It’s no secret that NYC basketball players “fizzle out” or get “caught up” due to lack of know how—a lot of inner cites are breeding grounds for untapped potential. Coaches might preach that playing in the most esteemed outside tournaments in the boroughs or solely in your high school league are the ways to go, and it’s simply not true. Social media says that you need gear, gadgets, access to air conditioned gyms with weight rooms and turf or grass fields under the tutelage of the best trainers. I will safely assume that middle school and high schoolers don’t believe this, but it’s an easy assumption and one that all of us have made at one point or another.
How can a kid be expected to have the answers if they are being fed pieces of a story, and not enough about the long process to reach the end goal?
Team New York Tough, a more individualized approach to player development and mentorship, is built on the belief that as a native New Yorker, you are equipped with a toughness by default. It comprises of characteristics like creativity, vulnerability and resilience amongst others. These characteristics are the reason you don’t need the extras to be successful. Creativity denotes a total compilation of resources. When we need something done, we scour and scramble until we find what we need to achieve the end result. Vulnerability, in all of its discomfort, alludes to the act of reaching out to someone and asking for assistance or advice while running the risk of being ignored. Resilience says that despite how creative you may have to get or how vulnerable you have to be, you will do both of those things as many times as is necessary to help you get where you want. Living in New York has a unique carryover to basketball, and it’s time we branded it.
One last thing and arguably the most important of things: despite how tough we are as individuals, we all need someone or a collection of someones to help us navigate; I am prepared to be that person for anyone who is interested. Relationships that extend beyond an hour of shooting, ballhandling or read based training have carried me in this process of becoming and remaining a collegiate basketball player and I want to extend this favor.
Come train with me.