“The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Dave Fedor has one of the most intriguing jobs in the New Jersey basketball scene. His rise to such a prominent role is layered and exciting. The Director of Team Tournaments for The Hoop Group started his journey as a Student Manager at Rutgers New Brunswick. Fedor spent four years under the tutelage of Mike Rice and Eddie Jordan before he was promoted to Graduate Assistant at Rutgers. After cutting his teeth at that position, Fedor went on to become an Assistant Coach at Georgian Court.
Looking to take himself to another level in the basketball community, Fedor accepted the Director of Team Tournaments position Hoop Group in 2015. Fedor has spent the past couple of years orchestrating some of the most exciting showcases and tournaments on the high school level in America.
During our sit down with Dave we discussed his passion for coaching, the best Hoop Group games he's ever seen, “Fedors Four,” and more. By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on IG and Twitter
TheDribbleDrop: Dave, you are one of the more interesting people in this field. You have worked in numerous different sectors. For those who don’t know, want to share a bit of your experiences?
Dave Fedor: I went to Rutgers University. I started as a graduate manager there. I did four years there. I stayed on as a graduate assistant for Mike Rice and stayed on for Eddie Jordan as well. After that, I went on to coach at the division two level at Georgian Court. Really cool experience. At both of those levels I learned a lot because I got to do a lot. I got my hands dirty on the operations side of things. I also got involved a bit on the coaching side of things with scouting reports. I also worked on some of the recruiting stuff when I got to Georgian Court as well. It was a great experience for me overall. I want to continue to grow in this field and coach on the division one level eventually. So when the opportunity came along for me to work for The Hoop Group, I jumped at it. From the connections standpoint it’s a great place for me.
TheDribbleDrop:You mentioned that you have been a student manager, do you think that is a great place to break in as a coach?
Dave Fedor: It was the best experience for me. Being a student manager you get a great feel for what it means to be in college athletics. It’s so much more than what some people think. It’s more than a couple games a week. It’s a 24-7 commitment that you have to a program. You get to see some of the behind the scenes part of it. If coaching is something that you want to do, than you will learn from the experience if it is truly something you want to do when it’s all said and done.
TheDribbleDrop:How did you branch into The Hoop Group? Why did that make sense as the next step in your career?
Dave Fedor: I was always around the game. I love basketball. When I was a manager at Rutgers I was doing a bunch of stuff for them. For me, I started volunteering at The Hoop Group and working at some of their events and tournaments. I got to see some of the kids coming up. I just wanted to be around the game and The Hoop Group allowed me to do that.
Once I got into coaching, I learned a lot more about what The Hoop Group did. The position I have now I was lucky enough to get because of my experiences.
TheDribbleDrop:You guys do a wide array for things, from showcases, to aau tournaments to clinics. Which one is more fun to you and why?
Dave Fedor: It depends, but I love the tournaments. That’s a big part of what I do. For me the Pittsburgh Jam Fest is one of the most unique events in the country. If you haven’t been there it’s hard to explain, it’s different. 36 courts under one arena. We are lucky enough to book many teams from across the U.S. I think the atmosphere is incredible. You see kids and adults want to stick around and catch all the games due to the level of competition. That’s one of my favorite events for sure.
TheDribbleDrop:You guys are unique in this area because you not only to events on the road but you have a home base… tell us the advantage that gives you guys and the type of things you do on your headquarters tournament wise
Dave Fedor: I think it’s another place for us to see people. I run tournaments at The Hoop Group. This is my full time job. I’m here today to watch the games but I’m also working. Making connections. Figuring out who is playing for who or what coach is starting a team and how we can get them to play at our stuff. I think it’s a good place to continue to see people and network.
TheDribbleDrop:Do you guys do events and clinics on the girls side?
Dave Fedor: We do workouts on the girls side. Tiny Green, who used to coach collegiately on the girls side does a lot of good work on the girls side for us.
The Dribble Drop: Your tournaments in the spring are some of the biggest in America. What do you think is the reason you guys stick out? Location? Quality?
Dave Fedor: I think a little bit of everything. I think having the right facility important. The Convention Center for example, 36 courts under one roof. We do an event at Spooky Nook Sports, 30 courts under one roof. We are really able to maximize everything. We are able to grab the right teams to be involved, which brings the right college coaches. Quality is important. Again, this is a full time job. We spend a lot of time and energy into it to make sure the entire event runs smoothly.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell us about Fedor’s four. I’ve seen “The Champions Classic,” the “Nba Quick Hitters” video. They are all very well done. Is coaching something you are thinking about in your future?
Dave Fedor: I want to get into college coaching. Again, I was doing it for a bit at Rutgers and Georgian Court for a bit and I loved it. I got a little taste of it and it still drives me today.
"Fedor’s Four," is a good way for me to get a little bit of that out there. I wish I could do it more often. It’s a lot of fun for me. I love coaching. I think the people that I have met, the connections I have made have improved in the past couple of years. With that being said, I’m a basketball junkie. I love that stuff.
TheDribbleDrop:You have been to countless elite showcases. Tell me the top three games you guys have presented during your time at The Hoop Group.
Dave Fedor: I think the Ranney vs. St. Anthony’s game was a really cool game for a couple good reasons. You have these two kids in Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis for Ranney that are tremendous talents. It also was St. Anthony’s final year. The season they had last year was great. It was a fun game to be apart of.
Two years ago we had Imhotep (PA) vs. Reading (PA) which was Lonnie Walker last year. A real cool game to be apart of. The support Lonnie has in the Reading area is amazing. The place was packed at 5pm even though his game wasn’t until 8pm. I was a cool game to be apart of.
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact game but every year the Boo Williams vs. Team Loaded game at our Southern Jam Fest is memorable every year. That rivalry is like a Duke vs. North Carolina type of thing.
TheDribbleDrop: If I were a first year coach about to hit the floor for the first time with a group of kids, what piece of advice would you give me.
Dave Fedor: Just keep learning. You don’t know everything now and you never will. Never stop learning. Pick up every piece of information and piece of advice you get along the way.
I would also say to be patient. It’s okay to wait your turn and continue to grow as a coach and as a person.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to choose a starting five based on the best players that have been apart of a Hoop Group showcase, who would they be?
Dave Fedor: I have been lucky. I have seen guys like Kyrie Irving and Karl Anthony Towns. I would throw those two in the mix right away.
I think Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis are top 5 players in their class that are going to be amazing NBA players one day. Jalen Carey is an underrated talent. Jahvon Quinerly and Louis King are program changing type of talents as well. Briscoe is another one. In high school he was the best.
Outside of Jersey I would throw Cam Reddish in the mix. I think he’s a special player.