A Step Ahead Program Profile
ZG Report has a chat with A Step Ahead Basketball! A familiar face on the ZG Circuit, ASA is as good as it gets in the New England area. Not many programs can match the quality teams that ASA produces from the youngest divisions, all the way up to the elite high school levels. Wildly successful over the years, ASA is certainly a program to emulate.
A Step Ahead (ASA) Basketball was established and founded by Brendan Smith in 1997 as a Summer camp for the City of Newton (MA). The camps have grown throughout the years as they have partnered with the likes of US Sports Camps (a Nike sponsored affiliate), former Celtic Walter McCarty, and its most recent collaboration with Phenom America.
ASA now boasts over 55 summer camps throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire and has also developed one of the biggest AAU programs in the region with over 50 boys and girls teams. Even with the massive growth the program has not sacrificed quality. Year after year the ASA coaching staff is one of the best in the area from top to bottom.
Smith previously coached at the college level with Mt. Ida and has been the head boys basketball coach at Boston Latin School since the 2006-2007 season. He has helped lead the Wolfpack to to three Dual County Championships and 8 State Tournament Births in that time.
ASA Basketball currently has 3 hubs: Greater Boston (Newton), ASA West (Southborough), and ASA South (Braintree)
When asked what separates ASA from other programs, Brendan points to the program’s ability to connect with families and players on a yearly basis. “We are a full service year round basketball company - that allows us to build relationships that simply can't be done in just a few months per year. We are in a unique situation that we can develop players through our camps and clinics for 1-2 years before they even tryout for our 3rd grade teams.” This method is clearly working as the ASA program is always competitive at the younger levels.
While growing the program is always the goal, ASA takes a slow and steady approach. “Each season, each year we not only become more competitive but increase our number of teams and geographical reach.”
A huge factor in the growth of the program is the professionalism of the coaching staff. “All of our coaches are held to the highest standards, we not only want to teach children how to play basketball, but to teach life lessons. We do not enable players to look for excuses and or point the finger at teammates or opponents. We ask our players do all this while exhibiting great sportsmanship.”
Looking ahead to the 2020 ZG Spring Circuit, ASA is most excited for ZG States and Finals. “The build up towards playing for ‘something’ is really exciting for the elementary and high school teams. The older kids really look forward to the NERR events as a way to showcase our talents against the highest level of competition, with the coverage as an added bonus.”
A Step Ahead continues to grow, and is on a trajectory to become a leader in New England grassroots basketball. Look for ASA to appear on the ZGReport Rankings, as well as bracket play on Sundays! We are excited to see what hardware they bring home this Spring!
Follow on facebook and twitter: @ASAhoops