It’s been awhile, but there was a time when Dan D’Antoni was strictly Mike D’Antoni’s older brother. He still is that, of course, but he’s now proved that he’s something much more.
Of course, in South Carolina they knew that long ago.
As chronicled in this profile of the Marshall head basketball coach by our Columbia, S.C. TEGNA partner and CBS affiliate WLTX, Dan D’Antoni first broke through as a high school head coach at Socastee High in Myrtle Beach. In fact, he turned Socastee into a power, leading the program for three full decades and earning more than 500 wins before finally getting the itch to try something new.
When that itch came, it was easy enough to scratch. The older D’Antoni joined the younger, serving as an assistant on Mike D’Antoni’s staffs in Phoenix, New York and finally Los Angeles before getting his long awaited break at his alma mater.
Marshall hired Dan D’Antoni as head coach in 2014. Three years later, the Thundering Herd are back in the NCAA Tournament.
The rise has been impressive, with the Herd adopting a college version of Mike D’Antoni’s wide open seven-seconds-or-less offense, but in truth it all started at Socastee High, where D’Antoni had 30 years to refine his tactical and motivational philosophies.
“You learn to keep doing what you do, be strong in who you are,” D’Antoni told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “Believe in yourself. Keep working and good things will happen.”
That’s true, no matter how long it sometimes takes.