Idan Ravin is a busy man who wears many hats. He's a former lawyer, an author, a Dove Men+Care fitness and grooming expert, and more importantly, a world famous basketball trainer.
Ravin has worked with some of the biggest names in the NBA, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Steph Curry and several up-and-coming players, such as the Sixers first-round pick, Jahlil Okafor. He has known Okafor since the age of 14, and has watched him grow into a tremendous talent, although not literally.
"He’s probably the same size as he was when I first met him," Ravin admitted. "He’s a very special kid. While his skill level developed and his strength has developed, what’s always stayed the same is his humanity, his kindness. He comes from an amazing family, that’s one thing that’s always been a constant for him."
The two spent time working out in Durham, North Carolina in preparation for the 2015 NBA Draft, and re-connected in Philadelphia after he was selected with the third overall pick.
Ravin categorized their training sessions as, "preparing him for what [Jahlil] would expect during the season, and creating a work ethic specific to him." They've worked on all aspects of his game, from the low post to his face up game, and even the mental side of basketball.
Ravin's workout routines could certainly be deemed as rigorous, but Okafor has been extremely willing to work with one of the game's biggest names to help himself improve.
"I think within five minutes if you weren’t tenacious it would be very clear that you wouldn’t be a good fit for me and I wouldn’t be a good fit for you, because it’s very challenging," he said. "Ever since I’ve known Jahlil, he’s always given me his best."
One of the biggest knocks on Okafor's game that led to Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns surpassing him in this year's draft was his athleticism. Ravin feels that the Chicago native certainly is athletic, but not in the sense people are used to using that word.
"While he might not jump forty-five feet up in the air...he moves very well, he’s much faster than people realize, he’s light on his feet, and at 6’ 11", 275 lbs., with very low percentage body fat, he’s a pretty impressive athlete," he said. "I don’t think athletic is always how high you jump. There’s a lot of components that make up ‘athletic’."