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Basketball University launches at Backcourt Hoops

Aspiring basketball players and their families will have more training options than ever with Basketball University at Backcourt Hoops in Scranton.

The new program, unveiled Friday and launching Oct. 1, offers parents a more-affordable approach to training.

“It’s quantity; it’s quality; and it’s cost-efficient,” said coach John Bucci, owner of Backcourt Hoops, which is located at Riverfront Sports in Scranton.

The multi-tiered, membership-based program gives players access to scheduled training/teaching sessions each week while also offering members discounts on private and group training as well as other features of the Backcourt Hoops program.

Kevin Clark, a former college basketball coach who serves as Director of Basketball Development at Backcourt Hoops, has taken on the role of Director of Basketball University.

“When we sat down and assessed our year, we thought this would be a good route to go for people,” Clark said. “Most of northeastern Pennsylvania is walking through our door at some point, whether it’s a league or training or AAU. We take a lot of pride in that.

“We want to develop the area and the kids that are here.”

Clark said the new program will coordinate and improve on that process.

“Coach Bucci has done a great job. You can see all the kids moving on to college basketball and how successful they’ve been,” Clark said. “We’re trying to take another step up and move on to a higher level.”

With a staff of nine coaches in place for Basketball U, Clark will oversee the weekly classes, which will cover different skills and be designed for various age levels.

“Essentially, what we’re going to be doing is classes each week,” Clark said. “Each group, grades 3-to-5, 6-to-8 and high school will be offered three separate classes a week.

“It’s going to go offensively, defensively, footwork, conditioning, all different aspects of basketball.”

Clark said there will be “about 20 different categories” covered in the specific classes.

Those categories will help refine skills, such as sessions on weak-hand development and proper shooting mechanics, and teach how to be more effective within the game, with classes that include subjects like moving without the ball and playing out of pressure.

Through the Basketball U website, members will be able to follow the calendar of sessions available and register until a specific class is full.

“All of those classes will be on our website,” Clark said. “By clicking on a class, there’s a description of the class.”

The description includes the age level and the coach running the session.

Clark will be joined by Bill Callahan, Clay Basalyga, Carrie Toomey, Lauren Carra, Natalie Winters, Joe Sheehan, Emily Sheehan, and Gerry Rose as coaches who will lead the instruction at various classes.

Membership in Basketball University goes beyond the class schedule.

“If you buy into a membership, we have different levels, you can get private and group training at a discount price,” Clark said.

Higher levels of membership include additional discounts on other Backcourt Hoops offerings.

With the program’s launch, Backcourt Hoops is running additional promotions with special bonus offerings for those who commit to Basketball University memberships.

“This is a geared toward trying to make training in group sessions more cost-efficient for the parent while the player is still learning and developing the fundamentals of the game,” Clark said.

More details are available at

Learn more about the coaches at

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