The Greater Value of an Assist

How we measure assist? What is the true value behind it? How can we become better ‘assistants’?

If you search the meaning of the word ‘assist’, you’ll find many results from various dictionaries describing it as a generous act – in a way to give support, aid, or help someone. It is an act of helping and supporting, the credit given for action of increasing efficiency, or ease of use.

In basketball, assist is a statistic value awarded to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a field goal. In other words, the act of help and/or support from one player to another to increase efficiency in performance for others to score.



The assist’s quality, as many other performance variables during the game (and season) are very detailed and accurate. They are visible in sports analytics as statistic data, like video, graphs, charts, or written report.

Let’s face it, statistics made it easier for all sports participants to analyse, evaluate, correct, adapt, and prepare. These data inform players, coaches, referees about the game in general, and detailed information on performance in specific.

They can tell a lot about the game (and the season), there is no question about it, but at the end of the game (season or career) there are many information left that are ‘invisible to the eye, but only sensed with the heart’.

“The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.”
-Bill Russel-

There is no question that statistics is important and can give us many useful information about someone’s performance – i.e. How many points players have scored? From where and with what percentage? How many correct or incorrect decisions referee had? or How many win-loss ratios during the season coach has? But it cannot give us the greater value of how a specific act one has made had a greater impact and influence on others – on teammates.

How your act made your teammate(s) better players (coaches, referees), but also better people in life, in general, is the true value of your act.



The great thing about experiencing teamwork in sport (as players, coaching staff, or a 3PO crew) is the experience of collaboration. The support and respect you’ve experienced in every situation, game, and season, to reach a common goal – to be better than the opponents; to win a game or championship; to set the strategy for best performance; to officiate game fairly and establish a game control.

Collaboration with teammates teaches us important life lessons – to respect and support each other, to act in unselfish ways, and to make the best decisions on behalf of the team to become better, to become champion. It teaches us of the true value of being a champion – there was always someone I could to count on, there was always someone I’ve given my support, and we did it together, as a team.



There are sports professionals who did not have a chance to win the trophies, are not widely famous or recognized by the audience, do not fill the pages of the newspapers, or receive rewards, but have helped and assisted others to reach the top.

Many of them have never won the championships, receive MVP awards or nominations to officiate at ‘big’ tournaments, but they’ve received a greater reward – the acknowledgment, admiration, and respect from people they’ve influenced and inspired.

Their unselfish act of help, the support they gave their teammates through their career in sport left invisible, but valuable traces on their hearts.



A great teammate is a person who empowers, improves, and enhances the performance of others. It is a player who others respect and enjoy playing with because of the spirit, attitude, and effort he/she shows.

Many teams have that kind of person who is maybe not the best from a statistical point of view, but a great teammate that is like a ‘special spice’ to every team.

It is a player who motivates you to play strong defence when you guard the best shooter. It is a player who inspires you to give your best at every practice because he/she is always doing so. It is a player who’ll say “Count on me, I am behind you, we’ll do it together” in any situation you face obstacles and challenging times.

“A player who makes a team great is better than a great player”
-John Wodden-

A great player is a player (referee, coach) who help teammates become better not just in a game, but also in life. A great player is a role model to others in the way he/she respects the game, prepares, performs, acts, and behaves. On and off the court.

It’s a person who motivates, inspires, and assists others to reach their potential, to improve their performance, and to score. The person that helps and supports others who are facing challenging times in the game, and through life.

How can you become a better player not just making your statistic great, but also improving the statistics of your teammates? How you can become a better referee not just with correct decisions and game control, but also as a colleague that referees like to officiate with because you improve their officiating too? How can you become a better coach not just for your players but also for your colleagues from your team’s staff?

Become a person who assist their teammates to become better, improve their performance ‘to score’. Because the true value of being a great player is helping others become great too.

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