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To keep the Chabot men's basketball team learning all the right things, Gladiators coach Keenan McMiller invited a very special guest to practice.
McMiller had his friend, renowned basketball instructor, author and coach Tom Newell spend time with the team.
"It's a blessing to have such a great person in your life," McMiller said of Newell, whom he has known for 12 years. "He is our honorary coach and is welcome to come any time he wants." 
Newell has coached all over the world. He served as an assistant coach with the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics, Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets and as a scout for the Milwaukee Bucks. He is the son of another basketball legend, Pete Newell, who gained fame as coach at USF, Michigan State and Cal, where he led the Golden Bears to their only NCAA tournament title in 1959. 
Like his father, Tom works extensively as a teacher of the game.
"He is very supportive," McMiller said. "Tom does it the right way. He is very old-school with his values and philosophy."
McMiller has seen strides in implementing his system in his first season at Chabot, after a decade as coach at Merritt College. The Gladiators, who host Foothill on Feb. 6, are seeking to breaking into double-digits in wins. At 9-14 and 2-5 in the tough Coast Conference North Division, they have accumulated the most wins in a season since 2015-16, when they made the NorCal regionals.
Right now, McMiller is seeking for "a leader who keeps everyone accountable" to emerge on the team. But he has seen positive steps for a program that only earned three wins a season ago, and four wins the year before that.
"We are not a laughing stock anymore," he said. "We had guys we brought in who were not penciled in as having a starting role, but they are starting. They have been thrown into the fire, which is good. We are going to win and get better."
Special to Chabot Athletics

-- Story by Mike Wood