By Ken Reed

Basketball was invented in the United States. However, when it comes to developing young basketball players in the most effective, efficient and ethical manner, we’re way behind a lot of the basketball world.

The fact is American youth basketball has a terrible reputation. In particular, summer AAU basketball is often synonymous with sleaziness. At some point, everyone who’s been involved with basketball has heard horror stories of greedy youth basketball organizers, administrators, coaches and trainers who are more interested in what’s best for them than what’s best for the young athletes under their influence. In our laissez-faire basketball development system, “win-at-all-costs” and “profit-at-all-costs” mentalities are too often driving the bus.

The organization of youth basketball leagues, tournaments, and summer showcases in the U.S. is often chaotic and full of ethical problems, including the use of ineligible players in age-or-grade-level tournaments.

Into this youth basketball vortex steps former NBA great and college All-American Keith Van Horn. Van Horn, who after his outstanding basketball career became a successful businessman based in Colorado, launched Colorado Premier Basketball Club a little over a year ago with the goal of developing not only better basketball players but better young citizens as well.

“We wanted to provide a more comprehensive basketball experience, one that’s run in an organized manner and really focuses on two things: 1) teaching the basketball skills that were taught to me by some of the great coaches I played for; and 2) providing youth with a way to learn tools that can really benefit them throughout their lives. We really try to teach our kids things that not only will help them be successful on the court but how to be successful in other areas of their lives as well.”

“We feel that if you’re not an elite-level player but you’re young and love basketball, you should have some high-quality outlets for developing your game,” says Van Horn.

“Premier Basketball Club certainly has elite-level teams but we start with in-school programs at the kindergarten level. These programs engage kids with the game of basketball, while also improving fitness levels, an important factor in this age of increasing childhood obesity. We offer teams, leagues, camps, and clinics that accommodate all different levels of players.”

Van Horn stresses sportsmanship with his players — on and off the court. He also has his kids active in the community in a variety of community service initiatives.

To Keith Van Horn, basketball is more than just a great game. He sees it as an excellent vehicle for teaching the game of life, helping the less fortunate, and contributing to one’s community.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.