During water breaks when young ballers are relacing their high-tops on the edges of the gym, the coaching staff at Basketball Stars of NY might take a break to goof around on the court; but, for them—former NCAA Division I athletes who’ve spent time in professional leagues throughout the world—goofing around translates to throwing down a vicious tomahawk dunk, effortlessly splashing three-balls through the rim from behind the arc or subtly raising the rims during practice so players think that they're shrinking. No matter the act, these feats typically snag boys' and girls' attention during their private lessons, camps, or weekend programs or clinics. Progamming director and coach David Brown says the coaches' athletic prowess and physicality helps players focus, drawing a clear path between the hard work of practice drills to the payoff of a power dunk. In small groups split by age, skill, and position, coaches instill the value of fundamentals such as ball handling and rebounding. They also break the bad habits of youth, steering players away from the tendency to shoot nothing but threes, dribble with their head down, and fade away on simple 10-foot jumpers.
With more than 100 years of history behind it, the St. John's University athletics department has earned the respect of rival programs in a number of sports. The past century has seen the St. John's men's basketball team rack up the seventh-most victories in the NCAA, sending 60 players to the pros in the process. As a testament to its success, the basketball team now plays most of its home games at Madison Square Garden, world-famous for its bewildering lack of plantlife. The school has also had success in baseball and soccer, making six College World Series appearances and taking home the NCAA Division I men?s soccer championship in 1996.
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