When you look at Dave Magley now, you might see a little of Phil Jackson or Bill Self or even hall of fame college basketball coach Ted Owens.
Magley roamed the sidelines as head boys basketball coach at Bradenton Christian for 11 years, reaching four state final fours and 246 victories while sending 27 players to college, including five to Division I.
Now Magley is taking what some might see as a quantum leap.
He is head coach and general manager of the Brampton A's, a new franchise in the National Basketball League of Canada.
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The franchise's owner is James Tipping, whose son, Jameson, played for Magley at Bradenton Christian and just finished a solid college career.
The elder Tipping said he saw enough of Magley at Bradenton Christian to know he was the right man to run his team. though Magley has never coached at the collegiate or professional level.
"It wasn't about systems. It was about getting the best
out of people you have, and Dave is excellent at that," Tipping said. "I wanted him because of who he is and what he brings to the table as a person. There is no doubt in my mind that he will succeed."
Magley has never been afraid of challenges and jumping from a small-school prep basketball program doesn't frighten him. Plus, he's had some pretty good mentors throughout his career as a player at the college and professional level to draw from.
"If you surround yourself with good people, you can look good," said Magley, who was Indiana's Mr. Basketball as a prep player, an academic All-American at Kansas and played for Jackson in the Continental Basketball Association, before Jackson took over the Chicago Bulls en route to a record 11 NBA titles as a head coach.
"I am anxious to see how treating people with respect and running systems that are simple will work at the pro level," Magley said. "I don't know. It might be a whole lot more complicated than I think. But I played for Phil, and I learned how he treats guys with respect. He also played a lot of guys because he wanted to score a lot of points and run."
Utilizing a long bench and running up and down the court is popular at any level and keeps most of the roster happy.
Magley said his older brothers had a big influence on him because they showed him how to compete. He also credits his high school coach, George Griffith; Owens, his coach at Kansas; and Jackson. Self, the current Kansas coach, also has provided advice.
"I am not the least bit anxious. I am going to surround myself with people that know more than I know," Magley said. "I've talked to some of the coaches at Kansas. They are good coaches and good people and are always willing to give advice."
Tipping says Magley has all the intangibles needed to be a successful coach, which is why Magley was his only choice since the idea for the team was conceived more than a year ago.
"He may not have coached at those levels, but Dave has been involved in those levels," Tipping said. "Everybody that knows him, including his peers, is impressed with Dave. He understands the game and the personalities of people and how to get the most out of them. That was what I was looking for."
Anyway you look at it, this is Magley's team. As general manager, he will pick his players and then install the system that best fits their abilities.
Magley is allowed to have nine foreign players on his 12-man roster. He has been looking at some of the top players to come out of the Manatee-Sarasota areas in recent years. He will hold some tryouts to get his roster down to size for the opening of official training camp in early October.
Some of the players he has contacted include Haminn Quaintance, who played at Palmetto High before transferring to Riverview; Shed Haynes, who played for Palmetto, Booker and USF; Eniel Polynice, MVP of Booker's 2006 state championship team who recently played with the Los Angeles Lakers D League team; Tony Davis (Riverview); Sergio Negrin (BCS); and Jameson Tipping, a 6-foot-7 guard who just completed his college career at Brock University in Ontario and led the team in scoring (15.8 points per game).
Magley will be counting on friend and former NBA player Paul Mokeski, a 7-foot center who played for Kansas and spent more than a decade in the NBA, as a consultant.
Magley and the elder Tipping, a native of Canada, are hoping Brampton's diverse population will create interest in basketball, which has become one of the world's most popular sports.
"The average attendance in our league ranges from about 1,200 to 5,500, and I am thinking from the reaction we've had from the city of Brampton we are going to be one of the top drawing teams," Tipping said. "The Toronto International Airport is on the edge of Brampton, which will help. We are the only men's professional basketball league in Canada and are striving to make it the strongest league we can with the strongest players."
The Brampton A's, the 10th team to join the National Basketball League of Canada since its inception in 2011, will play its games in the Powerade Center, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena that also is home to Brampton's Central Hockey League team. With a population of about 523,000, Brampton is a suburban city in the Greater Toronto area.