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Billings Central grad Daniel Pearson well-traveled in basketball coaching career

Daniel Pearson
Posted at 7:28 AM, Apr 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-26 13:38:56-04

BILLINGS — Basketball has taken Daniel Pearson all over the globe.

Pearson graduated from Billings Central in 2008 before going on to play at Carroll College. It was there as both a player and coach that he learned from two coaching mainstays — Guy Almquist and Carson Cunningham — before joining Dan Van Horn at the University of Calgary.

“You always have ideas about what you would do different. You take and move, sit down and have conversations and it's always theory until you can put it in practice. There's something about a resiliency to things that you're convicted about that I think bring people success," Pearson said.

Currently, Pearson is the head coach of Team FOG in Naestved, Denmark, as part of the Danish Basketligaen. It's the third job in three years for Pearson, who previously was a head coach in both Germany and England.

He’s picked up bits and pieces from all his previous stops, but the pace of play outside of American basketball was something he had to quickly adjust to.

“I think that the influence of American basketball that had continuity, trying to mix that with what you saw in the FIBA game came to a place that you had to play fast," Pearson said. "That was the only solution, that getting into your offensive actions had to have such an incredible pace, then you could go back to an American style of basketball."

Team FOG is currently in the semifinal round in Denmark’s top professional league. Pearson has had stops all over Europe, and even with the success he’s having job security isn’t necessarily guaranteed.

“I also think that there's an instability to the professional game that you don't quite see, especially at the college level that I was around," Pearson said. "You get a lot more grace windows. Every single year that I've been here around March, April, May, you're talking to other teams and looking at other situations.

“So there's an instability that's difficult, but that's also exciting. I've been on three teams in three years in three countries, and that's fun. But it's also destabilizing."

No matter the future, Pearson has his focus on leading his team to a league championship.