Mihai Raducanu

Websites – https://www.ganonbakerbasketball.com/  https://mihairaducanu.com/

Email – mihai@ganonbakerbasketball.com

Twitter – @MihaiROfficial

Mihai Raducanu is the President & CEO of his own basketball training business, No Limit Performance, and also works with Ganon Baker  as his Director of Business Development. Mihai teaches two graduate level classes as a university adjunct professor at Canisius College as well as being an inspirational and educational speaker.

Mihai earned a Business Marketing and a Business Management degree from Coastal Carolina University where he was an NCAA Division I basketball player. He also holds a Masters Degree from Canisius College in Sports Administration.

Mihai grew up in Romania. He moved to Canada at age 15 and played his high school basketball at Cathedral High School in Hamilton, Ontario where in 1998 he was a OFSAA Champion and in 1999 an OFSAA Silver Medalist. Mihai was then selected to play on the Canadian Jr. National Team in 1999.

Mihai has served as a Skill Development Coach for three (3) teams in the NBL Canada, Mississauga Power (currently the Raptors 905), London Lightning and Niagara River Lions. He has also worked with the Boston Celtics D – League affiliate, Maine Red Claws for the past three seasons as a guest trainer.

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Have a pen and paper in hand so you can take down some notes as you listen to this episode with Mihai Raducanu from No Limit Performance and Ganon Baker Basketball.

What We Discuss with Mihai Raducanu

  • Growing up in communist Romania
  • The basketball training & coaching he experienced in Romania
  • Competing against older players and how that helped his development
  • Moving to Canada at age 15 and his positive mindset about the move
  • His High School career in Canada and the relationships he built with teammates
  • How he ended up at Coastal Carolina with Ganon Baker on the staff
  • His adjustment to D1 basketball and how he quickly realized he needed to get a lot better
  • Maintaining a positive outlook and always being ready for opportunities
  • Turning off auto-pilot and taking control of your life
  • The story of how he became a cop
  • His first client as a basketball trainer
  • Asking Ganon Baker for help early in his training business
  • Why he loves impacting players on and off the court
  • His Leadership Through Sport Program
  • Starting his speaking career and seeking out a mentor
  • His role as the Director of Business Development for Ganon Baker
  • Coaching Mentorship and The Basketball Curriculum at ganonbakerbasketball.com

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[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here with my co-host Jason Sunkle, and tonight we are pleased to welcome to the podcast Mihai Raducanu. Mihai, welcome to the podcast.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:00:10] Thank you for having me. Unbelievable job with the name, pronunciation.

Mike Klinzing: [00:00:15] All right. That’s all. We’re always off to a good start.

As we said before, we jumped on and you never want to put your a person’s name. In the introduction, so I’m glad I passed that with flying colors and now we can jump into you and your basketball journey. Let’s start by going back to your childhood. You grew up in Romania. Talk a little bit about that, and then we’ll eventually get to you and your family getting to Canada and getting you introduced to basketball.

But let’s go back in time to when you were a kid. Just talk to us a little bit about your childhood experiences.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:00:44] Yeah. I mean, I grew up in a, I grew up in a communist country.  it was communist until I was 10 years old.  I lived in a city called collusion, the Poca and Romania part of Transylvania. And we grew up as, as any [00:01:00] other family would over there struggling to find food, struggling to find money, struggling to feed ourselves.

But.  my, both of my parents were athletes, both of my parents. My dad was a track and field,  guy. And then my mother played basketball. So I tried both. When I was about 12, I really started liking basketball. So,  I played for, in Europe at the time, it was a theater system for clubs. And I played on the youngest Columbia team for my city.

And,  That’s how I started. Then I started playing and I became national champion at the age of third. At the end, I still have a DVD on that. Got invited to a, the tallest players in the country, campus, 10 policy people in the country my age, and,  we had an amazing training session in the mountains for a couple of weeks and I learned a lot about myself and,  yeah, one of the higher tier [00:02:00] players, I was big. George seven foot seven George Muresan. I’m sure you know who that is. Absolutely.  you know, he gave me a, a pair of shoes when I was young.

Jason Sunkle: [00:02:09]know him from a movie man. What was that movie that he was in? My giant crystal man. Him and Billy crystal,

Mike Klinzing: [00:02:19] You got Jason at two minutes into the podcast.

You’re doing something right when you got to jump in really early tonight. Good work.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:02:26] It’s that Eastern European history.

Mike Klinzing: [00:02:29] That’s it.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:02:30] But yeah, that was, that was, that’s where my journey started. I mean, my mom just said, Hey, you should play basketball. And I remember showing up and you get right into right into it, and there’s 12 other guys your age and, and they put a ball in your hand and you know, they put you through all kinds of training sessions and you either like it or you don’t want to do this.

No.  there’s no in between right?

Mike Klinzing: [00:02:52] What’d you like about basketball when you first get introduced to it? What was it about the game that struck you and said, Hey, I want to keep doing this

Mihai Raducanu: [00:02:58] Same thing. I love about it [00:03:00] today and I’ll be 40 next month. I’ll be 40 years old. And  same thing. I love about it today.

I love being on the court with a bunch of like-minded guys that I know they have my back. And I absolutely love competing. I just loved competing. But having four other guys on the court with me, and to this day, I still love it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:03:19] What do you remember about some of the training methods when you went to that camp for the 10 tallest people in your age level?

What do you remember about some of the training that you did at that time?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:03:29] Well, we had, so that was 1993 and our coach was above 91 years old. This is better joke, not a joke. So the training that is extremely outdated, but,  there were hard, we were running up and down Hills. We were.  carrying each other up and downhills who were puking were rolling down Hills in our own puke.

And we were, it was just, it was just grueling. But interestingly enough. [00:04:00]  I still talk to some of those guys to this day. They were on that theme that we had our backs and it was really a theme building. The guy was a Phil Jackson type of guy before, before his son.

Mike Klinzing: [00:04:12] Interesting. And so when you, when you’re training with those guys and you’re playing on this team, what is your season look like?

Like how many games are you playing with that particular group and what was the level of basketball like? If you could. Give us something to compare it to. What was that level of basketball like in Romania?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:04:30] Yeah, so for me, because we were so young, so we were the third team down. So there was a pro theme, did the number one theme that was playing.

Then there was a group of guys right underneath them. They were kind of jumping back and forth between playing on the big court. We used to call it, and they would play,  in different national tournaments. Or regional tournaments and national tournaments. And then for us, where the young kids that were there were just prepping.

They were there trying to see who was going to be able to make it, who’s got good bodies, who’s, who’s got [00:05:00] good brain, who’s got a good potentials, got a good work ethic. And,  I, we practiced, I mean, we practiced for five, six months, maybe play a couple of inner squad scrimmages, and then we’d go down to and play in the national tournament.

 you traveled by train and you go down and we want it. We want it. When I was 13, and it was a big deal for us. And then I got to dabble. I got to dabble with a, with the top team for a couple of games. And. I’ll never forget that. I’ll never forget being in that locker room showering with these seven footers in and playing my five minutes.

And I remember having my first dunk.  just, just incredible. That’s, those are my, my vivid memories.

Mike Klinzing: [00:05:44] So how important was it for you in that time of your development to be able to play against older, more experienced players? I’ve got to imagine that you can attribute a lot of your eventual success to. Kind of getting beat up and pushed around when you were younger by some of those older players.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:05:58] Yeah. [00:06:00] That plays a lot into it, but I think the knowledge that they put on you, the way, the way you conduct yourself, a free practice, the way you conduct yourself in practice, the way,  the way they can push you on the court and the way they can be are your friend and your brother off the court.  those are the things that really made me really, really made me like basketball and understand what it takes, do it to be that good.

They all worked their butts off. The guys guys were sleeping with, you know,  ankle weights on their, on their legs, just cause they thought it would make the jump higher. And. Guys would, would go and run the Hills on their own and guys would get five on the shots up every single day. And that’s what you learn from the older guys, the physicality.

Yes.  them being done much better than you. Yes. You learn and you admire all that and you aspire to be that good. But at the end of the day,  the, the mental aspect of things and then show you what a true professional should look like, that’s what really sticks with you.

Mike Klinzing: [00:06:56] What was the level of popularity of basketball in [00:07:00] Romania during that era?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:07:00] That was was when George was kind of the first guy to leave, and he went through to France and he played for port days over there. I don’t know if you remember that far back, but he was, he was the icon for us. And there was a couple other guys that left off there. But,  it was. It was probably the second sport.

Soccer’s always going to be number one over there. But,  it was probably the second sport, but,  fans were going out. There was horns. And then typical European,  you know, crowd watching the games. And I remember going to almost every home game walking or taking the bus by myself when I was 10, 11, 12.

Mike Klinzing: [00:07:43] What was the craziest fan story you remember from that time when you were going to games?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:07:48] Nothing. Seems crazy to me. Right? Like from flares of smoke and horns and people fighting, and I mean that’s, it was just normal. So I don’t think there’s, there’s [00:08:00] anything that really sticks out to me, but that that’s just the norm in European gyms.

