Our Community | Conversation with Aaron Young

 

Kia ora Aaron, so tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re currently based?

Based in Auckland, lived here since 2003 - originally from the States - born in Phoenix, AZ - family is from Texas.

Can you tell us a little bit about your mahi and how you got into it?

I started my coaching journey with Judd Flavell, assisting him with the Breakers academy back in 2013-14.. That led me to a role with the Breakers where Dean Vickerman brought me on as a Video Analyst – I continued that role until 2019, working under Kevin Braswell & Paul Henare along the way.

Also being involved in multiple NZU17 & U19 cycles over the past 4 years has been a massive part of my development as a coach, with travelling experiences in the Philippines, China, New Caledonia and Argentina. 

You deal with the community every day in some shape or form, how do you find that aspect of your mahi?

The community side of things has been a big part of my coaching journey.. 

Before I got into competitive coaching, I was a Junior breakers coach for 2 years, where Hayden Allen ran the show with the Breakers in-school coaching program. Coaching with Tony, Chanel Pompalier, Norm taught me how important it was to give back, and how big of an impact you can make on certain kids lives. Our GM at the Huskies, Matt Lacey, has done a great job of teaming up with the Life Changer Foundation, to deliver in school community experiences for kids all around Auckland.

You used to play basketball and now you’re the coach… what's it like been on the other side of the white lines?

Loved playing at school. There’s nothing like building towards Nationals and competing with your brothers.

Coaching is a different beast.. you always have to be ON! Planning, scouting, Development.. there’s no off switch! And that’s why I love it, it’s a straight grind! 

What do you find is the most challenging part of your mahi and why?

Managing time. I think what has helped me is, figuring out what is most important to me right now. We live in a world full of distractions and useless information, it’s easy to get off track and think that you’re busy, but in fact, you’re limiting your potential by avoiding the things you know are going to make you a better person. That’s why I try and maximise my days, and push myself to the max. The last thing I want is to look back and have regrets about not going 💯

 

We understand you work with St Kents and also coach the Auckland Huskies. One is at the high school level, and one is at the professional level. What are some of the major differences between them?

A lot of similarities believe it or not. Building relationships, connecting with great people and working towards a common goal of getting better every day.

I would say the biggest difference is, at high school, the students are still figuring out so much at the adolescent age, you have more of an impact on their lives vs Pro’s who are grown men, and know how to look after themselves. You learn so much coaching at different levels though, each experience adds value to your journey as a coach...

Any future plans that you can give us an inside scoop on?

Nothing at the moment, just trying to stay present and focus on St Kent’s - Huskies.. Down the track, I would love to be a part of the ANBL, as an assistant and eventually a Head Coach. I have followed the league since I moved to NZ and to see the growth over the years, it’s pretty cool! Such an underrated league when it comes to talent, coaching and high-quality hoops! You see how tough the league is when high-level international players come over and struggle to perform..

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, or someone else, what would it be and why?

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable…

And

“Ease is a greater threat to progress, than hardship” - Denzel

Where can people find you?

Instagram - aaronyg_

Twitter - aaronyg_