Sunday, July 22, 2018


As we read various publications and monitor the different social media outlets we are forced to read/watch a lot of "stuff" that can help as well as hinder a players' basketball development.

It seems like yesterday, when we "tossing" tennis balls in the air and trying re-create the (basketball) "wheel".   Through various trials and tribulations, we decided to focus our development program on OLD FASHION fundamental based tenets.  It was at this point, (circa 2010) we created our 7 DEADLY BASKETBALL SKILL list. (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1). Passing
2), Ball Handling
3). Shooting
4). Footwork
5). IQ development
6). Defense
7). "Tool Box" development

As we fast forward to 2018, this skill list has become the bedrock of our development program.  We would contend the "new age" of training is in fact innovative, but despite the "out of the box" training techniques that may exist the idealogy builds upon the aforementioned skills.

We urge players and skill trainers to TRY as many aids, tricks, etc as possible to enhance a players skill set, but while doing so - please ask yourself "would you train Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol, Lebron James or Tim Duncan with the same "innovative" drills or will you revert back to the SE7EN DEADLY BASKETBALL SKILL list?

Sunday, October 01, 2017


According to Webster, LOYAL means "An unswerving in allegiance. Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product". Although many people claim such status, however as it relates to the basketball landscape this concept "looks good on paper".   

As a basketball training company, we have heard stories about AAU/CYO organizations (coaches) preaching to parents/players the importance of program loyalty yet on a yearly basis coaches switch programs without any type of backlash from their peers.  Last year, we spoke to a parent regarding in speaking with a coach regarding his child playing for another AAU team.

US: "So are you playing with _____ in the upcoming spring tourney"?
PARENT: "No, we are NOT playing in the tourney at all"
US: "Why?"
PARENT: "Our team is not entering a team in our age group"
US: "So, why not play for another team so you can get under the whistle"
PARENT: "We do not want to upset the apple cart"
US: "Huh, but okay"

HINDSIGHT: At season's end, the anxious (talented) player - not only missed out on an opportunity to play on a different team for the mentioned program, but later was "dropped" from "home" team being that the entire program was absorbed by another program.  Meanwhile, the "coach" left for a rival program.
As a college basketball fan, we have heard the stories about college/univeristies preaching to parents/players and convincing the media about the importance of program loyalty, yet on a yearly basis coaches switch programs without any type of backlash from their peers. Recently, the NCAA put forth a rule that could change the landscape of all athletic programs throughout the country. The proposed rule would allow any athlete to transfer from one school to another without having to sit a year. Such a proposed rule has caught flack from coaches throughout the entire industry. 

SCOTT DREW ( INTERVIEW.  "It would be the worse rule ever.  It would be the wild, Wild West.  Coaches don't agree on everything. On this, I think we'd be UNANIMOUS" 

HINDSIGHT: It is well documented that NCAA coaches make millions of dollars leading young men and women in "athletic battle" some, like Scott Drew, raked in over 2 million for the 2015/16 academic year.  There is no secret their livelihood depends on student-ATHLETES who can perform on a high level, however is it fair for the coaches to not to heed their own words of loyalty?  Especially, when MANY coaches "switch" colleges on a yearly basis.

As a business, we have heard stories about professional teams preaching to agents/players and convincing the media about the importance of team loyalty yet on a yearly basis players are traded from team to team.  In April of 2017 in the midst of the Eastern Conference playoffs, (former) Boston Celtic star IsaiahThomas lost his sister in a deadly car crash in Tacoma, Washington.   Although Mr. Thomas, felt anguish, he decided to continue to perform for the Celtics as they battled the Chicago Bulls.  He cited his family, the fans and organization's support and loyal as a reasons to continue the basketball journey.  These sentiments were echoed by the team's brass yet in August (2017) Isaiah was sent packing to "THE LAND" for fellow all star performer and "loyalist" Kyrie Irving.  

KEVIN DURANT (Bill Simmons' Podcast) INTERVIEW. “Guys have been getting traded in their sleep for years. Guys have been getting the shitty end of the stick for years. I mean, some guys have been fucking over organizations, too. It’s no loyalty. It’s business. There’s money involved.”


Q. So, the question remains - who has "An unswerving in allegiance. Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product". 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The need for COMPETITION.

It seems that everyone via various social media platforms is enthralled with "Hoodie Melo" and his super exclusive "pick up run".  We would be the first to admit that we have nothing but respect for the professional players who are willing to use the "off season" as an opportunity to challenge themselves against the "best".

For the younger generation this is nothing new for Michael Jordan had his "Breakfast Club (6am workouts), Magic Johnson organized the "UCLA Run" and in the NYC area Jim Couch oversaw his legendary NYC runs and as of late our Mark Williams and NYAC's Milton Lee / Ross Burns organize a "private invite only run" however the difference in yesteryear's runs compared today's is access.  It is no secret that today's world is social media driven which allows "lay people" the opportunity to see/touch today's athlete as they go through their "normal" life unlike the pre social media "runs" of "back in the days". Such access allows for some to say social media is both a gift and curse, however with the amount of "knowledge" we are slightly confused on competitiveness of today's budding athlete.  

There is no doubt that today's athlete is social media savvy yet they appear to miss the overall point of the phrase "IRON SHARPENS IRON". Instead, they enjoy watching players compete but they, themselves, lack the intensity fortitude to actually push beyond their personal state of "normalcy".  This mindset seems odd especially for players with the expectation of making a team, earning college offer, securing a scholarship, and / or garnering professional opportunities.  

As a basketball training company we would love to train players on a individual (1 on 1) basis, however it is our belief this is NOT the best practice for players who are looking for 100% development.  From our vantage point, to obtain optimal development the following formula must be adhered to.

