A few weeks back, my Pro Skills Basketball co-founder, Brendan Winters, and I had the opportunity to be guest on the nationally-renowned, Hardwood Hustle Basketball Podcast with Adam Bradley and Alan Stein. It was a great experience as I was able to talk about my basketball background and career as well as my role in Pro Skills Basketball today. You can listen to the podcast on the Hardwood Hustle website or download it on Apple iTunes, or you can read the interview below. Also, if you missed Brendan’s episode, you can check it out here. After you listen to it or read it, please share your thoughts with us!
What is the Jr. NBA?
Adding to an already excellent list of partners, including Under Armour, USA Youth Basketball, and Dick’s Sporting Goods among others, we are excited to announce that for 2016 Pro Skills Basketball is a Jr. NBA organization! Coming on the heels of becoming an official USA Basketball Youth Organization, 2016 is shaping up to be quite a year for Pro Skills Basketball.
The Jr. NBA is a vehicle by which the NBA can positively support youth basketball in the United States. Their philosophy is to teach the fundamentals of basketball and use the sport to instill core character values. They have an outstanding “pledge” that all Jr. NBA organizations must make that includes:
- FUNdamentals – Teaching basic basketball skill development in a positive, encouraging and fun environment is rewarding for all involved
- Hard Work – Emphasizing how to compete – with a focus on working hard and competing to the best of your ability – is more important than the outcome of games won and lost
- Respect – Exhibiting a positive attitude toward players, coaches, parents, officials and teammates is how we honor the game and each other
- Sportsmanship – Playing the right way, the Jr. NBA Way, is centered on fair, ethical and honest competition
- Teamwork – Working together in a supportive manner for a common goal fosters positive social and personal development
- Healthy Living – Exercising regularly benefits both mind and body – leading to better health outcomes, greater energy levels, and enhanced classroom performance
Obviously we believe in these things wholeheartedly, but the Jr. NBA also provides other great resources as well like a “Coach’s Code of Conduct“, coaching tips, a “leadership council” that includes Stephen Curry and his father, Dell Curry, and a partnership with USA Youth Basketball and their Coach Licensing project.
The main benefits however to becoming a Jr. NBA organization are:
- FREE Jr. NBA Welcome Gift
- Access to national network of Jr. NBA events
- Discount uniform offers
- Discounted coach licensing from USA Basketball and professional development opportunities for coaches/administrators
- Opportunities for appearances from NBA and WNBA players and legends
- Access to grant funding
We’re hoping to take advantage of this and be able to get some NBA players to our camps around the country this upcoming summer. Regardless, we’re super excited to be a Jr. NBA organization for 2016, and we look forward to a bright future!
Want to Play Basketball in College?
The odds of a high school basketball player making it to the “next level” to play college basketball (DI, II, or III) is slim. In fact, only 3.4% of high school players go on to play college basketball. Taking it even further, only 1.2% of college basketball players go on to get drafted in the NBA.
In total, that means then that only 0.03% of high school basketball players will ever go on to make it in the NBA! Here are some more interesting facts on the number of college basketball scholarships available compared to the number of high school basketball players. But let’s slow down, take it one step at a time, and deal with how players can actually play basketball in college, at either the DI, II, or III levels.
This checklist is no guarantee that a player will go on to play basketball in college as there are a lot of different factors that can affect this and it’s certainly not an easy process, but it can be a useful tool to help players and parents.
The checklist is in order, so players and/or parents should start with the first item, and if that item can be checked off the list, then move on the next item, and so on. If a player cannot check off an item then that, in my opinion, greatly decreases their chances of making it to the collegiate level, especially the first 7 items. So let’s get started …
What Does it Mean to be an Official USA Basketball Youth Organization?
Pro Skills Basketball is extremely excited to announce we are now an official USA Basketball Youth Organization! Over that past year or two, USA Basketball has been attempting to change youth basketball for the better by developing a youth basketball coach licensing and organization accreditation program. Of course any time there is an organization like USA Basketball attempting to positively impact youth basketball, we want to be involved and help spread the word!
After hearing about the the coach licensing and organization accreditation program, researching it further, and talking with USA Basketball Youth Development Director, Jay Demings, about it, we decided to fly out to Las Vegas to attend their first ever “Coach Academy” to learn more about everything. While there, we attended a coaching clinic, which covered our classes needed to obtain our coach licenses and got to meet many of the USA Basketball Youth Development staff involved in the project. It was an awesome experience!
There, we learned about the benefits to getting a coaching license as well as becoming an accredited organization and decided to pursue all of it further for Pro Skills Basketball. Some of the benefits include:
- Access to their Youth Development Guidebook
- Online youth basketball resources
- An organization profile page
- Their online community
In order for organization’s of all sized to be accredited, all of their coaches must obtain their USA Basketball Coach License, which means each coach must take two online courses as well as pass a background check. This was a no-brainer for us – our coaches got the chance to continue their basketball and child safety education as well as had to pass a background check (although we were already doing the checks)!
Our Pro Skills Basketball directors and coaches immediately bought into the idea, and after a month or two of taking classes and passing background checks, ALL of our directors and coaches now have their Youth Coach License and we, Pro Skills Basketball, are now a USA Basketball Official Youth Organization!
If you’re a coach who wants to get licensed or have an organization that wants to become accredited, go to the USA Basketball Youth Development website and start the process today! As for us, we can’t wait for what the future holds with USA Basketball leading positive change in the often crazy world of youth basketball!
Interested in participating in one of our cities’ programs? We have skill development programs in Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Greensboro, Philadelphia, and Sacramento. Click on the city pages to see the offerings in each city!
Need Help Choosing the Right AAU Team for Your Child?
Finding the right AAU team for your child can be difficult. There are so many AAU options out there in the youth basketball world today. Navigating through these options can be confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating for parents. There are many different factors to take into account when choosing an AAU basketball team that fits well not only with your child, but also with your family’s values. But don’t worry! Having been involved with AAU basketball full-time for the last 4 years as the Co-founder and Director of PSB Select in Charlotte NC, I am here to help try to answer some of those questions and concerns.
Below are a list of factors you should take into account when deciding on the right AAU basketball team for your child.