Found August 06, 2012 on BeyondUSports:
Harvard_vs_georgetown_c9e8

Harvard Basketball On The Rise?

www.scarsdalenews.com

I recently had a chance to speak with Harvard assistant basketball coach Yanni Hufnagel. Hufnagel is one of the top young assistant basketball coaches in thecountry. Hufnagel has had the opportunity to coach Blake Griffin and Jeremy Lin and work under the leadership of Jeff Capel, Lawrence Frank, Steve Donahue and Tommy Amaker. Hufnagel and I discussed his coaching career, the state ofHarvard basketball, Jeremy Lin and much more!

Raphael: When did you decide you wanted to be a basketball coach?

Yanni: I actually played lacrosse atPenn State as a freshman. I ended up transferring to Cornell the following yearand while I was in the weight room I started talking to the basketball coaching staff. The coaches toldme they loved my energy and spirit and the next day I was at practice helpingout. I have had an incredible journey. Ihave worked for Cornell, New Jersey Nets, Oklahoma Sooner and now I am atHarvard. Everything has happened so quickly but I feel blessed to be where I amright now. I have tried to absorb asmuch as could from each coach I have worked under.

Raphael: Do you hope to become a headcoach one day?

Yanni: I defiantly have aspirations to be a head coach.I want to win national championships. I want to be a head coach in a greatenvironment and have a bunch of my guys go in to the NBA while build lifelongrelationships. For me my focus is very narrow, I want to be able to compete atthe highest level nationally.

Raphael: What was it like working with Blake Griffin?

Yanni: I have been very lucky everystop along the way. I knew this kid Blake Griffin was coming in and was veryexcited. On day 1 of practice I knew he would be an amazing player. He is abetter person than a basketball player and that is a really neat thing. we havestayed really close, we talk all the time. I don’t think he realizes how goodhe could become, he could be a 15-time all star. The chance to work with thatlevel player helped my confidence as a basketball coach. I have tried torecruit to recruit guys like Blake to Harvard.

Raphael: Did you ever see Linsanity coming?

Yanni: I don’t think any one of usdid. I think we always believed in Jeremy with all of our heart in terms of hisgrit, spirit, ability, persistence and work ethic. What an amazing story forus, it has been amazing watching him play for the Knicks. I think everyone willsee a great year out of him next year. Once you get to work with him u get toknow, he is as good as person as player. I have been blessed to work with twogreat players, better people than basketball players, no one could deserve itmore than Jeremy.

Raphael: How exciting was last year’s season to your program?

Yanni: We are thrilled with whereour program is right now. We were able to go to the NCAA tournament ,and win abig tournament in the Bahamas. We had very balanced scoring, very good defense,terrific season for us. We beat a great Florida state squad. The best is stillahead for this program as we bring back our top 3 scorers next year. I have thebest boss in the world, he is a players’ coach, our guys love. Our program at Harvard could become good as anywhere, we expect historic things for nextseasons squad. We have a very difficult schedule but the future is as bright asit can probably get.

BeyondU Sports BeyondU Sports - Best College Sports Blog Site

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Jeremy Lin Skypes with 5-year old Knicks fan (Video)

If you haven't heard the story of 5-year old Naim and his love for New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, this will be one rather heartwarming post.Naim is the star of a YouTube video which shows him pouting after the New York Knicks not retaining guard Jeremy Lin which can be seen below:It turns out that Lin saw the clip and decided to reward Naim for his loyalty to him with a Skype...

Carmelo Anthony: Linsanity prompted the ‘selfish’ accusations

Carmelo Anthony is really hung-up on Jeremy Lin. The Knicks forward has been playing extremely well for Team USA at the Olympics, and that’s caused many people to reevaluate their opinion of him. Coach K doesn’t understand why Melo gets a bad rap, but Anthony thinks he knows where it all started. “Let’s be frank about it,” he said in an interview with USA Today. “When...

VIDEO: Jeremy Lin skypes with heartbroken five-year-old Knicks fan

Admittedly, I'm probably in the 2% of New York Knicks fans that was completely eh about the outcome of Jeremy Lin's free agency drama.  So much so, I become a tad bit annoyed when I see the New York media still cranking out Lin stories.  Sure,

Carmelo Anthony Attempts to Author in Revisionist History, Insists 'Selfish' Tag Originated During Linsanity

Carmelo Anthony says nobody called him a selfish player until Jeremy Lin came along. The evidence proves otherwise, but as Anthony continually has shown, the facts never get in the way of a story that deflects blame from him. In speaking with reporters last weekend, Anthony once again seemed to assume that the world needed to take him at his word, as though no record exists of what...

Fiddlin' & Diddlin' - Daily Links 8/6

Herald  Jeremy Lin thrills Taiwanese fans Argentina, then quarters for Team USA basketball Globe Judo champion Kayla Harrison meets Celtics coach Doc Rivers Reggie Jackson plans to make noise with Thunder Celtics Green   Follow the Leader? Former Celtic Arnie Risen Dies at 87 Random Thoughts on KG, JJ, Doc and More Celtic Nation SQ12#5 Biggest Disappointment of Celtics...

Today's Celtics Links 8/6

Herald  Jeremy Lin thrills Taiwanese fans Argentina, then quarters for Team USA basketball Globe Judo champion Kayla Harrison meets Celtics coach Doc Rivers Reggie Jackson plans to make noise with Thunder Celtics Green   Follow the Leader? Former Celtic Arnie Risen Dies at 87 Random Thoughts on KG, JJ, Doc and More Celtic Nation SQ12#5 Biggest Disappointment of Celtics...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.