Standouts from 2018 Elite Spring NYC Top 100

Brandon Weston

Lake Forest Academy | 2021

Gets to the basket at will and is known for his ability to score and play above the rim

Vernon Simmons

Eagle Academy for Young Men | 2020

Simmons is a player that is a pure athlete and plays above the rim

Dressa Traore

Success Academies

Dress is a long, agile defender that is very quick, recounting and can get to the hole. Dominant player that can also play above the rim

Isaiah Gray

Manhattan Hunter Science | 2019

Attacks the basket very well, goes up for rebounds, blocks shots and has high leaping ability

Adrian Griffin

Archbishop Stepinac | 2021

A player with a high motor, blocks shots, runs the floor well. An athlete on both ends of the floor. Has a solid jumper.


Majesty Johnson

Brooklyn Collegiate | 2020

A pass-first point guard who gets teammates involved and is fearless when going up against bigger defenders.

Franck Kepnang

MacDuffie School | 2021

A player that can block or alter shots and dominate in the paint on both ends of the floor


Micoweber Etienne

Rectory School | 2021

A classic big man that is dominant around the paint and is dangerous around the rim

Improving Your 3-Point Shooting with a Successful Offense

In today’s NBA, many of the professional teams that are competitive contenders year in and year out have four main offensive qualities, which are vital to a successful postseason run.


The first quality in learning how to get better at basketball on the offensive end is rebounding. Offensive rebounds are very important because they give your team more possessions and opportunities to score after failed attempts at field goals. Offensive rebounds also reset the shot clock, which helps the team control the time of possession in the game.


The second main quality of effective basketball skills training on offense is passing. Greg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs is the engineer of a tested and successful offensive system that is predicated on unselfish play. Passing on offense disrupts defensive schemes, thoroughly utilizes the shot clock, and eventually leads to well-assisted, high-percentage shots that the team can depend on. Also, if an offensive play breaks down due to double or triple-teams by the opposing defense, making that extra pass can work wonders.

Ball Screening

The third main quality of an effective offense is ball screening. Setting screens is a valuable skill that is taught in basketball clinics when children are enjoying their first years of playing the sport. There are a number of good reasons why setting clean ball screens is important. One reason is that good player movement on offense can throw a defense off guard and force help on that side of the ball. If the opposition’s defensive anchor is not communicating well, offenses can take advantage of it.

Setting great ball screens is usually even more effective if some type of activity is happening before the screen is set, which causes the opposing team’s power forward or center to leave their spot on the floor to rove behind the play.

3-Point Shooting

The fourth and final main quality of a successful basketball offensive is 3-point shooting. 3-pointers are a big plus because they obviously put more points on the board when they are scored consistently at a high rate during any given game.

When you look at today’s professional league, the great teams who put themselves in a great position to compete for a championship every year are the teams who have a collective 3-point field goal total that hovers around 40%. Really great 3-point shooters who have great individual percentages from behind the arc are very valuable teammates to have in today’s era. Players from the past, such as Reggie Miller and Ray Allen were excellent 3-point shooters.

Currently, NBA players like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kyle Korver can dominate games with their uncanny ability to score 3-pointers consistently, against any defense. However, the best shots are the ones that are taken and made without a defender in sight. Getting to this point involves doing all the other things (offensive rebounding, passing, and ball screening) consistently.

Improving your 3-point shooting involves practice on a regular basis. The most successful professional players will tell you that there’s no premium you can put on shooting that ball behind the arc countless times a day during practice. Great shooting is also about body positioning and developing a shooting style that you use every time you attempt a shot. Like any other attempt, you have to have a great release and follow through.

If you’re interested in improving your offensive skills and developing your 3-point shooting, choose a youth basketball camp that’s dedicated to bring players to the next level.  Keeping these things in mind, you’ll be defeating competition in no time.

Do Basketball Camps Really Help Long Term Development?

Here at Hoop Group, we understand that before parents put forth money on a basketball camp, they want assurance their child will get some value out of it. It is the responsibility of each respective youth basketball organization to make sure its clients walk away from the camp as better players; that’s what we do. We offer basketball clinics designed to improve your child’s knowledge and skill level.

Five Things Summer Basketball Camps Offer

If properly organized, a reputable basketball academy will offer the following things to your child. All five of these should be considered an important part of your child’s long-term development as a basketball player.

