B-ball assistants play key roles behind scenes

When it comes to a sports program, there are always people doing a lot of things behind the scenes. 

Two graduate assistants (GAs) – Matthew Hasse and Kal Riebau – play a key role with the Titan men’s basketball program. 

Players know they help with film, practice, class attendance and other jobs. Those tasks may seem small but they are actually big.

“They’re a very integral part of the basketball program and they’re work is severely overlooked,” said Joel Machota, director of basketball operations.

Hasse is going into his second year as a grad assistant at University of Detroit Mercy. 

Before he arrived in fall 2014, he was finishing up his own basketball career and schooling at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. 

Riebau, the other GA, just started this fall. He came from Impact basketball, a Las Vegas training facility for some of the best college and pro players. 

Before Impact, he was a student manager for the basketball team at Marquette University. 

“They are cool people,” said senior guard Carlton Brundidge. “They’re there when I need them, always helping me out when I’m struggling in basketball, school or just having a bad day. I really appreciate all that they do.” 

Both assistants recently answered a few questions for The Varsity News.


What is your favorite part of the job?

Hasse: My favorite part of the job is learning so much about the game with the coaching staff we have, as well as being around the guys. They are a great group to be around.


Why did you pick UDM?

Hasse: I want to get into college coaching and thought it would be important to see how another program is ran and feel that this staff has so much experience that I can learn a lot from them.  I have family in the area as well as coaches from Austin Peay knew the staff here so it was a perfect fit. 


What is your daily routine?

Riebau: First of all, no two days are the same, which is something that I really like about the job. I usually get into the office around 7 a.m. and work on everything from scouting, recruiting and film work to mail outs, social media and community service events throughout the day. We usually have team practice in the afternoon for a few hours and I do my best to get in the gym with our guys and rebound for them whenever I can. I have grad school a few nights a week and sometimes even come back into the office afterwards to finish some stuff up. 


What’s the toughest thing about the job?

Riebau: I think that the toughest thing about this job is that you have to improve every day. Whether it is on the basketball court or in the classroom, there is constantly something that our program needs to work and improve on. A random day in the summer might not seem important, but those days and the work that you put in shows up in the middle of the season. It is so hard to win at this level and it is those days that truly impact your success as a team in the long run.


Hasse and Riebau also play a big role with incoming freshmen, helping them manage classes and basketball at the same time.

Although they don’t get all the credit they deserve for everything they do, they are viewed as much as family to the team and coaches as anyone else.


The writer is a VN staff writer and a Titans men’s basketball player