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'SLANG MAGAZINE - Issue 4 - "Full Court Vision" Coach Marlon Smith Feature Interview

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

We're excited to share here in Issue 4 of 'SLANG Magazine that Boomslang Basketball Club was recently included as the cover profile feature in the August issue of Greenwich Neighbors Magazine, detailing the great success BOOMSLANG has had we head into our fifth season this fall! Thank you to Randi Shulman, Pamela Caffray, Inga Skuratovsky, Larry Blucher and everyone else involved in making our appearance in the magazine possible. The girls immediately started sharing the article with each other once the magazine came out. It's been fun to see how proud the teams are to play for BOOMSLANG.

Early on in the piece, one of our organization's philosophies was highlighted: do all you can.

If you're doing all you can to take your own game to the next level, the team is doing all it can to improve as a unit at both ends of the floor and the organization is doing all it can to provide the best travel basketball experience for our players and families, then as a whole everyone is going to have as much fun as they can developing our skills as quickly as they can and BOOMSLANG will succeed in delivering the #1 travel basketball experience!

In order for us to do that, we wanted to take Coach Ron's expertise and passion for the game and add to it by partnering him with Coach Marlon Smith, our new Director of Basketball.

Coach Marlon made a special guest appearance this past spring at one of our combined Tuesday night practices and not surprisingly, he was a great hit with the players, Coach Ron and parents alike! Based on feedback from everyone involved, we're now excited to announce the addition of Coach Marlon Smith to BOOMSLANG going forward starting with our Summer Clinic this August 14-18 and our Fall Travel season! Enjoy getting to know Coach Marlon Smith better here, in 'SLANG MAGAZINE - Issue 4':

"Full Court Vision" - An Interview with BOOMSLANG's Director of Basketball, Coach Marlon Smith

Coach Marlon Smith at a recent camp.

'SLANG: Thank you for taking time to answer a few questions for our summer/fall issue of 'SLANG Magazine, Coach Marlon! Let's start with how you would describe your coaching philosophy and what drew you to BOOMSLANG?

Coach Marlon: My coaching philosophy consists of providing every client I come across with the best basketball education they can receive, while also teaching real-life skills that prepare them for life after basketball. I was drawn to Boomslang through a mutual friend of Ryan and me who had nothing but great things to say about Boomslang.

'SLANG: What drew you to the game of basketball? How old were you when you started playing and can you tell us a bit about your playing career?

Coach Marlon: I started playing basketball at the age of 8, drawn to the game by watching my older brother and his friends play together in the playgrounds of New York City. I grew up playing for one of the most historic teams in America, called the New York Gauchos. Later, I played for Archbishop Molloy, known for producing players like Kenny Smith (2-time NBA Champion; NBA on TNT Analyst), Kenny Anderson (15-year NBA Career), and most recently, Cole Anthony (currently with the Orlando Magic). After high school, I went on to play for Penn State University and professionally in countries such as Cyprus, France, Hungary, and Turkey.

Coach Marlon battles his way inside while playing for Penn State University.

'SLANG: What was your experience like playing AAU basketball as our players are doing now with BOOMSLANG?

Coach Marlon: I had an amazing experience playing AAU because I had the opportunity to compete at a very high level against players like Chris Paul, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, and Kemba Walker, just to name a few. I enjoyed traveling and playing games with my friends, and most importantly, I appreciated the team chemistry that was built by the players, coaches, and parents.

'SLANG: Were you the type of player that would set goals ahead of the season and if so, what sort of goals did you set for yourself?

Coach Marlon: At a very young age, I did set goals. I believe that setting goals is the most transparent way to track your progression. Therefore, I would set goals such as making 500 jump shots every day (Monday to Friday) for the months of July and August, totaling 20,000 before the school year started. I would also set goals for push-ups and sit-ups, aiming to complete 500 of each every day within the same time frame as the jump shots.

'SLANG: Prior to BOOMSLANG, which other programs did you coach for along the way? What type of success did you have before we were lucky to have you at BOOMSLANG?

Coach Marlon: Before joining Boomslang I was coaching and operating my own basketball program called “Marlon Smith Basketball”. My program still exists and I have had the opportunity to coach over 2,000 kids. About 99% of the kids I’ve coached and trained have gone to college and graduated.

'SLANG: What is it about coaching that you enjoy the most? Any interesting stories from your time teaching the game over the years domestically or internationally?

Coach Marlon: Coaching can be enjoyable for several reasons. Firstly, seeing the growth and development of your players both on and off the court can be incredibly rewarding. Witnessing their progress and witnessing them achieve their goals can bring a great sense of fulfillment.

Additionally, building relationships with your players and being able to mentor and guide them can be a fulfilling aspect of coaching. It provides an opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives and help shape them as individuals.

Lastly, the excitement and thrill of competition can make coaching enjoyable. The strategic aspect of the game and the ability to make crucial decisions in real-time can be exhilarating.

I have tons of interesting stories pertaining to coaching, but one that stands out the most is about coaching a young man named Jacob Morrissey. I had the opportunity to coach him for 6 years, and while he was a hard worker, he was aware that he wouldn't attend college on a basketball scholarship. However, I believed he had great potential as an athlete, so I suggested he try shot put. He took my advice, and as a result, he was able to receive a scholarship/full ride to pursue shot put in college. This story is significant to me because it goes beyond basketball. I was able to make a significant impact on someone's life, especially since his father had lost his job during that time, making college no longer affordable. Jacob showed bravery in trusting me, and coaching is all about instilling confidence and building it in each and every kid through every dribble, pass, and words of affirmation.

'SLANG: Championships are always fun, but what do you think players should take from losses along the way that might stand out as particularly hard to get over throughout the season?

Coach Marlon: Typically, as a coach, I like to teach my players something whether we win or lose because there is always something to learn from every experience. I do not take winning for granted because it presents a challenge, and not everyone gets the opportunity to win. When addressing this message to all players, they will be able to handle losing more easily with the understanding that it is important to move forward, but not forget the lessons from the losses. The goal is to improve and avoid feeling sadness or unhappiness due to the outcome of losing.

'SLANG: Could you please tell us about your non-profit efforts within the game of basketball?

Coach Marlon: MalawRise is a not-for-profit organization that I am the co-founder of. Our mission is to transform the lives of African youth by providing mentorship through organized basketball camps. The goal of our program is to help young people gain crucial skills in entrepreneurship, vocational training, and academics, ultimately leading to improved living standards for future generations. Recently, I returned from Africa, where I had the opportunity to coach and train over 450 kids in 7 camps over the course of 7 days. Additionally, we provided over 500 meals, donated 100 basketballs, and resurfaced and renovated 4 basketball courts. If you would like more information about our not-for-profit, please reach out anytime.

Coach Marlon instructing top players recently with his non-profit organization in Africa.

'SLANG: What are your goals for the upcoming fall season of BOOMSLANG basketball?

Coach Marlon: My goals with Boomslang are very simple. I want every player to enhance their skills in basketball so that they become more confident individuals, which in turn will contribute to building a stronger team. A stronger team will lead to winning more games.

'SLANG: Any final thoughts to share with players, parents or fans reading this interview?

Coach Marlon: I'm excited to meet and foster the growth of the Boomslang family into something truly special!

Thank you, Coach Marlon! We are thrilled to have you with BOOMSLANG and can't wait for the upcoming August 14-18 summer clinic and fall travel season running this September-November. Players who haven't already registered for either can do so now HERE! Let's go BOOMSLANG! 'S

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