BRADFORD – Mark Huelsman, an assistant women’s basketball coach at Ohio Northern University, spent two days in Bradford imparting his wisdom on the Lady Railroaders’ basketball team.
Huelsman led the Bradford girls through drills that he and Ohio Northern head coach Michele Durand use with their team, a NCAA Division III program that was ranked fifth in the nation this past season, compiling a 30-1 overall record and making the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III tournament.
“I thought it was a great couple days,” Huelsman said. “The girls here work really hard. Coach (Patrick) McKee has done a good job. And I think they listened really well, and hopefully they improved a little bit over the course of two days, get them some things that they can use over the next three or four months to become better players, better teammates.”
McKee got to know the coaches at Ohio Northern through recruiting this past year. He invited Huelsman to run a camp in Bradford as he wanted his players to have an opportunity to hear from a very successful college coach.
“We saw a lot of things that we’re familiar with, which I think helps them out, and it’s good for them to hear it from someone else,” the Bradford girls basketball coach said. “But I think we learned a few new things.”
During the camp Huelsman had the Railroaders focus on fundamentals, including concepts they had learned from their high school coaches.
“We really tried to work on fundamental skill work,” Huelsman said. “Probably emphasizing the same things that Coach McKee has been emphasizing but coming from a different voice always helps.”
Along with the players learning during the two-day camp, McKee said, he was able to learn a lot from Huelsman.
“I’ve got a whole page of notes over there,” McKee said. “The best part is he came in at 9 o’clock the last two days and both days we just talked. The morning we talked a lot about some defensive ideas, some offensive ideas, and he asked what kind of offensive actions we like to do, gave me some tips on those. So, yes, I’ve got a page and a half of notes for myself as well as my team.”
Huelsman saw a lot of improvement from the girls over the course of the two days as they became more comfortable with the drills. He enjoys having an opportunity lead the drills and help out high school programs, he said.
“Anything we can do to pass that knowledge on to other coaches and players in the area we need to do,” Huelsman said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.