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All-time Hamden Hall basketball player Danny Oglesby was recently named the head coach of boys’ hoops at North Haven High School. (Photo courtesy of Danny Oglesby )
North Haven is welcoming a new coach to the fold as Danny Oglesby takes the reins as head coach of the boys’ basketball team at the high school. Danny is bringing a wealth of experience as both a player and a coach with him to North Haven.
After spending several years as an assistant coach and some time as an associate head coach with the Hamden boys’ basketball squad, Danny decided that it was time to jump up the ranks and become the head coach of a program. Danny heard about the opening at North Haven from his friend Tyrese Sullivan, who is the head coach at West Haven, and decided to apply. Danny got the job and is looking forward to helping North Haven’s players reach their potential on the court.
“I’m excited. It’s close to where I live in Hamden. The proximity was something that was really interesting. There was an opportunity to help build a program here and get things going on a track I’m not sure they’ve been on before,” says Danny. “It’s an exciting time for myself and my family. It was good timing and seemed like the right spot for me.”
Danny is inheriting a North Haven team that went 9-13 last year and graduated seven seniors from its roster. As North Haven looks to retool, Athletic Director Steve Blumenthal feels confident in Danny’s ability to lead North Haven to success in both the near future and beyond.
“Coach Oglesby brings an enthusiasm and knowledge about coaching and basketball that will bring the boys’ basketball program to the next level,” Blumenthal says. “We are very much looking forward to having Coach Oglesby and his staff get started with the team. He will do great things here at North Haven.”
Danny grew up in New York City, where he says basketball was a “different animal.” He quickly gained a sense of what’s required to succeed at a high level by playing in such a competitive atmosphere. Danny also learned a lot from his father Fred Oglesby, who is a Hall of Fame athlete at Pace University, where he played from 1978 to 1982 before leaving as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
“My dad played in high school, he played at Pace University, he played semi-pro basketball. Since I was a baby, I’ve had a ball in my hand. I started playing organized basketball at six years old,” Danny says. “I grew up in New York City. It’s life or death there. You get to be around really good players. It was something you see all the time and something you wanted to do.”
When he reached the high school level, Danny immediately became a key contributor for Hamden Hall. In his five seasons from 1997 through 2002, Danny amassed a total of 3,049 points and helped the Hornets win four New England Prep School Athletic Council Class D championships. Danny was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Hamden Hall in 2018.
“It was really good. When I first got there, we had a really good team with older guys that were unbelievable mentors and people. I’m still close to them to this day,” says Danny. “When we started to get different kinds of people and players there, we were able to build a program that was able to compete at both the regional and national level. It was great to grow as a team that can go anywhere, play anybody, and feel that you can be competitive. Playing for Dave Beckerman, it was a really good experience. People there have always been good to me.”
After graduating from Hamden Hall, Danny played college basketball at the Division I level. He first attended the University of South Florida, playing in 27 games with the Bulls. He then transferred to Fairfield University, where he played in 59 games and scored 269 points. By competing for two different teams, Danny learned various coaching styles and knew that he wanted to incorporate them into his own coaching style one day.
After graduating from Fairfield with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2007, Danny became an assistant coach at Hamden Hall in 2013. During that time, Danny learned a lot about what it takes to be at the helm of a boys’ basketball program. As an assistant coach, Danny helped Hamden Hall win a Class B New England championship, back-to-back Fairchester League championships, and assisted numerous players in their quest to play at the college level.
“The first two years were pretty tough. We only won about five games. But we had some really good kids on those teams. They worked hard every day. They were committed,” Danny says. “It was tough to lose as much as we did, but we had a good team in terms of character. Once we started to have some players to come in, we got a lot better and were able to build. We started winning championships in our league again.”
When it comes to his goals for North Haven, Danny wants his teams to play fast on the court. By playing at a fast tempo, Danny is hoping that more players will get involved and stay engaged. Danny also wants North Haven to be a well-conditioned team that puts up a lot of shots on offense and uses traps to its advantage on defense.
More so than just playing style, Danny is hoping to develop a winning culture at North Haven. One of the main reasons Danny took an interest in the job was the potential of being able to create something great. As soon as he steps foot on the court at North Haven, Danny will be emphasizing team chemistry as he looks to build the boys’ basketball program.
“I want to make sure guys are being great teammates,” Danny says. “Making sure guys are being coachable, developing our young guys, and making sure our older guys are becoming leaders. Those are the things that are going to be areas of focus this year.”