The dawn of a new era.
The Patrick School is known nationwide as one of the premiere basketball programs in the United States. Players come from all over the tri-state area to be apart of the program. One of the key ways to stay relevant is to stay ahead of the curve in regards to the needs of the basketball community. Coach Chavannes has done that with his new initiative called The New Jersey Basketball Academy.
The cutting edge program will mesh high level basketball training with a strong school curriculum. Coach Chavannes will provide the best of both worlds in regards to books and basketball in an effort to prepare kids for the next level.
Recently we sat down with The Patrick School Coach Chris Chavannes to discuss D.J. Sackmann, The New Jersey Basketball Academy and more. - by Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on Instagram and Twitter
TheDribbleDrop: Today we are at the New Jersey Basketball Academy at The Patrick School. For those who don’t know, tell us a bit about today’s event.
Coach Chavannes: Today we had the event to expose kids to the experience that we would like to offer in the near future through this program.
What we are going to do is run a basketball academy which will start with kids in the 7th and 8th grade. The kids that attend the school will take their core subjects and train throughout the day. This event this weekend was an introduction to that. We will provide the same level of training year round like we saw today. We will have different trainers come in an build up different parts of your body and game.
We will also have lectures from coaches and staff discussing things like NCAA requirements. I wanted kids to come away from this thinking “if this is what I got in two days, imagine where my game would be if I did this daily year round?”
TheDribbleDrop: You bought in trainers like D.J. Sackmann and Delson to be apart of today’s event. Tell me about your relationship with those guys and why you thought it was pivotal to have them be apart of the pilot run of the program this weekend.
Coach Chavannes: D.J. has been a big part in building the curriculum in training as well as Delson and others. It’s important to expose the kids to the very best. We try within our means to provide them with the best in all aspects of life.
TheDribbleDrop: D.J. focused not only on the physical, but the mental side of the game. How important was addressing the mental side of the game to you at this trail run?
Coach Chavannes: Very important. The idea is to not only focus on their individual skills, but help them see the bigger picture and grow on the mental side of the game. Clock management, reading defenses, etc. Not just focusing on the skills but from the neck on up. We really want to slow things down a bit and get them to pay attention to the details. I think with today’s kids in regards to training they don’t get enough of that. They often confuse playing fast and hard with playing smart.
TheDribbleDrop: Right now there is no school that truly meshes basketball into the school curriculum. Do you envision it being something like Montverde or IMG Academy?
Coach Chavannes: Well I personally think that The Patrick School is a power program as it is, but we are looking to expand that. We get a large number of kids with talent, many of which travel a great distance to be apart of our program. We might have to make a decision sooner, rather than later, that would focus around us considering to take this middle school academy we have built and expanding it to our entire school. Possibly consider modeling our school after schools around the country that have built their school community up in a similar fashion.
We’re looking at it closely but right now we are just focused on the immediate middle school level.
TheDribbleDrop: Is there an potential date for you to open the basketball academy?
Coach Chavannes: Our objective is to start the academy in September.
This weekend was a trial run. We got a really good response from not only the kids but the parents that were here. I had tons of phone calls, emails and text messages about this trial run this weekend. We didn’t do any big advertising for this, we kept it quiet. Kids didn’t find out that they were locked in until 3 to 4 days in advance. That was done by design also. It was a lot of planning that went into this. When the kids got all the details and saw who would be involved, many of these kids cancelled plans to be apart of an event like this.
TheDribbleDrop: What will be the determining factors to a kid getting into the school?
Coach Chavannes: We are still ironing out the solutions in regards to the exact factors. This program will be in high demand and kids from all over will want to transfer in to be apart of it. With that being said, we want to remain loyal to the kids that have been apart since day one and attend our middle school. We want to show respect to kids within the county. We are still ironing out those details. Right now, space dictates the numbers. This year we will have 50 kids in the program. We anticipate that low number will be a problem as we don’t want to have numbers that we can’t control that water down the level of education in regards to what we are trying to do.