Saturday, August 30, 2014

Upcoming Fall Events With Premier Hoops

Upcoming Fall Events With Premier Hoops

It is hard to believe that summer is almost over.  It is hard to picture it now while the beaches are still packed, but basketball season is quickly approaching.  Premier Hoops has put together a series of award winning sessions which have produced significant results developing and training athletes who have attended. 

"Basketball Shape" is different from simply being in shape.  Basketball, like no other sport, requires the individual athlete to be efficient in a number of areas.  Basketball is a game which requires your cardio conditioning and physical endurance to be an extremely high level.  Basketball is a game which requires an athlete to run at different speeds at any given time.  Being involved in an offensive fast break, or running back on a defensive possession, requires all-out bursts of energy and speed.  In these scenarios, you might not even touch the ball. You might be running the wings on offense, or trying to take up space in the paint on the defensive end to prevent an easy basket.  Possessing proper endurance and conditioning will keep you on the court, and when it is your time to handle the ball, you don't want your body shutting down on you.  Defensive players will be able to sniff you out if you look tired and they will be looking to apply pressure to try and steal the ball.  If your responsibilities are as a ball-handler, trying to cross half-court while an aggressive guard is applying pressure can be exhausting, never mind trying to set up your team's offense and get teammates in the right positions. 

If you have an open shot and your legs feel like rubber, and your arms are dragging, you are not going to have the corrector balance to be accurate with the attempt.  If you are a rebounder, banging with some of the larger players under the basket can also be exhausting.  Premier Hoops will not only assist with your conditioning, but it will help you build strength in key basketball areas so you are not being thrown all over the court.

The last thing your coach wants to see is you throwing a lazy pass, or being out of position on offense and defense.  That's what happens when you are out of shape.  Your mind has good intentions, but your body beings to shut down on you and that's not want you want to happen if you are trying to make a team, or trying to be an integral part of a team. 

To get basketball players in basketball shape and having athletes performing at their highest levels is what Premier Hoops excels at.  Premier Hoops is now offering a wide range of sessions at different locations. 

Premier Hoops with be offering beginner programs and will host a co-ed program in Hamilton, MA.  Premier Hoops will also be offering boys and girls beginner programs in Marblehead, as well as a Kiddie Hoops Program.    

In the North Shore area, Premier Hoops will be offering their acclaimed Elite Program for boys and girls in Peabody and Marblehead.  Premier Hoops will also be offering their Elite Program in the Middlesex areas of Billerica and Cambridge. 

Don't wait until it's too late, when you are running suicides and feel as though your lungs are going to explode.  Check out Premier Hoops and the services they offer which help basketball payers get into basketball shape.


For More Information:


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Upcoming Fall Events At Premier Hoops Newsletter


Upcoming Fall Events

Take your game to the next level!
This fall, Premier Hoops has training basketball programs for boys and girls of all ages and skill levels.

If you are looking for expert coaching and to improve your skills for the upcoming winter season then try one of our award winning programs.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Traveling by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

As we journey through life, it is important to recognize and reflect on individuals who inspire us along the way.  In this particular blog, I would like to focus on the career of long-time NBA referee Dick Bavetta.

Basketball referees rarely get the attention and credit they deserve for officiating one of the fastest moving sports that exists.  Yes, they are human and miss calls at times, but for the most part, they do an admirable job, and it’s another profession and career to consider within the game of basketball.

Dick Bavetta began his NBA officiating career on December 2, 1975.  Bavetta officiated 2,635 consecutive games and never missed an assigned game in his career, exhibition, season, or playoffs.  

Think for a moment, how many times you didn’t show up for work, or school, or practice, because you weren’t feeling well?  Maybe you just needed a day to relax and recover from daily challenges?  Dick Bavetta battled against all of those emotions and feelings and made an effort to be present and run up an down the court on a nightly basis for almost four decades.  When we desire be successful at something in life, I think we forget how important it is to just show up.  Showing up and exhibiting effort on a consistent basis is a key habit one develops throughout life.  Taking pride in what you do and  giving everything you have are traits and qualities that which are ingrained deep within successful individuals.  

Ponder the mental challenge of showing up for work 2,635 straight times, but also consider the physical battle.  Dick Bavetta was 74 years-old when he retired.  The amount of running and physical endurance Bavetta did on his own in preparation for the games was revolutionary for referees.  Bavetta estimated that a referee typically runs 6-8 miles per game.  Listed below, is a comment from Dick Bavetta on his training:

“I'm from a different generation. In 1988 we went to three officials, so we expanded our staff from 35 to 60. We needed younger people; they came in in better shape. I was probably the first in 1983 to start an off-season training program. I started to see the need to, rather than wait until July every year, to try to turn the light switch on and off which isn't so easy to do as you get older, that I would now start to do this on a regular basis on my off days when I came home from a trip. That evolved into the '90s. Probably 1990, 1991. I started to now run during the season. I would run on my off days during the season.”

