Short of winning a state championship or taking a team to the Final Four, life does not get much better for a basketball coach.
About a month and a half ago, USA Basketball came calling. Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost was asked to be a court coach this year, and he was in Seventh Heaven.
“Other than a state championship or the Final Four, this is the pinnacle for us coaches,” Brost said. “It is an honor and a blessing to be selected to represent the USA as a court coach. If USA Basketball ever needs me, I will be available.”
Brost will fly Thursday to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tryouts begin Friday. Brost is among five court coaches and will be working with head coach Don Showalter and assistants Scott Fitch and Stan Waterman to pare the original 30 players to a final 12 that will depart June 23 for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup from June 26 to July 8 in Rosario and Sante Fe, Argentina.
Brost will not be going to Argentina, but spending several days around outstanding coaches and the best players in the world is an honor all the same.
“We will be working with the top 30 players in the nation,” said Brost, whose Bolingbrook teams have finished third in Class 4A two of the past four years and reached the sectional final last season. “We’ll have to cut down to 12. We’ll practice twice a day, and the organization they have set up is down to a T. It’s what we try to do at Bolingbrook. It is really something the way it is all set up.
“We have had some really talented players at Bolingbrook, but the players I’ll now be working with are at another level. We will wind up cutting several kids who could end up being [NBA] lottery picks. There will be NBA executives and plenty of media at every practice.”
Brost said he has been on long conference calls going over plans for the tryouts and has received a large packet of materials. Everything is organized, and the final roster of 12 may be untouchable.
“I believe coach Showalter’s teams are 92-0,” Brost said. “I know they have won nine gold medals, and they say this is the most talented group yet. Twenty or 25 of these kids could wind up in the NBA.
“The USA 18U team, with Bill Self the head coach, just won its FIBA championship this week.”
The players at the tryouts come from throughout the country. Morgan Park’s Adam Miller will represent Illinois.
“It’s always a dream for a high school coach to win a state title and to wear Team USA across your chest,” Brost said.
While Brost is spending time on USA Basketball duties, Bolingbrook is off to good start this summer.
“We went 5-0 last week, and I wasn’t there,” he said. “This weekend, I won’t be there again, but I know we have a chance to be pretty good. Our summer will end at the Morris Shootout (from June 26 to 27).”
For starters, the Raiders next season will feature senior leaders Joseph Yesufu and Tyler Cochran. They will form one of the most touted duos in the state.
And, they will be receiving guidance from what Brost picks up in Colorado Springs.
“They sent me a large packet of materials, and what stuck with me is how it all starts for both players and staff with how you carry yourself on the floor,” he said. “And, what’s even more important is how you carry yourself off the floor.”
While Brost will be working at the highest level over the next several days, he said, “Basketball is still basketball. [The Raiders] will be going to Florida next year and will be playing Evanston and Whitney Young, among others. We will have as tough a schedule as anyone. We want to play the best.”