Noah Player Features
Paul Galbenski may be the perfect representative for Noah Basketball in Michigan. As a coach, Galbenski is known throughout the Wolverine State as a competitor, a teacher and someone who holds honesty and integrity to the highest levels.
"I've known Paul for a number of years and really respect his contributions to basketball," said Kevin Richards, Grosse Pointe South girls' varsity basketball coach. "Paul is a people person and is very sincere."
Galbenski has been through the rigors of a schedule, stood on the sidelines when the shots clanged off the rims and consoled his team when the season was over. He knows what it takes to win a championship and how to build toward that title piece by piece.
"Being a coach really helps me understand our clients," said Galbenski, who was the varsity boys' coach at Royal Oak Kimball High School for eight years and at Bloomfield Hills Lahser for three years. He currently is an assistant coach with the Detroit Country Day varsity girls' team. "I know many of them personally and I've coached against some of them as well."
Galbenski has been with Noah Basketball since the company began selling. It started when Galbenski's brother, Dave and his business partner, called him while on a business trip.
"He had just read an article in USA Today's Money section about Noah Basketball," Galbenski said. "He told me I had to read it."
Galbenski found the article online and devoured the story during his lunch break. He was intrigued by the business, technology and basketball potential of the product.
"I immediately made contact with Noah and signed on to be a distributor in Michigan," Galbenski said. "I'm very proud of how much we've grown in the Midwest."
One of Galbenski's earliest challenges was helping coaches understand the technology and its benefits. Galbenski is a self-confessed tech geek and perhaps loves the technology behind the Noah system more than anything else.
"Not all coaches are technologically savvy," Galbenski said. "But there's a lot of research and testing that has gone into the Noah system. You can see from the design of the software and the user interface that Noah is intuitive and user-friendly. In my experience, coaches have felt comfortable with Noah in a very short period of time. Once a coach does feel comfortable, they really enjoy and appreciate the technology aspect of the Noah system."
Galbenski also said that the competition function of Noah is something coaches rave about. Kids react to the system like it's a video game and they want to continually improve their score.
"I've had coaches tell me, ‘hey, we have to put a deadline on the machine because our kids will shoot on it all day long,'" Galbenski said.
Being a Noah distributor has taken Galbenski to many different places, not only in Michigan and the United States, but to other places in the world.
In 2008, Galbenski was at the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four in San Antonio with Noah CEO John Carter. Noah Basketball had a demonstration booth at the national event and by pure luck, Kenji Yoshida, a Japanese basketball coach approached Galbenski at the booth.
"We started talking about the Noah product and he took some literature," Galbenski said. "Then I told him that I was a basketball coach in the United States, and I was going to be in Japan on a Fulbright Scholarship."
Galbenski had earned the scholarship when he was one of 160 teachers selected from an applicant pool of 1,700. The group of 160 traveled to Japan last October.
"It was a wonderful opportunity and experience," Galbenski said. "I spent three weeks learning about the Japanese culture and educational system."
And it turned out that Yoshida was not just any basketball coach in Japan. He was the head coach of the 2002 Japanese national team.
The two men spent time together in the Far East. Yoshida invited Galbenski to watch his university team play in Yoyogi Stadium—the Madison Square Garden of Japan.
"I really enjoyed my time with him," Galbenski said. "He told me some great stories and taught me a little bit about the Japanese system."
Yoshida's university team now practices with a Noah system. The two met again this year at the Final Four in Detroit and still keep in touch via e-mail.
Galbenski encourages others to inquire how Noah can help their basketball program.
"Noah Basketball has caught fire in Michigan the past few years," Galbenski said. "The word is spreading quickly. There are many opportunities right now because coaches are talking with other coaches who have the system. And coaches are concluding that Noah is something they need to get to maximize their program's potential."