  1. Fun and Enjoyment – Above all, basketball camp should be fun and exciting. It’s a privilege to spend the summer playing against other like-minded kids. Forget the scoreboard and cheering crowds, basketball camp is about learning the fundamentals of the game while having fun.
  2. Experience Alternative Coaching Styles – Most young basketball players only get exposure to one set of coaches, who employ one set of strategies. College basketball camps for high school students can teach different aspects of the game from coaches with varying approaches.
  3. Being Challenged – With so many talented kids looking to enrich their basketball skills, the level of competition and absolute focus on proper techniques will challenge them to work hard to become the best players they can be.
  4. Meeting Other Players From Around the Country – There’s a lot of untapped talent out there. Players will get an opportunity to meet other top athletes, which provides a nice opportunity to earn an invite to play in AAU basketball tournaments. Basketball exposure camps are particularly helpful in this area.
  5. Improve Skills – Fundamentals hold the key to playing better basketball. The basketball training kids get at top summer basketball camps gives them an advantage over the players who don’t attend camps. Individuals often show great improvement with their shooting, passing, defense, and general court awareness.

The Difference Between Good and Great Players

Now that you have a better understanding about the value of basketball clinics, we would like to mention why Hoop Group’s basketball camps in New Jersey have been making a major impact on the sport since 1963. We employ only the finest basketball coaches and professional players. Through the efforts of basketball camps like ours, hundreds of players have gone from ordinary athletes all the way to the NBA! At our recent Hoop Group Elite Session 2, we saw some elite basketball campers on display. In the future, we can look forward to players like Aidan Igiehon playing at the highest levels.

For kids who love the game of basketball and the parents that want them to succeed, we have basketball camps for almost any age and skill level. We also have camps designed for families on the go. As players keep reaching for new heights, Hoop Group basketball camps can bridge the gap between a player being good or great.

The Life and Times Of LeBron James

Contrary to what many might think, LeBron James wasn’t born a basketball player. Born December 30, 1984, LeBron Raymone James needed youth basketball camps, basketball skills training, and repetition just like everyone else playing the sport. Growing up in Akron, Ohio, hard work was essential to his overall development. Even when LeBron became stronger and faster than kids his own age, he still wanted to improve his game.

What may be drastically different about LeBron than the average player is that he developed so quickly, and not just physically. His game escalated from a mental perspective as well. Coaches took notice of how hard nosed he was. His youth coach made him practice his left hand skills at a young age and when practice was over he had him working as an assistant coach for children.

Growing up in humble beginnings, LeBron was basically the head of his household at an early age. His mom struggled financially and eventually he lived with his basketball coach. The story of how he became the basketball player he is today is a lesson in hard work and perseverance. Not to mention LeBron had help and training from others who believed in him.

That’s exactly why LeBron didn’t need to play college basketball and has become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Most high school players need college to further their basketball training skills; LeBron James was one of the exceptions. He might have been good enough to go pro during his junior year of high school.

So good at hoops, LeBron was actually recruited by St. Vincent-St. Mary High School to play ball in 1999. He probably would not have gotten to that point without youth basketball training and basketball clinics along the way. He went to Sonny Viccaro’s camp regularly. His 2017 Cleveland Cavs teammate, Kyrie Irving, went to camps, just like LeBron did. Kyrie went to HoopGroup to further develop his skills, as did Kevin Durant and James Harden. The great ones always seem to realize they need to be around basketball from an educational standpoint, too.

LeBron James has always shown an incredible aptitude toward the game of basketball even at a young age. ESPN started televising high school basketball in part because LeBron was involved. The sports network was fully aware of his potential and was already showcasing his skills early and branded him “King James.” He scored 25 points in the state title game as a freshman. He became a household name at a very young age because of his ability.

To say LeBron stood out in the high school level would be an understatement. He was bigger, stronger, and quicker than many student athletes around him. More importantly, LeBron was more skilled. His basketball skills training had already paid off by that point. LeBron was smart enough to realize that he always needed to continue to grow on the court in order to be the best. There were things he could do to get better daily, weekly, and during summers even if he didn’t play college basketball. There were always lessons he could learn.

His hard work paid off when he was drafted as the top overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft.

These days LeBron plays the role of teacher at his own basketball camps. He sports three championship rings and four Most Valuable Player awards. He is an Olympic Gold Medalist. He might be the most well known athlete in the world. It could be all related to the hard work spent during the summer months as a kid at basketball clinics and camps.

Top Basketball Training Drills for Beginners

To an outsider or newcomer, basketball seems like an easy sport to learn. To a person watching television, it might seem very simple. However, fundamentals in basketball are valuable lessons learned, and sometimes difficult to master. Games and performance can improve drastically with basketball drills.

