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Where Are They Now: Donyell Marshall

June 4, 2017


via @DMarsh42

Where are you now?
I am back in the state of Connecticut. I am now the head coach at Central Connecticut State University. You know, we’re NEC Conference, Division I. It’s a really good conference. Last year was my first year as the head coach. We won six games. We got better.

You know, I got here because one of my former coaches at UConn was the head coach. He retired; I took over for him. You know, had a couple down years but we had a g–a pretty good — even though I say six games, we had a pretty good first year. You know, a really good recruiting class coming in, so things are looking bright.

Was coaching something you always wanted to do?
Towards the end of my [playing] career — I had an AAU team for 15 years, and then towards the end of it I actually started coaching it. And I knew I always either wanted to get into commentating and, or I wanted to get into coaching.

And towards the end of my career, like I said, I coached my AAU team, and when I saw that I could really get to the kids and relate to the kids and that they would play hard for me, I wanted to get into coaching.

I just felt it was my passion. I felt I had a lot to give back. You know, my first couple years in the NBA was a little different, but then once I got to Utah and Karl [Malone] and John [Stockton] helped me, and then, and helped me turn my career around, I felt that, you know, I had to pass along some of my knowledge to the younger kids, and it was something that really interested me and took off.

Who were some of your bigger coaching influences?
I’m not saying this just because I’m on the phone with you guys and we’re talking in Utah, but — I’m sure you can go back and read a lot of articles. I always tell people that Jerry Sloan was probably my favorite coach.

You know, he’s a guy who demanded a lot out of me, and the thing that I respected was, I’ve [played] for coaches that, you know, they let the superstars get away with certain things, where Jerry Sloan didn’t let that happen. He got on Karl and John the same way he got on everybody else, and that, I respected that. And it made you want to go out there and work harder.

He taught me a lot about life, a lot about basketball, how to be a professional, and just how to be a better person and stuff. So, I would say that he was probably my favorite coach in the NBA.

Matt Barnes and #nightlife. What went through your head when you were traded from the Bay Area to Utah?
[The Warrriors] was a struggling organization at that time, so for me, I was very excited because it was a chance for me to get to play with, obviously, John and Karl. It was a chance for me to get to play in the playoffs and play for a very good organization, a team that I was gonna learn to win from. And like I said, I ended up having the time of my life there.

You know, and I think it was different for me. I–you know, it was, it wasn’t, it was a struggling organization and we weren’t winning. Went through a lot of different things, and I just wanted to learn how to win and I just wanted to do things like that. You know, and for me, you know, Golden State — I was young. So, yeah. Did I hang out? Did I [enjoy the nightlife]? Yeah, I did. I was young.

When I got to Utah, you know, the nightlife is different, but it’s also, I was starting to mature. You know, I was, I had my wife. I had my kids. And so, I didn’t even really look to go out because I was, you know, trying to, you know, get my life in order, I, which mean I was learning how to become a professional. Learning how to win, learning how to take care of my body, learning how to eat right.

So, the nightlife wasn’t there for me at that point in time…I would never say that [Salt Lake City] was a bad place. It was a place that I wanted to re-sign when I was a free agent, but things just didn’t work out…I would never talk anything bad about Utah because the two years I had there were great years.

On playing with John Stockton and Karl Malone
Obviously, they were great. You know, I mean, I remember my first practice, getting there and you know, John asks me, you know, where do I want the ball, and I didn’t understand what he was saying. I was like, “Well, in my hands.”

And he was like, “No, like, where do you want the ball? Where is it going to help you shoot better?” You know, “Where do you like the pass?” And you know, just things like that.

If you look at my two years in Utah, I shot 50 percent from the floor. You know, even though John was the guy there, I was the second leading scorer on the team. They looked for me a lot. So, I mean, I learnt a lot. Again, like I said, I learned how to be a professional…and just present myself and hold myself accountable for things.

So you know, I, working with those two, you know, they were definitely like big brothers to me even though that, I had only been there with them a short time. You know, I wish I had a chance to play with them longer, but like I said, things didn’t happen. (KALL)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Diana permalink
    June 6, 2017 7:55 am

    I love hearing from former players. I never tire of the praise they give to Jerry, John, and Karl. It’s awesome because you can tell it’s sincere.
    Amazing that John would ask players where they wanted the ball, it’s so simple yet look how Donnell answered, shows that it’s probably not a common question then and probably even less common now. Shows how unselfish John was and how it made II teams so much better.

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