What does it mean to you to return to your home state of Alabama and coach for Alabama’s flagship school?
“For me, it means everything. So, I’m born and raised in Montgomery, Ala. and growing up, all you know is Alabama sports. So, to be in this position, it’s something that, growing up, I didn’t think that I would be in but as I’ve gotten older and worked towards it, it’s been a dream of mine. So, for it to happen right now, for me and my family, it’s something that’s extremely exciting for us. We look forward to the opportunity of being here, helping grow women’s basketball at the University of Alabama. I’m thankful, blessed to be here, blessed to work for Coach Curry and just excited.”
You and your family have been in town for more than two weeks now. What is your favorite part of campus and of Tuscaloosa?
“My favorite part so far is how everybody has been so helpful throughout my transition and in my process to get here. From people in athletics, to people in administration, to even people that have helped me with moving, including the details like helping me find a preschool for my 4-year-old daughter and helping my wife transition her job, the community has been amazing. Everyone has been really helpful and extremely hands on, aiding in the process of us moving here. One other thing that I’ve really, really liked is the actual campus. I mean, Alabama is really nice. I just notice how clean everything is and how symmetrical everything is, as far as the buildings go. I have appreciated the southern hospitality and being able to come back home to that. That’s one thing that I’ve missed about being in the south. I’m extremely excited to be back in that culture where everyone is helping everybody, everyone knows everybody, and everyone is working together to support each other at this University.”
What inspires you each morning to get up and do your job?
“I will say this: recruiting and coaching holds a special place in my heart. My high school coach Jimbo Tolbert, who is actually the head coach at Spanish Fort and led them to the state championship game last season, told me when I was in 10th grade, “Don’t have dreams, live them.” That’s something that I live my life by. He helped change my life and pushed me to see things in myself that I couldn’t see otherwise. That’s what I want to do, to inspire and motivate young people. I want to help them see their potential and who they can become in this world. So, every day that I wake up, I wake up a beginner, and I wake up wanting to positively affect everyone around me with my energy, with the way I see things and to help everyone reach their goals. That’s the ultimate driving force for me in recruiting. I feel like it’s my life’s work to help those around me and to do what my high school coach did for me, and that is to make young people believe in themselves and see what kind of future they can have and what they can become.”
What does family mean to you and tell us about your family?
“Well, I’m married. My wife’s name is Kyndra Daniels-Tubner, and I have a 4-year-old daughter – she actually just turned four a few days ago – named Skylar Emory Tubner. Family is everything to me. We’re one unit. If you see me, you’re going to see them. They’re everything to me, and we’re very excited to become a part of the Alabama family. During our down time, that’s exactly what it is for us, it’s down time. We like to venture off and try new things. As far as going into Tuscaloosa, we like trying new restaurants, different places to shop, meeting people, finding parks to take my daughter to, visiting children’s museums and so on. We just enjoy being with each other.”
Do you have any pregame routines, rituals or superstitions?
“No, so I’m not a very superstitious person. I’m really a let-go and let-flow type of person. Like I said, I wake up every day and try to be a beginner. I’m someone that believes if you put in the work, those results will eventually come. Every single day, I try to work hard and live with the results, good or bad. If you put the work and time in, and constantly work toward your goal, I believe things will go the way they should and the way God intended. So, for me, I’m not really a superstitious person, rather I’m more of a faith-based person.”
What is one thing about you the team would be surprised to know?
“I wouldn’t say it’s a surprise, but I’m a sports junkie. I love sports in general. It doesn’t really surprise me that I eventually became a women’s basketball coach because I remember being a teenager and one of my favorite basketball players was Ivory Latta at North Carolina. I’ll watch golf, I’ll watch lacrosse, I’ll watch volleyball, I’ll watch anything and enjoy it. I’m just a person who really, really likes sports, so it doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s on TV, and it’s competitive, I’m usually tuned in.”
What would be your message to young girls who want to play college basketball one day?
“To young athletes that want to grow up and play at a power-five institution, or a nationally known institution, the first thing I would say to you is to fall in love with the game of basketball. Love the game entirely, which means you have to work at it constantly. To pursue your dream, you have to piece the puzzle together every single day. Focus and listen to your coaches. Believe in what they say and try to learn from them. Be a listener and be someone who is willing to grow and attack all of the hard parts of the game. So often, young players will fall short because when they try new things they’re not necessarily good at it to start, and that discourages them from continuing to work at it. Therefore, continue to work at the things that you’re not good at. Eventually, they will become your strengths and you’ll be able to push through. So, to recap, the biggest key factors for me is to fall in love with the game, work at your game every single day, and don’t get deterred by failure. Push through your weaknesses and push yourself because I think most people who are successful, have failed before but they just kept going. They push through failures and turn those into positives.”