Washington coach watches his basketball-prodigy daughter from two distinctly different perspectives. He's the father of a 14-year-old girl considered one of the best players for her age in the country.
The coach watches his basketball prodigy daughter from two distinctly different perspectives.
Greg Nared, the father, watches proudly as 14-year-old Jamie grows into a talented young woman, with so much potential some already are calling her the next Candace Parker.
But Nared, also understands the long road ahead of Jamie and the pressures to perform and the doggedness of recruiters who tirelessly will follow her and grade her for the next four years.
Jamie Nared is part of the recruiting class of 2014 and for a father of a teenaged girl, four years is eternity.
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But Nared, who last week was hired as an assistant by Washington head coach Tia Jackson, also watches his daughter with a coach’s discerning eye.
He sees her remarkable skills. He understands her off-the-charts basketball I.Q. He glimpses the future in her crossover dribble.
And he knows Jamie Nared, an eighth-grader from Portland and already 6 feet 1, just might be a blue-chipper, who will be wooed by every school from Connecticut to Tennessee — and maybe even Washington.
“First of all, I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself or on Jamie,” Nared (pronounced Narn) said this week, “because so many things could happen between now and then. She could get hurt. She could lose interest. Twenty things could happen.”
Jamie is so good that when she was in sixth grade, she played with an all-boys team, Team Concept. After she scored 30 points in a spring league game, parents’ complaints forced her off the team. Imagine LeBron James playing against a high-school team. That’s how dominant she was.
Now Jamie plays for one of the older girls’ teams in the Team Concept program. She glows with promise.
Already coaches and scouts stand along the walls for many of her AAU games. For more than a year, colleges have been sending her letters and, as time goes on, Greg Nared could become a father/recruiter. How will he handle both roles?
“”When that time comes, that year before she graduates from college, I’ll have a great answer for you,” he said. “But right now she needs to stay humble and continue to compete and continue to get better. Those are my goals for her.”
“But when I’m out recruiting other girls for Washington I’ll be able to say to parents, ‘I’m going through what you’re going through. I’ve been there. That’s so important. Parents will be able to trust me.”
Nared, whose older daughter Jackie averaged 4.5 points per game as a redshirt freshman at Maryland last season, has spent a lifetime in the game.
He played at Maryland from 1986 to 1989, and as a freshman, he shared a suite with Len Bias, a senior, who died from drug complications after he was selected by Boston with the second pick of the 1986 draft.
Nared was Nike’s business affairs manager for golf and began working with Tiger Woods in 1996, but he also worked in their basketball department with Michael Jordan, former Sonic Gary Payton and others.
He coached the girls’ team at Westview High School in Portland last season. He said no decision has been made this season on whether Jamie will stay in Portland or move to Seattle.
After Jamie was dismissed from Team Concept’s boys’ team, her story was told on “Good Morning America,” in The New York Times and on ESPN. She got letters and notes from people throughout the country. She became a role model before she became a teenager.
“That was neat to see and it helped her to understand the situation a little bit better,” Greg said. “She opened some eyes into women’s sports, which was absolutely huge. And for a 12-year-old to do that is amazing.”
Greg has used his experiences at Nike with uber-competitors Woods and Jordan as teaching tools for his daughters.
“Both Tiger and Michael are students of the game,” he said. “They’re humble on the outside, but they’re the kings of the jungle on the inside. They believe that. And you have to have that.
“They thing I tell (Jamie) about Michael is that every year he got better,” he said. “One year he would lift weights and get stronger. Another year he would become a better jump shooter. Another year he became a better defender. It goes on, on, on. He becomes a better teammate, becomes better in the locker room.”
Does coach Nared look at his daughter and see the next Parker, the next Diana Taurasi?
“Ask me in four years,” he said. “Right now she’s pretty good, and she has the potential to be a very good basketball player.”
Just ask the boys from Team Concept.
Steve Kelley: 206-464-2176 or email@example.com