Hoop Group Coaching Tree: Brown's Cooper Handelsman - He talks to HG Insider about his time thus far at Brown & more

By Pat Lawless

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Photo by Production Team

HG Insider is back with another edition of Hoop Group Coaching Tree with Brown assistant coach Cooper Handelsman. Handelsman was previously a director of Hoop Group Elite. He spoke about how the transition has been for him, reaching one of his goals and more.

Q: What have the first road trips been like for you?

A: “The first road trips were great.  At a place like Brown, we are able to recruit players from all over the country, so we get to a lot of different events and areas to find potential players. Between players, I had seen at the Hoop Group previously, and the list our staff already had in place, it made the transition to recruiting as a coach a lot easier.”

Q: Has it always been a dream of yours? What is it like to be an assistant?

A: “Yes, it has always been a dream of mine.  When I knew my playing career was over, I tried to put myself in as many good positions to become a Division 1 coach someday, and my prior experiences have really helped me get here.  Being an assistant puts you in a lot of different roles.  So far, the main focus has been recruiting and player development during workouts.  Getting on the court with guys and seeing their game improve is one of the best parts of the job.”

Q: What do you envision with this group?

A: “This group has a chance to accomplish a lot.  We have a strong core of returners as well as a good four man freshman class.  There is a lot of versatility with guys being able to fill a variety of roles on both the offensive and defensive end of the floor.  If we put it all together with daily effort and focus, we can win a lot of games this year.”

Q: What makes Brown a special place?

A: “Brown is a special place first because of the academics.  It is one of the top schools in the country, with a special curriculum that does not require any core courses and the ability to design your own major.  The people also make you feel a part of the community immediately.  Brown really strives to take care of both its students and its staff from the moment they step on campus. That, combined with coming off the most wins in a season in school history, makes it a special place now and in the future for our players.”