NBA skills coach Drew Hanlen on his career and the progress of Joel Embiid, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and more

NBA skills coach Drew Hanlen on his career and the progress of Joel Embiid, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and more


NBA skills coach Drew Hanlen on his career and the progress of Joel Embiid, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and more

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On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by Drew Hanlen. He’s one of the top NBA skills coaches in the world and the CEO of Pure Sweat Basketball. Hanlen discusses his career, training strategy and gives in-depth updates on the players he’s training this summer. Time-stamps are below!

1:20: Drew Hanlen recently tore his meniscus. He tells the crazy story of how it happened (it involves playing one-on-one against a superstar) and how he’s been able to continue training his clients through the injury.

2:40: Hanlen walks through the steps he took to become an elite NBA skills coach, from writing a book on basketball training in high school to playing point guard at Belmont University to working with NBA stars.

6:25: A big reason Hanlen can help players improve is because of his film study. He’s watched every single NBA game from the last eight seasons and organized every made field goal into one of 1,800+ categories.

7:45: Hanlen discusses how he started training his first NBA players and explains how his client list grew to the star-studded roster it is today.

10:20: Hanlen travels all across the country to spend time with his players during the season and the summer. He talks about how much work-related traveling he’s done in recent years.

11:55: Hanlen describes how he customizes and builds workouts for players.

14:50: Hanlen discusses whether he’d ever accept a position with an NBA team and how often teams inquire about his availability.

16:40: One unique thing that Hanlen does is time how quickly players release the ball when they’re shooting. He shares the players who have the quickest release, according to his times.

19:45: Hanlen gives an in-depth breakdown of the three things that Joel Embiid is working on this summer and how he can take his game to the next level.

21:05: Markelle Fultz is another player who has been working with Hanlen. He can’t divulge too much, but he shares a little bit about what Fultz has been working on.

22:00: As Gordon Hayward works toward his comeback, he’s been training with Hanlen. He updates where Hayward is at in his recovery and how he’s looked this summer.

23:25: Jayson Tatum is also working out with Hanlen. In fact, they’ve been training together since Tatum was 13 years old. Hanlen describes Tatum’s regimen and what he expects from him during his sophomore season.

25:35: Hanlen breaks down his work with Orlando Magic rookie Mo Bamba, the development of his shot and how they’re trying to model his offensive game after Embiid.

27:37: Duke’s incoming stars RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish have been working with Hanlen. Barrett is currently projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and Reddish is expected to be a Top-10 pick as well. He breaks down their skill sets and says Barrett is “shining” in pick-up games against NBA players and beating them in one-on-one at times.

30:00: Hanlen explains how he improves his clients’ footwork.

31:20: Who are the highest-IQ players whom Hanlen has trained?

33:10: Hanlen explains how he can tell if a player is going to make it in the NBA or not. He shares the signs he looks for in each player (and how he decides whether to take them on as a client or not).

35:35: Out of the all the players Hanlen has trained, who has the most intense work ethic and desire to improve?

36:50: The player Hanlen most wants to work with is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He believes he could develop his three-point shot into a consistent weapon and make him an even scarier player.

This episode is sponsored by the BIG3. Get your tickets to BIG3 games at or tune in LIVE every Friday night on Fox or FS1.

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