In March of 2015, current National Basketball League of Canada Assistant Coach Doug Plumb co-founded the Vancouver Basketball Academy that kicked off some of the most important relationships in his life - many of those unpredictable and, frankly, with some of the most unassuming basketball athletes in the world. Most recently - and perhaps most notably - with former NBA rising star, Royce White. "Royce is an incredible dude. I think what has become most admirable and fascinating about Royce is his vulnerability as a person and an athlete." says London Lightning Assistant Coach Doug Plumb. "As a Coach, we love Royce because he's a grinder with an NBA-body and that's why he is so dominant in every arena he steps in to. This has been a special season for so many of us and Royce is a key pillar in everyone's success here in London. Now we just need to close the deal. We're 3 wins away from the Championship"
I asked Coach Plumb about his first year as a professional basketball coach and how that differs from youth basketball and skill development training programs he operates in his off-season. "It doesn't differ." he says, "...one word - relationships. Sure, Mark (Starkey) and I can run a youth academy and have a blast building kids' confidence, win games, run a tight ship. But what coaching at a professional level requires is very real, true, sincere 'buy-in' from our athletes. And the only things that gets that to happen is your ability to build authentic personal relationships with these guys. Royce is a great example of that. This is a media interview so I'm not going to share personal stories, but Royce knows for the rest of his life - if he calls me, I'm there. That's bigger than basketball and has nothing to do with money, fame or skill development. That's a long answer, but that's the truth. Relationships above all."