The manager provides the equipment and the means needed to run a complete practice. That typically includes getting the gym ready for basketball; and providing the clocks, balls and other equipment that will be needed during the practice. During practice, managers provide water and towels to players and coaches, and perform tasks requested by coaching staff members. Managers clean up the court and put equipment away after practice.
Other duties are frequently added. For example, Ryan Schlaich, a student manager at the University of California, Berkeley, said he make copies of the practice plan and distributes them to the coaches before the start of practice.
Managers often serve as on-court aides before and after practice by passing balls to players during pre-practice exercises or post-practice shooting drills, according to Ryan Marchadt, a student manager at San Jose State University. Managers arrive about an hour before practice and leave an hour after practice, and their work takes about six hours a day.
Managers prepare the bench area so that towels, water and equipment are available for players and coaches. During the game, they assist players and coaches, particularly during timeouts. Managers share duties during a game, according to Schlaich. One will be responsible for providing the coach with the whiteboard (on which plays are diagrammed for players during timeouts). Another is responsible for having chairs ready for players and coaches during timeouts, etc. The important thing, according to Schlaich, is to look ahead, to determine when timeouts are likely to called, the length of the particuar timeout and what will be needed.
Occasionally, managers will have duties pertaining to game and player management. Marchand, for example, keeps statistics on the shots the opponent is attempting during a game and keeps track of substitutions made by the opposing team. However, this type of responsibility is rare.
Managers may have additional duties if they accompany the team for games away from home, although not all managers travel with the team on road games. Schlaich is responsible for transporting the players' game uniforms, practice uniforms and sneakers to the site and arranging for the uniforms to be washed while the team is on the road. He says that this task often requires communication and alliances with managers of the home team. Schlaic often acts as a passer for drills during practices away from home.
Managers perform tasks requested by the team staff members when it is not basketball season. They assist during off-season player workouts, which often includes passing or rebounding for players during on-court drills.
Marchand makes logistical preparations for the team's banquet and tends to the needs of visiting recruits.Schlaich inputs informational data on players and recruits into computer files, and sends questionnaires to prospective recruits.
Getting the Job
No prescribed method of becoming a student manager exists. Marchand says it is much like applying for a job. It requires contacting someone on the coaching staff, providing a resume and having one or two interviews with members of the coaching staff, who determine whether to hire the applicant.
Managers usually receive no pay for their work, although there are exceptions. Schlaich at California-Berkeley says the university pays part of of his tuition because of his work as a manager. He also received the same championship ring that players and coaches received for winning the conference championship in 2010. More often, students become managers because they are passionate about basketball and want to be intimately involved. Some, like Schlaich and Marchand, want to be involved in coaching or basketball operations after graduation and use this experience as preparation.
A manager for the University of Southern California received a technical foul for being too outspoken in his criticism of the officiating during a game in 2010, which resulted in extra free throws for the opponent. That manager was relieved of his duties after the game.