They cleaned it up a bit now, obviously, but back then it was just like a soccer match. Right. That’s crazy. It’s kind of funny.

Mike Klinzing: [00:08:10] So then obviously when the communist regime in Romania falls and your family decides that you’re going to immigrate to Canada. You get here when you’re, I believe, age 15 is that right?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:08:24] Correct.

Mike Klinzing: [00:08:27] Okay, so just describe for us what your feelings were like just in general in terms of leaving your home country, moving halfway across the world, getting here. Not being able to speak English or speak the language or communicate. Just talk about what that was like as a 15 year old kid. Cause we think about how any of us were at age 15 and just sort of how challenging that that time of life can be for anybody.

And here you’re going through this tremendous life change in your whole entire life that you’ve known for. 15 years has [00:09:00] been uprooted. Just talk a little bit about what that was like just as a human being. Forget about the basketball side of it.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:09:05] Yeah, for sure. I mean, first of all, you guys don’t know me that well and I’m always excited.

I’m always excited to do things and I’m always excited to get challenged. Then the last thing, images in my head and leaving was,  me and my family being packed. My mom, my dad, and my sister. Packing up on a train,  leaving the train station. My grandparents are, are out there and went to grandma’s.  actually only my two grandmas were out there watching us and some relatives and some, some people, and everybody’s crying and I’m smiling and I’m like, this is cool.

We’re going on a, on an adventure of some new, some cool for us. And it’s hard to explain, but everybody wants to get out of there just, just because. The way life was, because the way we grew up with wood, being oppressed with communism. And,  you know, I remember leaving my grandfather, my mom’s dad, I went to say goodbye and [00:10:00] he was ill by then with some, he had some, some cancer issues.

And  he was laying in bed and I went to say goodbye and he said, Hey. Take care of yourself, take care of your sister, do really good. I’ll never see you again. And I said, Oh, that’s crazy. You’re going to see me again. But he goes, no, no, just promise me. Right. And,  two weeks after we got to Canada, he died.

And that, that always stuck in my head and my mom couldn’t go see it due to her own father’s funeral. Cause we were just fresh in Canada. We, we couldn’t go. And,  you know, those two things really stick in my head about leaving. And then. Getting to Canada, not being able to speak the language,  being dropped off by,  somebody in a hotel and outside Toronto and the outskirts of Toronto.

And, and, and four of us in a hotel room with $3,000 to our name trying to figure it out. But we did. We, we did. And,  you know, some luck came along the way. So some people that. [00:11:00] My parents knew from Romania.  we got a hold of them. We had a phone number and my mom called and said, Hey, we’re 45 minutes away from you.

Why don’t you come stay with us? And it’s so happened that the next door neighbor was a basketball coach. Who, you know, my, my, my friends, they translated,  that I like to play basketball. And the guy put me in contact with coach Mark Walton and coach Mark Wallen is the winningest high school coach ever in Canada.

He is a basketball legend and I just basically landed in a hot bed of high school basketball with the greatest coach in the country. And. And he just started developing me cause I wasn’t developed at all. Right. And, well, sorry, not at all. I shouldn’t say at all, but I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know. I didn’t know what to expect.

So that’s, that was the, that was a journey to get to Canada.

Mike Klinzing: [00:11:55] How tall were you when you got here?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:11:57] It was 6’6” and 165 [00:12:00] pounds.

Mike Klinzing: [00:12:05] You know, it’s funny you hear that story and you just think about. How that whole process could have gone. And I think it starts with just your attitude and how you approached it. And then you combine that with the good fortune of getting connected to coach Walton and having that opportunity that who knows, you could have ended up in a different city in a different place and never found that basketball mentor that could have kind of guided you through the process.

Talk a little bit about the challenges of not being able to speak the language when you first get here and just how you went about handling that, both from a basketball and a school and just a cultural perspective.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:12:52] Well,  you know, I was in grade 10 when I came here, so I finished grade nine to remain as third grade then in Canada.

And, [00:13:00]  I registered to the high school and I went in and the guy who’s one of my best friends to this day,  his name is Mike Lawton. He,  he was in my gym class and he looked at me and he, he asked me to dunk the ball and I was wearing dress shoes and the uniform was a Catholic school uniform, but I didn’t know what he was saying.

I didn’t know what he wanted me to do. So he handed me the ball and pointed to the rim. And I just jumped straight off the ground and my dress shoes and my uniform and just hammered the ball. And that was just instant friendship,

friendship, and their junior theme was really good. Junior theme at the high school was really, really good. And, and coach Walton was the senior theme coach and he grabbed me as a young immigrant, drive me a sitcom, play for me. I can teach you. And he asked me to find like basketball, and I said, [00:14:00] I do, I really do.

And he said, you know, do you want to be really good? And I said, I always want to be good, but, you know, dictionary open, translating it. It’s crazy. The communication go and we’ll tell you to this day that when I called him,  he thought he was like a 75 year old drunk man trick on him. Cause I had, cause I had the dictionary, I was translating as I was going.

But  yeah, that was ending. Coach Ron just said, Hey, if you want to be good, you gotta go 30 minutes before breakfast, the 30 minutes after practice and do what I say. And.  that’s, that’s what I did. That’s, that’s, I just loved basketball. But I was lucky that our program was good. I was lucky that guys around me,  were, were super competitive.

 I was lucky that we hung out on and off the court and we ended up having a amazing high school career.

Mike Klinzing: [00:14:56] What’s your favorite memory from your time? Playing high school [00:15:00] basketball. What sticks out? Maybe something on the court, something off the court, a game relationship with a teammate. What, what’s your most vivid memories of high school player?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:15:07] Well, you know,  people that didn’t go to my high school, they don’t understand our relationship, but to this day I communicate with about 70% of my teammates,  on a weekly basis, some on a daily basis. And that all stems from cultural and building what he built for us. But. We did everything together.

My buddy Mike, who taught me how to speak English is his mom had a suburban issue. Pick all of us up for school. All of us. I mean, the whole team should pick us up in the morning and take us to school. And then we’d go in packs to the Y YMCA and beat up on people on the weekend and on the court. And,  we went, we ended up being 33, and, Oh, in North America, we, we won everything we.

Had Southern guys play into AA basketball. Three of us were on the junior national team and [00:16:00] everybody else played university basketball except one guy who played 14 years professional football. That’s my, that’s my favorite.

Mike Klinzing: [00:16:09] That’s awesome. It’s not often that you get a chance to play with such a great group of teammates at the high school level where so many guys are able to have that success.

And again, it’s just amazing when you think about your good fortune too. Be placed in that situation and just to be able to have that opportunity. And it makes me, and I’m sure you thought about it before, and it makes me think about what if that had, you know, that path hadn’t opened for you. I get the sense from just talking to you in this brief amount of time that we’ve known each other here, that even if you hadn’t fallen into an ideal situation, I get the feeling that you would have found your way to an ideal situation somehow.

Some way, just because of the positive outlook that you have.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:16:48] Well, thank you. I do. I do some speaking. I know we’re going to get into that later, but I always say opportunities. They come by [00:17:00] all the time for everybody, and that means nothing. It’s the outcome that really matters. And.  I knew that that was special and I felt that it was special.

And,  the outcome from that, the friendships, the, the ability to get a secondary education, the ability to plan a national team, the ability to, to, to have coach Walton still there. You know, like I said, I talk to him every day. Single week. My girlfriend works with him. He’s a university head coach in Canada, the women’s program, and my girlfriend’s is assistant coach.

So I get to, I get to still good knowledge for them on a daily basis. So the outcome I think is the most important opportunities. They always come around always for everybody. It’s just what you do with them that matters.

Mike Klinzing: [00:17:51] So true. And I think it’s also if you put yourself in position to take advantage of those opportunities by working hard and being open to.

Those [00:18:00] opportunities. So many people, you see that those opportunities come in front of them and they don’t always grab them because of whatever reason, some obstacle that’s in front of them, they just can’t see around or get over. And I think that your story indicates just like what we’ve been talking about, that if you can overcome those obstacles and you don’t necessarily see them as things that are in your way, but just things that.

You need to get over things that you need to learn from, and then you ultimately grab onto those opportunities. As you said, opportunities continue to come if you put yourself into the right position. And speaking of opportunities, you had an opportunity to eventually play college basketball. At what point did that start to come on your radar?

That one, you wanted to play college basketball and then two, when did you come to the realization that, Hey, this dream is going to be something that I’m going to be able to achieve.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:18:50] Well, it’s funny because it’s funny you say that. My mind was never like that. It never thought about it that way. I didn’t know.

I had no idea. I [00:19:00] remember I come from a European system and, and this was all foreign to me and I didn’t know about it. I just played basketball cause I really, really loved basketball. And I didn’t play basketball for any other reason. But to go out there and get guys as butts and and win and do what I love.

