A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player.

~ John Wooden, UCLA




Ivy League Hall of Fame induction, March 2023, Princeton, NJ.  Coach McGannon, center with dark sport coat.  


Coach Jim pic

About Coach McGannon

Coach was born in Norwalk, CT, the 9th of 10 children to Dr Robert F. and Rita W. McGannon. His father was the team dentist for the New York Giants for 22 years. He attended the Fairfield College Prep School and then played 2 sports in the Ivy League at Dartmouth College, basketball, and golf (Golf info here)  He won the college golf championship (The Thomas Keene Cup) his senior year.

His basketball coach at Dartmouth was Gary Walters, a three-time all-Ivy League guard at Princeton, where he played with future NBA Hall of Famer Bill Bradley. After Dartmouth, Coach Walters became the 20-year athletic director at Princeton. The discipline, work ethic, and mental toughness exhibited with BOTH Basics and the Basics Mindset have their roots in Coach Walter’s approach. (NOTE: Coach Walter’s mentor was the legendary Princeton coach Pete Carril) Coach McGannon also worked with Coach Carril in high school.  More info here

After Dartmouth, Coach began a career in business, working for eight years in NYC, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, Hilton Head and Nashville. The genesis of The Basics Mindset was his decision at the age of 30 to attempt professional golf. Based in Pinehurst, North Carolina, he attended the PGA Tour Q-School twice and played in over 50 professional events. More golf information can be found HERE, including competitive finishes and golf training.

Basics Sports was founded in 2006. More than 150 Basics Graduates have reached the college level in 7 different sports, 15 D-1. This number represents nearly 10% of our varsity players since 2011, versus the national average of 1% making it to the college level. There are many reasons for this performance. Chief among those reasons is a relentless focus on SKILL DEVELOPMENT, a constant emphasis on CONDITIONING, and a MENTAL TOUGHNESS and STRENGTH that teaches our players to be ready for any outcome. (The Basics Mindset)

Coach lives in Spring Lake, Michigan, and has three children.

Coach is 6’9″, 250 lbs and can still shoot it!!   TIP–get any post player in front of him quickly.  Effective post play is primarily about your FEET.    616 402-1600


Kids Xmas 2023 pic
Kids Xmas 2023 pic

Candid Shots

The Candid Shots video series explores many youth sports topics from Basics’ perspective.

Dartmouth Varsity Basketball and Golf-below

RIGHT: Dr Robert F. and Rita W. McGannon: Coach’s parents

9 siblings, 10 in total. 5 v 5 FULL COURT!

Yup!  That’s Arnie and Coach.  Here’s how that happened

Jim's Children pic
Jim's Children pic