Training the trainer: Haughian learns from one of the best

Derrick Calhoun Star Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Article Image Alt Text

Former Custer County District High School basketball coach Chase Haughian is shown during a Cowgirls game in February. He spent part of his summer learning from a top athletic trainer.

Chase Haughian, former head coach of the Custer County District High School Cowgirls basketball team, spent time learning from one of the nation’s best basketball trainers this summer.

Last year Haughian spent time interning with NBA and WNBA skills trainer Alex Bazzell, but because Bazzell wouldn’t be in Los Angeles much this summer Haughian was referred by Bazzell to his own teacher, Drew Hanlen. Hanlen owns Pure Sweat, a basketball training company based in LA.

Clients of Hanlen’s include current NBA players Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Zach Lavine of the Chicago Bulls, and Jayson Tatum and Semi Ojeleye of the Boston Celtics.

Hanlen’s pre-draft resume includes at least one player selected in the lottery of the NBA draft every year since starting the company after graduating from the University of California Los Angeles in 2012.

The trend continued Thursday with RJ Barrett, a recent star forward on the Duke University Blue Devils basketball team and a Pure Sweat client, being drafted with the third overall pick by the New York Knicks.

After getting in touch with Hanlen, Haughian got the OK to come to Los Angeles and help with player workouts with a man Haughian considers the top NBA trainer in the nation.

Haughian was thrown right into the pool after arriving at Playa del Ray, a private high school gym where Hanlen was working his players out. After introducing himself to Hanlen and watching them do a few drills Hanlen asked him if he was ready to start guarding.

They trained Los Angeles Lakers six-foot-nine inch forward Johnathan Lee Williams III, or J3 as the PURE SWEAT staff liked to call him. “I was just thankful that my drill with him wasn’t going to be a one-on-one drill but rather a shooting drill. All I was responsible for was getting a hand up in his face as he got some shots off,” Haughian said.

Pure Sweat also employs their own full-time trainer and physical therapist to work with players either pre- or post-session. This allowed Hanlen to determine how hard to push athletes based on his discussions with the trainers.

After his first day of training, Haughian, along with other trainers working with Hanlen, accompanied Hanlen to his condo to watch an NBA finals game. After the game Hanlen talked to the trainers about the business side of how he became one of the most successful basketball trainers in the country.

Not only NBA prospects and players trained with Pure Sweat while Haughian was there. During Haughian’s second day working with Hanlen members of the Chinese national team came to the facilities accompanied by an interpreter as well as their own strength and conditioning coach.

Haughian talked about how Hanlen was busy from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. everyday. He never took a lunch break, no coffee breaks, and as far as Haughian could tell, he never looked tired.

Haughian said he was impressed by Hanlen’s hard-working attitude. “He was a go all the time type of guy and I was amazed with his work ethic,” Haughian said.

Haughian will use the skills and techniques he learned to help the players he is working with in Miles City.

(Contact Derrick Calhoun at or 406-234-0450.)

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Story has been changed to show that Haughian is the previous CCDHS girls basketball head coach.)