And I remember sitting in a class in grade 11 and. Coach Walton came up to my class. He was, he was also a guidance counselor,  co-op teacher, I guess it was at their school. And he came up and he gave me a letter. And,  it was from a university, and I remember him saying to me, you have to open this. You have to read it.

It’s probably about this people wanting you to play basketball at their school. And I said, cool. And I opened it. It was a super nice letter, and everybody on the class was kind of looking, and everybody knew what I opened. I had no idea what I opened. Well, it was a letter from Notre Dame university and [00:20:00] I had no idea.

And coach Walton knew how I was, and he understood the way I was. My mind was working, and he never really. Explained anything to me, just let me be me. He just let me play and you know, kept handing me letters and letters and letters and ended up having 50 scholarship offers. And then I finally understood what that meant.

And then I said, Oh wow, I can go to school for free just to play basketball. This is amazing. I’ll be done.

Mike Klinzing: [00:20:33] Yeah,  that’s awesome. So talk a little bit about how you ended up making your decision. You honestly reconnect with, or connect for the first time with, with Gannon Baker there at Coastal Carolina, but just talk a little bit about the recruiting process.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:20:47] Yeah. Pete Strickland was the head coach. Pete Strickland was our head coach again, and was the assistant then and be to recruit with me when I was at,  when he was at Dayton university. And I thought I was going to [00:21:00] Dayton and I thought that was the place I really like be Strickland. And it’d be circling up, getting the head job at coastal Carolina.

And then Gannon came up and.  there was five schools that I narrowed it down to. It was coastal Carolina, Florida, Atlantic, Boston university, university of Maine and Fermin. And,  those were my schools. And I went down to coastal,  on my official visit. Absolutely loved it, loved everything about it.  loved the coaching staff.

 again, and you guys have spoken again, and you’ve interviewed again. And so you understand his personality and how he is. So I thought he loved that when I walked in the gym and it’s guys jumping rope in the corner listening to Rocky, and I said, I like this, right? And then I went on one more visit to Florida Atlantic.

And I came back to Canada and I told Coach Walton, coach, I like Coastal Carolina. I just want to go there. I don’t want to go on any other [00:22:00] visits. I don’t want to, I don’t want to do any. It was, it was getting really busy, Mike.  it was getting really busy. So I ended up signing early in November of my last year of high school.

Mike Klinzing: [00:22:11] When you get there, when you get there eventually. Okay, so you play out your last year of high school. And you make the transition from high school to college, now you’re going to another new country. So you’re leaving Canada, and now you’re coming to the United States. You’re making the leap as a basketball player from high school to college, but you’re also making the leap as a student and just as a regular human being from one environment to another.

So just talk about what. Those adjustments were like, or what you remember going from your senior year of high school into your freshman year of college?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:22:48]  there’s a couple of things that stick out that,  I can talk about. And number one is when I got there, I was like, okay, well I’m a top five player in Canada.

[00:23:00] Possibly not. We won’t play in the country.  and I go down there and it’s going to be the same. I’m going to have five dunks again. When I play above the rim,  everybody’s going to throw me the ball and we’re going to keep on playing. I knew nothing. I’ve never seen an NCAA game before. I knew I didn’t know anything about it.

And I get there and I’m like, Holy crap, everybody. Is better than me or just as good as me. You know? And then you get a quick, there was seven of us, seven new guys, seven freshmen, and, and you know, a couple of guys our size, Anthony, who’s one of my best friends, but we battled it out for five years. So it was a, it was a true wake up call when I got there for the first pickup game.

And I’m like, okay, everybody’s better than me, or everybody is just as good as me. You have some work to do. Big fella. And then I started my first game in university and I ended up playing against George [00:24:00] Mason university who had a 27 year old,  post player. I’m 69 since I was six, eight strong, but a 27 year old ex Marine.

And I remember he just sat on me, drops the, drops, dunked on me and said. Welcome to the NCAA young. And I said, okay, now I got to get better. So that was on the court. But then off the court,  there was a senior then Matt Gladio, who was walking with me through the hallway, kind of giving me the lay of the land.

And he asked me a very crazy question that I still use in my development to this day. He said five years ago, would you have ever thought that you would be in Myrtle beach, South Carolina? Playing basketball. I said, no, five years ago it was in Romania trying to find food. I never knew this existed. And that’s stuck with me fellows, because reflection is [00:25:00] incredible.

So I’ve been doing that since I was 19 because of Matt. Glad you and I always stop and reflect and think, and. I look back at where I come from and it’s just, it’s an amazing practice and that’s helped me continue to grow.

Mike Klinzing: [00:25:16] Well, I think it speaks to, sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day of the things that we’re trying to do.

And that could be, again, as a basketball player, as a basketball coach, as a business person, and just in our lives in general with our families. And we get so caught up in that day to day that sometimes we underestimate. What we’re able to do over the course of, if you use that five year period, like the quote that you just share with us.

I think sometimes we overestimate what we can get done in a day, but we underestimate what we can accomplish in five years. And I think your story that you just told of here I am in Romania, barely having enough to eat to now I’m playing basketball and the NCAA [00:26:00] in a completely different country. It’s just amazing that what can be accomplished if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and have a positive attitude and keep looking for those opportunities like you described earlier.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:26:12] Yeah. I think, I think it’s so important to.  live in the now and live in the present and live, live, live here because the past is irrelevant. It never matters.  you can learn from it, but you should never look back because there’s nothing you can do about it. And the future is not real. It doesn’t exist.

But your actions do, they dictate your future. So that’s, you know, being grounded and then now in the present moment and doing everything that you possibly. Can do so you can get to somewhere that you and your brain is, is, is an accomplishment, is something that you want to do someday. You want to leave a legacy for this, for, for your lifetime to make the [00:27:00] world a better place.

If you continuously focus on doing good things every single second of the day, then good things will always happen.

Mike Klinzing: [00:27:09] Yeah, I agree with you. I think that that’s something that. Everybody should keep in mind, and especially during the times that we’re living through right now at the easy to focus on some of the negative pieces of what we’re all going through and we’re all experiencing.

And yet I know that for myself, and I’ve talked to other people kind of in my circle, you kind of have to look at this time where we’re all being forced to stay home and you cannot, you can use it in one of two ways. You can use it to be afraid or you can use it to. Sort of go up into a shell and sit around and watch TV, or you can use it as an opportunity to grow and connect and try new things and read and try to grow.

And I think that, you know, you think about what you’ve done in your life and what you’re trying to accomplish through. All the different things that you have going on right now, and that sort [00:28:00] of epitomizes basically your philosophy. And I think it dovetails really well with what we’re trying to do here with the podcast is just again, try to be someone who’s a learning for ourselves, but also given other people who are out there in our audience an opportunity to learn.

And. And grow from some of the people that we’ve been able to have on like yourself to share your stories. And to me, that’s just what is so powerful is you can look at two people can look at this exact same situation and one person can kind of let it shut them down, and another person can say, wow, this is such a great opportunity for me to try something new or learn something new or do something different, or just continue to grow.

And I think that that’s the story that you’ve told to this point is just crystal clear. That will be take advantage of opportunities. Good things come our way.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:28:48] A hundred percent, a hundred percent well said. I mean, it’s the people that are struggling right now through this, through whatever this time in history [00:29:00] is that we’re going through are the same people that are autopilot, the same people that wake up five days a week and do the same thing,  that recharge on the weekend and do it again.

And. The studies have shown, I’m sure you guys, you guys read a lot like I do, and most of them just don’t want to do that, but they do it for the wrong reasons. And what happens your life conditions decline and you’re responsible for it. So, and when you lose the ambition for your life, you lose ambition to help those around you.

And when you lose ambition, help those around you, then what’s the point of being around? Because. We have one job and our job is to make the world a better place. But you gotta be good with yourself. And if you don’t love yourself and you don’t take care of your body and you don’t take care of your mind, then you can’t do anything else for this world.

So you just stuck on this autopilot of, of earning a paycheck no matter what it looks like, and [00:30:00] upholding some sort of life conditions that are trivial to what actually you’re supposed to do on this planet.

Mike Klinzing: [00:30:07] Yeah, I love that philosophy. And I think it’s something that no matter what field you end up in, and obviously we’re spending a lot of our time talking to coaches and our show is geared towards coaches.

So I think this conversation clearly can apply to the why for a coach and why do you go out and what is it about coaching that you love? And if you’re only concerned with. Wins and losses and what you can get out of it, then you’re probably in it for the wrong reasons and you’re probably going to burn out pretty quick.

But if you’re in it for the right reasons and you’re in it to serve the players that are a part of your program, to serve the families of those players, to serve your assistant coaches. If you’re a head coach, to serve the people who are sort of the surrounding administrative people around your program, you’re going to end up with a lot more life satisfaction regardless of what your one loss record is.

If you’re focused on. Just trying to, as you [00:31:00] said, make the world a better place. And you can even narrow that down even further to just to make the people who come in contact with you better for having known you and interacting with you. And to me, that’s just a powerful statement in terms of a way to live.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:31:12] I’m glad you agree, man. I thank you. Oh, that’s awesome.

