Bloomfield Hills Andover basketball coach puts in hours for sport he loves

By: Christian Davis | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published January 12, 2011

 Bloomfield Hills Andover junior Diop Shumake looks to get past a Farmington High defender in a game earlier this season.

Bloomfield Hills Andover junior Diop Shumake looks to get past a Farmington High defender in a game earlier this season.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — At 5 p.m. Jan. 11, Bloomfield Hills Andover basketball coach Jeff Rubin was finishing up practice in a gym he’s grown quite familiar with.

As the boys varsity team departs, he begins his work as the girls coach. He welcomes referees for the upcoming girls JV game and gets the opposing team situated.

It’s just another day in Rubin’s basketball world.

For the past four years, he’s coached boys and girls varsity squads simultaneously, but this is his first season of handling both squads at Andover. The previous three years, he coached the Bloomfield Hills Lahser girls team and Andover’s boys.

“As a program, it’s not a ‘girls program’ and ‘boys program,’ it’s a ‘basketball program,’ where we can feed off of each other,” the coach said.

In an average week, Rubin said he spends more than 30 hours, literally, on the court, and if you throw in planning practices, scouting, watching film and other duties that come with being a varsity head coach, Rubin estimates he puts in close to 45 hours a week dealing with basketball.

But the time is plenty worth it to him.

Rubin said the game is just one thing he’s trying to teach his athletes.

“I love basketball and I love kids. This is the outlet where I can help kids and give back. It’s not all about basketball,” he said, adding that both programs have charity events and volunteer their time for the less fortunate.

“Basketball is great, but it’s no longer the driving force of what we’re trying to do here. It’s part of the experience of being well-rounded.”

Senior captain Evan Brewer said he believes Rubin coaching both teams is a good thing.

“I think it helps (us) out even more. He knows what he’s doing. He knows the game inside and out,” he said.

This season, the Barons are fighting inexperience with the girls team and streaky shooting with the boys.

At press time, the girls were 2-3 overall, 1-1 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division. The boys were 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the Blue.

“We’re struggling to make shots right now,” Rubin said of the boys squad. “We’re getting the opportunities that we want, getting the ball in the hands of the players that we need, beating pressure and getting to the foul line, but we’re just not capitalizing on all the opportunities that we have.”

Despite the slow start, Rubin and Brewer are both optimistic.

“We have a solid work ethic. We hustle, run a lot, and I feel like we’re very conditioned as a team,” Brewer said.

“The guys are still motivated and coming every day with a positive attitude,” Rubin said.

The same could be said for their coach.

Catch the boys team against Hazel Park High at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at home. The girls take on rival Lahser at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at home.