The important fact here is that Dick Bavetta didn’t wait to begin training until right before the season began.   It became a year-long process for him because he wanted to be able to do the best job that he could and perform at the highest level possible.  It is that type of preparation and dedication which produces results.

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Elite Fall Pre-Season Training New locations In Billerica and Cambridge

Premier Hoops has exciting news to announce about Elite Fall Pre-Season Training in new locations.  Premier Hoops will be offering their acclaimed Elite Fall Pre-Season Training at new locations in Cambridge and Billerica.  The sessions in Cambridge will be held at the Shady Hill Elementary School, and the Billerica location will be hosted at the Billerica Boys and Girls Club.  For additional information about signing up and locations please visit the links below.  

For residents of Cambridge and surrounding communities such as 
Somerville, Boston, Brookline, Everett, Chelsea, Watertown, Belmont, Revere, Melrose, Medford, Malden, and Arlington, please feel free to visit Shady Hill Elementary School to get a first-hand look at Elite Fall Pre-Season Training offered by Premier Hoops.  

For residents of Billerica and surrounding communities such as Tewksbury, Bedford, Wilmington, Burlington, Concord, Dracut, Lexington, Woburn, Reading, Andover, and Acton, please feel free to visit the Billerica Boys and Girls Club to get more information.  

During Elite Fall Pre-Season Training, coaches with Premier Hoops will be focusing on the fundamentals of ball-handling, passing, and shooting, as well as foot work, particularly triple-threat positioning.  Athletes with also engage in competitive scrimmages to put the fundamentals they have been learning to the test.  

As an athlete, and particularly as a basketball player, having a strong foundation in fundamental skills, and being a well-conditioned player, are the building blocks to being an effective piece of a basketball team.  If your strategy is to wait for the season to begin to get into shape, you are inviting poor results and poor performance.   Basketball players who prepare themselves for the season during the off-season, have a greater probability of sprinting out of the gates and being ahead of the competition.  

We have all been there before, tugging at our shorts after running suicides and numerous three-man weaves.  The pains and cramps you start to get in your lower stomach, and the burning sensation within your lungs that feels like they are going to explode.  Think about how that takes away from everything else you are doing on the court.  It’s a terrible feeling, why put yourself through it?  Elite Fall-Pre-Season Training will assist you in getting in the shape you need to be in when the season is ready to begin.  

Things can get hectic quickly with schooling getting back into the swing of things, and with other obligations you have fulfill.  You can get out of shape pretty quickly and lose focus of your goals.
It can be difficult at times to rely on yourself to stay disciplined, focused, and motivated. Sometimes it is as simple as having structure and being involved in a nurturing environment.  Scheduling your time wisely during school is critical for success.  You can go to a gym or a playground on your own and play ball for 3 hours, and not get the results that can come from an hour of structured and focused direction from experienced and passionate coaches.  Athletes can easily develop bad techniques or habits if someone experienced does not notice what you are doing wrong, and offer advice on how to correct it before it becomes ingrained in your game.  

If you want to succeed as a basketball player, why not put yourself in position to do all that you can and be around other athletes who are striving for the same results as you?  You will not always be the best basketball player on the floor.   Some players might have more talent and more physical ability than you at the moment, but you can always be one of the best conditioned and most fundamentally sound players on the court,  That is all within your control, and that is what Elite Fall Pre-Season Training from Premier Hoops can assist you with. 

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Making The Cut for Premier Hoops by Jasen Sousa

Premier Hoops is underway with tryouts for the National Team which will travel and compete in tournaments against some of the finest talent in the New England area.  Trying out for a team can be an intimating experience.  It’s important for an athletes to prepare themselves for tryouts in order to have the greatest chance of having the coaches notice you, and believe you will be able to make a positive contribution to the team.  There are many different philosophies and strategies out there on what coaches are looking for when selecting players for a roster, below we will cover a few that will help out along the way.  

When athletes from all different backgrounds and situations walk into a gym, they bring their own styles and habits which they have learned throughout the years while on the playground or while playing on other teams.  When you attend a tryout, there will most likely be players there who can do things just as well as you, or better.  If someone has incredible leaping ability, or seems as though they never miss a shot, don’t let it intimate you.  Basketball players are often evaluated on a number of different aspects and abilities when it comes to the selection process.  

Rely on your instincts.  Basketball is a game that you know well.  You have played and practiced for countless hours and have developed instincts which are unique to you as a player.  When you repeat the same activity over and over again, you build instincts and habits, both positive and negative.  Think back on the positive instincts and be confident in them.  Maybe you have great anticipation and are good at stepping into passing lanes and creating steals?  Maybe you are a rebounder and have found a variety of different ways of boxing out your defender and grabbing rebounds?  These instincts well let the coaches know you have logged many hours perfecting your skills. Coaches will be assessing your skills, so rely on what you do best.  Ball- handling, shooting, defending, rely on your strengths and try not to get caught up in doing things you are not accustomed to.    

