Rhode Island Magic
ZGReport travels to Rhode Island to have a chat with the Rhode Island Magic! Founded in spring of 2015 by Jeff Kurbec and Dave Tedeschi, the Rhode Island Magic started small with 5 teams, and has since grown to 20 teams from 3rd – 11th grade. Primarily a boys program, they have since started the girls side, looking to accomplish the same goals. Based out of Central Rhode Island, the Magic has players from 49 different communities across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The goal of the RI Magic program is to setup the players for success while on the court as well as after basketball. The Rhode Island Magic’s mission is to help players improve their individual and team basketball skills in a fun and competitive environment, while helping them develop the lifelong values of teamwork, sportsmanship, an appreciation of hard work, respect for themselves and others, and the ability to overcome adversity.
When asked what his favorite memory with the RI Magic, it was hard to point to a single one. “There are so many favorite memories, it is challenging to pick one but having several teams playing at Disney is a highlight. Last spring, our 10th grade team winning the ZG Nationals was an extremely rewarding experience and an unforgettable memory.”
Running a successful program is not always easy. The biggest challenge for the RI Magic is the time and effort it takes. “The amount of time and effort that it takes to run a successful program! We are always looking on ways we can improve our product and are excited that we just launched our new website and will be launching two social media campaigns, #MotivationalMondays and #RecruitingThursdays, beginning next week.”
Tedeschi feels the RI Magic excels in coaching and mentorship. “Our coaches are teachers, leaders and role models who take great pride in – above all – preparing young men for college, and life. We also consistently receive positive feedback regarding our communication. We have a clear and concise website and hold parent meetings at tryouts, as well as meetings throughout the season that detail the college and recruiting processes.”
Dave is always looking for ways to improve the program to separate his from the others. “We can continue to improve our visibility. We have an extremely high retention rate among our players because of a variety of factors, but there are so many options in AAU basketball, I am not sure people realize how our program is different other local AAU programs. We are not like many other local AAU programs that have multiple teams using the same name, with coaches working in isolation. As a program, we know that coaching is one of, if not, the most important factors that parents consider when choosing an AAU program. We have over 20 talented, college educated coaches on our staff with over 200 years of playing and coaching experience at the middle, high school, and collegiate levels. We have a comprehensive philosophy for the program that all coaches are aware of and adhere to at all times. We are known for our consistent play across the program and utilize the same offensive and defensive approaches, from our elementary to varsity teams, which is somewhat rare in AAU.”
“I see us continuing to develop our coaches and players and helping players achieve their basketball and post-secondary goals. We also will be playing in the very best tournaments on the east coast, and continuing to make an impact. We also anticipate having 10-15 former players on college rosters, now that our players are beginning to graduate from high school.”
The Rhode Island Magic have a major focus on placing players at the collegiate level by offering guidance to players and families about the recruiting process as it can be difficult to navigate on your own. “We have received a great deal of positive feedback on how we assist families with the college and recruiting process. “We have a comprehensive, members only, website that details the recruiting process and walks families through that process, step by step. The college and recruiting process is often confusing, as there is a plethora of information available on the internet and it is difficult to know what is accurate. Through the recruiting portion of the website we provide families with clear and concise information to assist them through a challenging, but exciting, process. We also have brought in college coaches to our practices and this spring, will be participating in a multi-program showcase as well. Finally, we host both program and team informational meetings and workshops to assist players and families.”
The RI Magic has made tremendous growth over the years, as it’s obvious to see the level of commitment they show to their players and families. They believe in doing things the right way, and they are on the path to becoming a leader in the New England area. Look for them on the 2020 Spring ZG and XL Circuits! #RoadtoZGFinals