Conversation With James Ware

July 30, 2009

This week we checked in with Assistant Basketball Coach James Ware (JW), who was busy recruiting players from across the country in the month of July. Ware talked about his personal goals for the players, how he copes with coaching and raising a family, and the best advice he can give to incoming freshmen.

SCU: What are your goals for the team this year and what have you been doing in the offseason to help achieve these goals?

JW: "Constant and never ending improvement" are my personal goals for our players for the summer and the season. If our returners, along with our new student-athletes, continue our course of constant and never ending improvement they all will continue to improve in all areas of there student athlete experience.

SCU: You are married with two young boys, ages 5 and 7. What are some of the difficulties you have faced raising a family and trying to build a strong basketball team? How have you managed to overcome these difficulties?

JW: The biggest hurtle is time. Any coach at any level will most likely agree there can be a large element of guilt from the stand point of it takes time to be successful in all things. In order to be a successful coach, mentor and teacher to student-athletes, it takes time. To become a successful husband and father, it takes time as well. The great thing about Coach Keating, our administration and our student-athletes is that Santa Clara is very family-oriented. My sons Jimmy and JJ, and Coach Scholl's baby girl, Riley, are able to be around the office and be in the gym, which is great!

SCU: What is the first thing you look for in a recruit aside from his basketball abilities?

JW: Toughness and character. College basketball is a grind and it's important that we have young men that are willing to work hard through the ups and downs of a season. Student-athletes across the country juggle a lot of responsibilities, and you must have some toughness and a lot of character.

SCU: What is the best advice you can give to an incoming freshman who wants to make an early impact on the team?

JW: Compete on the court everyday; in my opinion, the largest hurdle with a freshman player is consistent effort. I feel we have young men that will bring that.

SCU: What will the loss of John Bryant and Calvin Johnson mean to the team? Who do you expect to step up and help lead the team this coming season?

JW: The great thing about sports is you can't predict it. Calvin and Big John were great in terms of what Coach Keating expects guys to have which is a great attitude and play with great effort. They both did that well and what coaches will be looking for is who will step up in those areas. Who will show up everyday and display a great attitude and play with great effort.

SCU: We are asking each coach to talk about a couple of players. After spring workouts what part of Kevin Foster and Michael Santos' games do you thing have improved the most?

JW: I feel both Kevin and Michael showed great work ethic which is where they both made huge strides in their game. They pushed themselves harder and when you do that internally you will improve faster then others. They, along with all our players, worked hard and worked smart.

SCU: What is your favorite food?

JW: Coach Keating has got me in love with Italian food. I haven't always been, but I find my family eating a lot of Vesuvio's on El Camino lately.

SCU: What is your favorite movie?

JW: My new favorite movie is Tropic Thunder and I am a huge Ben Stiller fan. The humor can be a little bit much at times in the film; however, if I don't take it seriously, it will keep me laughing all the way through.

SCU: Who is your favorite athlete?

JW: I don't have a favorite athlete right now although I have a ton of respect for Ime Udoka, formerly of the San Antonio Spurs, currently a free agent. He is a doing a ton of good for up and coming athlete's up in Portland. He has given a lot of his time and resources to support summer basketball which is giving young men great opportunities for bright futures up in Portland. I think more professional athletes and organizations should look for more ways to give. It makes a difference.

Go Broncos!