VCU head coach Shaka Smart graduates from SEAL TEAM physical training


It’s been a busy month for the VCU basketball program, as the Rams are headed to the Atlantic 10 beginning this fall.

But that move, along with the task of both recruiting and preparing his current players for next season, didn’t keep head coach Shaka Smart from graduating from SEAL TEAM physical training on Friday morning.

Smart, who led his team through an abbreviated version of the course during the fall, liked it so much that he took instructor John McGuire’s full two-week course himself.

The class required participants to be at Richmond’s Bryan Park at 5:45 am for ten days, and while McGuire said that he didn’t think Smart was much of a “morning person” the 35-year old head coach got the job done.

“I don’t think Shaka’s really a morning person, but he’s adapted very well,” said McGuire to Joe Macenka of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

So why would Coach Smart put himself through this rigorous training? It has as much to do with comfort zones as it did enjoyment.

“It pushes you past your comfort level,” he said. “If you can get comfortable being uncomfortable, then you can push yourself to get better. That’s what we want in our players. That’s what we want in our program. It’s part of the foundation for everything we do.”

That same philosophy goes into VCU’s “havoc” system, one that’s built to benefit from putting their opponents in uncomfortable situations. VCU will need to call on that even more in their new conference.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.