Last night, Duke super-recruit Austin Rivers, the number one overall prospect in the class of 2011, rocked the McDonald’s All-American Game skills competition known as Powerade Jam Fest. What event elicited the loudest roar from the crowd at the Chicago State Convocation Center? Austin revealing his warm-up to display his father’s old school Atlanta Hawks #25 jersey while competing in the dunk competition.
The gesture signified how close the father-son duo truly is.
“We have a normal father-son relationship, I go to him for the same things that a kid would go to his father,” Austin said about his Dad Glenn “Doc” Rivers.
“But when it comes to basketball, I do go to him a lot because he knows the game well. He does coach me at times, but he never forces me or pushes me.”
By Paul M. Banks
It must be hard to not seek coaching, and vice versa to dispense coaching nuggets of information when you have the 2000 NBA Coach of the Year and 2008 World Champion Coach living under the same roof as a blue-chip prospect.
“He has it from within,” Glenn or “Doc,” the current Coach of the Boston Celtics said of his son Austin.
“Sure we’re involved but at the end of the day it has to be a fire within. I’m sure all of you have been to AAU tournaments where you’ve seen parents screaming and yelling and coaching, but I made the choice early on, I’ll let the coaches coach, and I’ll try to get Austin to clean his room and do his homework, and I think that’s the way it should be.”
The Rivers are obviously a very talented family, and Doc took time out of his busy schedule to be with his son in Chicago when Austin was awarded the Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year Award. At the press conference, Austin talked about his influence.
“The best advice I ever received from him is to never settle. These awards mean a lot to me, but I still have a lot to improve on and a lot to accomplish, there are standards I haven’t met yet and that keeps me moving.”
And of course there’s a lot of friendly rivalry and healthy competition between the two Rivers.
“I just know that if my high school team would play his high school team, they would dominate,” Austin said. Of course, Doc begs to differ.
Being from the second city, Doc Rivers was a legend on the Chicago playgrounds a generation ago, and the Rivers are just the second father-son duo to play in the McDonald’s All-American game. This will be the first time the all-star game will held in the Chi since 1982.
“I don’t know if there a better place to grow than this area, because it supports high school athletics so well,” Doc said of Chicago.
He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbankFollow paulmbanks