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Team Elite Basketball Is Helping Young Players Get In The Game

By Pamela Sosnowski

Rodel Cruzet's passion is helping young basketball players do more than just get in the game, but perform their personal best during each one. A competitive basketball player since the age of 9 and an assistant coach beginning at age 13, Cruzet discovered that passing his knowledge of the game onto young athletes was just as enjoyable at shooting hoops. In 2010 he founded Team Elite Basketball and now teaches over 200 kids one-on-one and in groups in a friendly, supportive environment.

"I just explained to kids things in a way that made sense to me and they responded really well," he recalls. "I fell in love with coaching. I dreamed of having an indoor facility where kids could just train and get better. I didn't know how I was going to do that but I was purely driven by passion!"

Cruzet grew up in the San Jose area and initially coached fellow young basketball players while attending St. John Vianney to fulfill the Catholic school's community service fulfillment. He loved it so much he continued it into high school, and eventually realized it was his calling to do it for a living.

In 2012, Cruzet moved his services into a clean, modern, 12,000 square foot facility that features an indoor basketball court, free wireless Internet, and areas for parents to chill while their children practice. Along with three other highly experienced coaches, Cruzet teaches players how to improve their ball handling, gain confidence on the court, create space between them and other players, and proper shooting techniques. Both boys and girls train at Team Elite Basketball, and play in competitive tournaments.

"Each player is different so when it come to improving (them) we always have a different approach based on each kid's skill level and personality," he explains. "Our model that all our coaches follow is improving each player's skills while increasing their confidence, then teaching them how to play basketball the right way."

For only $25 a player can receive an evaluation with one of two coaches that will access their skill level and help place them in the appropriate group class. The facility also organizes its own Amateur Athletic Union team program which practices twice a week and travels to national tournaments in the spring, summer, and fall.

For Cruzet, satisfaction isn't just about winning games. Seeing his players develop skills on and off the court makes him the happiest. "It's hard for me to choose just one success story," he says. "Every kid that come in our door and leaves feeling better about themselves (and) being more confident -- that's success to me."

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About The Author

Pamela Sosnowski is a freelance writer, social media manager, contributor for REBEAT...

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