It's impossible to pick out Debbie Miller-Palmore's most impressive feat as a basketball player. She has played in the Olympics. She was an All-American during her time at Boston University, and still holds school records in everything from rebounding to steals. The mayor of Boston was impressed enough with her play to name January 31st "Debbie Miller-Palmore Day."
In her Top of the Key program, Miller-Palmore helps young athletes ascend towards her level with a variety of camps and clinics. Open to ages 9-18, her training sessions blend on-the-court practice with weight lifting, agility drills, and mental conditioning, which helps players stay focused throughout each game's mandatory second-quarter confetti shower. Another asset to young players? Miller-Palmore's picture book, Play with H.E.A.R.T., about maintaining your confidence on the court.
Although each of the seven Just Fitness 4U locations has its own distinctions?such as the Lawrenceville location's 24/7 hours or the Marietta location's 25,000 sq. ft. facility and marble lobby?they more or less share the same tools for getting in shape. For starters, each is furnished with state-of-the-art Life Fitness and Hammer Strength equipment, which can be used or lifted to increase strength. Moreover, the facilities have a team of certified personal trainers and group fitness instructors who lead one-on-one workouts and fitness classes such Pilates, Zumba, yoga, and spinning, respectively.
LaToya Bond didn't always answer to "coach." Before she earned that title at Playmakers International, LLC, she played in the WNBA, as well as leagues in Cyprus, Israel, and Poland. But she couldn't ignore coaching's call; Bond left professional basketball after her 2009 season and started volunteering coaching. In addition to training basketball players at Playmakers with a focus on reshaping their mental, physical, and emotional approach to the game, she coaches a seventh-grade girls' basketball team.
Founded by a group of former college and professional athletes, Innerman Community Sports Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach strives to instill the hard-working ethos of the student athlete into its charges. Specializing in track and field, the group also provides training in speed and agility, as well as in soccer and basketball fundamentals. In programs aimed toward kids in grades 1–11, coaches help young'uns perfect their physical form while teaching less-tangible but no-less-important qualities such as social responsibility and the ability to think thoughts without verbalizing them. Members of all ages regularly participate in community-service projects and avail themselves of the professional trainers, who provide custom workout regimens and new nutrition plans.
"Don't worry about how you play, just have fun." Parents cheer on kids with that advice all the time, but Kierre Jordan, the skill-development trainer at All Or Nothing Basketball LLC, will not. His basketball-training sessions are age and skill-level appropriate, but they're designed to push players beyond their limits and propel them to a professional level of athleticism. That's why he only invites serious players to sessions, including NBA players and other professionals. But that doesn't mean Kierre ignores the needs of beginners or banishes fun from the gym. He also meets novices where they're at with basics, such as dribbling and passing, and encourages them to attend group sessions where they can play among friends.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Robert Herzog dropped off his laundry, picked up his mail, and took the local C train to work instead of the express A train. When he arrived for work at the north World Trade Center tower that morning, nearly 300 of his coworkers were dead. Stunned by his inexplicable escape from death, Herzog battled through his trauma by focusing on the good things in his life. Earlier that year, he met his wife-to-be playing coed softball. He had enjoyed the league but felt he could do better. Tempered by the sense of charity and community that was so ubiquitous after September 11, he opened ZogSports—a sports league that donates 10% of its profits to charity—in 2002.
Since then, leagues have spread from New York and the northeast out to Atlanta and the Twin Cities. Casual competitors in their 20s and 30s team up in touch-football leagues and indoor-volleyball leagues, making new friends on the field, at postgame happy hours, and at preseason press conferences.
When teams sign up for ZogSports's leagues, they choose a charity to represent. From there, teams compete to win the league championship, come up with the funniest team name, or order the most drinks at the bar after the game, all of which earn them money for their charity of choice. To date, the company has donated more than $1.5 million to various charities.