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The huddle

October 17, 2019

Amherst Women’s Basketball | NCAA National Champ, G.P Gromacki, Shares His Wisdom

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Photo by mediumhappy.com

G.P. Gromacki is a three-time National Champion – winning his first in 2011 and going back to back in 2017 and 2018. He has been the head coach at Amherst College for 12 years and won eight NESCAC Championships. In 2017 and 2018 he led the program to two perfect seasons going 33-0. Coach Gromacki is a two-time WBCA National Coach of the year, five-time D3Hoops.com New England Coach of the Year, and six-time NESCAC Coach of the Year. 

LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer to a high school recruit who is looking to play at the next level?

Coach Gromacki: Do your research. Learn about the coach, team, and program, ask the questions: Are you a good fit for their team? Will you get playing time? In the end, find a college with the academic program you are looking for and how the education you receive will help you in the future. Playing basketball is great, but in the end, it is the academic value and what you learn that will benefit you in your career and help you later in life!

LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer to college basketball athletes?

Coach Gromacki: Enjoy what you are doing. Remember your college years will go by fast. Learn as much as you can from your coach and peers… and it is more important to learn life skills and not just the fundamentals of basketball.

LRT Sports: What two characteristics do you look for in a recruit? How do you deal with athletes that have a high opinion of themselves?

Coach Gromacki: Players that compete and love the game. You need a high opinion of yourself but have to think of the team first… it is a team game!

LRT Sports: When do you think a good time for a basketball player looking to play at the D3 level should reach out to coaches to get on their radar, and how should they contact you?

Coach Gromacki: At the start of their junior year!

LRT Sports: What questions do you ask a recruit that can make or break your opinion on them, and if you will continue to pursue them? 

Coach Gromacki: How honest they are with me in the recruiting process … do not feed me misinformation. Make sure their parents are not too involved.

LRT Sports: Being a coach at an academic high school, academics are very important but are there any other qualities you look for in student-athletes? What GPA/ACT/SAT do you look for when recruiting?

Coach Gromacki: I look for other qualities like hard work and honesty. Just need a good enough GPA to be accepted to a school and if they can handle the workload … it helps to have smart players on the floor!

LRT Sports: Do you have expectations for the first years that are different from the returners? 

Coach Gromacki: Depends on the year. But sometimes I am shocked at how little the first-year players know about the game of basketball.

LRT Sports: Receiving so many highlight videos – do you have any advice on the do’s and don’ts?

Coach Gromacki: I prefer highlights and a full game… therefore I can see the outstanding plays a recruit makes as well as watching them play in a team setting and checking out how they defend.

LRT Sports: Is social media a factor in your recruiting process, and if so, what do you look for?

Coach Gromacki: It is becoming a more significant factor, but it doesn’t make or break the recruitment of an athlete at the moment.

LRT Sports: Being a top competitor at the D3 level, how do you approach recruiting top performers?

Coach Gromacki: We are always looking for players who can play at a higher level than D3, and hopefully they choose our school.

LRT Sports: What is one or two things that a recruit should not do on an official visit?

Coach Gromacki: Get in trouble, badmouth the team about individuals playing ability. Lie about who is recruiting them.

LRT Sports: What is the funniest way that a potential player marketed themselves to you?

Coach Gromacki: A player drove up from Maryland unannounced and tried to talk me into taking them and have me guarantee a spot on the team… I refused, and we never recruited her!

LRT Sports: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you on the court?

Coach Gromacki:  I was distracted by a men’s basketball player asking me to use the backcourt to shoot, and a player on my team threw a pass without me knowing and it hit me in the head, it really hurt, but I never let anyone know, I think I received a concussion, I should up at practice the next day wearing a football helmet.

LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that someone offered to you as a coach?

Coach Gromacki: Worry about your current team and not next year’s team or the one’s after until the current season is over.

LRT Sports: Any fun rituals or superstitions you’ve carried along in your coaching career? 

Coach Gromacki: No real superstitions, but we try to keep things the same.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE