Thursday, September 21, 2023


 Q. A parent asks, "How do I pick a "trainer"? 

A. Great question, we would suggest you to research the local "trainers" via website, blogs, social media outlets and ask around aka "word of mouth".  In most regions, the "basketball communities" are small therefore, we are sure someone who knows someone thats knows a "trainer" or two.  In addition, do not hesitate in inquiring about each “trainer's” history with special attention to their success(es) in working with similar level players as your child. 

Be sure to consider the style of the trainers too. Some use a more aggressive approach in an effort to "make the player(s) tougher", there are some that pacify the trainee - so much that there is no real challenge aka “fun” trainers where games like “knockout” is a staple.  Then there are trainers that so detailed oriented that spend the entire session talking and finally there are some that blend all styles yet keep the learning environment - light, (hard when needed), constructive & professional. 

More importantly, you must consider the make up of your child for every student-athlete is different. 

Hopefully our latest blog entry can help you, your son/daughter, your friend and others.  Be sure to be on the look out for next blog entry.

Sunday, September 10, 2023


As another basketball season approaches, we felt the need to address the current status of the sport of basketball in the 🇺🇸..

After watching many games throughout the grassroot summer months- a few things jumped out, but for this blog we will only address one issue (maybe two) we saw and have seen over the years.

We have all seen that highly regarded youth player who created a “buzz” as a 7th/8th grader only to be “average” in 11th/12th grade.  Although the now “average” student-athlete will attract a certain level of college interest but at one point “the cant miss prospect” was the talk of his/her respective city.  So, now “average” hooper enrolls in a university where the student-athlete “struggles”, transfers and is largely considered “a bust”.  

We all have seen/heard this story before, but by in the large the process as a whole has aided in the destruction   of the player. Now, if you add the student-athletes’ own lack of (fill in the blanks) then you will understand the current system is stacked against a large portion of today’s hooper.

Lets examine a typical high school player’s yearly schedule:


  • School “college open gym” days (2x per week)
  • Train with “trainer” / “s&c coach” (3x per week)
  • Work 

  • School “open gyms” for “all” students
  • “College open gym” days
  • Train with “trainer” / “s&c coach”
  • Work

  • HS team practice (5x per week)
  • Train with “trainer” (1x per week)
  • HS Scrimmages 

  • HS team practice (4x per week)
  • Train with “trainer” (1x per week)
  • HS Games (2x per week)

  • HS team practice (3per week)
  • HS Games (2-3x per week)
  • Train with “trainer” (2x per week) *if eliminated from post season
  • AAU practice begins

  • AAU Practice (2-3x per week)
  • AAU games (3-4x per week) 
  • Train with “trainer” (2x per week) 
  • Work 

  • Family time
  • College Visits
  • Rest/ Recovery
  • Train with “trainer” & “s&c coach” (2x per week) 
  • Work

So, the question aka the “Elephant in the Room” when does a student-athlete really have enough time to genuinely add to their game?

So here we are today!

Thursday, April 13, 2023

The "GUIDE HAND" is now called the "BALANCE HAND"

Yes, YES, YES - you can continue to call it “The GUIDE Hand” for it is your choice, but hear us out! 

We would admit changing a name of a tried and true phrase might seem sacrilegious coming from us, but after a great deal of studying the term “guide hand” we are 100% convinced we, in the basketball world, have used the phrase incorrectly since it’s inception. 

Not sure who invented the phrase nor who popularized it, but we must change it for the phrase is VERY misleading. 

According to it’s definition, the word GUIDE means to “have an influence on the course of action of (someone or something)”. 

SIMILAR WORDS: Direct , Steer 

WORD USED IN A SENTENCE: "He guided her team to the championship bracket of one of the most competitive tournaments in the country". 

In the world of shooting a basketball, it is known fact that we essential shoot with one hand and the other hand sometimes referred as “the off hand” does very little in actually shooting the basketball particularly as a player matures physically. 

With that we suggest rebranding “The Guide Hand” to the “The Balance Hand” and according to actual definition of the word and from our vantage point it is an accurate depiction of “the off hand”. 

As per a quick google search, balance means “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” 

SIMILAR WORDS: Stability , Steadiness 

WORD USED IN A SENTENCE: “She lost his balance and fell while trying to tackle the offensive player.” 

Obviously, as a coach, parent, player, trainer etc - you are entitled to your opinion and we are not here to change your mind, but we hope by you reading our rationale you are more equipped to understand our point of view. 


Tuesday, March 14, 2023


Please find a few recruiting questions to ask College Coaches during phone / text / email conversations and of course on official and unofficial visits.

  • 1. What are the graduation rates for student-athletes within the program? 

