This weekend the Core Skills Saturday program will begin at Hoop Group in Neptune. It will be a chance for kids to work on their skills and improve their real game basketball IQ. The Core Skills program has been a launching pad for kids over the years. But more importantly it’s an event that gives kids a chance to play against real competition and allows all kids who are tying to improve, do just that.

I tell advanced kids in grammar school every year that the winter period is very tricky. If a player spends their entire winter playing grammar school games and travel basketball, they are not going to see enough competition needed to improve. Advanced players dominate grammar school and Travel. They get a false read as to were they are as a player. It leads in many cases, 8th graders going into high school unprepared. It no secret that players who have challenge themselves in  the winter, seen to have great starts to their high school careers. Destiny Adams two years ago took full advantage of Core Skills. She added so much to her game it surprised just about everyone…it shouldn’t have. She put those skills on display last year winning Freshman of the Year. Talented players need to find top flight competition as 8th graders in the winter. Playing against weaker competition for 4 months every winter hurts a talented players long term development. More importantly these players get pushed to become more skilled and are held accountable.


Core Skills also works for the kid trying to develop. The drills are all game related, few if anything is done without a body in front of them. These players will improve but more importantly move skills sets to competition. They also get to see what an advanced player looks like. It gives them something to shoot for. I like that at Core Skills, the growing player is held to the same standard as the advanced player. Growing players more than anything else need to be prevented from becoming drill masters rather than game players. These kids learn something very important…practice with real purpose.




The CORE SKILLS SATURDAY TRAINING IS A MEASURING STICK FOR MANY.  The class of 2023 will be challenged, on paper they have 10 Division 1 locks as they enter.  But that can all change in 10 weeks; as some kids will no doubt step up. The next ten weeks will tell a story. There of course will those who don’t step up and those FEW we will not learn about until next year. Remember when LUCY THOMAS came out of nowhere to win our FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR?  It was a total surprise. The truth be told we have not missed very many over the years. Chole Teter made the ALL FRESHMAN TEAM  last year, some saw that as a surprise. But we were well a where of Chole Teter before her breakout freshman year. Who can forget Kemari Reynolds showing up out of nowhere only to become the freshman of the year, the following year.  College coaches and fans looking to get on jump on next year, would be wise to pay close attention to the names coming across twitter and this blog for the next ten weeks. You’ll find out what kids will soon have an impact on your teams… ITS PUT UP OR SHUT UP TIME FOLKS….FOR EVERYONE!


Camryn Foltz was a raw 5th grader who showed up at Core Skills

Camryn Foltz was a raw 5th grader who showed up at Core Skills

Many of the best Freshman across the state this year, participated in the  Core Skills program last year. But what is most impressive about this year’s  freshman class is this… Justine Pissott( RBC), Ally Carman (RBC), Kylie Capstraw ( West Orange), Madison St. Rose (SJV), Georgie Hine (Manasquan), Amaya Evans (Neptune) for example are no a surprise because we saw it coming a year ago.. These freshman are not just part of their teams, their starting and having a major impact on their teams success. All these players took advantage of Core Skills training. In fact this year I can’t think of one baby we missed…not a bad record!



So the Core Skills program I believe is important for the development of young players of all ages.. It’s give every kid a chance to grow and become a better player. I hope every kid takes advantage of the program.



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