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McDermott, others find success playing for fathers
Doug had signed a letter of intent with Northern Iowa before Greg resigned from Iowa State to take the Creighton job. UNI coach Ben Jacobson, a longtime friend of the McDermotts, released Doug so he could join his dad in Omaha.
Their first year together had some rough patches.
“Sometimes Doug would say to me, `Is my coach yelling at me or is my dad yelling at me?’” Theresa McDermott said. “Doug had a difficult time, like, `How do I take this from this guy?’ This year, he just gets it.”
“Not that he was uncoachable last year _ because he wasn’t. He just didn’t know how to react to what his dad was saying as a coach,” Greg said. “That’s been better this year. It’s a period of adjustment for both of us. It’s gone as smooth as we could possibly hope.”
When Doug leaves the dormitory to go to his parents’ house, basketball talk stops at the door and “Coach” becomes “Dad.”
“He doesn’t need me drilling him on how he’s supposed to defend a ball screen,” Greg said, “when he’s out for a Sunday dinner.”
Trey Ziegler declined scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA and Arizona State to play for his dad at Central Michigan.
Some people have told him he was crazy for turning down the big schools, but the sophomore guard said he has no regrets. He comes from a close-knit family, and he said he couldn’t imagine being away from them.
Ernie and Trey Ziegler have shared basketball experiences for almost all of Trey’s life. Ernie said he remembers coaching a summer AAU team about 20 years ago with Trey on the bench next to him in a baby car seat.
“At that stage, I never thought about me being his coach,” Ernie said, “but as you get further along in life, the reality of it came to fruition. It has its potential for ups and downs if you’re not able to stay level about it.
“I love my son, and it’s just about pushing him as a player, as his coach. But at the same time I want to help him make the next step to become a full-fledged adult.”
Like Trey Ziegler, Ray McCallum Jr. passed on chances to go to a school in a power conference so he could play for his dad. He was a McDonald’s All-American in 2010 and had offers from Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and UCLA.
“At the end of the day, my dad knew my game better than any coach in the country,” Ray Jr. said. “It worked out for the best. I’ve become a much better player under him in his system. He’s tough on me and gets the best out me every day.”
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
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