  • 2. How does the program support its players' career aspirations beyond basketball? 

  • 3. How does the program connect with alumni and the community? 

  • 4. Who else are you recruiting in my position? 

  • 5. How does the program help players balance basketball, academics, and personal life? 

  • 6. Does the program support its players' mental health and wellness- if so, how so? 

  • 7. How do you motivate your players and maintain a positive team culture? 

  • 8. Can you describe the team's culture and leadership style? 

  • 9. What is the team's travel schedule like during the season? 

  • 10. How does the program support its players' nutrition and diet?

  • 11. Skill development. Will the program allow for “outsiders “ to work with players? 

  • 12. What type of academic support is available to student-athletes? 

  • 13. What is the team's practice and game schedule like during the season? 

  • 14. Can you tell me about the team's strength and conditioning program? 

  • 15. Can you tell me about any notable alumni from the basketball program?

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

To be a basketball "trainer" is playing a experience a requirement?

Lately, there has been a lot of discussion within the training space surrounding the topic of “basketball experience”.  Many have asked whether such experience is a requirement in order to be a basketball trainer?

As a “player” for approximately 40 years with almost 15 years of experience as a “trainer” coupled with over 30 years as “coach” (JV, V, College, Pro Men / Women) - I have a unique perceptive on the topic and the current state of basketball.  Again, speaking strictly from the training vantage point it is my belief that one MUST have played basketball in order to teach it especially for those seeking to advance beyond "CYO" level. For those that question this fundamental fact - ask your self would you allow a “doctor” to operate on you or a family member without going to medical school where they practice such procedures? Pretty sure, you would seek a 2nd opinion - so why is it now “okay” to allow such behavior? But to be fair, we opened up our platforms for people to submit their take on the topic.

We posed this topic to a few personal friends and via our instagram account.  In this blog we will highlight the feedback we received from a division 1 assistant coach (RI), a division 2 assistant coach (NY), a parent of a top 50 player (WI), a parent of a youth player (VT), “trainers” from NJ, NY (2) and NC and the results from our inform survey via instagram. 

Allen Watson of A GAME TRAINING

(North NJ),

“Initially- when i heard the question i said ‘hell yea’ you need experience to teach then I thought about the “mothers and fathers” that casually take their child(ren) to the park to work on weak hand dribbling and layups provide a level of training and that requires very little if any experience. With that, as a player moves higher and higher the more you go the more is required so the trainer must have played..this is why some of this buffoonery is going on because cats not having any type understanding of the game or what it takes”.

Tamar Adams of PYS TRAINING


“How can I say i am a basketball trainer and i never played basketball. I am not gonna be a soccer trainer - I never played soccer nor a football coach, a tennis coach …No, No, No- I don’t know that stuff and I think that’s where the game has gone so wrong”

Antione Johnson of Team Overtime 

(Westchester, NY),  

“Sports - basketball specifically - is the only trade where people that never been in played competitively think they can give advice to other people on how to be successful. It does not happen in football, boxing, tennis, golf just basketball”

Eric Devendorf of ED23Hoops 

(Syracuse, NY)

 “I think it (playing experience) is necessary just because the person who is teaching it has been through the fire and experienced the situation so they are speaking from  experience not saying  that somebody who didn’t can’t be a good teacher or coach, but I think majority of the time me personally I would feel comfortable with somebody who has  been in the fire and experienced  the situation that they are teaching you”

Parent of a P5 Student-Athlete 

(Milwaukee, WI)

“As a parent of a youth, high school and now college basketball player - I have no idea how someone could be a successful basketball trainer, if they've never played at some appropriate level of basketball themselves. How do you teach or instruct someone to DO something if you've never done it? I wouldn't send my kid to a school with instructors who didn't have commensurate training in that field. It feels like the same thing to me.”

Parent / Division 1 Assistant Coach 

(Somewhere in Rhode Island)

“It seems hard for me to understand how someone can train someone else in something they never did. Unless they themselves were taught how to train in that specific field i. e. Basketball and learned some parts of the details of the fundamentals of the game, well enough to then teach someone else. However, they won’t be able to teach them the feel of the game and what to expect or what to do if they never played” 

Parent / Division 2 Assistant Coach 

(Somewhere in New York)

“I feel an effective trainer or coach should have played the game they are training at some level.  Without having played the game, you don’t have the mindset or feel of the game.  And, also who did you learn from to train?  Is that person valid? You can’t be a self help book.  As a trainer or a coach u have to be able to evaluate what the strengths and weaknesses of ur client or player,  how to build up weaknesses , while being realistic in expectations “

Parent of Youth Player

(Somewhere in Vermont)

“Quite frankly, I do not know why this is a debate. If you apply for a job each job comes with a description that must be met in order to even apply for the position. From my vantage point, my child will be thrilled to play in college so I am not delusional but people that believe you don’t need experience seem to be. I am sure they had to meet some criteria for their job.  To be honest, those that  discount the experience part are basically trying to justify their existence in the space.”

