Jeff Van Gundy's tip for fourth-grade hoops


Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive once starred in a 2009 Malcolm Gladwell story called "How David Beats Goliath" about using unconventional methods to overcome big obstacles.

In Ranadive's case, it was coaching a 12-year-old girls' team to a championship game by aggressively deploying a full-court press.

Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said in his own coaching, he prefers a different tactic.

"That owner of Sacramento, saying that he won a girls championship with no talent just by pressing? I’m like, are you kidding me?" Van Gundy said. "I coached fourth-grade girls basketball this year. It’s all about the players!”

Van Gundy’s youth-team experience gives him a different perspective on being a successful girls’ team coach: “The two keys in fourth-grade girls’ basketball are this: Can you make a layup, and do all of your players show up? Because if all 10 show up, you have to play them equally, but if you can convince two that they’re really sick ... your two best players play three quarters. That’s how you win at fourth-grade girls’ basketball.”

There was no word on how successful Van Gundy’s girls’ teams have been.