A lesson in humility as a freshman at in Bannockburn was a major force in the professional development of Dan McKendrick, new varsity boys’ basketball coach.
A star at Willowbrook High School, McKendrick, 31, did not know what to expect when he stepped into the world of college basketball at Trinity. What he learned was how to be an integral member of a group.
“When I was in high school I was the man, every play was designed for me,” McKendrick said. “All of a sudden I was just one of the guys in college. I learned to appreciate being part of a team.”
As he takes the helm of the Warriors basketball program, McKendrick will be able to use that lesson from college to help all members of the team adapt to their role on the team and feel good about filling it. As with all teams, some of the players will be on the floor a lot more than others.
“I may need a guy to go in there for two minutes and be very good on the ball with their point guard,” McKendrick said. “When he comes out I’ll tell him good job, that’s exactly what I wanted you to do.”
Another important lesson for McKendrick was gleaned from his high school coach but he did not realize its importance until he matured himself. It was that lesson that helped lead him into the coaching and teaching profession. He is a math teacher at Deerfield.
“I loved my high school experience. My high school coach had an effect on my life,” McKendrick said. “I didn’t know it at the time. He taught me it’s important to give back. I knew I wanted to do something like this (teaching).”
Another reason McKendrick is thrilled to be coaching the Warrior varsity is his love affair with basketball. He began as a four year old in a Park District program in Glen Ellyn and his adoration of the game has continued to grow. “I love everything about it,” he said.
Starting with summer camps and the high school summer basketball league, McKendrick will be working with the Warriors to mold their talent into a squad better than the sum of its parts.
“We have a lot of individual talent,” McKendrick said. “We want them to work together to mutually benefit each other on the court so our true talent will come out.”