Former Mavs coach Doug Schakel preaches post play at camp

Marcus Johnson of Longmont High School watches as Doug Schakel, center, demonstrates a move that will gain a player access to the basket Wednesday outside Saunders Fieldhouse during the Mesa State College basketball camp. Schakel is a former coach of the Mavericks.

Doug Schakel has coached several All-American post players in his time.

The former Mesa State College men’s basketball coach and the creator of the Mesa State basketball camp has worked with several of them.

He stopped by to give two clinics Wednesday afternoon at the camp after dropping off his grandson, Darion Schakel, for freshman orientation at Colorado State University earlier this week.

It was Schakel’s first appearance at the camp since retiring in 2003.

“It’s fun to see everybody,” coach Schakel said. “There are a number of coaches here coming to camp back when I was involved in them.”

Several teenage boys and girls and their coaches were on hand for Schakel’s clinic, including Palisade’s Kane Gunther.

“Mostly, I was looking for reasons to defend,” Gunther, a 6-foot-2 forward/guard, said. “Learn that people use those type of moves. I want to be in position to defend. I’m going to be the tallest on the team this year and will be defending low (post). I figured I could learn something defending. Offensively, it will help out too if I get a mismatch.”

Gunther knew he’d learn something from Schakel.

The coach did a basketball shooting camp at Plateau Valley School when Gunther was a middle school student there.

“I’ve known Coach Schakel for quite a while, probably since about fourth or fifth grade,” Gunther said. “He’s a veteran, he’s been in coaching twice as long as I’ve been alive. He’s a great teacher. He knows a lot about basketball.”

Schakel spoke to the players and coaches about becoming a good shooter, passer and developing a combination of moves to counter a defensive player’s position.

He did two one-hour clinics without using a basketball, explaining the importance of putting in the time to develop good shots.

“Post players should become expert shooters on the six- to seven-foot bank shot,” Schakel said. “They should be able to go left-handed or right-handed (for a layup).”

Schakel’s knowledge on post play has increased since he’s become an assistant women’s basketball coach at Johnson County (Kan.) Community College. He coaches post players specifically.

“It has allowed me to dial in to that part of the game only,” Schakel said. “It’s really helped me to expand my abilities in that area. When I knew we were coming back here, I contacted Jim (Heaps) and told him I have an expanded series on post play coaches and players might find useful. Jim said, absolutely.”


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