Cranston Kid NBA Trainer To The Stars
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
We caught up with Rob McClanaghan while he was in Minnesota working with his client Kevin Love. Yes, that Kevin Love.
It wasn’t too long ago that Rob McClanaghan was just your average kid from Cranston who loved the sport of basketball. He was a gym rat who couldn’t get enough of the sport.
Most kids who follow his path usually see the dream die when high school ends. A select few may keep it going through their college years but hardly any end up having a career in the sport they love.
For as much talent and passion for the sport of basketball that he had, it was his desire and persistence that has led him to where he is today.
You may have read about McClanaghan in Sports Illustrated last year. Or maybe you read about him on Deadspin this year. It was right when the NBA Finals had started between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It talked about how Russell Westbrook had worked feverishly with McClanaghan on improving his jump shot last summer. Here’s some of what was written in SI:
Polishing Westbrook's pull-up jump shot was a point of emphasis this summer. Because Westbrook is so explosive in the open floor, it has been difficult for him over his first three seasons to knock down pull-ups in transition. Every day, McClanaghan ran Westbrook through pull-up drills. First, he would start at the opposite baseline. Then from ¾ court. Then from halfcourt. When Westbrook got to the foul line, he would stop on a dime, pull up and shoot.
This is what Rob McClanaghan, that gym rat from Cranston does today. He trains many of the world’s greatest basketball players.
Some of the other players McClanaghan trains include 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Westbrook’s teammate Kevin Durant, Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward Kevin Love and Atlanta Hawks’ center Al Horford just to name a few.
So how did a kid from Cranston who played his high school basketball at Bishop Hendricken become such a renowned trainer of NBA stars?
“After I got out of Syracuse I was coaching and teaching at Bishop Hendricken and things kind of just happened,” McClanaghan said. “I used to go to ABCD camp, IMG and met a lot of players there. As it turns out, my first two clients were Ryan Gomes and Ruben Garces.”
Ironic? Maybe. But McClanaghan grew up going to PC Friars games with his family who owned season tickets. “After working with Gomes and Garces and going to all of those camps I’d add a guy here, a guy there and all of a sudden I’m up to ten guys,” he said. “It was then that I knew that I could make a living doing this.”
Now in his 9th year training pros, McClanaghan has carved out a unique niche for himself by developing customized workouts for his clients that help strengthen their games.
“I customize the workouts based upon what they need to work on,” he said. “I always try to make it an intense workout and when you work with guys for four months out of the year, you need to mix it up, come up with different stuff and keep it fresh.”
McClanaghan is the first to admit that he has had many positive influences in his basketball life that have helped him become the trainer to the stars that he is today. “When I was at Syracuse I learned a lot from Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, assistant Mike Hopkins,” he said. “I also learned a lot from coach (Steve) Ceseretti at Hendricken and from all of the camps I attended over the years. From all of that, I’ve been able to create many of my own drills.”
Now McClanaghan is coming home to impart that basketball knowledge on any and all young basketball players who want to take advantage of his skills at a two day preseason camp at Bishop Hendricken on November 3-4.
It’s a camp designed to help kids get a leg up on the competition at try-outs for the upcoming high school basketball season.
The camp is open to boys and girls ages 10-18 and will feature two days of drills and individual instruction for three hours each day.
For information or to register, you can call (401) 580-3106 or go to robmacbasketball.com.