Article & Photos: Elise Leepin // elisenoell.com
Calm, cool & composed. That’s how Tino gets it done.
Tino Zaragoza is an Orange County native, attending high school in Irvine and then going on to study at Vanguard University where he played ball and always had dreams of becoming a coach. After a successful college career, Tino chased after his coaching dream. He went onto coach for Huntington Beach High School. As FBA recently launched a program in the Huntington Beach region, Tino would be the ultimate guy for the job. Not only is he a young coach being able to relate with these talented athletes, he also has an incredible basketball background and a gift for coaching.
He knows what it takes to teach the little things, as this was considered one of his strengths during his playing career. He knows how to coach in a way that gains respect from those around him, athletes, parents, officials, and coaches alike, as he keeps his composure throughout the game having this quiet confidence about his team. He knows what it means to inspire the next generation as he leads by example in coaching each individual athlete building them up as young men, on & off the court.
They say don't just talk about it, be about it.
And that's exactly who Tino is.
He is about this game.
What are you looking forward to this season?
I'm excited for this team to connect and become a unit. Last year, the guys only took about two weeks to learn how to really work as a team and I know that's going to happen again this year.
What does it mean to you to bring FBA to Huntington Beach?
It's awesome. There are a lot of great athletes in HB and having a program here where there aren't many travel teams is really cool.
Starting 5 dream team.
Russ Westbook, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Nowitzki, and DeAndre Jordan
If you could tell your team to look up to an NBA player, who would that player be?
2016 NBA Champs?
Why did you decide to be a coach?
I love basketball. God gave me a gift to communicate and help these individual athletes work together as a team.
3 words to describe your coaching style.
Calm, patient & understanding
Describe your ideal athlete to coach.
I look for a ball player who listen to instructions and is open to corrections to his game. I also believe an athlete should work hard and give 100%.
What do you want to teach these players for future after being on your team in this program?
I hope these players gain confidence, both in basketball and in life. I want them to be able to grow and come out of this program as young men. They should have self-respect and know how to treat others the right way, on & off the court.
What is the most challenging part about coaching?
There are times when you really have to go back to the basics. As a coach, you want your players to always be progressing, but sometimes, you have to go back to what is simple. That can be challenging and a test of patience.
What is your favorite part about coaching?
I love being able to interact and be a role model for these young athletes. I want to be able to help them grow in basketball and in life.
How do you balance leadership & friendship?
I just recently finished playing in college, so I am able to relate to them. I'm a pretty calm coach and I believe that works for my team dynamic. I'm thankful that the friendship and leadership role combined comes natural for me.
What advice do you give to athletes?
Treat everyone with respect- yourself, opponents and teammates.