Great Britain’s Basketball Captain Drew Sullivan wants to provide the sport with a legacy after London 2012 with his newly formed “DS8 Basketball Clinics.”
Sullivan aims to use these clinics to elevate the standard of young elite players coming through the ranks.
He said: “The clinics that we are doing focus on every aspect of a players performance. It is all about working on your fundamental skills. One of the things we have actually tried and tested ourselves on is player development. So if you come in as a point guard, you are not just going to shoot jumpers and learn how to shoot off screenplays. We aim to work on your total game so that by the time you leave, you have a new set of skills that you can potentially work on to help you become a better all round player.”
Since starting the first camp in Loughborough three weeks ago, the project has received a lot of support and interest. Sullivan’s sponsors Nike have kindly donated SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, Quickness) equipment to help with the training.
“The interest and feedback we have received from this has been quite overwhelming and its something we have been extremely proud of. I would like to thank our sponsors Nike who have donated a tonne of SPARQ equipment from speed ladders to resistance bands. The jewel in the crown has to be the brand new, specially designed glasses that help players develop their perception on court. Obviously this has all been a really big help.”
Jamell Anderson from the Leicester Riders and Myles Hesson of the Mersey Tigers attended the first session. They both felt that they had really benefited from the DS8 Clinic.
Anderson said: “I thought it was great, very intense, I have actually learnt a lot of small things that would make big improvements in my game.”
Hesson commented: “If this was happening at least once a year that would be great.”
The DS8 Clinic has had a very successful launch and is already looking to go nationwide after a lot of regions have requested to participate.
“We have invitations to go down to reading. We have the potential to do something with the midlands teams and up in the northwest. A couple of days ago we even received invitations to go over to Ireland and up to Scotland,” Sulllivan explained.
Sullivan’s overall ambition is to give back to the basketball community by passing on the knowledge and skills he has learned throughout his career.
“From my standpoint, I think it is hugely important that I give back to basketball. Basketball in this country has done a lot for me personally. I started playing for London Towers and my coach Joe taught me everything as a player. I saw how hard he worked to try and help basketball over here and that is something I want to do as well.”
The invention of the DS8 Clinic has the potential to provide basketball with a bigger and brighter future. Sullivan says he and his team are already planning ahead and that so far, all their targets as an organisation have been reached.
“It has done what we wanted it to achieve and it has been going so well. Within 3 weeks of it kicking off, we are already discussing what we are going to do for next year. When we started it off, we never thought we would be talking about dates and venues for next summer this quickly. We are in that process now so that’s one of the things we are very proud of as an organisation.”
The next DS8 Clinic is looking to take place after the Olympics in late August or September and will hopefully continue to grow the legacy of British Basketball.