RICH WALTON

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“If I was a parent of a kid growing up in today’s youth basketball environment, I would have my kids working with a director of an SDC Scholarship Camp because I know that the value is going to be there.  Attending as many SDC Scholarship Camps as possible is the best way for players to sharpen their skills, learn the best techniques, and have an amazing, additional way to save for college.”

 

Basketball saved my life when I was a kid. 

I found the game as an outlet at a critical juncture in my childhood. I loved all sports and was naturally good at all of them. But there is something amazing about the game of basketball that makes it so unique: It’s the only team sport where you do not need anyone around to improve day to day.

Basketball was my salvation as a kid.  Basketball kept me focused, driven, and extra sharp. It kept me away from drinking and drugs.  All I needed was my ball and a hoop and nobody else around.  That was just what I loved to do.
I’d have my mom park the car with the lights on and I’d be out in the dark at the courts in the middle of winter — working off layer after layer of sweatshirts — until I was down to a t-shirt, dripping in sweat.  Those memories will always stay with you.
Lots of kids “love” hoops. But I wanted to be the best. And beat the best.
After high school, I had opportunities to go on and play two sports in college. By the time I completed my freshman year of college, I had 4 knee surgeries. Basketball was over. That’s tough for an 18 year old. Life really begins then. For some kids, life is much harder earlier. You realize that as you get older — especially the deeper you get into coaching and teaching and working with more kids that love the game.
Life, experience, and especially disappointments have a way of teaching you what is important, just as through every crisis presents opportunity. I learned how to work with players. How to get them better. How to teach them things so they wouldn’t have to spend years trying to figure out for themselves. And out of necessity and love for the game, I created something that I thought I would have wanted to have as a kid — SDC.
Over time, as I got more and more immersed within the various aspects of the game, I saw the game being used less and less for what it was intended to be — an outlet for kids to try and play and fail and succeed and learn. But rather it has become a place for adults to compete over players, trophies, money, tournaments, and logos. There is too much commercialization and too much on the line for kids at too young of an age.
AAU competition is beginning far too young. There are too many crazy parents and coaches — the environment is not facilitating the well-being and development of the kids that play the game, which is effecting the development and well-being of the game — especially when it comes to American Basketball and youth basketball player development.
I think that there is a better way for kids to learn the game — in a skills environment, where players receive constructive feedback, plenty of challenges, and plenty of “do overs.” When players learn the skills of the game in this type of environment, they will one day be able to compete at the highest level that they can play — when they are ready to compete.
SDC Scholarship Camps is about creating a challenging and rewarding skill based environment where players learn the important elements of the game of basketball. The best part for parents is that they have an additional, guaranteed way to save for college no matter what happens with their kids and sports. You can’t beat that. 
If I was a parent of a kid growing up in today’s youth basketball environment, I would have my kids working with a director of an SDC Scholarship Camp because I know that the value is going to be there.  Attending as many SDC Scholarship Camps as possible is the best way for players to sharpen their skills, learn the best techniques, and have an amazing, additional way to save for college.