Northbrook’s “Liddy” Has a Big Influence on Duke’s Jon Scheyer
By now, most sports fans are well aware of the rapid rise of Northbrook’s own Jon Scheyer.
He recently made national headlines as the future head coach of central Duke University.
Scheyer’s story is almost a storybook. From elementary school basketball legend to high school star and state champion for Glenbrook North, captain and second All-American team for a Duke National Championship team.
Then assistant coach, associate head coach, now head coach for the 2022-23 season of the Blue Devils when the legendary Coach K retires.
Storytelling, indeed, but if a book is written you might want to dedicate one of these chapters to another Northbrook resident, perhaps not as well known, but clearly the key to the hoops’ success. Scheyer.
Meet longtime basketball coach Scott Lidskin and Jon Scheyer’s first mentor, coach, trainer and friend. The relationship has long and deep roots.
“It really started when I first coached his sister Jennifer,” Scott recalls. “Jon was about 7 at the time and was hanging out in the field, so I started working with him a bit. I ended up training him in the Glenbrook Small Fry program, where he was the youngest, but also the biggest, and you could see the talent even then. “
Scheyer himself remembers the early days with Lidskin.
“He has been a big influence on me and my basketball career, always working with me and believing in my abilities. One thing he did that I am extremely grateful for is that even though I was the most big for my age, he made me work on my passing, dribbling and perimeter skills, ”Scheyer said.
“Other coaches just wanted me to play close to the basket like the typical big kid. But Liddy couldn’t believe it. The fact that I developed these babysitting skills at a young age has really benefited me as I go. and as I progressed in my career. always grateful to him for that. “
Lidskin laughs when he remembers, “Yeah, I remember. I looked at his parents, who weren’t very tall, and thought Jon wasn’t going to grow much more, so better work on his. guard play. I had no idea he would push up to 6’6. So much for that theory. “
Scheyer’s mother, Laury, remembers those early days and how the bond between the two grew and developed.
“Scott was very positive with Jon and he made the work and the drills fun. Scott not only knew basketball but also had a great sense of humor, and I think Jon was always drawn to that. “
Lidskin noticed Scheyer’s special potential from those early days.
“He was a smart player when he was young. He loved to train and he had a tremendous competitive drive, ”said Lidskin. “It’s a pretty good combination, and as he got older he just got better and better.”
The bond between the two has only grown stronger over the years.
Lidskin ended up coaching Scheyer’s AAU teams, as well as his core teams. And when was the time for Jon to enter high school, who was on the Spartan varsity team bench for four years as an assistant? The man known as “Liddy”.
“He helped me a lot during my years at Glenbrook North,” Scheyer says. “Through all the ups and downs it was nice to know that Liddy was there and still supportive.”
The relationship didn’t end after high school. Not by far.
When Scheyer went to Duke, Lidskin continued to be one of his best supporters. He was there for his very first game, and four years later he was there for his very last game when they won the national championship, with his precious pupil in mind.
In the meantime, he has attended many Duke games.
“I went to see my kids too. They became big fans. Sometimes we would sit in the first or second row of the Cameron Indoor Arena, which was pretty cool. My kids really got attached to Jon and the ‘Duke team in general.
Mom Laury spoke about this relationship. “Jon has known Scott’s boys very well over the years. They have developed a great relationship and Scott’s family has become like family to us.”
While the relationship with Scheyer was certainly a highlight for longtime Northbrook resident Lidskin, it was far from his only basketball coaching achievement.
He still trains and works with many young players in the area and has coached for travel programs over the years, such as Rising Stars, Full Package, and even started his own program called Illinois Old School.
Lidskin and his wife Becky have three sons: Jonathan, who graduated a few years ago; Blake, who is a senior and has been on the Spartans varsity basketball team since his sophomore year; and aspiring sophomore Kyle.
So the basketball journey is far from over for “Liddy”.
Interestingly, this now self-confessed basketball junkie was a baseball player when he attended Highland Park High School at the time, and even played a bit of JUCO baseball before he coached the sport for three years at the St. Ignatius High School.
“But, honestly, I found baseball a little boring,” he says, “so I turned to basketball and started going to clinics and practice in high school and college. and I learned as much as I could. I fell in love with the game and have been coaching, really, ever since. “
I guess you could say that there are a tremendous number of quality basketball players in our area who really took advantage of the fact that Liddy found baseball boring.
One of them would be Duke’s next head coach.
• Jon Cohn of Glenview is a coach, retired physical education teacher, athletic official and pre-season sports enthusiast. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.