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Balling to the Next Level

Updated: Jul 15

3 years ago I got an invite to assist as a coach for a basketball camp. Being as the invite came from my big Man Dre, it was an easy yes. Much like a pick and roll. Anyway, it was an eye opener for me. For the guys from Asean Top Baller (ATB) and Global Squad Academy, the Elite mindset is the minimum standard.

“Balls in the Rack!”

Coach John Alexander shouts out to the kids right after Basketball Yoga. The kids just spent 45 minutes going through a series of stretches and poses (all with ball) to develop overall coordination and balance. Level up. Do it with your eyes closed.

B-Ball Yoga. Eyes closed and with socks. Socks make it much harder. Pictures were taken from Asean Top Baller Facebook site. With permission.

“No Walking!”

No walking in between drills. You jog to your water and jog back to the court. Reload get going to the next session.


Tough? Not really. This is like catching the trailer before actually watching the movie. Welcome to Asean Top Baller.

Ever wanted to know how far you could have gone? What if you got top level training? A coach that digs out the best out of you? Maximise your drive to push yourself beyond the limits of your belief?

“These bins are for puking!”

Push yourself until you had to throw up. In the 3rd and last day, after all the Dribbling, Shooting, Defensive slides, Post-ups and Scrimmages, you finish off with the jump program. The jump program is like running suicides but with a lot of jumping.

"Jump Around!". You are now in Coach John Alexander's House of Pain. The kid did not keep the smile.

Before you think this as torture, you need to understand, these are not the only kids in the world doing this. There are many more kids out there gunning to be elite. Bigger, badder and faster.

Oh, at this camp, if you get picked this is what you get to do:


John Alexander, head coach of Global Squad Academy together with Asean Top Baller, are looking to inspire the next generation. To Educate what it takes to be an elite student athlete. Still sceptical? John’s brother is Joe Alexander. Joe pushed himself everyday. Won a scholarship, played division 1 NCAA and got to the NBA. Beat a lot of doubts.

Lebron James may have been blessed with talent, but it took more than that to be the number 1 pick straight out of high school. Luka Doncic was elite from the age of 14. What does it take to the Black Mamba?

Elite Athlete needs an Elite Mindset. For Global Squad, you are never too young to start. In fact, it’s this mind-set that will give them a chance to earn a place in a US college. A place where you get the privilege to play Elite Level basketball AND get an education.

“It’s possible because all 3 of us, John, Christian and me have done it.”

Coach Kevin Breslin

Coach Kevin Breslin went to John Hopkins University. A top University well known for Medicine. Note what's written on the White Board.

You have a 3.5% chance of earning that college scholarship. But it’s not impossible as all the 3 coaches from Global Squad Academy have done it. In the Asean context? This is one of the coaches opinions;

“I’m actually surprised by how good the talent is but just as surprised about how low the fitness levels are.”

Coach John Alexander

From left. Coaches Kevin Breslin, John Alexander and Christian Matthews. Post training discussion on the good and the bad. Truth hurts but knowing the truth puts you on the right path of a long journey.

Truth hurts but I agree. Back when I was balling competitively even on the playgrounds, my fitness carried me through games. More often, it was my fitness and will to outwork making the difference against talented opposition. Pick the guy up at 94ft on defense OR Chase down every fast-break. Much like the Flames team I was on, average talent, all out hustle. Teams had to work hard to beat us.

Looking back, What if? What if I had access to a top coach? What if I was even given a glimpse of that elite pathway? My main takeaway is that It starts with the mindset. That Elite mindset is available to anybody. For me, it lit a fire to always get better, never settle. For that kid out there, come take it to the next level.

Which one of you is going to the next level?


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