ATLANTA — Coaches look for all kinds of edges on the field, court or pitch, using methods learned from all over the place, but it’s unusual to hear an established coach take on an internship.
That’s where Eagle’s Landing High’s Garrison Stocks has spent his summer. While many coaches were just working on their summer basketball programs and getting a chance to watch their future talent in action, Stocks was busy interning with the Atlanta Dream.
“You can always learn from different people,” Stocks said. “I’m able to learn from coach Nicki (Collen) has been a great viewpoint, as well as learning from coach (Elliott) Montgomery.”
An internship is often found for those who are still in college growing and getting their feet wet in what they’re planning to do.
Stocks isn’t like that though; he’s coached high school level basketball, including the Eagle’s Landing High ninth-grade team and for 2019-2020, the junior varsity team.
“I think all three teams at Eagle’s Landing did excellently this summer, so I was ready to take over when the opportunity opened,” Stocks said. “I talked with the past junior varsity coach Dorrian Randolph and decided that this is what I wanted to do. Ninth grade was great for me, I was able to learn and develop and I was ready to take the next challenge of coaching junior varsity.”
But the question that arises in this situation, is how he came across this position for the summer. The simple answer was that he always knew he wanted to do this.
“I always knew I wanted to work in sports,” Stocks said. “I decided one day that I wanted to look at all of the different sports jobs as far as here in Atlanta. And as I was researching, I came upon basketball operations. That’s what I wanted to do, so I got in contact with Jordan Harris.”
Stocks said he’s learned a lot throughout his internship and it happens to be some things that he can carry over to the school season when it all begins. It was just a simple thing he learned from watching the Dream in practice.
“They practice hard,” Stocks said. “My expectations going into the season for my team will be about practicing hard and playing hard. So, it’s more on the practice side. The way they set up their practice and the way that it’s ran surprised me. It’s more up-tempo and more upbeat.”
The experience he has isn’t just limited to what goes on in practice, he’s also stood on the same court as some of the biggest WNBA players this summer and learned how they approach each game as well. Stocks says their preparation has been amazing to see.
“If you’re prepared nothing else matters,” Stocks said. “Learning from them day in and day out. What’s a good shot, what’s not a good shot. Even their energy. Just always upbeat.”