Celtics coach Bryan Doo lives out hoop dreams
By Ling-Mei Wong
Bryan Doo is living the dream.
Born and raised in nearby Sharon, Mass., Doo idolized the Boston Celtics. When he found out about an assistant coaching position in July 2003, he jumped at the chance.
“I grew up watching Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson and my boss Danny Ainge,” Doo said. “It’s been fun meeting all the players that I grew up watching around the league. It’s still weird to me to get a phone call from Danny Ainge or talk to Dominique Wilkins. Since the Celtics have such rich history and tradition, there are so many retired players around all year: Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Bob Cousy, Sam Jones and others.”
As head strength and conditioning coach, Doo works with players to stay in peak condition. He counts helping elite players recover from injuries and having successful careers among his proudest achievements. Over the past decade, he’s also made some friends.
“Working with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo over the last five seasons has been special to me,” Doo said. “They all work extremely hard on their bodies to make sure they can survive a 90-plus game season and other aspects of their game. It has been extra special for me as they are close to my age, so we have the same memories growing up and can relate on so many different levels.”
Before Doo started mingling with basketball stars, he frequented Chinatown with his father and brother to play nine-man volleyball. Today, he loves to bring his wife and three children to Chinese festivals, along with eating authentic salty spicy squid and peapod stems in Chinatown.
Doo landed the job of his dreams through hard work. He earned a bachelor’s in sports and exercise science from Messiah College, along with a master’s in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.
“Players always tell me that since I love what I do and live what I say, they respect me and believe what I tell them is important,” Doo said.
All of Doo’s effort paid off when he received a championship ring from NBA Commissioner David Stern in 2008.
“Working in the NBA for 10-plus years has been a fun trip but tough at times,” Doo said.
Doo is positive and energetic, which rubs off on his players. Thanks to his career, he was able to visit China for the first time.
“I was asked by Kevin Garnett to travel with him to China when he signed his first Anta sneaker deal,” Doo said. “He knew how much it would mean to me to go to the country of my roots. That is why Kevin and I are good friends, as he is very thoughtful and the best teammate ever in the NBA.”
As a Chinese man, Doo is a minority in the NBA. While his heritage made him realize he was unique, it also helped him relate to players better.
“I have a super positive outlook on life and growing up ‘being different’ has never stopped me from doing anything that I put my mind to,” he said.
This post is also available in: Chinese