These acquired abilities could spell the difference between playing high school and playing college basketball one day. The fundamentals at an early age could be the difference between making your first team or being cut. It all starts with practice for beginners. Here are five drills for youth wanting to advance their skills to the next level.

Weak Hand Dribbling Drills

Being able to dribble with both hands is essential. Since defensive players will hone in on your ability to dribble with a strong or weak hand, this ball handling drill is pivotal particularly for guards. Every basketball player needs to be able to dribble with both their right and left hand. A great drill might be to have the player put their dominant hand behind their back(tied or untied) so they can’t utilize it at all. This will help with proficiency with the less dominant hand. This drill can be utilized with a defender or without.

One hand will most likely still be dominant. A ton of work and repetition needs to go in to bring the other dribbling hand up to speed. How many kids who play college basketball dribble with just one hand? Question answered. Even the greatest in the game still work on their ball handling drills at the highest level. See LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

Posting Up Drills

Big men need to know how to hold a position in the low post. The key word is positioning. Good basketball clinics will work with forwards and centers on the essentials of working in the post. We can’t all be guards. Reality says somebody has to do work down low to set up the inside game. This also allows for guards to get open on the perimeter if done well and establishes a terrific inside- outside game. A good drill for posting up includes spreading wide to accumulate space.

Coaches can use a dummy or pads to provide pressure and to see if the player is blocking out like they should. Players can also work on drills to improve their pivot foot. Footwork is very key to operating in the post. More drills in the post include working on post related shots. These include things like jump shots, jump hooks, and the up and under move.

Posting up is a timeless tradition in basketball that can be effective for many reasons. It draws defenses toward the paint. A good post player can take advantage of easy buckets down low if defenses don’t adjust. Youth basketball training includes training for all because kids develop at different ages. Hoop Group is an awesome place to start with their past tutelage and current college and NBA stars.

Free Throw Shooting Drills

A free throw is free, right? Free throw shooting is instrumental in winning games. Youth basketball camps should always emphasize great free throw shooting technique and repetition. NBA and college basketball clinics also stress how important a free throw is. Larry Bird, one of the greatest shooters to ever play, was well known for practicing free throw shots all the time. Good free throw drills include lots of repetition. It involves utilizing the same form over and over again for the same result. Free throw drills often come with fatigue as a factor. But this is true to an actual game and helps the player simulate the real thing. The student athlete needs to control breathing, hand eye coordination, and focus on the target while getting tired. Many free throw drills are done at the end of practice because that’s when players are the most tired. This allows kids to feel as if they were in a clutch situation with not much left in the tank. Team USA actually uses a very good free throw drill.

Getting Back In Transition

One thing kids don’t do these days as much is to get back in transition. Summer youth basketball camps definitely are leaning towards helping players understand the need to get back on defense. With more up-tempo styles developing, getting back into your half court defensive set is more important than ever. Some kids may want to celebrate after scoring or high five their teammate. A good example of getting burnt can be provided by watching how fast the Golden State Warriors get down the court these days after a made basket. Defense still wins games despite the high powered offenses that are developing in the NBA.

The drill for getting back in transition doesn’t even involve an offense shooting the ball. A coach may throw the ball off the backboard so players can sprint back to their defensive positions. The center has a ton of work to do. He or she needs to get back to the paint well before the opposing center does. They also need to be a force on the interior well before other guards or forwards can have an easy transition basket. Drills on getting back in transition involve running and reacting to the shot as it is launched.

Rebounding Drills

Rebounding is an underrated skill in basketball. When shots are missed, the ball needs to be collected either by the offense or defense. It’s a skill to learn to rebound the basketball with efficiency. This includes blocking out, getting in position and having quick reflexes for the ball. Rebounding is a drill many youth basketball camps work on because of the importance in the overall scheme of the game. Dennis Rodman, who was never an amazing scorer in the NBA, is an example of someone who rebounded well and contributed greatly to his team. Many youth camps will emphasize rebounding as one of the most important drills to be learned over the duration of the session. Good drills for rebounders include finding great position, blocking or boxing out the opponent, and always watching where the ball may land on a missed shot. This drill doesn’t need a shooter; a coach can simply toss the ball up toward the rim so players can begin to box out their individual man. This can be during a half court setting or on a free throw attempt. Rebounding is an integral part of winning. This drill might be the single most important step in the development of young players.

These five fundamental drills are important to learn at an early age especially for those wanting to play college basketball. Youth basketball training should include many facets of the game of basketball but these are simple foundations of the game that can’t be ignored. There are many more items to be practiced and learned with repetition. Passing, boxing out, and setting screens are just a few of the other intangibles that typically are experienced in camps.