Bradenton, Fla. (April 25, 2013) – After preparing more than 40 top NFL prospects for the NFL Combine and a chance to increase their stock in this week’s Draft, IMG Academy has announced its annual NBA Combine/Draft Training Program is in full swing. Initial participants include: Kenny Kadji (Miami); Brandon Paul (Illinois); Nate Wolters (South Dakota State); Reggie Johnson (Miami); Romero Osby (Oklahoma); Laurence Bowers (Missouri); Adonis Thomas (Memphis); BJ Young (Arkansas); and Tamir Jackson (Rice).
For a decade and a half, top Draft prospects have selected IMG Academy to prepare for the NBA Combine and increase their Draft status. Players eat, sleep and train on campus, with 24/7 access to athletic facilities, as well as a wellness spa, medical office and athletic training/sports therapy clinic. In addition to daily skills training led by former NBA Head Coach and Director of Basketball, Kenny Natt, and Head Pro Skills Trainer, Dan Barto, players receive education, training and support in areas like speed and movement, physical and mental conditioning, athletic training/sports therapy, sports nutrition, vision training, and communications:
Skills training is delivered by Director of Basketball, Kenny Natt, and Head Pro Skills Trainer, Dan Barto. Natt spent 13 years as an NBA coach for the Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Sacramento Kings, including as the head coach of the Kings during the 2008-09 NBA season. As an assistant coach under Jerry Sloan in the mid-90s, Natt was part of the Jazz’s NBA Finals run with legends Karl Malone and John Stockton. He then joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant coach where he was involved in the development of a young LeBron James. Natt also had a nine-year professional playing career within the NBA, CBA and WBL.
Barto is one of the game’s top one-on-one instructors; he and his staff have worked with more than 100 current or former NBA players, including: Joakim Noah; Jrue Holiday; Vince Carter; Al Harrington; Luol Deng; Alonzo Gee; Aaron Jackson; Glen Davis; Kevin Martin; and 2012 NBA Draft first-round picks, Kendall Marshall, Moe Harkless and Fab Melo.
Speed and Movement
World-renowned speed expert Loren Seagrave oversees the speed and movement segment of the program. Over the years, Seagrave has worked with athletes at every level – from aspiring high school athletes to collegiate runners to veteran NBA and NFL players and track and field Olympians. Seagrave currently works with countless Olympic and World Champions in the track and field world, many of whom now call IMG Academy their training home. He also recently helped prepare more than 40 top NFL prospects for the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
Seagrave architects workouts delivered by IMG Academy’s expert training corps that address linear and multi-directional improvements for speed, agility, explosion and stamina. Assisting Seagrave is Motus Global, a leading human performance technology firm, who provides cutting-edge 3D motion capture data and tools for biomechanical analysis of each player. Athletes are then given prescriptive feedback to address limitations and correct any biomechanical issues.
Scott Gadeken, Head of Physical Conditioning, and his staff oversee strength and conditioning for players. Prior to joining IMG in 2012, Gadeken was the Head Assistant Strength Coach for the University of Washington football program. Among his countless titles and accolades, Gadeken was a finalist for the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s National Strength Coach of the Year award in 2001, following an impressive string of bowl wins while at both Kansas State and LSU. In 2003, he helped lead LSU to a national title, and in 2004 and 2005, he aided the LSU women’s basketball team in reaching the Final Four.
Dr. Angus Mugford and Josh Lifrak lead the mental conditioning portion of the program. Dr. Mugford holds a PhD in Sport Studies (specialization in sport counseling psychology) from the University of Kansas, and is a Certified Consultant with Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES), which are two of the world’s top sport psychology professional organizations. Lifrak possesses a Masters degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences with an emphasis in Sport Psychology from Ithaca College.
Athletic Training/Sports Therapy
ATC Robert Zelesnikar and Graeme Lauriston, PT, DPT, MTC, manage the athletic training/sports therapy portion of the program. Athletes have access to a team of eight Certified Athletic Trainers and two physical therapists, as well as a podiatrist and an orthopedic physician. State-of-the-art facilities include hyperbaric oxygen chambers with oxygen concentrators, cold and hot baths, and an anti-gravity treadmill.
Sports nutrition is led by IMG Academy Head of Nutrition, Stephanie Wilson, and aided by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), located on the IMG Academy campus. Wilson earned her Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Florida in 2009 with summa cum laude honors. She provides live-meal coaching to help meet athletes' needs and to ensure customized nutrition plans are achieved and athletes are ready for peak performance at the NBA Combine and throughout their NBA careers. GSSI scientists bring their world-class expertise in sports nutrition and exercise performance to the athletes.
Vision training specialist David DaSilva heads this unique and critical component of the program. Using state-of-the-art technology, DaSilva applies the same techniques used by fighter pilots to increase the endurance and efficiency of eye muscle movements, and to improve communication between the brain and the images captured by the eyes, thus improving the speed and efficiency by which an athlete responds, reacts and makes decisions.
Nonalee Davis leads the communications portion of the program, helping athletes build personal presence, confidence and awareness through the art of improvisation. In turn, athletes are better prepared to maximize their opportunities with the media, conduct themselves successfully in interviews and within social media, and handle themselves powerfully and effectively in every type of setting. Before joining IMG Academy, Davis was a professional stuntwoman for several years, which helped her develop an insight into the demands faced by competitive athletes and performers. She has taught all over the country on personal presence, improvisation, voice, movement, acting, directing, and more.