Seattle Head Coach Brian Agler on Bonding with His Daughter Through Basketball

Dads and Daughters week celebrates the special connection between dads and daughters, encouraging fathers and daughters to spend quality time together while forging a lasting bond through the game of basketball. Do you and your dad or you and your daughter bond over basketball? Share your story now on the official WNBA Facebook page or leave a message for us at 877-910-WNBA. The first 50 stories shared across all platforms will win a copy of the book Fathers and Daughter and Sports. For the complete rules and details, click here.

Seattle Head Coach Brian Agler bonds with his daughter Taylor through the game of basketball
Evan Gole/NBAE/Getty Images

WNBA.com: Let’s start off with you telling me a little bit about your daughter. I understand she’s a pretty good basketball player.

Brian Agler: She just finished her freshman year and obviously kids nowadays they can play any sport year round. For her it’s basketball. She’s grown up around it and been to a number of our practices and comes out here occasionally during the summer time. We still live in Ohio, so she doesn’t live out here in Seattle, but she spends quite a bit of time out here while I’m here. It’s something that she’s fallen in love with. Obviously with me being in my profession, it’s a natural connection there, but to also have the opportunity since she started playing when she was really young, around four years old or so, to have the opportunity to work with her one-on-one and also whenever she’s on these teams to help out and coach those teams.

WNBA.com: What position does she play?

BA: She’s a point guard. She’s always been that her whole life. She’s excelled at the game of basketball and she’s gotten a lot of attention. She’s athletic and very skilled but she has a great work ethic too. It’s just a big part of her life and she really works at it. I think she’ll have some great opportunities down the road.

WNBA.com: Do you guys shoot around in the driveway or maybe go down to a gym? What is it that makes it so special for you and your daughter?

BA: Well just about everything. She goes to games with me, watches video tapes with me and she’ll occasionally draw plays up for me to use. Those types of things. But it’s what you said also. A lot of time in the driveway, in the garage, in the basement and helping her, whether it be her travel team or her A team. Just being involved in her life in that capacity. It’s really helped us become close.

WNBA.com: Isn’t she also a ball girl for the Storm during the season?

BA: She is. Whenever she comes out to Seattle or catches a game on the road, she has her Storm gear that she brings with her and she helps out. Whether it be in warm-ups or during the course of the game, she does whatever’s asked of her.

WNBA.com: Just kind of keeping her around the gym, huh?

BA: Oh I don’t have to really coax her to do that. It’s more of a self-motivation from her standpoint.

WNBA.com: Has she expressed at any point an interest in playing in the WNBA one day?

BA: I think a lot of times, and I hear this repetitively from younger girls, my daughter included, is that with the WNBA being in existence and doing well and really being out in the public, there’s great aspirations for these young women to be a part of the league some day. With that being said, I also think that it carries a little bit deeper and maybe wider from the standpoint that when my daughter and other kids see the WNBA players play, they are seeing women excel at an extremely high level and being very successful. They see them working hard. They see them in the public, as true professionals. I think that that carries a lot of weight there and makes a huge impact.

WNBA.com: Does your coaching from being on the court with the Storm and then being on the court with your daughter in the driveway or gym or wherever it may be, do you have to change your approach to giving a lesson or teaching a certain aspect of the game?

BA: I think you naturally do that, even with your own team depending on the situation, the course of the season and the stakes that are in place. Those types of things. I think I carry a little more credibility with her since I’m coaching players like Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson and Swin Cash, but at the same time I will tell you this: I’m still her dad. And she’s a typical teenager. So we deal with the roller coaster and the drama and all that too.

WNBA.com: She’s a freshman in high school now but before you know it she’ll be in college. Are you helping her narrow down the selection now or is that not a concern yet?

BA: Right now with the limitations of the NCAA there’s only so much you can do in terms of recruiting. But she has received information from numbers of schools in the major conferences around the country. My point to her is this: Be open, watch teams play, get to meet people and usually that sort of thing sorts out on its own.

WNBA.com: You think there’s a chance within the next seven or eight years or so that you’ll be coaching your daughter in the W?

BA: (laughs) It’s hard to say. First of all I hope I’m still in the league at that time, number one. Number two, I hope that she gets an opportunity to go on and continue her education and compete in something that she really loves to do. The other thing that I’ve seen sort of as a connection here is that she has a lot of aspirations of being a TV analyst or commentator in terms of basketball because she does see the women – like, the other day she texted me because she wanted to know what Swin Cash’s major was because she sees Swin on TV either being a color analyst for games or whatever that might be. Not only do these young girls see the players and the athletes on the court but they also see them in the different settings at times too pursuing other professional aspects.

WNBA.com: When it comes down to the bare bones of it all, what is it that makes you a proud father that shares basketball with his daughter?

BA: I think it has to do with just the connection that you have. You get a chance to spend time together and you have things that are of interest to both of you that are similar and it just makes your connection and your relationship a lot deeper.
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