Trying out for a team is like trying out for a job, so you should present yourself in a professional way as a basketball player.   Have your uniform tucked in, sneakers lacked up tightly, and have on shorts that are not constantly falling off your butt.  We have all been there.  

Coaches will also be on the lookout your coachability and your attitude.  If you are unwilling to be coached during tryouts, it’s not very likely you will be able to be coached during the season.  Effort is also extremely important.   You might make mistakes during tryouts, miss some shots, and commit some turnovers.  Try and not let to impact your effort.  Run back on defense, move the ball on offense, and dive for a few loose balls.  You can bring all of your basketball skills with you, but if you leave your effort and attitude at home, things will not go well.    

Working on conditioning before a tryout is also important.  You do not want fatigue to be something that contributes to you not being able to display your full basketball potential.  I hope some of these tips help and good luck trying out for the Premier Hoops National Team!  

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014


$1000 fellowship will be offered to promising creative nonfiction writer accepted by Solstice MFA Program!
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For Release: IMMEDIATELY                                
Contact: Tanya Whiton, Associate Director, (617) 731-7697

[Chestnut Hill, MA, August, 2014]  Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program offers four fellowships for students starting the program during the winter residency/spring semester: the Michael Steinberg Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction, the Dennis Lehane Fellowship for Fiction, the Jacqueline Woodson Fellowship for a Young People’s Writer of African or Caribbean Descent, and the Sharon Olds Fellowship for Poetry. These Fellowships provide $1,000 each toward first-semester tuition for four students who begin the program during the winter residency/spring semester.

Applicants who want to be considered for a genre-based fellowship should submit a general application form no later than September 12, 2014 (postmark date). There is no separate application form. Awards are based on the quality of the writing sample and personal essay included as part of the general application process; awards must be applied toward the winter residency/spring semester directly following acceptance.

About our donors (underwriters of the Sharon Olds Poetry Fellowship wish to remain anonymous):
  • A former staff writer for HBO’s The Wire, Solstice MFA writer-in-residence Dennis Lehane is author of ten novels, including Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone —each of which has been made into a feature film—and the recent bestseller, Live By Night.
  • Solstice MFA writer-in-residence Michael Steinberg is a memoirist, essayist, and founding editor of the literary journal, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. His memoir Still Pitching was named the 2003 Independent Press memoir of the year.
  • Solstice MFA consulting writer Jacqueline Woodson is author of numerous books for children and young adults, including Feathers, a Newbery Honor Book; Miracle’s Boys, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award; and Locomotion, winner of the Horn Book Award.
As an undergraduate institution consistently ranked among the most diverse in the country, Pine Manor College emphasizes an inclusive, community-building approach to liberal arts education. The Solstice MFA in Creative Writing reflects the College’s overall mission by creating a supportive, welcoming environment in which writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to take creative risks. We strive to instill in our students an appreciation for the value of community-building and community service, and see engagement with the literary arts not only as a means to personal fulfillment but also as an instrument for real cultural change.

This email was sent to you by the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College.

Our mailing address is:
Solstice MFA Program
Pine Manor College
400 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA  02467 
See a video about our program on You Tube.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Premier Hoops New/Updated Tryout Schedule

2014 Fall National Team Tryouts


08/12 @ St. Val's Church in Peabody, MA 
- Boys Only

7pm - Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

8pm - Incoming 7th/8th Graders

9pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

08/13 @ Billerica Boys and Girls Club 
- Boys and Girls

6pm - Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

7pm - Incoming 7th/8th Graders

8pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

Location Change 08/14 @ Beebe School in Malden- Boys and Girls

7pm - Incoming 4th-8th Graders

8pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

08/18 @ St. Val's Church in Peabody, MA 
- Boys Only

6pm - Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

7pm - Incoming 7th/8th Graders

8pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

08/20 @ St. Val's Church in Peabody, MA - Girls Only

7pm - Incoming4th-8th Graders

8pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

Additional/Make Up Tryout 

08/23 @ JCCNS in Marblehead, MA
 - Boys and Girls  

1pm - Incoming 4th-8th Graders

2pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders   


St. Val's Church - 7 Paleologos St, Peabody, MA 01960

Billerica Boys and Girls Club - 19 Campbell Rd, Billerica, MA 01821

Malden High School - 77 Salem St, Malden, MA 02148

JCCNS - 4 Community Road, Marblehead, MA 01945

Contact/Follow Premier Hoops:
 Direct: 781-724-8125
Instagram: premierhoops
Facebook: Premier Hoops
Twitter: @thePremierHoops

Monday, August 11, 2014

Definition of A Warrior by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

I was fortunate enough to closely follow the entire career of Alonzo Mourning.  Alonzo was just recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and it made me think about his amazing career.  I collected basketball cards as a kid and gravitated to Alonzo more because Shaquille O’Neal was getting so much attention.  Alonzo Mourning was Drafted #2 overall in the 1992 NBA Draft and would play his career as a 6-foot-10-inch undersized center.  