Mike Klinzing: [00:31:17] That’s awesome. It’s great. It’s great stuff. So let’s apply that to your college basketball career and talk about you. You know, you, you told the story of. Getting in there and realizing, Oh man, I got to get better. So other than what you did within the confines of your team practices and the things that you quote were required to do, what were some of the other things that you did or that you felt you had to do in order to raise the level of your play up to where you wanted it to be?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:31:46] Well, I had to, I had to lift weights. For the first time in my life, I’ve never lifted a weight, so I had to learn about that. I had to learn about the weight room. I had to learn about. How am I going to play at six foot nine 195 pounds? [00:32:00] It’s not going to happen. So,  then I had to get into the weight room and learn about that and, and thankful that we had a great strength coach at the time.

And then he taught me all that, and I put a bunch of. A good weight on that. That allowed me to still be athletic and  you can get much better than having Ganon as your assistant coach. If you want somebody with energy that wants to get the monster, wants to make you better, that’s a pretty good way to go. The guy wanted to workout with us more than we want it to work out with him. Right? So it was, it was such a perfect place to be in. And then Pete Strickland, who learned from Morgan Wooten, and I don’t know if you know that whole, DeMatha, that tree, but…

Mike Klinzing: [00:32:45] Coach Jones who’s at DeMatha, and now we’ve had him as a guest on the show.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:32:49] So you understand that Pete coach again, and that’s just, I mean, those guys with skill training and the individual workouts. You had [00:33:00] no choice but to get better. Even if she didn’t want to be there, you still, you still got better. So that was one of the things that,  I did,  when it came through my body and basketball, and I wish there was more knowledge back then about nutrition.

I wish there was more, more knowledge about mindfulness and how to pick your mind and meditation, but it just wasn’t that time yet.  but you know, I tried to bring it to the theme, what, what I learned in high school from cultural, and then that was always hanging out with the guys. Always making sure we’re together.

If we, if we get in trouble, that’s getting in trouble together. If we free go work out as go work out together, if we go eat. So we just rolled in packs around that campus and it was, I guess that’s why we still talk to this day. That’s why to this day we still have group chats and, and to this day we still share.

 happy moments and ask for advice and help each other out. And we built this, this amazing comradery that nobody [00:34:00] knows how many points you scored. Nobody knows how many rebounds you got. Nobody knows any of that. But we know the man and we know the principles and we know the character. And it’s easy to reach out,  for anything to, to my former teammates, and nothing’s changed.

And, and, you know, 20 years removed from that.

Mike Klinzing: [00:34:19] Do you attribute that to you guys as players, as teammates, or do you attribute that to what the coaching staff was able to do to foster that, or was it a little bit of a combination of both?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:34:32] I think it was a combination. I mean, Coach Strickland was pretty clear about what type of players he was recruiting, and he always, if you want to guys that can play, of course.

But he was always a character. First guy, always a character, first guy. So he did a great job putting the package together, bringing the right guys in, and then we obviously clicked. We obviously, we were in the perfect environment.  and yeah, I think it’s a combination of both. Mike.

[00:35:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:34:59] All right. So you mentioned nutrition.

You mentioned mindfulness. You mentioned that you wish there was more knowledge out there about some of those things. And when you said that, that took me back to the time when I was playing in college and I have some of those same feelings that you just shared about nutrition and just the way that we went about things and how things were different.

So just to give you a couple of examples for us, we would always eat every single pregame meal. We would still eat steak. Every single pregame meal before we played. And I mean, I played in from 1988 to 92 and clearly by that point, there wasn’t a whole lot of nutrition knowledge out there, but certainly it was known by that point that probably steak wasn’t the best thing to eat.

And I was lucky. I always had a stomach that I could play on pretty much anything except for pizza. So it ended up being okay for me. But still, you just think back to that and you’re like, gosh, how did we not. And how did the coaches staff not know that? It’s just kind of interesting. Mike lives on [00:36:00] peanut butter and jelly, so I live on, I live on peanut butter and jelly now.

It’s my lunch every day. So it’s been my lunch since the time I was like probably seven or eight years old. That’s what my mom, my mom would pack for me every day and just never felt the need to, to change it. And then the other thing when I was at school that we would do is. So we would practice,  our, our, our practices, especially in the pre season, we would have our five days a week,  during the, during the, during the school week.

And then on Saturday morning we’d get up at 7:00 AM and we’d have, I don’t know, probably an hour and a half regular practice. And then we do like a two hour inner squad scrimmage and then we’d have the rest of the day off. And then we’d have, Sunday was our off day. And so we would immediately get done with this.

Three and a half hour practice last scrimmage on Saturday morning. So it’d be like 10 30 in the morning and we would go from showering a locker room. We would go straight to Ponderosa, the old buffet, and we would just literally, I mean, that place had to lose so [00:37:00] much money on the basketball team going and sitting in this Ponderosa and just eating just, I’m sure the worst.

No, I just think about the food reading chicken wings and I was probably drank drinking a half gallon of soda and all these different things and it was just, you just didn’t, I mean, you probably should have known better, but at that point there was nobody, there was no adults talking to you about those things and it just kind of struck a chord with me.

When you were talking about wishing you had had that knowledge that players have access to and coaches have access to today, that you didn’t have access to it. Neither did I when I was playing.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:37:34] No. And it’s, it’s, it’s incredible. And, and, you know, my partner, my girlfriend, she, she played division one basketball.

She played at Fairfield and her third year, she was just immobilized. She was in bed. She couldn’t get out of bed.  she ended up being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and there was nothing that they could do for her.  except an injection. So after [00:38:00] months and months of, of figuring out what it was, I was an injection.

And then three years ago, she said, I don’t want to take the injection anymore. And I said, well, what can we do? It was a two week in jail, every two weeks, shit to inject. And we did research. And,  we’ve been three years now, vegan, fully vegan,  fully natural products that we use. And guess what. She’s two years medication free, inflammation free, pain free, and she feels better than she did when she played in college.

So diets fixed,  autoimmune disease on her, and I’m 40, but I feel like I’m 18 and this is the times when I’m like, man, I wish I knew that when I was 19, 20, 21 but it just wasn’t out there. The knowledge wasn’t, wasn’t there, you know? But.  yeah, Mike, I agree. It’s such a huge impact on an athlete to eat the right way and and understand their body.

I’m not saying vegan works for [00:39:00] everybody. I’m not saying any diet works for anybody, but understanding your body.  we’ll, we’ll give you a lot more than you do if we just go through the motions.

Mike Klinzing: [00:39:12] Oh, absolutely. I think if you, if you understand yourself and understand what it is that makes you function well, I think that is a huge part of it.

It’s interesting you being a vegan, my. Wife was not a vegetarian her entire life, but probably was started as a vegetarian in our, I’d say, early twenties and so I have three kids and all three of my kids have been vegetarian from the time they were born, have never eaten any meat whatsoever the entire time that they’ve been alive.

And I always tell people, I am not a vegetarian, but I’m a home vegetarian, so I don’t eat any meat at home, which basically means that if I go out to eat once or twice a week, I’ll. I might have a chicken sandwich or something like that, but certainly I feel like I eat much healthier than I did when I was younger.

I grew up in a household where [00:40:00] we had some kind of meat every single meal. It just was, that’s just the way you ate. And I just think about now how much. Better, healthier. And I haven’t been able to completely take the plunge. I probably showed my wife and my kids are always kinda on me that, you know, Hey dad, why you gotta eat that chicken sandwich?

But,  yeah. So I mean it’s just, but I do feel that their choices and my wife’s choices, it’s been interesting with my kids just to see them and just sort of how healthy they are, how they feel. And then also. It’s interesting for them from a cultural standpoint when they go to school and kids obviously have questions and you know, they’re always like, guess you’ve never eaten any meat before, and any of those things, and it’s just, you can, you can now have a solid reason.

It’s interesting, as my kids get older, so I have a junior in high school and a son who is going to be a, he’s in eighth grade now. I’ll be in ninth grade next year. And just as they become more educated about [00:41:00] sort of the. The health benefits and the environmental benefits of being vegetarian and just talent there.

Now they’re now able to answer questions that other people have for them about why you know why they do it. Just hope you don’t end up at a Savara without cheese. Right. Mike. There you go. That’s true. That is true. That is, that is true. Jason and I and my son, we drove out to snow Valley basketball school in Iowa.

And so when you’re on the road and you’re, you’re stopping at different places, you have, as you know, I’m sure you have much more limited options in terms of the type of food that you can find. And so we were trying to find somewhere where. My son could find some food out when were on the road and we pulled into the sorrow and they.

They didn’t have any pizza that was just cheese pizza. They only had, they only had pepperoni or sausage, so my son nearly didn’t get to, I don’t even remember Jason, what he ended up, what we ended up getting for them, and I’m pretty [00:42:00] sure we got chips at the convenience store and he ate those. I’m pretty sure that was what we did.