Parent of a TOP 65 Player

(Somewhere in NY)

“When you are not intimately attached to something through experience, there are nuances that cannot be taught or explained. IYKYK🤷🏻‍♀️

I would also caution anyone that believes “just because you played basketball means they can teach and develop” .. NEVER mentioned that- but that statement or similar statements make zero sense. Basically, that statement is equalivant to saying “every job applicant who meets our initial qualifications is good for the job” or every professor can teach a 5th grade class. THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE and NOT practical.

At any rate, after reading various quotes and twitter comments surrounding the topic I now begin to see on a larger scale ponder why basketball looks the way that it does today.  

How do you feel on this topic?

Sunday, August 14, 2022

#CURATOR SERIES - Maurice Richardson

Who is Maurice Richardson?

Mr. Richardson is a seasoned basketball connoisseur who has been involved with all levels of basketball throughout his career.  As a player at SUNY Purchase - where as a member of the Westchester school captured two conference championships and earned a trip to the NCAA tournament.  In addition, he served as a player developer, junior varsity coach, free lancer videographer, stat auditor & production assistant for the NBA and currently serves as the Social Media Manager for The Tournament. 


"There is no doubt that the use of social media has catupulated players and leagues to higher levels due to their visibility on various platforms.  Leagues like NYC’s Dyckman, The Rucker, Pro City and LA’s Drew League come to mind. 

How are you, in your position, able to stay relevant in today’s uber competitive market and ultimately what is the goal in your social

media presence?“


It’s definitely an oversaturated market, but I think you stay relevant by trying stay as authentic as possible with covering the basketball community. Telling the players stories, highlighting people that maybe do not garner the same attention as the bigger names, but treating it with the same care.

Ultimately, my goal with social media is to shed light on high-level basketball all across the globe. I’ve lived in NY/LI my whole life, so being able to specifically spotlight players from those areas is important to me. I personally don’t feel like some players get enough respect, especially players from Long Island, so any time I can highlight a player or for that matter “our” talent - I’m all for it. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


Who is Will Mensah?

Mr. Mensah is a dedicated professional an accomplished and energetic basketball referee with a solid history of achievements in officiating for seventeen years.  He is also a motivated leader with strong organizational and with unique prioritization abilities.


It is a known yet forgotten fact that there are more jobs surrounding the sport of basketball than there are of jobs of those who actually play basketball. 

Jobs such as coaching, scouting, ticket sales, player development, concessions just to name a few, but very few choose to become referee.

First off, as a youth, did you envision becoming a professional referee? If no, what were your plans as an adolescent .  Secondly, when did being a referee become an option and then a reality? Lastly, as one of the best referees in the metro NYC area, what advice would you give to the next group of referees as they try to scale the referee totem pole?” 


As a youth I did not envision being a professional referee, actually I thought I would be a 12 year veteran of the NBA.  Upon retirement, I planned on becoming a high school physical education teacher and the school's basketball coach. 

Becoming a referee did not become an option until I ruptured my achilles heel during a USBL tryout. After the surgery and throughout the rehabilitation process, my desire to regain and maintain a healthy active lifestyle really fueled my new career path.  In addition, it provided me an opportunity to be around the game of basketball which at the time was my passion.  So, boom - becoming a referee checked ALL the boxes for a rebirth..  

Becoming an official did not become a real, tangible career path until I "took the jump" in 2005.  Like anyone else entering a new field, I needed to work my way up the ranks.  I honed my skills at local, regional leagues traveling throughout the northeast learning the full eco - system, but in only three years - 2008 to be exact- I was hired by the DLeague (currently referred to as the GLeague) .  

To date, 2008 was one of my best years and although 14 years later I am still shocked that this is not only a vocation, but actually is MY VOCATION.

I don’t know if I am one of the best referees, but I have a few tips for the next Will Mensah and others who like me were/are somewhat unaware of what to expect on this journey. 

1. Find a mentor for the level you aspire to work. (This rule applies for every level).

2. Be able to see "plays" whether they are during your games or watching other games, but the more "plays" you see the easier it is to make decisions when you are in that situation.

3. If you know you have clocked in your 10,000 hours continue to do so.  Keep crafting and evolving.

4. BELIEVE in yourself for your idea of success will happen when it’s supposed to.