Hello, friends. I didn’t see you there. I was just finishing putting the honey ginger glaze on this roasted duck. Can you give me a second? Thanks. Okay. Now you have my undivided attention. I’m guessing you’re here looking for your Wednesday post, and of course I’m happy to oblige. As many of you may or may not know, I am very busy when not writing for this site — and one of my side projects, which correlates greatly to this very blog, is that of a high-powered “Style Coach” for young basketball players. You see, in this day and age it’s often not enough just to work hard and get your skills down pat. No, no. It’s 2012, friends, and it’s a whole new landscape. It’s all about personality. Why, even the most mediocre of players can vault himself head and shoulders above the others simply by employing a few “styling tips” to his basketball aesthetic which can help open the door for recruiting possibilities and a brighter future. I can remember a day not very long ago when a young man from North Carolina showed up at my office — all he could do was play basketball. I taught him a fist-pumping dance and look where that kid is now: playing for the Washington Wizards. He wrote me a very nice thank you note last week. Good kid, that one. Going places.
Yes, it’s important to realize one’s particular style — so today, and free of charge I might add, I’m going to give you guys a few complimentary tips on recreating yourselves to be the spectacular basketball players you aspire to be in a piece we’ll call Style Tips for the NCAA Basketball Player. Please feel free to use these in your own lives and careers and, as always, you’re welcome. Just send me an Edible Arrangements or something when you hit it big.
1. Put some razzle-dazzle into your fundamentals. Sure, it’s all fine and good to “dribble” or “shoot,” but can you do it in such an explosive way that people forward your YouTube videos to one another or share them on semi-official college sports blogs? It’s great to be skilled on the dribble, but can you dribble behind your back? Around your neck? Two balls at once? When scouts see a guard dribble a basketball between his legs, it says to them “This kid doesn’t even care if he loses the ball. He’s that confident.” Make these small trademark moves your own. Why not kick a leg out when you lay one in, for instance, or try posting up with an entertaining jig? You’ll be a “Diaper Dandy” in no time.
2. Use a clothing accoutrement that sets you apart. Arm sleeves, high socks and headbands, while once considered distinctive, have run their course. Forward thinking will take you far. Consider an unusual hat, for instance, or a face tattoo. It makes you instantly recognizable to college coaches who want that kind of personality playing for them. Or go retro — bring back the Rec Specs, maybe. Just don’t go “short shorts” retro. That should never come back. Seriously.
3. Find a signature victory move. If Doron Lamb didn’t have the three goggles, he’d just be a kid who was an amazing basketball player who didn’t have a personalized hand gesture when he hit a three pointer. And that’s so boring, right? Nobody wants to see you not throw up some sort of gesture when you make an amazing shot. Next time you dunk, try throwing down a double Fonzie “thumbs up.” Or possibly a “peek-a-boo” maneuver when you block a shot to let a rejected offender know they did NOT see you coming. The possibilities are endless — pantomimed two-handed pistol shooting, moose horns — so use your creativity! This not only makes the game more interesting for the spectator, but puts you in a class all your own!
4. Get yourself a viral dance. Just look at past successes as “The Dougie,” “The Stanky Leg,” “The Soulja Boy,” “The Bernie” or “The Wobble.” A major research study recently concluded that a dancing basketball player is 67% more likeable than a basketball player who does NOT dance. So go where the stats are! Trust me, fledgling hip-hop groups want nothing more than to turn your new dance into a rap tune — it’s beneficial for both parties! So get out there and get your groove on. It doesn’t even have to be involved. A simple hand motion or innovative couple of steps coupled with a silly name like “The Dinker” or “The Jello-Knees” will turn you into a web sensation before you know it.
5.Tweet about yourself. Look, fans already know you can play basketball. They’ve seen your name listed on some sports blog, or maybe there’s a star rating attached to your name, so that’s good enough for them. Now you just have to prove you’re not a headcase. So skip all the boring “I’m visiting this school or that school,” or “I’ve narrowed my choices down to blah, blah, blah” tweets and let your future fans get to know you! After all, a personal connection to a recruit goes a long way, and a fan base wants to know you’re just like them. Foster this connection by tweeting interesting things about yourself, like so:
Yo i dont know about this napa almond chicken from panera not much napa almond!!! #smh
— Steven Gordon (@MadBallinSkillz) January 23, 2012
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT Y’ALLLLL!!!!
— Steven Gordon (@MadBallinSkillz) January 23, 2012
6. Become a media darling. Let’s face it, if you’ve employed the previous five steps, there’s probably a media outlet at your door right now, wanting to talk to you. This is a great opportunity to get yourself a catch phrase — it’ll not only become a clarion call for your team but wait until you see it on posterboard at your future college games! This is very simple, just toss a witty little bon mot in after each thing you say. Some ideas include:
-“Now that’s how I handle some business!”
-“See You in the Funny Pages, Big Chief.”
-“The End. Shut the door, Claire!”
-“COUNTRY HAM FOR E’ERBODY!”
With these simple steps and more in my ten-DVD-collection (available in installments or for a one time fee of $127.99), you’ll be guaranteed to gain at least two stars on the recruitment of yourself or a loved one. Stop working on those skills on the court, get out of that gym and start dancing, using catchphrases and dressing interestingly today. It may just be the key to your basketball future. Happy Wednesday, everyone.