The real healthy, that was really healthy. Yeah. Yeah. So we’re not, we’re probably not, we’re probably not on the same level, unfortunately, as you are in terms of that, that health,  you know, the healthy eating. But we do, we do pretty well at my house.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:42:19] I mean, everybody’s gotta deal with their own way.  you just got to understand that, you know, it’s, there’s no, and by any means, I’m not a nutritionist and I never, everybody asks me questions about it, and.

I always say, you gotta figure it out. Your body, just like you got to figure out your sleep. Everybody says, Oh, it’s a 5:00 AM club, 5:00 AM Graebel. Hang on. We all have our own circadian rhythm is we all, we all operate differently. This four different kinds. Figure out which one works for you. You might be a late sleeper.

Don’t force it. Right? So there’s, there’s no formula that works for everybody. You just got to figure it out.

Mike Klinzing: [00:42:52] No question. At what point during your playing career. Do you start to think that [00:43:00] maybe some type of coaching might be in your future?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:43:05] Never did. Never did during my playing career at, to be honest, I never thought about it.

 I just, I ended,  I just, I just finished playing,  in 2004. I set out my third year cause I got hurt and I red shirted and then I finished it 2004.  and I got married very young at that age and,  never really thought about coaching or playing.  I dabbled a little bit into the professional leagues.

My, my good friend Mike Taylor.  I was coaching in Germany at the time while he wasn’t a good friend, then he was a coach, but now he’s become a good friend. And he offered me a place to go play for him in Germany, but I ended up breaking my ankle and I never panned out. And I just went into the working force.

And yeah, I never thought about coaching and I can go into how I [00:44:00] became a coach if you want me to. Yeah. I mean, I moved back to Canada and,  I don’t know what to do. I have two degrees at a degree in business marketing and a degree in business,  management. And when I lived in Myrtle beach, I worked for Xerox and I hated it.

I hated the suit. I hated the tie. I hated the sales part of it. I just hated it all. And came back to Canada and coach Walton to the rescue. He was retired and he said, Hey, what are you doing? I said. I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do. And he said, you want me to teach you how to build decks and fences?

And I said, yeah, I’d never built anything in my life I want to learn. So he paid me for a whole summer. I was driving about 70 kilometers each day to meet him and work, and he was paying me 10 bucks an hour to learn. And that was, I was [00:45:00] a little learning, learning, learning, learning. And  I started my own deck and fence company as they’re building decks and fences, and I was loving it.

 at some point in time, I said, there’s gotta be more through this. There’s gotta be more to life than this. And in 2007, well, and the 2006, I was 26 years old, I guy was playing basketball with, said, Hey, well actually you want to play with us in a tournament? I said, sure, I’ll play. Didn’t know any of the guys, didn’t know anybody on the team, and they all showed up.

Half of them showed up to the Sunday game,  in suits. And I said, Oh, well, you guys coming from silly me. I’m asking if they’re coming from church. And they said, no, no, we’re, you don’t know what the on honest is. I have no idea. This guy asked me to play, so I’m playing, I don’t know. I don’t know who you guys are.

Oh, this is all cops. We’re a police team. And I said, Oh, cool. And they’re like, do you want to [00:46:00] be accomplished a lot? I don’t know where I come from, where, where I grew up, no, I don’t want to be a cop. Those are the bad guys, the bad people. And anyway, I learned more about it and I applied and I got hired at 27 to be a police officer.

And once I got hired, a guy that I was a police officer as well said. Yeah. You played high level basketball. I said, yeah. He goes, I have a kid in grade seven. Do you want to teach him? I said, sure. Yeah, I can teach him. So I showed up in his driveway.  I had like, I did what I saw my coaches do. Like I wrote out a practice plan.

Printed out the piece of paper. I had it like times, you know, the normal practice thing. I had it tucked in, folded, put in my shorts, half of it sticking out. You guys know the law?

Mike Klinzing: [00:46:55] Absolutely. I’ve been there.

[00:47:00] Mihai Raducanu: [00:47:00] So I show up in this kid’s driveway.  some, some neighbors are trying to walk their dog across the driveway.

They kick them off the driveway. This is our space we’re working out. And  that’s how it started. And the kid bought in. And the kid got better and then his teammates wanted to get better, and then his team wanted to get better. And then I said, hang on, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know. I can’t do this.

Like I’m not not that good. I don’t need somebody to mentor me. And that’s when I called again and I called again and I call him G Bake. I called G Bake and I said, Hey man, I know you’ve been doing the shake and bake and you’ve been, you’ve been doing your  training thing for about four or five years.

I need some help. This is what’s happening here. And he said, I got you big fella. Send me a box of DVDs. And he said, start studying this stuff. Start learning it. Start doing it. Start applying. It. [00:48:00] And next thing led to another, and it’s 2012 I’m, I’m four years into this skill training. I’m still a cop. I’m a detective.

I’m a, I become a detective. I become a street crime unit detective. I just, the only way I was taking people’s drugs and kick it in their doors and taking their money and buying drugs and. Teaching young kids how to play basketball. And it got to the point where one of my mentors was a deputy chief of police at the time, and we had lunch and he said, listen, you can’t, you can’t do both.

It’s not a, it’s not conducive to your lifestyle.  what if I told you that you can take a year off without pay? Go to the basketball thing, and if you don’t like it, you have your job back, if you like it. You can make a decision. I haven’t looked back like the kumbaya out. A year later, I retired for police work and off I [00:49:00] went and that’s when I joined Gannon’s.

 No, he had a, he had a, it’s the mentorship group that we have now, but he looked different at the time. And, and I joined,  as part of his, his whole theme. And we had a great team of people and I just kept getting better and better and better. And once I dedicated myself fully to learning every single day from 2008 to till now, I’m still learning every single day.

 good things happen.

Mike Klinzing: [00:49:29] What did that learning process look like for you? So what were you doing to improve your craft? As a coach, was that, again, watching DVDs, watching game film of certain players going out and going to clinics, working personally one-on-one with Gannon or other coaches that were part of the group at the time.

What did the improvement process look like for you?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:49:50] A hundred percent I never believed in and watching film.  my high school coach was,  And he still is to this day. [00:50:00] He coaches university and he’s always, let’s worry about what we do. Don’t worry about the rest. He doesn’t, he doesn’t scout. He doesn’t watch the theme.

He just goes and beats on people because they do what they do. So I had to learn about that. But yeah, the process was watching again, demonstrate and then, you know, call unco Strickland and calling coach Walton and then going to watch some local games of higher level like universities.  you know, going to watch some final fours.

Just starting to learn. In 2014 I went to my first final four and I’d been hooked. They were seeing, this is the first year I missed one, obviously.  and. I went to follow again is again, and where are you? What are you doing? I’m coming. So I would drive down to Ohio, drive down to Florida to take his coaching class.

And I took a class like three times. And,  you know, as, as the internet developed, taking online courses and watching people and,  doing it, actually [00:51:00] doing it. And it turned into. Me just getting more knowledge that I can pass on to these players. And I wish that the first player that I was training in 2008 had the brand that I have now because they would have been better off.

But that was just the reality. I was just doing everything I could to get him better than, but I wasn’t as knowledgeable as I am now. And I’m sure I’ll look back to today, 10 years from now, and I’ll say the same thing.

Mike Klinzing: [00:51:27] Understood. All right. So that takes care of the basketball side of it. How did you go about learning and understanding and building the business side of your training?

Cause obviously the basketball is a part of it, but in order for you to make a living at it, you also have to be well versed in the vis the business side of it. So talk a little bit about how you develop that part of. You’re coaching.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:51:50] Yeah. I mean, it was a growth, it was a growth process,  as far as, like I told you, it was in a, in a driveway.

And then,  when more, more kids, why winter time showed up, right. In [00:52:00] Canada, we get pretty bad winters. And then it said, I got to go onto a gym and just show off for the Instagram man.

Right. But that’s how it starts. And,  I remember. Having parking lot beers on there were, forget this after Friday night men’s league with my buddies, we’re having parking lot beer, is it? I’m saying guys, this is kids want to want to learn from me is two, three guys, so I’m going to do more of this. I want to do more.

I want to, I want to help more kids. And they’re like, and you’re going to charge them, but they’re all like basketball coaches, teachers, the charge. They’re like, it’s never going to work. No one is going to pay for that. So this is a huge lesson I give to people on fear because if I would have let that fear get into my mind and the doubt and say, you know what?

These guys are right. They know they’re from the [00:53:00] area, they know what’s going on. They, they understand the game of basketball, and I could have just simply not done it, but I said, you don’t watch promos. I’m going to do it anyway. So one of the guys was the athletic director and the local college, and,  I said, Hey, I gotta get in here.

And he said, wow, you can’t. I said, okay, well, let’s look at the schedule. Anyway, one thing led to another. I was using the gym when nobody else was, I was buying the security guards,  you know, coffee gift cards for the importance here. And,  I would give them to them every week and they were letting me in the gym.

