By Ellie Lieberman
While studying at Oregon State University, there was a time where Ravi Patel thought he’d have to give up on his love of basketball development. After being a student manager for the men’s team, from 2009-2013, Patel debated pivoting to physical therapy for increased job security.
But his hard work as a student manager, quite literally doing the grunt work for the Beavers, had caught someone’s eye. In 2014, Wayne Tinkle was hired as the new head coach at OSU. He met Patel and encouraged him to apply for a graduate assistant position.
His passion for basketball, and the ins and outs of the game, the little things that keep teams winning, stood out to Tinkle and Patel worked as a graduate assistant from 2014-2016. There he connected with former Beaver players like Gary Payton II who would end up playing professionally.
After soaking up basketball in Corvallis, Patel worked as a youth development coach for the Portland Trail Blazers but things slowed down once the COVID-19 pandemic began. Still, Patel had a yearning to be around the game he loved and studied religiously. In a nutshell, he described his journey in the following,
“I didn’t play collegiately. I didn’t play professionally. Usually people that play collegiately or professionally have some sort of connection or their name brings them and they’re “known.” I’ve worked from the ground up, wiping up sweat. I was a student manager.”
Patel comes to UPB with these experiences in the world of basketball but most importantly a desire to help build self-confidence within all of UPB’s clients. Patel believes in learning basketball in any shape or form because he says “there’s lots of avenues for learning the game of basketball.” He also describes building confidence as a key agenda item regardless of who he is training, and so far that’s ranged from youth to college basketball players.
Patel has seen coaches he admires and those he hasn’t through the years and one thing that is important to him is positivity. After every workout, he tries to sit down with a player to see how they’re reflecting on their basketball journey. He also doesn’t like to focus on game statistics or wins and losses but rather getting better every day. He wants to send the following message to those he works with:
“We accept who you are right now with your game and we’re going to do our place to help you with where you want to go.”