 groups. My emphasis on footwork and the way the workouts are structured, allow me to work with players of different positions and ability levels at the same time. Jonathon Rodriguez has been working on increasing his arc and his footwork. He seems to be coming along. He has much better rhythm in his shot, due to the footwork and the increased arc has allowed him to stretch his range. Whether he can do it in competition remains to be seen. When confronted by stress, we invariably revert to what is comfortable for us. He needs a lot more repetitions to ingrain the changes he has made.

Anthony King is a great example of that. He has increased his range a good 5 feet and is now comfortable a big step behind the 3 point circle. His footwork has been solid since we started working 3 years ago, and now, I no longer have to say anything to him regarding the height of his shots. The results have been impressive.

Raja Bell continues to work to recapture his playing form. In the past, he has come with a shopping list of things he wants to improve. But, after missing almost the entire season last year, he feels that he needs to recapture his intensity and conditioning. Workouts that in the past covered specific things are now more universal, combining a number of skills at once. And every drill involves a cardio aspect to challenge his conditioning.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Workouts are significantly more intense and challenging than they were just a couple of weeks ago. Players need to be rounding into better shape now so there are more repetitions and less breaks during the course of the workouts. They are not longer workouts (I try to keep them under an hour and 15 minutes) but there is much more work in each one. Training camp for European players starts much earlier than here in the States. Anthony King leaves Sunday for Cyprus, Guiilermo Diaz leaves for Italy on August 23.

Guillermo Diaz is recovering from a deeply pulled groin muscle that hampered him in Italy and in the tail end of his Puerto Rican season. He is just now returning to form. He has played in the NBA with the Clippers and the Bobcats but feels he can carve out a great career in Italy, so instead of trying to catch on with another team, he is committed to becoming an Italian favorite. Always a great shooter, if he can stay healthy, he will become that.

Jonathon Rodriguez continues to come along. Corrections have become less and less in regard to his footwork and shot. I am now concentrating on trying to have him become more efficient but moving in straight lines and eliminating any drift in his shot. Slowly but surely, he is stretching his range, which he must do to have success at the next level.

I have begun to introduce some competitive work into the workouts with the second group. I don’t usually do that. Because Raja Bell missed most of last year, he wants to work on his instincts and recognition. So, we play some 2 on 2, starting with some type of pro action (zipper cut, ball screen, etc.) and play a few games. After that, we do a lot of pure shot repetitions. Before we play, the work is very heavily cardio intensive. Before we play, within about 40 minutes, we try to get about 250 shots per player with a 3 man group. Afterwards, we try to get in about 100 shots more.

Carlos Arroyo is once again in Puerto Rico training with the National Team as team captain. They will be playing in the World Championships in Turkey at the end of August

To view coaching products from Don Kelbick, go to Don Kelbick Products.

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2010 Summer Workout Season – Part 1

By Don Kelbick

The Summer training season is in full swing.

So far this summer we have worked with Raja Bell, Anthony King, Brian Waters with Guillermo Diaz and Denis Clemente due in shortly. Other regulars, such as Rasual Butler and Carlos Arroyo have not been in yet due to scheduling conflicts and might be in to get ready for training camp.

I am very selective with whom I work with. I work very hard and appreciate the way all these guys work.

Raja is in a free agent summer. As usual, he comes with a laundry list of things he wants to improve on. After so many years of playing with Phoenix and being a designated shooter, he wants to improve on his game off the dribble. This is a different summer for him, not only being a free agent but also because he missed most of last year with a torn tendon in his wrist. He is 100% now, in great shape. I hope he signs with someone who has a chance to win. He will be out for 3 days this week as he meets with the Lakers and the Bulls.

Anthony King is one of my favorite people. Not a big scorer in college, his offensive game had really come a long way. He played last year in Cypress where he was the 4th leading scorer and leading rebounder in the league. I think that we need to expand his game a bit. At 6’ 9” and 240 pounds he is a big undersized for his skill set. I made a small adjustment in his shot and now his shooting range has increased dramatically. My hope is that he carries the adjustment to the foul line. Last season he shot 68% from the foul line. Based on the number of foul shots he took, if he can move his percentage up to 80%, which is not unreasonable for him, he would be first in both scoring and rebounding. He must be doing something right because he has been invited to summer workouts with the Miami Heat.

Brian Waters played at Elon College in North Carolina. He is a great athlete and really quick. He was not really a heralded player in college and I want him to be ready when someone calls to give him a chance.

Denis Clemente is coming off a great senior year at Kansas State in is currently in the summer program with the Charlotte Hornets. I hope he plays well enough to get an invite to training camp.

Guillermo Diaz played with the LA Clippers and is now making a great career in Europe. He has had opportunities to go back to the NBA but prefers the stability he has found as one of the best players in Italy.

Friday, July 20, 2010

This was a pretty good week of workouts. The week started with Raja Bell missing Monday due to the fact that he was in Utah to sign his 3 year guaranteed contract. It reflects the respect NBA people have for him. While not for huge dollars, by NBA standards ($10 million), the fact that he will be 34 years old in September and all 3 years are guaranteed is very unusual for a player of his age playing his position. When he returned from Utah, his work ethic was unaffected. I will match his work ethic against anyone.

We also learned that Anthony King was named Most Valuable Player in his league in Cyprus. He had been working out with the Heat but is now back in our workouts. He may not be able to pass up the offer that has been extended in Cyprus.

Jonathan Rodriguez has joined us. Jonathan just graduated from Campbell University. He finished his career as one of the few players in NCAA Div. I history to score 2000 points and grab 1000 rebounds. He is 6’6” and the challenge with him will be to expand his game by improving his ball handling and increasing his shooting range. At his size he will be a full time perimeter player at his next level. He will face quickness that he has not faced before. In addition, he has to be able to stretch defenses. I’ve made a small adjustment in his shot that will result in more arc, which will increase his range. It has paid immediate results. Hopefully he can carry it over to competition.

To view coaching products from Don Kelbick, go to Don Kelbick Products.

For more information on Don Kelbick, go to www.DonKelbickBasketball.com.