They thought I’d belonged. So I snuck in this gym for about two years,  and work though people sending out emails and then, you know, it progresses with business. I have a good business mind and. Then you progressed to online registration. In 2010, it created my own.  and then when I finished from police work, I said, well, I need a hub.

I need a place. [00:54:00] I happened to stumble upon this half-court gym that was in the, in the commercial building,  state-of-the-art facility, but just half court. And I rented it. And I rented it for before years, and that’s where I grew. Everything. I mean, that’s, that’s where I started getting influxes of people from different cities coming in, flying in from Europe,  to train with me to stay for a month or two.

 it just became a hub, a hub of basketball for, for anybody, national team players,  NBA players. He just became a real cool place to hang out.  I hired and I partnered up with his strength and conditioning coach who also had a gym inside there with me. And, and we were just hitting everybody. His wife was,  a meditation guru.

So when somebody would come in, we’d hit them with basketball, strength and conditioning, movement and mindfulness. And it was the whole [00:55:00] package. And it was absolutely, that’s where the business that are blooming.

Mike Klinzing: [00:55:04] All right. Two questions. One from the very beginning of when you started and then one from the end.

So let’s go with the question at the beginning first.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:55:09] Oh, you are absolutely more paused.

Mike Klinzing: [00:55:13] No, you are absolutely not talking too much that people want to hear you. They don’t want to hear me, and they want to hear your story. They don’t want to, they don’t want to hear mine. So you’re doing a great job. So my question is, going back from the beginning of your business was when you first decided, okay.

Your friend asks you to work with, you know, with their kid and are at, you’re working with them. And then you get to the point where you’re like, okay, this is a business. I’m going to start charging people. Did you, when you first started charging people, cause this is something that I went through. I used to coach at the high school level and then when I stopped coaching at the high school level, then I started doing some training.

And I used to, when I first started and people would call me up and they’d say, Hey, I want to train with you. And I. I kind of be like, well, you know, they’d be, how much does it cost? And I’d say, well, it’s,  it’s $50 an hour. And I would kind of feel almost guilty about it at the beginning charging people.

And then I quickly got over that within like a month or two, and I had so many people calling me. I’m like, look, if you don’t want to pay what my going rate is, there’s going to be somebody else who will. So did you kind of go through that same process, or will you kind of just. Or did you just go right from the start and understand that this was going to be my livelihood?

I had to charge it? You just kind of went forward from there?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:56:25] Yeah, my grandpa, the grandma, my grandpa that died after I left.  he told me, if you offer anything for free to people in life, and he was a great businessman,  is she offering, I think to people for free, then you have no value. Don’t take anything for free.

Eric is, that person has no value. Why would they give anything for free? So from day one in 2008 August 31st I’ll never, I still have the first practice plan. I can send it to you. That’s awesome. I charged, I charged 30 bucks, [00:57:00] 30 bucks an hour, and that kid, even when my rates went up to 60 bucks an hour, he was still paying 30 because that’s the loyalty, you know?

And I charged from day one. I set the standard and I haven’t stopped charging. That’s awesome.

Mike Klinzing: [00:57:14] That’s awesome. All right, from the end. Or from the time that once you had the business built and you were in your half core facility, how many hours a day were you on the floor training per every day. How much?

How much were you out there on the court working with kids during the school year?

Mihai Raducanu: [00:57:30] I was on there. Kids would come in, 5:00 AM 6:00 AM 7:00 AM then they go to school. Then I would just work on myself, work on my body.  work on business side of things, and then they’d come back in. Some kids would come in at like two 30 and it’d be there at 10, and then summertime, it was a 5:00 AM until 10:00 PM nonstop workouts, and I loved it.

I loved every minute of [00:58:00] it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:58:01] What’s your favorite part of the training process? Have you had to point to. One thing that when that alarm goes off at four in the morning or four 30 in the morning, you know you’re going to be at the gym at 5:00 AM, what is it that just mannequins you? You can’t wait to get out of bed to get in and get to the gym and start working.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:58:20] Impact my ability to impact. That’s one of my top five things in my life that I, that I cherish and I always, I have five things that I. I look at the ability to impact the ability to, to go out there and help change this kid’s game or have helped change this kid’s life, helped change this kid’s outlook on what they need to do.

Help them figure out what they’re good at. Help them figure out that,  you know, maybe they’re a rebounder, maybe they’re a hustle play, or maybe they’re a good screen setter or maybe they’re a good passer.  you know, telling them the truth and helping them find the truth and then helping them develop that.

[00:59:00] And then of course, the impact on life,  that I have through my life experiences. That’s how my whole talking and leadership and mentorship stuff started on the court with kids. Some kids would come in and, you know, they, they, they sit there and talk for an hour, and sometimes the parents would say, can you talk to my kid and no basketball today?

And that’s, that’s, that’s why I do it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:59:21] All right. So let’s transition into that and talk a little bit about some of the things that you’re doing that you’re continuing to do today with the leadership and the character piece of it, and you’re speaking. And then we can also get into what your goal is and what you’re still doing with, with Gannon,  in terms of being his manager of business development.

So maybe talk a little bit about each one of those things, so then we can dive into them a little further.

Mihai Raducanu: [00:59:47] Yeah, for sure. I mean, it’s all the same wheelhouse. Nothing’s, nothing’s different. It’s all sports and impact and leadership. And,  my, my leadership series started on the cart and [01:00:00] started with,  me talking to kids and the kids that did the athletes and the coined the Mihai talks.

And you know, to this day, every day there’s, there’s messages that I answer from all over the world that would be what’s with players, their impact. And they call them Mihai, talks about the mindset and about approaching life and approaching,  having this, this, this, you know, what we talked about at the beginning, that opportunities are just that, what are you going to do about it?

How are you going to do it, and what are some actionable items? And everybody’s got different things to deal with. And then,  Different schools because kids would go back and would write papers. Me has made my role model, and then somebody would get ahold of it. And the next thing you know, the principal’s calling me and say, Hey, can you come speak to my school and we want to hear your story?

And at first it was so, it was in its infancy that I would really just go and tell my story. And then I said. Well, the, they can’t do anything with my story. It’s [01:01:00] just my story there. There’s no actionable items. There’s no, they might be pumped up and they might jump through a wall for, for five minutes.

And then what happens after?  so then I started developing my, my entire,  you know, talks and leadership to be, to give these kids things that they can take. And work on themselves. Things that they can hear my story, hear my example, and then they can go and apply. So,  one thing led to another, and.

You know, now I’m doing a program called leadership through sport, which,  in conjunction with the, with the ministry of education here and, and urban priority high schools. I’m doing it in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and it’s a program that’s really, it’s for, for students to foster that positive development,  and their wellbeing and, but challenging them and helping them acquire the right set of skills and experiences and relationships that.

[01:02:00] It enables them to develop into successful and contributing adults to our society. Because if you can’t show them that they can all achieve some sort of level of excellence by learning and opening themselves up to a world that’s. Currently unknown to them. Maybe.  it’s just going to foster, like if you do that, it’s going to just foster their wellbeing and personal growth, and that’s the focus with these leadership through sport.

Then I do that for university programs. I do that,  you know, for, for some corporate,  programs and. It works. I mean, because it’s 20, 20, and we don’t, we don’t have management anymore. Management doesn’t work. A single leadership doesn’t work if it’s a group leadership, everybody has to, has to, has to lead together and, and that’s, that’s my focus with, with those.

Would that type of,  you know, mission or I guess side of the business, if you want to call it.

Mike Klinzing: [01:02:58] All right. I’m curious about your process [01:03:00] for putting this whole thing together. So when you talked about your Mihai talks that you’re having with players out on the court, was were those things that were just in your mind, and then as you started to put together leadership through sport, did you have to, for lack of a better word, formalize and take those talks and put them into.

Get them down on paper and put them into a coherent plan as part of your process. So did you go from something that was just in your mind that you could recall as you’re talking to players and you’re out on the court and you’re just sharing your experiences, and then as you’re putting together your speaking series and try to have a greater impact.

Did you find that you had to go through those stories and kind of curate them and put them into a, a package that you could then be able to better share with the variety of different groups of kids that you’re talking to? Like, you know, through your series, through your speaker series, that way

Mihai Raducanu: [01:03:58] a hundred [01:04:00] percent and like Jay said.

I didn’t figure this out on my own.  you know, I’ll be the first one to always admit that.  it was just the talks. It was just off the top of the head. He was just,  dealing and catering to that individual that was in front of me at the time. And then when I was going into a group setting and speaking to a group,  it was engaging and it was good.

And,  then I said exactly what you just said. I need to be better. I need to get better. How the heck can I get better at this? I know which basketball coach to call, but I don’t know what to do. And, and I ended up,  through a mutual friends meeting, a, a business development, incredible, awesome woman that’s,  you know, she also, I can’t really say what she does cause this is a, it’s kind of a conflict of interest for her.

