Rusty Larue on Role Playing (no double entendre)


I came across and excellent post today from former Wake Forest player, Rusty Larue, that wonderfully articulates a subject upon which I have been thinking recently.  With all credit to him, please enjoy:

“One of the biggest factors for basketball players finding success when they move up from high school to college or college to pro is their ability to adapt and adjust their roles. As players go from being the star player in high school or college to having a limited or different role at the next level, the guys who understand the transition and adapt are the ones who succeed.

There are very few players who get to go from one level to the next without changing their role. The Lebrons and Durants of the world are so talented that they are the man at every level. But most players have to figure out what role they will fill and often it is vastly different from what they are used to. I have seen players throughout my career who were big time talents in college never make it in the NBA. Why? Because they were used to that role and could not or would not change their game to fill a certain need. I played with and against some great players in the minor leagues and overseas who probably were good enough to be in the NBA. They chose to go play at a level that did not require them to adapt their role or at least only required minor changes.

The same thing is happening today at the college level and in my opinion is why we have so many transfers. It is easier to switch schools and try to find somewhere that allows you to stay in your comfort zone instead of changing your role to fit what the team needs. I was not a starter in college until my senior year at Wake Forest. My role on the team grew every year, primarily because I accepted my given role and tried to excel in it. A piece of advice to all the players out there, embrace the role you are given. By doing so you will not only get more playing time, but you will earn the trust of the coach and your role will grow. And if you work hard enough you may actually get the role you wanted in the first place.”

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