The original Charlottes Hornets franchise had a very young and exciting team with players like Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues.  It also didn’t hurt that they had awesome pinstriped teal uniforms and a very cool logo.  They were an expansion franchise and they were hip and stylish.  I rooted for the Charlotte Hornets from a distance over here in Boston and vividly recall a defining moment early in Alonzo;s career when he hit a jump shot from the top of the key during the playoffs to knock the aging Celtics out of competition.  

Alonzo was traded to the Miami Heat and I followed him there as a fan and recall some of the great and intense series they had with the New York Knicks.  Shortly after Alonzo arrived to the Miami Heat, he received some horrific medical news.  Alonzo Mourning was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).  FSGS is a rare, often fatal, and incurable kidney disease.  Most assumed that Alonzo Mourning would never play the game of basketball again, and a lot of individuals also believed that Alonzo wouldn’t be able to overcome FSGS.  Alonzo Mourning retired in 2003 as he went on the waiting listing for a kidney transplant.  Alonzo received a kidney transplant from his cousin, which ended up saving his life.  

Alonzo Mourning returned to the NBA and to the Miami Heat and won an NBA World Championship in 2006.  During game 6 of that series, Alonzo played some of the most inspired and energetic basketball you will ever see.  Please view the footage below.  

Alonzo Mourning’s journey is one that every basketball fan can be inspired by.  Alonzo could have easily accepted the news from the doctor and allow FSGC to mentally and physically paralyze him.  Alonzo overcame the disease, came back to the game he so desperately loved, and went out as a champion.  His fierce competitiveness and warrior-like mentality which he developed and learned on the basketball floor translated over to his personal life, and that was the key to Alonzo’s success.  To never give-up, and to never give-in.  He simply wouldn’t allow it.  That was the way he played basketball, and that was the way he lived his life. Alonzo Mourning’s story is one to learn from, and one to be inspired by as his will to not be defeated in sports, and in life, will always be honored, and admired.  

Located below is Alonzo Mourning Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech.  It is filled with the same passion and desire that ran though Alonzo during his career. 

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Basketball Women by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

It should not matter what your appearance is, if you’re good enough for the job, you should be given the opportunity to excel at it.  However, throughout time, stereotypes have been built into our minds, that something should appear a certain way.  What is acceptable and what is not, is ingrained in our retinas.  Our perception of successful is present whether we are the one interviewing for the job, or the one doing the hiring.  However, every now and then, something, or someone comes along and changes our entire perception of how we view the world along with the individuals who operate inside of it.  

Basketball has always been at the forefront when it comes to social issues and the NBA has done an outstanding job throughout the years of being progressive in these areas, being one of the most diverse workplaces you can find.

This past week marked a notable milestone for the NBA and for the San Antonio Spurs as they hired Becky Hammon as the first full-time female assistant on an NBA coaching staff.  The San Antonio Spurs are known as a no-nonsense franchise that does not do things for publicity stunts.  They didn’t hire Becky Hammon to make headlines, they did it because they believe she is a tremendous coach who will be just as effective as any male coach could be.  

Also, the NBA Players Association recently hired a new boss, a female boss, Michele Roberts.  Michele Roberts will be the first woman to lead a men’s professional sports union.  Yes, a bunch of male athletes filled with testosterone and covered with tattoos, sat down together, voted, and selected a woman to represent their best interests.  

In addition, Violet Palmer is also a long-time female NBA referee who at the moment, is the only female full-time referee in the NBA.  

These recent events in basketball display that there are so many different ways to have an impact on the game.  

Sometimes playing a professionals sport is just not in the cards, but you would still like to be involved in some capacity.  Then there is also that other thing called time.  Time eventually catches up to all athletes, and you have to think about what you are going to do next.  

For many of us, basketball is more than just a game.  It’s an activity that kept us out of trouble as young people, it’s an activity that helped us learn about discipline, it’s an activity that introduced us to a wide range of teammates from all different cultural and social economical backgrounds.  Sports has a way of bringing people together and looking past many of the injustices and flaws that exist in many other areas of society.  

Before you can want to become something, you have to believe it’s possible.  You have to be able to visualize it.  You have to have some type of concrete evidence that you are not crazy, that what you are dreaming can become a reality.  The entire basketball family all over the world thanks Becky Hammon, Michele Roberts, and Violet Palmer for allowing us to imagine the unimaginable.   

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.