Today’s Program Spotlight brings us down to the south shore of Massachusetts to visit a program that started as just a couple teams with local travel players looking to play more basketball.
HST, based out of Kingston/Plymouth, Massachusetts, started just 2 years ago with only 2 teams filled with town travel basketball players. Coach and program director, Jazz Silva, has taken her program to new heights since 2018 and given so much of herself to all her players.
“I wanted to give the kids a platform to showcase their talents on the shore shore and to play highly competitive basketball. With my love and knowledge of the game and connections to the youth and community, I already felt it was a good opportunity to build character and teach life long lessons through the sport I love while helping them develop their craft and values. [But] it’s more than just coaching. It’s the late night scheduling tournaments, practices, ordering gear. The hardest part is pleasing everyone. You want to make everyone satisfied but at times it is very hard.”
Jazz knew her kids had something special after winning ZG Nationals her first year. She saw the difference she and her coaches were making for her players on and off the court and from then she was hooked.
“We excel in player development and building relationships on and off the court. As well as getting the players in the program to be both physically and mentally ready to play. We also teach our players how to play basketball the right way within a team/family concept and dynamic. We strive to play hard, play smart and play together. We have plenty of kids who have played together for multiple years and it shows.”
This idea is brought to life in HST’s mission statement:
“Our mission is to deliver precise player development to all our players of the game and give the opportunity to learn the game, improve/build to their craft while playing at a competitive level. Our program focuses strongly on work ethic, commitment, fundamentals, sportsmanship, developing character and leadership on and off the court. The goal always is to PLAY HARD, PLAY SMART, PLAY TOGETHER while learning to build character on and off the court.”
Jazz definitely ensures that her players are building their core values off the court. Giving back to the community is a major aspect of HST’s values which is something that is here to stay.
“We are able to host give back events where our players provide training from what they learned from our program to other players in their towns. We also do a lot of work with the local group homes providing a sense of normalcy to their lives by offering sports to the kids.”
However, normalcy is something no one is really feeling nowadays. COVID-19 has put a wrinkle in everyone’s everyday lives, especially in the youth sports industry. Jazz, however, has been able to efficiently work around that for her kids.
“We have provided pdf workouts, zoom workouts, one on one workouts over facetime. We have licensed strength and conditioning coaches and many professional and collegiate athletes that have worked with our players. Shout out to Rene Castro, Denzel Britto, Joie Grassi, and more.”
Moving into the new full ZG season with a little experience already with COVID procedures, Jazz is ensuring that HST is taking every possible precaution to keep everyone in the HST family safe.
“It has been challenging but we also have done everything we can to make sure everybody involved is as safe as possible. We have made sure to disinfect the basketballs and equipment before, during and after practices. All coaches will be wearing masks and doing temperature checks at every practice. All coaches have also been tested before the start of the season.”
Looking to the ever changing fall 2020 circuit, we can’t wait to see HST all over New England! But what are they looking forward to the most?
“Battle for the Belt!”
We couldn’t agree more! Those belts are pretty tempting to work for! In talking to Jazz today, we learned so much about not only HST, but her background, the program background, and all the members of the HST family. Giving today’s youth an outlet to not only get away and get lost in the game, but to showcase their talent is what HST is all about. Staying involved in the community where they come from is also key. But development in character and core life skills on and off the court, that’s HST and Jazz’s bread and butter.
We had a great time talking with Jazz today and we are truly looking forward to watching HST Basketball #playhardsmarttogether on the circuit this fall along the #PathToTheBelt!