Cleveland Warriors, Varsity Head Coach, Dondrale Campbell
Background & Childhood Experience with Sports
Dondrale Campbell was born in Oakland, Ca. and raised by his mother, Reponza. Dondrale is the youngest of 3 kids, after sister Lienne and brother Daunte. He was strongly influenced by his older brother when it came to sports. At a very young age Dondrale was fascinated with the game of basketball and always was present for his brothers games growing up. He began playing basketball at the age of 5 with his older brother on their father's Summer league team.
Dondrale continued playing through elementary school, and with his God-brother PJ Taylor, eventually joined another friend’s AAU team in the 8th grade. This friend was NBA All-Star Damian Lillard. The boys played for the Oakland Rebels, and went on to play together at Oakland High School, with 2 of their other best friends/siblings as well- TJ Taylor & Drake Green. The Oakland High Boys Basketball team finished 23-8 in their Senior season which resulted in a CIF playoff run.
Collegiate Playing Career & Beyond
After graduating high school with a 3.4 GPA in 2008, although he was offered scholarships by Grambling Univ, Cal State Maritime, Southern Univ, and Lewis and Clark College (where his God-brother committed), he committed to playing basketball for Monterey Peninsula College (MPC). Damian went on to Weber State. Though the friends were separating for the first time in years, they all made a pact to finish college and earn their degrees.
Read more about their pact from Damian Lillard here.
While attending MPC, Dondrale studied Business Management, also earning a starting position on the Men’s Basketball team as a freshman. As a sophomore, he was voted a Team Captain by teammates and coaches and continued as a starter. In his junior season, Dondrale committed to Greenville College in the Midwest, where he was a key role player off the bench. In his Senior year, he became a starter averaging 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. Dondrale was still remaining focused on getting his education first and foremost though. He kept his commitment to his friends, and graduated from Greenville with a 3.2 GPA, earning his BA in Sports Management as well as an AA in Business Management.
After college, Dondrale returned to Oakland and played semi-pro in the A.B.A. as well as began running youth camps and clinics for the YMCA of the East Bay. He also got the opportunity to play on various tour teams, and traveled to China to play in games overseas. In addition, he attended multiple tryouts where he earned the chance to play in the Canadian NBL. Shortly after that, he relocated to the Portland area at the request of his long-time friend, Damian, who had been drafted to the Portland Trail Blazers. Several of his childhood friends, such as PJ, had also relocated to Portland, so it made sense to him to be around the people who had always had a positive impact on his life.
He continued working out and playing basketball after his move to Portland, and joined the Salem Sabers of the IBL. While playing in the IBL, he was also training to earn a contract overseas. Along the way, he picked up a lot more training skills, learning from professionals during his workouts with Dame. PJ Taylor decided to start C.H.A.M.P.S. Basketball Academy and Dondrale & his God-brother started training youth side-by-side throughout Oregon. Dondrale also started to help PJ run camps for Damian, CJ McCollum, and Club Sport. Dame and CJ’s camps continue annually out in Beaverton, OR. Every Summer, he also goes back overseas to China to run camp for former NBA Center, Yao Ming. Helping at a few of the camps early on in Oregon though, earned him multiple opportunities to work with other camp directors and programs here in the states. This eventually led to him reconnecting with one of his first college coaches, who, when they reconnected, was at South Puget Sound Community College. Another opportunity was about to present itself.
The Makings of a Coach
Dondrale's first official coaching role came when he was asked to be the Assistant Coach at South Puget Sound Community College. He had picked up a lot of training techniques in his years after graduating, and his former coach was so impressed with Dondrale’s teaching abilities, he placed him in charge of skill-development and recruiting. His passion for basketball had come from his life-long love and enjoyment of the game, with both his family and his closest friends, and it was translating in his newfound role as a coach. The knowledge Dondrale passes along to athletes comes from his experience and countless hours studying the game all over the country and abroad.
Prior to coming to Cleveland High, Dondrale also coached Freshman and JV, as well as Assisted on Varsity at Lake Oswego HS. In his second year on staff there, he became the primary skill-developer for their program. Dondrale was very involved in training players, breaking down film, and handling pre-game preparation. He still has a great relationship with the staff at Lake O, and continues to work with many of their players in the off-season.
In his time there, he became interested in attending USA Basketball coaching clinics to further develop his own skills. Dondrale was introduced to Don Showalter in 2015 when he came to Oregon to do a small clinic. Showalter is serving as Director of Coach Development for the USA Basketball Youth Division, & is probably best known for being the Head Coach of the 17U Jr. National USA Team. Their relationship has grown over the years, and Dondrale has assisted in coaching and running skill development sessions at Coach Showalter’s basketballl school in the Midwest. In fact, he has been there every Summer for him since their meeting.
Now as Cleveland's Head Coach, Dondrale looks forward to sharing his experience, knowledge and love of the game, while establishing a competitive culture through the tradition of discipline, hard work, and leadership. Cleveland Basketball will become a staple in the community, and known as a resilient, fun, and challenging program under Dondrale's leadership.