Drew Hanlen is the most motivated young athlete I have ever covered. In the dead of a cold winter in Webster Groves, while every other student was sleeping, Hanlen was in the gym at 5:15 a.m. He would shoot between 750 and 1,250 jump shots per workout. Then he would shower, go to class, practice with the team and finish with a skills workout.
I think it paid off: His Webster Groves team won 105 games, including three Elite 8 appearances and one state title. He was the player of the year and received a scholarship to Belmont. At Belmont, this 5-foot, 11-inch, 175-pounder won 96 games, three conference titles and played in two NCAA tournaments. This past season, Hanlen was second in the country in three-point shooting. He hit four three-pointers at Duke and scored 13 at Kansas. Hanlen was first team All-Conference and graduated with a 3.5 grade point average.
His degree is entrepreneurship. Hanlen could actually teach the class. He already has written a book on basketball training, and he’s in the process of writing another. We are talking about a 22-year-old. He trains basketball players—and we’re not talking about fourth-graders playing CYC. Hanlen trains some of the very best college players in America. His website is puresweatbasketball.com.
WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS NAMES YOU HAVE TRAINED? David Lee, John Wall and Kevin Durant.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE CLIENTS, BRAD BEAL FROM CHAMINADE. I act as his skills coach. I think he’s going to win the Rookie of the Year award. He is like a brother to me.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE SUMMER? The first half, I am preparing five to seven college players for the draft. Then, I’ll take those guys along with other NBA players and train them for the rest of the summer.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE ACTUAL DRAFT? I will be in the green room with Brad Beal and a few of the guys I have trained. Then, I’ll go back to the hotel and watch the second round with a few other trainees.
HOW DO YOU DO YOUR JOB? I use film breakdown to design off-season workout programs. After watching every possession from their season, I provide them with a detailed skill analysis and how we’re going to address each strength and weakness.
HOW DID YOUR DAD REACT WHEN YOU TOLD HIM YOU WERE NOT GOING INTO THE FAMILY BUSINESS? (Brady Hanlen sells some of the finest meats in St. Louis at his butcher shop) He said I was smart because it’s better to make money with your mind than with your body.
BEST MOMENT EVER ON A COURT? Winning the state title. It’s something we set as a goal in high school. Those teammates were my brothers. I had such a great relationship with Coach Blossom. It was all that hard work and sweat paying off.
5 UNDERRATED THINGS IN LIFE:
1. Spending a Tuesday afternoon at Fairmount Race Track. I’m not a gambler, but the food is great and the place is looking good. They call it Horse Hooky for a reason.
2. Paul Giamatti’s acting roles. Go rent Cinderella Man. He is awesome and not just because his last name ends in a vowel.
3. Radio and TV producers. They work hard, don’t make what they should and don’t receive the credit.
4. Lululemon’s clothing. I have never bought anything for myself at the shop. However, every woman wearing those pants—I mean every woman— looks amazing. (That was my first and last thought on female fashion.)
5. A great wife. A woman who can balance the checkbook, raise the kids, organize the house and look like a million dollars while doing it. Happy 25th, Monique.
Frank Cusumano is a 14-time Emmy Award winner on KSDK-TV, and he also can be heard on 590 KFNS Radio.