Almanson enjoys teaching basketball (07-18-13)
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor
Thursday, 18 July 2013 09:59
Josh Almanson is an imposing figure on the basketball court at Bowling Green's Community Center, especially when he is surrounded by 60 or so boys and girls who are not yet in high school.
|Josh Almanson works with Lucas Tsou, 8, (left) and Zach Thomas, 9, at Almanson's annual basketball camp at the Bowling Green Community Center. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The 6-foot-9 Almanson, a standout at Bowling Green High School and Bowling Green State University, is back home to conduct his annual basketball camp this week.
The youngsters are learning from Almanson, who has played eight seasons of professional basketball, and his staff, which includes Eric Radabaugh and Kyle Rase.
"It's a good thing to work with kids on basketball. I enjoy teaching basketball,'' Almanson said. "Everybody has basketball ability and you can improve in all parts of the game and be a good basketball player.
"Bowling Green has a lot of good families and it's a great place to raise kids,'' he added. ''You get a lot of great kids to work with and it's enjoyable to meet the kids and the parents.''
At the camp, Almanson is giving an introduction to the sport for youngsters who don't know much about the game.
The campers are also learning basic drills that will help them when they try out for a team, or something they might see in a team practice.
"We try to focus on that so they are not shocked if a coach asks them to do a three-man weave,'' Almanson said.
There is also the opportunity to play 5-on-5 against kids in the same age group and try some new things while not worrying about wins and losses.
"I don't know of many opportunities for kids that age to just go out and play for a couple of hours,'' Almanson said.
Almanson played for two teams last season, averaging 15.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in 11 games for Gigantes in Mexico during November and December.
"It was my first experience playing (professionally) out of Europe,'' Almanson said. ''That was fine. I knew the coach of the team down there and that's the main reason I went.
"Then when I was down there I had an offer to go to a team in Switzerland.''
Almanson moved on to play for Fribourg, but his playing time was limited by a groin injury. He appeared in only 12 games in a five-month span, averaging 8.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
"I ended up getting hurt real bad. I tore my groin at the very end of February,'' Almanson said.
He sat out for a month and then it took him another six to seven weeks to get back to 100 percent.
"By the time I got healthy, I played about another week and it was time to go home,'' he said.
It was the fourth time in his eight seasons he played for a team in Switzerland.
The Fribourg team ended its team with a loss in the semifinals of the Swiss League Cup.
"It was not a great time to get injured, but I recovered,'' Almanson said.
He is now working out, usually at the Stroh Center. And with the help of his agent, who is in France, Almanson is looking for a team to play with later this year.
"I'm working this summer to strengthen the muscle back,'' Almanson said.
Due to some of the economic problems in Europe, some professional basketball teams there are struggling.
"The teams change so much; teams fold,'' Almanson said. ''Teams are shorter on money than they have been in the past.
"I'm just waiting to see where I'll go next; it's so unpredictable,'' he added. "It's a business over there and like any business it's constantly changing.''
Almanson's views have expanded during his pro career.
"When I first started going out of the country to play basketball, I was concerned about playing and it was a good thing to get paid for,'' Almanson said.
"Now, after eight years, the basketball is great, but the experience to live in another place, the challenge of having to figure things out ... just getting thrown out in the middle of somewhere and having to make it, is a good experience,'' he added. "It's good to be around other cultures and see how other people are doing things and meet new people from all over the world.
"It's an experience I never imagined doing.''