Basketball coach inspires athletes to work hard despite challenges

Kevin Maher

Contributing Writer

There are countless things to worry about before a group of players can become a team. The person in charge of making sure the team works out is the coach. 

At Broward College, the men’s basketball team currently has an 11-5 record, so what were the preparations to making a winning basketball team?

Robert “Bob” Starkman has been a coach for BC for the last 21 years, and has developed a unique coaching philosophy, which has kept BC relevant for many years. 

Starting on day one he makes his players write their goals in their careers for both academics and basketball. Next, he makes his players look up the definitions of two words, “Perception and Reality.” 

This step although seeming small, is one of the biggest steps towards players buying into Starkman’s philosophy.

When asked how looking up those two words impacted his play of basketball, Denzel Jenoure said, “It made me work harder, play harder.”

Starkman is all about the wins. Once finding the differences between reality and perception, hopefully the players now realize becoming a stat stuffing, ESPN star, is simply not a feasible reality at the moment. 

But what they can do to receive national attention is win, and that’s something Starkman, with six championships, knows about.

Continuing the journey to making a successful team, Starkman knows these players need to form some type of chemistry if they expect success. Setting up motivational events is one of the ways he intends to do this.

“I bring in my son-in-law, he’s done four combat tours for the 101st airborne, and he talks about teamwork.”

One quote that he takes from his son-in-law is “We sweat in training so we don’t bleed in battle.” Of course, the consequences of mistakes in war are bigger than that of a basketball game, but Starkman hopes that this message does resonate with his players, further convincing them to begin thinking of themselves as a team.

When asked how Starkman helped build chemistry within the team, second year player Oswald Parker said, “He would just be straight forward, he tells you how it is and if he thinks you’re doing something right he lets you know.”

As the creation of chemistry continues, Starkman also wants to instill a “bulldog mentality.”

“We’re undersized most of the time, so we have to make sure that we make up for it by working harder than our opponents.”

Hard work and having confidence in themselves is key to success Starkman said. 

“If I can make each player completely believe that were going to get this (win), we’ll get a lot more wins than losses.”

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