1/4 time basketball practice with a talented coach who builds their skill and confidence + 
1/4 time playing games + 
1/2 time improving individual basketball IQ and skills = 
100% Optimal Development.

In short, in order to effectively grow as a player/person one must COMPETE.  Hiding from competition will only provide a player with a false sense of reality and ultimately create a pseudo self image that can lead to failure as he/she elevates to the "next level".  As famed fashion designer Gianni Versace stated, "It is nice to have a valid competition: it pushes you to do better" 

Saturday, July 29, 2017


As the summer comes to an end and majority of the youth basketball players return home from traveling throughout the country there are a few observations that we witnessed throughout the summer however we will address one MAJOR issue in this blog entry. 

Having watched many trainers post samples of their workouts and players endorse "big name" skill instructors, we noticed the various drills are not being applied to REAL game situations.  

This blog entry is NOT to "kill" anyone trying to making a difference, but would recommend most trainers to apply a "work smarter" approach to increasing a player's game.  We would also like to stress the parents to be aware of "bait & switch" techniques as well as inform the trainees (the products) to study their game and hold the skill instructor accountable for ADDING to their game as opposed just filling the allotted time with irrelevant drills.

Back to the gym aka GROUND ZERO!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Team FOOTPRINTZ + NBPA Partnership

On August 30th, we will partner with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) for a 2 hour basketball clinic that looks to provide boys/girls ages 9-17 a structured basketball learning experience at NBPA's exclusive training facility and home court of NBA players.

This unique clinic will emphasize our 7(seven) DEADLY BASKETBALL SKILLS:

Clinic Highlights
  • NBA Player appearances (subject to availability)
  • Expert basketball instruction focused on skill development
  • Half court games, station drills, and contests with prizes
  • Feedback from Team FOOTPRINTZ skill instructors
  • NBPA Clinic Tshirts for ALL participants

FREE TShirt Details 

To be eligible for a FREE Team FOOTPRINTZ Tshirt, clinic participants must register via NBPA's website by July 31st, 2017 and upon completion of the registration process, simply email a copy of your receipt along with your mailing address + shirt size to

Then expect your Team FOOTPRINTZ Tshirt in your mailbox by August 22nd, 2017.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Dan D'Antoni

Most people would wonder what the The Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets have in common with the basketball programs at Loyola Marymount University, Grinnell College and Marshall University.  One word.  ANALYTICS.

Towards the end of 2016, Dan D'Antoni - the Head Coach of The Marshall Herd - went "viral" with his press conference where he made reference to his use of analytics and the state of today's basketball.  During the video he "crunched" the numbers and shocked the establishment with his data based theory, however his style of basketball is not new to basketball.

For those that watched college basketball in the early 90's you may remember the Hank Gathers / Bo Kimble lead Loyola Marymount University's team that, at it's height of success, advanced to the NCAA Elite 8 where they lost to the eventual NCAA champions the UNLV Runnin Rebels.   Their style of basketball lacked D'Antoni's in depth analytical skills however Paul Westhead's team averaged a NCAA all time best 122 points per game. REPEAT 122 points per GAME. Coach Westhead led the 1980 LA Lakers to a NBA championship with a young point named Earvin 'MAGIC" Johnson and an "old head" named Kareem Abdul Jabber in the precursor to the LAKERS' "SHOWTIME" style of basketball.  While at LMU his teams emphasized scoring "in less than 7 seconds" and ushered in the importance of speed and 3point shooting.

So the question remains - Can the Marshall basketball team be successful with D'Antoni's data infused brand of basketball?  The answer is debatable however his brother Mike D'Antoni - the Head Coach of the NBA's Houston Rockets, like Dan believes in the number based system as well and to date his James Harden led team is 2nd in the NBA in scoring average behind the Golden State Warriors.

What are your thoughts on today's data based offenses and can this style win in the long run?

See below Dan D'Antoni's Press Conference

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Thank you but NO thank you"

Dear Dad and/or Mom,

As our child and a youth athlete, I would like to officially thank you for introducing me to the sport that I love.

You, literally, put the ball in my hands when I was using it as teething ring and started my journey. You promised not to push me and allow me the opportunity to decide if i truly wanted to follow my dreams.  Later you promised to be my friend, my supporter, my everything except overbearing. 

Did I say, "thank you" for putting me in tournaments and "not" pushing me to become successful. If I did not, please allow me the opportunity to say, "THANK YOU" (again).

I mean, you - despite the fact you never played and were more of a fan- made the most of your ability.  Despite our lack of funds, you traveled with me to all of my games and did whatever it took for me to become successful, but today, sadly, I must end our relationship. You might be asking, "Why- such a change?" and my answer is in order for us to remain a family we must establish a break - a line in our relationship must be created because the trainer, motivation leader, coach / child relationship is toxic and can adversely affect the parent / child relationship. 

I am truly sorry, but I - as I matured- became annoyed at you and your attitude towards me. As well as your lack of acknowledging my efforts even I busted my ass (sorry for cursing) for you to win those various championships. Now, I am not soft nor do I need to be praised at all times, but there are times when I needed to know that I am appreciated. I mean shoot (would have said "sh_T" but I respect you too much) you are my parent and I love you.  

In essence, I love you too much to allow a ball to break up our happy home. 
I love you too much to allow the hearing of your voice to immediately change my overall attitude. 
I love you too much to allow you to become a part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution. 
I love you too much for me to allow you to become Jake Shuttlesworth.

So, thank you for giving me the drive to be successful and allow me the opportunity to become me - on my own terms despite your "promises". I hope you are able to make my games, training sessions and practices etc, but please remember I am your child first and foremost.

Thank you

Your Child..