Ross Geiger, former Video Coordinator for the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks, and one of my good friends and colleagues in the basketball world, recently took the time to share his insights into a number of NBA-related topics. Take the time to read his stories and reflections. Trust me, it’s well worth the read. Part 2 of the interview is coming soon…but for now, let’s meet Ross!
“What’s up, Ross? Tell us a little about yourself.”
“Growing up in Peoria, Arizona, I was a huge basketball junkie ever since I can remember. As a young kid I collected basketball cards and began studying the game without even realizing it. I’d read the back of every card, organized them by team, position, and depth chart; naturally beginning to study the game way before I even realized it. I was also fortunate that my passion for the game really started to take off around the same time the Phoenix Suns began their rise towards becoming the 7 seconds or less team. Having grown up playing on the AAU circuit year round with the Arizona Rebels I soon realized by high school that my basketball skills weren’t on the same level of some of the players I was fortunate to go up against. Getting the chance to compete against some of the top prep players in the country like Jerryd Bayless and Lance Stephenson gave me the reality check I needed in order to focus on pursuing my NBA dreams in a different fashion.
After graduating from Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, I decided to accept an academic scholarship from Marquette University. That became one of the best decisions of my life and once I first stepped foot on campus I had my sights on getting involved with the Milwaukee Bucks organization. My dedication and efforts paid off when I received a front office internship opportunity to help start up the Milwaukee Bucks analytics department by General Manager John Hammond during the 2010-2011 season. After a successful year assisting analytics intern Jon Nichols, I was fortunate to receive a video intern opportunity during the 2011-2012 season by Head Coach Scott Skiles. Graduating that spring, I then earned an assistant video coordinator role with the team and held that position for the next 2 seasons. I’m very proud of my four great years within the Bucks organization. After the 2015 NBA Draft I made a very tough, but appropriate decision to move back home to be closer to my family as we were going through some tough times. I was beyond blessed when Jeff Hornacek offered me a wonderful opportunity to join his staff as an assistant video coordinator before the start of the 2014-2015 season. I feel incredibly fortunate to have just finished up my 6th season in the NBA at 27.”
“What are you currently up to and where do you want to take your career?”
“The Suns decided to make some changes to the coaching staff this summer, and as a result, I am now looking for my next opportunity to provide a positive impact to an NBA organization or college program. I am currently helping player development coach Irving Roland of Blue Print basketball work out James Harden daily. Coach Roland and I worked together in Phoenix and he brings an exciting approach to player development so being able to work with him in a one on one setting with Harden has been a fun learning experience.
My next step is getting my foot in the door with another team to continue developing my craft in a video or front office role. Working with a group of people trying to accomplish a common goal excites me and continually fuels my passion for the game.”
“What’s the most rewarding thing you’ve been able to do in your career?”
“My most rewarding experience has undoubtedly been mentoring Giannis Antetokounmpo when he was a rookie. When Giannis first arrived in Milwaukee he was a 17-year-old kid who had never been to the United States before. As you can imagine, being a rookie in the NBA was quite a big adjustment, and on top of all of that Giannis was there without his family. For the entire season, Giannis and I spent nearly every hour of the day together and it was great experience being able to take him under my wing as a brother. Discovering, serving, and playing such an important role for another person within an organization is as rewarding as it can ever get for me. I am incredibly proud of the young professional Giannis has become both on and off the court. I’m thrilled that his hard work and dedication to becoming the best player he can be is really beginning to blossom.”
“In your work as an NBA video coordinator, what do your day-to-day responsibilities look like?”
“I’ve been lucky to work for two different organizations and as you might expect there are some similarities and some differences. With Milwaukee being a smaller market franchise, I was able to get my hands dirty on both the coaching and front office side of things. In Phoenix I primarily focused on working with the coaching staff. But in both situations my day to day responsibilities included breaking down upcoming opponent scout games, live logging our home games, building halftime edits for the team, helping plan/prepare practice plans, and assisting our coaches with on-court player development before, during, and after practices. The job really keeps you on your toes and it’s an exciting role helping organize/maintain the team’s day to day operations on the coaching side of things. An NBA/NCAA video position for a young, ambitious student of the game is the best situation to really grow and develop your knowledge/skills.
One of the perks of working in Phoenix was being able to assist Coach Mike Longabardi with his defensive preparation. Organizing defensive sorters and creating databases on upcoming teams and their personnel with Coach Longabardi taught me a ton. He consistently challenged me, helped me grow as a student of the game, and I gained a lot of respect for his craft preparing every single day.”
“What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen throughout your time in the NBA?”
“Wow, that’s a tough one! I’d have to say there’s a tie:
(1) The first time I introduced Giannis to Walmart. He was so amazed at how big the store was and thought it would be cool to ride around the store in one of the store’s mobile carts because it was fun and so other shoppers wouldn’t stop and stare at how tall he was.
(2) Helping the 7-foot Serbian Miroslav Radujlica buy his first car in America. He ultimately decided he wanted to buy a stick shift Mini Cooper. I don’t know how he fit into it, he was literally bigger than the car.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview with Ross, including his thoughts on who are the most mentally skilled players in the NBA…Coming soon!!