1st String Magazine
It is amazing what effect being out of shape can have on somebody. Fours years ago Lou Richie, former D1 player at both UCLA and Clemson, was now out of shape and he did not want to fall into that familiar trap of not playing as much since he was now older and falling hopeless out of shape.
To do something about it Lou started going to the gym and working out by himself . I started working out four years ago when I realized how out of shape I was. I was not playing basketball as much because as you get older you have to work and you do not have the time to play sports like you do when you are young.
Lou has been a coach on the Bishop O’Dowd men’s hoop team for a few years now. It was in his work out sessions that he realized what his impact on people has been.Â Parents just started to send their kids to me to work out with me. It was amazing. I did not know that it would lead to what is happening today. Kids just started showing up and it has just picked up from there.
This is where Tony Freccero hit the scene. Tony has been around for a while. He played basketball for Bishop O’Dowd in the 1990’s and he has run basketball camps here in the US and around the world. And that worldly experience has been a great leaning tool for him.Â I got a chance to play for Coach Phelps at O’Dowd and he taught us early on what real chance we had to make it in the NBA was. He taught us the importance of being a well rounded person and not putting all your eggs in one basket.
I wanted to stay in Basketball and I loved to travel, so I hit the road and I helped run camps in places like Mexico and Brazil. It really opened my eyes to see how hard kids around the world work and how good they are. Â The two train young kids just getting into team sports, high school aged kids trying to get in shape and some of the top prep athletes in the area and it is this mix that both Tony and Lou love. We have kids from all over and we like that. It is not about the hoopin’, this is great for the kids confidence. They all learn how to respect each other no matter how good they can play.Â Lou said before he started the morning session of the camp.
Tony added, The younger kids amazed me with their work effort. I work on their skills but they come ready to work every time and that makes it great for me because then I can teach them more and they are not scared of a work out.Â Tony (blue) and Lou train kids of all different abilities. “Nobody gets down on anybody else. We tell them that it is ok to mess up. The only way to improve is to work on things that are hard for them.” Tony said.