Malcolm Gladwell, the world-famous author and sociologist, wrote a book that claims a person needs 10,000 hours of experience to become a master at any skill. If this claim is true, Yanni Hufnagel may want to think his eye school varsity basketball coach for cutting him.
Yanni Hufnagel grew up loving basketball so much that he played with basketball figurines during wintertime in Scarsdale, New York. The young Jewish boy would think of basketball strategies to execute with his figurines. He would grow up to have his heart broken when he was unable to make his own high school varsity basketball team.
He became that teams announcer. He was able to watch the game from afar while analyzing them. He continued to work on his basketball strategy, unwittingly giving him hours of experience in strategy making.
He continued to gain valuable hours of experience as an intern for the New Jersey Nets. Most of the time he was washing sweaty basketball jerseys, but the internship allowed him to be present in the room when the NBA team was putting together draft selections. Simply listening to NBA minds talk about basketball strategy enhanced Yanni Hufnagel’s experience. He was well on his way to 10,000 hours of experience.
He continued earning those hours as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma. He was able to help with the team’s practices and was instrumental in coordinating on-campus recruiting visits.
He quickly moved over to Harvard University in 2009 as an assistant coach. He put all those hours of experience with basketball strategy into his recruiting skills. He was able to assemble the first Harvard Ivy League championship team. His strategic mind and recruiting skills were recognized in a CBS Sports poll of college coaches. He was named the assistant coach most likely to rise to fame.