The Original Camper

Back in 1997, I coached a 6th grade travel basketball team in Glen Ridge, NJ. I put my all into that team, as I truly wanted them to succeed. We practice 2x per week, plus had at least one game. If there weren’t a game that week, we’d practice 3x during that week.

In addition, I offered each player FREE private basketball lessons. There was one “little” catch I insisted on: the player would have to meet me on Sunday mornings from 6:00am – 7:00am at the local YMCA. No exceptions!

I wanted the kid to demonstrate he really wanted to get better, and was committed. Also, I knew that by meeting at 6:00am, this would be the kid’s decision (not the parents).

There was one kid that jumped all over this proposition. His name was Andrew Greenberg. Every Sunday morning from 6:00am – 7:00am, for the next 7 years, I personally trained this kid (for FREE)!

During the private training sessions, we would do the following:

  • Coach talk
  • Warm up
  • Skill development
  • Team strategy
  • Scrimmage

The structure and format of the private training sessions is exactly what we currently use at Youth Hoops Basketball Camps! Unbeknownst to me at the time, Andrew Greenberg would be the first and original Youth Hoops camper!

Recently, I received a phone call from Andrew Greenberg. He says, “Mr. Berry, I’m getting married in West Orange, NJ, and I’d be honored if you could attend!” My response was “Of course I’ll be there! I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”

The wedding is on Saturday, 5/11. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Andrew, the other players from that 1997 team, and parents! I haven’t seen them collectively since the mid 2,000s.

Why am I telling you this? The Youth Hoops experience is more than basketball! It’s about forming a life-long bond with your kid that will be there long after their basketball career is over (and I’m no longer coaching them).

One day, when your kid gets married, needs a reference or advice, I’ll be there for them, as well! Youth Hoops Basketball Camps isn’t just about basketball; it’s about life!