The Importance of Ball Handling in Basketball

After giving up an easy layup, the scoring team runs back lethargically to get their defense into position. The ball is quickly inbounded to the point guard and rolls down the court, before being snatched by the floor general at the tempo of a slow crawl. Should the point guard push to take advantage of a temporary lapse in the defense, or is this lapse a decoy designed for a quick snare? Regardless of the decision, the fate of the play lies in the tempo of the primary ball handler. And the tempo, of course, is dictated by the ball-handling itself.

The Subtleties of Ball-Handling

Often times, ball-handling drills are emphasized but the theory behind why is neglected. One reason for this is that ball-handling is quite abroad category; ball-handling can encompass dribbling, catching the ball, releasing it for a pass, or for flashy purposes to dupe the opponent.  Fundamentally, the main reasons that we work on our ball-handling are to build strength in our hands and to increase hand/eye coordination. These drills also keep the muscles in our hands loose, which helps prevent cramping up in late game situations.  In our quest to get better at basketball, improving in this area will also improve other areas of our game — since hand/eye coordination lends itself to so many facets.


Once we have enhanced the strength in our hands, we move on to one of (if not the most) important factors of ball-handling: dribbling. Obviously, having sound dribbling skills is crucial to a ball-handler’s success. Dribbling allows us to artfully move around our opponent — setting up separation and space to either create our own shot or to set up a play for a teammate.  Our dribbling skills also help us dictate the flow of the game. With dexterous ball-handling, we have the ability to change our pace multiple times when attacking the basket. Introductory handling drills are stressed to be of paramount importance in all basketball training programs.

Inspiration for Ball-Handling

When we look at teams such as the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs, we witness a beautifully constructed system that is similar to a musical orchestra. The source of this soundness lies in a team that has multiple playmakers, and thus, multiple ball-handlers.  The fact is, the game of basketball has evolved quite a bit over the recent years. No longer do all of the ball-handling duties lie in a single point-guard or floor general on a team. Instead, we are witnessing the trend of a positionless game where even centers and forwards will push the ball up the floor to create plays with their ball-handling skills.

Quite simply, ball-handling is important because of versatility. And versatility is an excellent trait to have in our continually evolving game. These skills can be improved at a basketball academy such as Core Skills Training, where players will work on a variety of offensive skills alongside ball-handling.

Ball Handling & Shooting Camp Standouts

Brace yourselves, the end is here. With yesterday coming to an end, Hoop Group Skills Camp is officially done for the summer. Ending the summer with Bob Hurley Camp followed by Ball Handling & Shooting Camp was a tremendous way to end a tremendous summer of work. This past week, campers were not just able to work on their ball handling, but learn proper shooting form from legendary shooting coach, Dave Hopla.

As with most camps we run, we would like to recognize those who really shined during our last week of camp as well as acknowledge award winners. Here is our full list of performers and award winners:


Cormac is a very talented ball handler. He plays hard and shoots the ball very well. When he played to his potential, he was one of the best guards in the league. Mr. Reilly is also a very intelligent player and leads by example.


Isaiah was one of the top guards in the NBA Division this week. He is a leader on the floor who makes those around him better. Isaiah is an extremely hard worker and pushes his teammates to work just as hard. Isaiah has a high basketball IQ and was praised by his coach on several occasions.


Chase is a skilled young player. He has the ability at times to WOW the crowd and to create opportunities for his teammates. Chase is a humble young man that has huge up side.


Lance is a mature, competitive young player who has potential to be GREAT. Not only can he shoot but he has the ability to put it on the floor and drive for himself and others. Lance is a player that any coach would love to have on their team.


Nic is a strong athletic guard with a ton of potential. He has a good attitude and his approach to the game superb. He sets the tone by being a natural leader on the court. Nic is competitive, but is also a humble player, who just wants to have fun and improve each and every day.


Jeremy has a great motor and is crafty with the basketball. He was one of this weeks all-stars and in addition lead his team to the championship. There were moments this week where he could just not seem to be guarded.


Cole was the best shooter in the ACC Division. He displayed his shooting ability by winning the free throw AND hot shot contests. Cole was the leading scoring on the championship team. It was a successful week of camp for Cole.


Connor is the smallest player in camp but has the biggest heart. No one in the ACC played harder and with more passion than Connor. He was a positive influence all week especially through adversity. Even the older division enjoyed the way that Connor played the game (he reffed a few games too)!


Josh has an unbelievable desire to improve his game. He crashed the offensive boards as hard or harder than anyone in the ACC. Josh was a huge factor in how successful his team was this week. He is truly a player that plays BOTH ends of the floor.


