THUNDER BAY – Sports – Local basketball legend Kyle Julius returned to the cradle of his basketball beginnings, the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse, to direct a group of 50 local aspiring basketball players through a 3-day High Performance Basketball Clinic. He was also directing the Lakehead men’s basketball team through a series of workouts over the weekend.
Kyle, son of former Lakehead women’s basketball coach Stu Julius, made a name for himself in Canadian University basketball as a Guelph Gryphon (2nd all-time in scoring), and progressed from there to compete and excel in professional European leagues, and as a member of Team Canada. In addition to his paternal connection to Lakehead, Julius was also a teammate of current Lakehead assistant coach, Matt Erdman in their high school days (Cathedral Gaels, Hamilton ON).
These days, Julius is a professional basketball trainer for elite high school players, and athletes in the CIS, NCAA, and NBA with **A** Game Hoops, a company he founded over a decade ago. His development system combines traditional basketball fundamentals with nutrition, goal setting and film analysis to get the most out of teams and individuals.
One particular point of emphasis for Julius is the importance of being a good teammate. A routine he prescribes for his students is setting daily and weekly goals and reflecting on those to evaluate one’s progress. For Julius, being a good teammate unlocks the potential for athletes to become better individually and develop together to accelerate improvement as a team.
Coach Julius summarizes his development strategy with one simple mantra: “Practice hard so that the game is easy.”
As a shooting guard, Kyle was not the tallest player on the court, but instead relied on his athleticism and conditioning to bring his game to higher levels, a lesson that is drilled to his students. He also incorporates ‘game type situations’ and intensity into every drill and workout he runs to push his athletes out of their comfort zone and on the road to steady improvement.
From warm-ups with skipping ropes and medicine balls, to form shooting drills with white cotton gloves (to develop players’ touch with the ball), Coach Julius’ innovative approach to basketball development is one that engages athletes and produces results.
Coach Scott Morrison has had his eye on coach Julius for some time with intentions of bringing him into the Thunderdome to work with his players and local youth.
“I have always admired Kyle as a player and competitor,” shares Morrison. “Since the inception of *A* Game Hoops I have gained a great respect for his training methods and philosophies. We jumped at the chance to bring him back home to Thunder Bay where he has had a major impact on the future approach to our basketball development as well as striving to have a championship mentality 24/7.”
Julius says, “I love coming back here to Thunder Bay, I wish I could do it more often.”
For more information about Kyle Julius and *A* Game Hoops, check out his website; www.agamehoops.com