After playing days end, Dufault discovers new track as Lakers coaching associate

NOTE: This story is scheduled to appear in the March issue of the Heart River Voice, of which I am a contributing sports feature writer.

After Austin Dufault scored an interview to be a coaching associate for the Los Angeles Lakers, it took him about 10 minutes to realize the job opportunity was with one of the most storied franchises in professional sports, not its minor-league affiliate.

The confusion, laughable now, was created by the job history of the people who connected Dufault and Lakers head video coordinator Will Scott. Not to mention the National Basketball Association team shares a nickname with the G-League’s South Bay Lakers.

“For about the first 10 or 15 minutes I was on the phone, I just assumed he (Scott) was with the South Bay Lakers,” Dufault said. “We were talking for a while and he kept saying, ‘Luke likes things this way.’ … I’m like, ‘Wait, are you talking about the Los Angeles Lakers?’”

Dufault, a Killdeer High School graduate, didn’t hesitate when Scott eventually asked him to join Lakers head coach Luke Walton’s staff as a coaching associate. He handles video preparation and some scouting duties alongside two other coaching associates.

“It’s a paid internship,” Dufault said, describing his position. “We work all of our practices and all of our home games. We’re on the court helping guys out with pre-game workouts. They throw me in drills a lot. I’m used as a defender a lot when guys are working out.”

Continue reading “After playing days end, Dufault discovers new track as Lakers coaching associate”

Killdeer starter may miss tourney game after father’s death, Cougars coach offers support

Killdeer sophomore Brock Pittsley's status for the Region 7 boys basketball tournament is uncertain following the death of his father, David. Pittsley is the Cowboys' starting power forward.

The Killdeer boys basketball team will be playing through some pain on Monday in the Region 7 tournament quarterfinals.

Sophomore Brock Pittsley, the Cowboys’ starting power forward, is dealing with the death of his father, David Pittsley, who passed away Thursday at age 45. David Pittsley’s funeral is at 10 a.m. Monday at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Killdeer. The Cowboys are scheduled to play Heart River at 4:30 p.m. that day.

Asked whether or not Pittsley will play, Killdeer coach Wayne Sanders said, “we’re not real sure.”

Sanders said David Pittsley’s death has greatly affected his team. The Cowboys practiced Thursday and Sanders said, “We had a tough day.”

Heart River head coach Greg Pruitt said he has reached out to Pittsley and the Cowboys for two reasons. First, many Heart River players are good friends with Pittsley. Second, Pruitt said he also lost his father at a young age.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Brock,” Pruitt said. “Our hearts go out to him.”