Updated: Aug 29, 2019
When the NBA wants to measure draft prospects, it turns to the company that pioneered the industry, Basic Athletic Measurement, popularly known as BAM. The company uses technology such as electronic wristbands, sensor mats, and laser lights to measure an athlete's speed, power, agility, muscular endurance and core strength. When Brett Brungardt and his partner Martin Haase founded the company, they were seeking to improve sports testing by eliminating human error and bringing standardization to the process. This is reliable,” Brungardt says. “If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing. We want to make sure our numbers are correct.”
A strength and conditioning coach with more than 30 years experience including stints with the Dallas Mavericks, the men's and women's basketball programs at the University of Washington, and two teams in the Chinese Basketball Association, Brungardt is a long-time friend and colleague of MAD Director John Murray. For the past 10 years BAM has overseen the testing at all the NBA's pre-draft events, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, and Eurocamp, and each year MAD assists BAM in administering the testing at these events. This year Director Murray and MAD Head Coach Eric Bringas helped conduct the NBA G-League Combine and the NBA Combine in Chicago. MAD Strength Coach Ryan Munoz traveled to Atlanta and Houston for NBA Regional Combines and to Los Angeles for the NBA Junior Combine.
The focus of the NBA Junior Combine is to provide young players with the opportunity to test their skills like the pros, and Brungardt is passionate about making this testing available to young athletes. “I want kids to have benchmarks for fitness analysis,” he said. “It’s not just the testing. We take their data, put it on a secure website, and they can log in, see their scores and see what the standards are in our database. It’s good for goal setting and motivation. They can know that they’re getting a reliable test so that they can go out and do the things they need to do.” This type of testing has become a valuable tool for training, but not just with pros and college athletes. As coaches and players learn how this technology produces results, its popularity is growing among high school and even younger athletes.