Trouble in paradise?
Not exactly, the business is growing, even faster than expected.
And that’s why Ryan Paradise has stepped down as teacher and varsity basketball coach at Marmion. Paradise, 29, recently informed school officials of his decision to leave the private school to focus full-time as Director of Programming for the growing Basketball Paradise business he has run on the side with his dad (Fran) and younger brother (Patrick) for several years.
“Since we opened a brand new state of the art gym earlier this year (in Naperville), our club (basketball) and training programs have been growing,” Ryan Paradise said.
“The last couple years we’ve offered spring and summer teams but now we’ve been able to get 13 teams going. My dad was doing way too much. I’ll also be coaching the coaches.”
The former Naperville Central (2003) and Northern Illinois University (2007) standout, Paradise joined Marmion’s program as freshman coach under Rashon Burno in the 2009-2010 season. He took the varsity job in August of 2010, becoming the program’s youngest head coach ever at 25, when Burno left to rejoin his college coach Pat Kennedy as an assistant at Towson University.
In four seasons, Paradise’s Cadet teams have gone 53-61, finishing at or above .500 in three of those years.
“That’s the toughest thing, leaving these kids,” said Paradise, who got his degree in corporate communications but returned to school to get his teaching certification. He also taught physical education and health the past three years at Marmion.
Marmion Athletic Director Joe Chivari said the school immediately began a search for Paradise’s replacement.
An announcement on Paradise’s replacement could come as early as this week from the office of Marmion Principal Anthony Tinerella.
The Cadets are coming off a 15-15 season, capped by a 62-60 loss to the hosts for the Class 3A Kaneland Regional.
Ryan Paradise, who had been coached in AAU ball by his father, began training athletes and coaching AAU right out of college.
“I was 23, coaching seventh graders and I was appalled at what I saw,” he said. “Teams were running 20 plays and playing zone defense. They knew the plays but had no idea about how to actually play the game.
“My big thing is, ‘Why are we doing what we’re doing?’ If they have to ask why, the coach isn’t doing his job. We focus on teaching and fundamentals development.”
This past spring and summer Paradise has coached a 14-under travel team comprised of area players who will be freshmen this fall. This fall and winter he will coach and eighth grade and fifth grade teams and continue running training programs, as well.
Basketball Paradise’s new Player Development Center is at 31W300 Shoger Drive in Naperville, west of White Eagle Golf Course. It features one full-size basketball court.
“In the past we moved from place to place to find court spaceat local schools and churches,” Paradise said. “We thought about a place with multiple courts but we’re not interested in hosting big tournaments, so this is perfect.”