So I’m just going to read that out. But she’s. She helps me. And she came and she watched me [01:05:00] speak and she watched me deliberate and she, I, I did a Ontario youth leadership conference, which is, you know, 2,500 students. And she came and watched that and, and I, I rock that. It was cheering. There was, it was high fiving.

And I’m like, how awesome was that? And she said, that’s so awesome.

Okay. Cool. Thanks. And then she said, here’s my notes and this is what you gotta do and this is how you got to approach it. And from then, every time I went out and did a speech, she came and watched. Then we filmed, it’s like watching game film. And then you, you just, you get better and you, you organizing, you categorize it.

So now there’s like a, it’s a template almost of things that I want to touch on. So, you know, there’s, you know, there’s a theme.  I always start with the top five things that you love about yourself. They love in your life, and then you move on,  to, to [01:06:00] knowledge being free and you, and you keep on moving down.

But the,  the stories that I share and the facilitating questions to the group, they always change based on the group that I’m speaking to. But I have my staple that I’d like to go through. I have my, my eight very, very,  defined themes that are.  part of my, my core, my character, my, my, my entire personality and my entire, my principles of living life the way I do.

So I always am able to relate back to those and develop my speeches from that.

Mike Klinzing: [01:06:40] All right. Let’s go back to your five year rule from earlier. Would you have ever thought five years ago that you would be on. The speaking circuit?

Mihai Raducanu: [01:06:49] No. Never. Never would. I have thought that that never ever,

Mike Klinzing: [01:06:55] it’s cool that I think when you talk about [01:07:00] public speaking, it’s something that so many people in our society are.

Afraid of, I know there’s that famous to study or just quote or thing that you hear that, you know, people are, people are more afraid of death than, than they are. People are more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying in some cases. If you get these statistics, and it’s always been one of those things that’s amazing to me.

And I think as, as a coach or someone who’s a teacher, you know, your entire life is spent. Talking in front of people and whether that’s a group of kids on the basketball court or whether that’s a group of kids in a classroom. And so I always think that one of the things that I’ve always enjoyed is the ability to get out and talk to people, whether that’s on the basketball floor.

I’ve done some workshops for the positive coaching Alliance, and I think one of the things that is really powerful about being able to speak in front of large groups is the impact. That you described earlier of being able to work with, let’s say a player [01:08:00] one-on-one or a small group of basketball players, but then you can take through speaking and be able to multiply that impact in front of a large group, and if you really work on your process like it sounds like you’ve been able to do and really hone it down to where you can be a skilled public speaker.

To me, it’s such a valuable skill and it’s not just a valuable skill. If you want to be a public speaker. As a profession or as a job, or it’s just such a valuable skill. I think if we could teach all kids to be able to be comfortable speaking in front of a group, our world would be a much better place.

Mihai Raducanu: [01:08:37] I agree.

I agree. I fully agree and I don’t,  I haven’t pushed, I haven’t marketed, I haven’t done anything that’s come for, to me.  anything that’s come out of the, the leadership and the mentorship speaking, it’s just come to me. I haven’t sought it out because I’m really [01:09:00] focused since 2000. It’s February, 2017 I’m just focused on helping Gannon,  you know, reshape his business and get to where we are today with it.

And that takes up a lot of my time and a lot of my energy. And it’s. It’s, it’s such a, such an awesome thing to do to be able to do work with my, one of my mentors and who’s become one of my best friends and, and we have so much fun doing it, and we do it in a completely different way than any, you know, books, right about the way we, we, we do things.

And,  it’s, that’s taken up probably, you know. 85 to 95% of my time on, on a, on a, on a monthly basis. But, you know, the speaking just comes, they just, you know, you get an email or you get a call or you get somebody, Hey, I heard about you. Can you come in? And they’re okay because they take an hour or take a couple hours out [01:10:00] of your day and you go and you impact and you have a positive impact on the athletes or the students or the, the under,  urban priority kids or whoever it is.

And it’s fun to do.

Mike Klinzing: [01:10:11]  That’s great stuff. Let’s talk about what you’re doing for Gannon in terms of your role. What are you doing day to day? And then talk a little bit about the vision of what the two of you guys are trying to do in order to reshape his business and have that greater impact that I know it was important to you and clearly is important again and as well.

Mihai Raducanu: [01:10:31] Yeah, I mean, we,  the vision is simple. The vision is to mentor and lead coaches and provide value. To any coach out there in the world. It doesn’t matter if they’re a grassroots coach, doesn’t matter if they’re high school coach, an AAU coach, a university, go to MBA coach. The mission is to provide value, mentorship, and any.

Thing that they can use to be a better coach. [01:11:00] And that’s been the mission my wife took over. We sat down and said, well, okay, well why do you want me here? You know, if you’re my mentor, you’re, you’re, I’m supposed to learn from you. But getting in, realize as, as any great leaders, and I realize he, he knew that business wasn’t a strong suit and he knew me well enough to know that it’s mine.

And,  when we sat down in Florida and he flew me and my girlfriend down and we sat there and,  I agreed. I said, I got to take over fully for at least a year. I gotta I gotta strip you of any decision making.

I got to learn,  everything that goes into your business and let’s shape it up. And, and we’ve done a great job. I mean, we have everything centered around the curricul And I don’t want to repeat anything that again and told you on the podcast, so stop me if I get too, too deep into it. But it’s, [01:12:00] it’s a curriculum and we created a systematic online, a comprehensive curricul

It’s 1200 videos that we split up into, into various sections, various level. If you’ve never played ball or never coached ball and you have zero experience, you can start at the first video. And you can go as high as you can develops.  you know, hopefully, you know, you can get through the, the, the pro pro pro high level.

But the reality is most don’t. So it’s, it’s focused around developing the way we filmed it. We filmed it with a double teaching method, meaning that they again, and demonstrates then he, as he demonstrates, he teaches the coach how to instruct. And then he has live players that are appropriate skillset for the drill and,  the part of the curriculum that they belong in.

So that’s, that’s the main product. And then offer that each level you can obtain a certification. So we have, again, a Baker certification. [01:13:00] Now, first three levels can be obtained online. The master level, you got to spend some time with, again, either live in Florida. Or through some,  zoom calls, video calls with him,  and.

We have a free mentorship program, which we launched about,  eight to 10 months ago, and that’s grown. We have a thousand coaches in there, and there’s resources for them. We’re revamping that whole portal so we can offer better information, searchable information, and that’s happening right now as we speak.

Actually. And, and that’s where,  we have zoom calls monthly. Right now it’s weekly because of the situation we’re in and people are looking forward to it. And obviously, gayness still does Encore training for players game. You know, we still still have players flying in to,  to train with him. And also throughout all this,  I was able to, to help again and open up [01:14:00] a.

Company in China. And,  you know, we began and found these partners in China and I broker the deal. And I went to, me and my girlfriend went to Beijing and we lived there for two months to, to get this company started and get to go in. And now we have a coaching education company in China. So,  you know, I was able to, to, to put his, put his basketball vision into a real actual business instead of.

Trading time for money. Actually in a business, it’s always solve a problem. And the problem is coaches need resources. Coaches need information, coaches need mentorship, and they need all of this in an organized manner. And that’s what we’ve done. All

Mike Klinzing: [01:14:44] right, so what I want to know is on the video side of it, how long is the process for putting together that entire curriculum from the moment that the idea is hatched and you start.

Putting [01:15:00] together what it’s going to look like and the videos. How long is that process? What does it look like in terms of the time commitment and what you guys

Mihai Raducanu: [01:15:08] put into it? If you have a good theme like we do a year took us a whole year that this whole year, from the moment that we mentioned the word curricul

And don’t forget again, and had an existing book, like he had a curricul you know, that he put together you over the years. So,  from the time we said, Hey, it’s gotta be like this, otherwise it’s just, you might as well just have a, another YouTube channel, another Instagram account where you just throw random drills up.

It’s gotta be like this. This is the research that we’ve done, and it’s got to end up looking like this. And Ghana was huge on making sure that it reads like a book, you know, introduction or mumble, all makes sense. And  we, we started putting it together. It took us about a month to put the whole [01:16:00] curriculum on paper.

Took us 10 days, 16 hour days. This is not a joke. Then they 16 hour days to film it. And, but thankfully we have, I believe it’s the greatest video guy in the world. A kid. I used to train a kid that I mentor in his, in his business, a kid that’s, he’s a young kid and he’s just done a great job with his business.

I actually talked him into dropping out of university so he can continues his dream and he’s done that ACE. He’s really successful. But,  and then editing. And then finding the right medium to, to, to host it on, that’s user friendly, and then creating that channel and then obviously putting the marketing behind it and everything.

It took a whole year, a whole year to do that.

Mike Klinzing: [01:16:52] Yeah, I can relate to that. I did a, a much smaller scale version of what you guys did and filmed.  [01:17:00] probably probably filled maybe 120 videos, 130 videos of different drills and things, and just, it took, it took a long time,  to do it both from a filming standpoint.

