Fran Fraschilla on Learning Through Basketball


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Fran Fraschilla has been an ESPN college basketball analyst, the director of USA Basketball’s 3-on-3 National Team, and the head coach at St. John’s, along with other schools. Fran had lots of success in his coaching career, which he started from a very young age. Even though he’s often heard from listeners on TV, at his core he is a coach. Fran is somebody who’s become an expert when it comes to basketball, but he’s really someone who loves to learn. He thinks deeply about leadership, culture, and mindset.

Fran had a number of amazing insights during our conversation. Some of them include:

“I made a lifestyle decision to be a father full-time” (6:15).

“I’m around basketball every single day of the year” (6:30).

“There hasn’t been a day in my life since I was 13 that basketball hasn’t consumed some part of the day” (6:40).

“If you play 5-on-5 basketball, you’re going to be a better player by playing 3-on-3 in the summer” (10:55).

“Self-awareness if one of the keys to life; knowing who you are, knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are, knowing what your values are” (12:10).

“As I look back at my life and career, I don’t think I would’ve changed very much” (13:50).

“I was a really good coach” (14:45).

“One of the things I’ve learned even as I’ve transitioned to broadcasting was to have that growth mindset of continually learning the game” (15:00).

“I’m in the playground of life” (15:20).

“I’ve used basketball as a way to build relationships and to mentor” (15:40).

“Coaching at a high level is like being a CEO of a company” (15:50).

“5 of the 10 best coaches I’ve been around in my life are people no one’s ever heard of” (29:15).

“I made the decision that my family and my kids were more important than my career” (29:35).

“We have learned a lot from the international game” (41:10).

“A teacher learns best when they teach” (41:35).

“Anything you do has to continue to evolve, and you can never have the mindset that you know it all” (45:30).

“I don’t care what team you coach, what company you run, if your employees don’t feel they have ownership, they’re not going to be great employees” (46:40).

“This is what life is all about: reaching your potential” (52:40).

“You’ve got to be able to manage up as well as manage down” (1:00:05).

“I’m learning things today about basketball that I wish I knew 20, 30 years ago” (1:06:45).

“I have a joy for life, I have a joy for basketball” (1:12:50).

“Have a joy for what you do” (1:13:00).

“Basketball has been my way of connecting with people” (1:13:15).

Additionally, make sure to follow Fran on Twitter @franfraschilla!

Thank you so much to Fran for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

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