Jaylen was the “go to guy” whenever his team needed a bucket this team. On the defensive end he was constantly causing turnovers and turning them into easy baskets the other way. Being an unselfish player, Jaylen lead and motivated his team on and off the court.


Henry showed great effort and a strong work ethic throughout camp as he played with the same determination and will whether up ten or down ten. This effort made him highly respected by teammates and other coaches in the league.


Brandon often showed his offensive tools by finishing in transition as well as from beyond the 3 point arc. Brandon was a vocal team leader with a large amount of potential. After the award ceremony he certainly didn’t walk away empty handed!


Peyton was this weeks Most Improved Player in the Big East Division. He plays with a ton of heart. Peyton has a great attitude and approach to the game. He took advantage of this camp and showed improvement in his mid range jumper and ball handling by week’s end.


Charlie stood out this week with his play on the defensive end and cleaning up the backboards. He impressed many coaches with his ability to handle the ball in transition as well. Charlie was a coach on the floor for his team all week.


Congratulations to Jordan on winning the Floor General Award in the Big East Division. Not only was he the leagues’ best point guard, he also showed his shooting range as well. As a point guard, he dictated the tempo of the game. His coach stated that one of his best qualities is how he can play the game successfully with a chip on his shoulder.


Absolutely the best defensive player in camp this week! His basketball IQ is high, as he was able to read point guards eyes and always know when and where to rotate. We never saw Lawrence take a play off which is why he is a true example that hard work does really pay off.


Elias is an explosive guard who gets to the rim at will. His leadership keeps his teammates energized and positive. If he can improve his consistency from the perimeter he will be a tough cover at the college level. His physicality and toughness is a positive on the defensive end.


Chibuike is one of the most complete players in camp. His length and athleticism on defense allows him to guard any position. As a slasher, if he improves his ball handling he will be a force offensively. He can shoot consistently from mid range and we expect him to continue to improve.



MVP- Will Soucie

ALL STAR MVP- Nicolas DeMarco


MIP-Connor Buck/ Jeff Mao

HOT SHOT CHAMP- Cole Privitere

FOUL SHOT CHAMP-Cole Privitere

Early Bird Workout Star- Derek Hope/ Lucas Hope


MVP-Mason Memmelaar

ALL STAR MVP- Brandon Powell


MIP-Peyton Boesch


FOUL SHOT CHAMP-Brandon Powell

Early Bird Workout Star- Nick Hulbert


MVP-Isaiah Church

ALL STAR MVP- Kimiedrick Murphy

FLOOR GENERAL-Elias Ezenekwe

MIP-John Rosenblum



Early Bird Workout Star- Chibuike Obinnakwelu

With Skills Camp coming to a close for this summer, we would like to thank all the coaches, staff, players and parents who made this summer in the Poconos so great. Although school will be back in session, there’s still opportunities to work on your game this fall! Jr. Elite Top 100s will begin in September, click here to see what day is best for you!

Back to Back for Boyle

What a tremendous weekend of basketball!  With games going down to the final play & young student athletes competing their hearts out, my eyes were glued to the television.  I am not only talking about the mens’ and women’s final four but the powerhouse Kevin Boyle program knocking off Oak Hill Academy (Va.), 71-62, in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament championship game at Madison Square Garden.  The win made it the second consecutive national championship for Montverde Academy (Coach Boyle Interview). The future division one players, Ben Simmons (LSU) & D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) controlled the game throughout for the Eagles with Simmons (24 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists) earning the MVP.  We all know the NBA players that Boyle has developed when he was in NJ, Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but since Coach Boyle has moved South his tread of producing high major college players hasn’t changed. Matter of fact two players that played for Montverde Academy last season appeared in final four in Dallas this past weekend (Kasey Hill for Florida and Dakari Johnson for Kentucky).  There is no reason to believe that the 2014-15 season will be ANY different.

Kevin Boyle Rules to Play By

In the short clip above, Coach Boyle and his team is working on getting over and under a ball screen. This summer Hoop Group Skills offers 2 opportunities to work with Coach Boyle first hand. Both camps will help improve your ball-handling, play making ability, ball screen offense/defense, reading the defense, using jump stops & shot fakes and more importantly becoming a leader! The point guard position is the key to every successful team as they set the tone on every play & the four other players take on the personality of their point guard.




Searching for a similar camp but longer than just a weekend?

Ball Handling & Shooting Camp (August 22-26)

Shooting Camp (June 22-26)

For More Camp Information please call 732-502-2255 or email me (