And then, as you said, from an editing standpoint, and then trying to figure out what format you put it into so that it was. Easily consumable and so I can completely understand you guys. I’m sure did it bigger and better and had all those things together much more than what I did. I did a much smaller scale, but I can definitely relate to what I’m sure you guys went through in terms of the preparation and just the effort that it took to put all that stuff together and I know I’ve had a chance to look at some again and stuff.

That’s part of the curriculum and for coaches that are out there, if you’re looking for a great resource. Four ways to, whether you’re a high school coach and you’re trying to work on your, the player development side of your program, or you’re a trainer out there that just wants to be able to learn from one of the best and probably [01:18:00] the original basketball trainer out there.

I think you, you definitely want to take a look at what Mihai and Dan and I’ve put together because it’s really good. It’s really good stuff that that can help you to grow. As a coach or if you’re a player and you want to get it, and then work on the work on the skills and be able to work with Gannon virtually.

I think it’s a great way to be able to do that. And as we’ve referenced a few times here, the enthusiasm that Gannon brings to anything that he does, he might be the most enthusiastic person that I’ve ever had on the podcast. Just everything that he touches, he’s enthusiastic about. And I think that comes across in anything he does.

Mihai Raducanu: [01:18:37] I fully agree. Thank you for saying all of that. And yeah, that’s, and we’re not done. I mean, we’re just, we’re just getting started in the products or he’s continuously producing more stuff under, under our guidance and our themes grown. And we have a big theme with them, people that, that’s working together and,  getting,  I mean, my job right now is to make [01:19:00] sure that they get in,  does not probably for the past.

I’d say, year, a good year.  my constant words still are, just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t go rogue. Listen to me. And, and,  he’s, he’s a genius. I’ve never seen anybody,  no basketball the way he does. So,  you know, we’re doing research and we’re, we’re, we know what people want, what coaches want and what coaches are after.

And.  yes, basketball is great and yes, we don’t do X and O’s and we don’t do those things. But,  what you get from the curriculum and every product that we’re creating right now for grant Gannon is.  just life changing for the coach or material for you to grab and change your players lives. And, and that’s, that’s all we do.

And the way we do it. I gotta tell you guys, [01:20:00] it’s, we always joke, but you talked about the energy and you talked about what he brings in and you hear how I am. This is how I am. This is how I thought this is, I’m very even, I’m very, very calculated. I think things through and, and that’s just why we match.

But. You know, we’re in two different countries. Sometimes he’s in China, sometimes I’m here, sometimes I’m in Europe. I started a camp in Europe,  with, with a bunch of friends of mine and Lithuania in 2014. So sometimes I’m there, sometimes,  it doesn’t matter where we are, but we communicate via voice notes like no buddy else.

And, and we get things done. And you know, why we get things done is because we both have. Attention to detail because we always are able to tell each other the truth. We’re always able to get on each other, but there’s no feelings involved. We’re always able to hold each other accountable,  and admit to things that were, we might be stepping on our line for.

[01:21:00] And the one thing that. You know, if this is advice for coaches or advice for skilled trainers or advice for anybody that’s listening. If you have any type of business and you know, we’re running a high school team, it’s essentially a business.  you have to stick to your vision. And we’ve done that really, really well stuck there.

Our vision and mission statement every single day. Our routine produces our results. And that’s one thing I learned from Gannon as a player when I was 19 years old. And it still holds true to this day.  your routine will produce results if you want to produce anything of value, you have to be consistent in your self discipline.

You have to be consistently,  taking care of your body and your mind to stay sharp, wise, healthy, passionate, energetic. You know, strong everything that goes into, into anything that you do. If you don’t do that, nothing is going to be [01:22:00] worth doing. Everything you do is not going to be as good as it can be and it’s going to expire sooner or later.

Mike Klinzing: [01:22:07] So true. All right. I want to finish up by asking you one question. I don’t know if you can or can’t share anything that you guys are currently in the process of developing. Is there anything. On the horizon that you can share with us. Something that we can look for that’s going to be coming out soon, or is it, is it too early in the development stages?

Mihai Raducanu: [01:22:28] No, no, no. But we can share with you and we can share. We have a, we have a masterclass that’s coming up in about, I’d say 10 days, May 8th, I don’t know when, how many days away is that? But we have a big masterclass coming up.  and from that master class. And again, it’s holding for the coaches.  we’re going to have three amazing products, and one of them is dealing with,  how to, how to motivate a player, [01:23:00] how to break down a player’s strengths, weaknesses, how to.

Make him or her understand what those are by watching their favorite player maybe, and then how you create a workout regimen for that player to succeed in your program. So that’s one thing we’re creating and it’s going to be awesome. The second thing is going to be dealing with the emotional piece.  the game, which you guys, you both know, it’s, it’s, it’s huge.

And anybody that’s listening, if you’re not paying attention to that, and you think that dribbling through Crohn’s and, you know, getting shots up, it’s all it takes,  you’re wrong. So we’re, we’re, we’re developing a, again, it’s a work hard.  I can’t tell you who’s involved with, there’s two guys that you would love to see on there.

They’re going to be awesome.  and they actually had the contents already done. A video crew is just putting it together. So that’s, that’s the second product. And then the [01:24:00] third product is because of the times that we’re in right now is a at home, a workout and again, and goes from, you know, the way you, you, you know, the John wooden, how you put your shoes on kind of thing.

 how you start a workout and how you build your workout and, and things that you can do at home in your driveway. With the hoop without a hoop, how you can take care of your, your, your, your workout routine and still get better. Because the biggest thing that’s happening, I’m sure you see it, and I’m sure you hear, and I’m sure you, you, you run into it in your travels is your digital travels,  is players are not getting better right now because they’re doing, you know, group zoom classes.

And. They’re doing all of the, everybody’s going to become a ball handing expert. This virus has gone. And,  coaches are voicing that. So, so we wanted to put something out there that actually helps a player [01:25:00] be better, actually put something out that a coach can help a player get better virtually.  and also something for the players and coaches to deal,  approach their emotional side of things.

Mike Klinzing: [01:25:12] I’m sure that’s going to be incredibly valuable because I think as we sit here today, we’re recording on April 29th none of us have any idea how long this is going to be, and it seems like it could be a lot longer than any of us are certainly hoping for. And so it’s important for players to be able to have opportunities to continue to grow and improve, and for coaches to be able to.

Half things that they can share with players to help their players get better and to continue their program to, as you said, give kids an opportunity to improve and get better. And so I know based on the quality of what the products and things that you guys have out there now that I’m sure all three of those things that you mentioned are going to be incredibly valuable for coaches.

I want to wrap up behind. Bye. Just giving you a chance to share how people can connect [01:26:00] directly with you, how they can find out more about what you just described with Gannon, and then if there’s any final point that you want to make before we finish, go ahead and do that and then I’ll jump back in and wrap up the episode.

Mihai Raducanu: [01:26:13] Yeah, this is great. You know, you guys are through professionals, so I appreciate you guys having me on, but,  if you want to get ahold of me, it’s, it’s very easy.  you know my phone number, you can text 905-651-5086.  you can email me at Mihai@GanonBaker basketball.com

I have Instagram, I have social media. If you type in my name  I mean, there’s no others around, such as you’ll find me. And,  yeah, I’m open to anybody reaching out. I’m open to, to give an advice on, on anything that you find that I can help you with. And, [01:27:00]

Everything about Gannon and everything that we’re doing with, with the, with the, with the coaching, mentorship and what the curriculum and development is. Just the, again in Baker basketball.com. Lots of information on there for you. And again, you can just email me and ask me any more questions that you have.

And that’s basically it, but you listen before you wrap it up. Mike, Jason, Hey. I really appreciate you guys having me on. I really appreciate the opportunity to spread my, my story and hopefully it impacts somebody along the way and if, if it impacts one person or one aspect of this helps somebody.  we’ve done our job and, and you guys have been true professionals.

Thank you for communicating everything clearly to me and keep doing what you’re doing with all this.

Mike Klinzing: [01:27:45] Well, thank you for the kind words. We really do appreciate it. We feel like. We’ve had so much fun and worked very hard to try to put these things together and make the podcast hopefully valuable, to have the same kind of impact like you describe.

[01:28:00] That’s what we hope the podcast is. Has done from the beginning and continues to do as our audience grows. And again, I can’t thank you enough personally for jumping on and spending almost an hour and 30 minutes with us tonight. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you, getting to know a little bit more about your philosophy, getting to know a little bit about the goal that you play in Gannon’s business and helping him to be successful with what you guys are trying to build together.

And I really, really do appreciate your time. I don’t take it lightly. The fact that. People who have been our guests, including yourself, that they take time out of their schedule to share, not only with us, but also with our audience here on the hoop beds podcast. So thank you and to everyone out there who’s listening, we really appreciate it and we will catch you on our next episode.


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