For this program profile we sat down with Vernon “Vito” Buckle, the program director for Team Vito. Being one of the fastest growing and respected programs in the DMV, we wanted to ask some questions to learn more about Team Vito Goats! Team Vito is based out of Montgomery County, MD but also recruits players from surrounding areas such as Frederick County and Prince Georges County. Starting in 2015 with only one 15u team, Vito has expanded his program to 14 teams within only 5 years.
“It started as an idea and became a movement”
Team Vito Goats services ages 7-18 (grades 4th – 12th) girls and boys, with a main mission to equip their youth with vital life skills to succeed academically, in life, through basketball. When asked about what this program excels in, Vito states, “We excel in communication, teaching of the game, cost, versatility, and diversity”. It is clear from this sit-down conversation that Team Vito has a strong goal to teach responsibility and keep their youth on a positive life path. Team Vito has had many accomplishments over the past 5 years, including having multiple players move on to play at D1, D2, and D3 colleges. But Vito specifically said that his best memories come from, “traveling with the kids, creating bonds and seeing them grow and get better every day”. These coaches strive to instill hard work, dedication, and the understanding of time value in all their players.
“I try to teach them that sports are a privilege not a given.”
When asked what Team Vito does to separate themselves from other programs, flexibility and expectations are the two aspects that were highlighted. They are flexible in a sense that players come from all different economic statuses and they come together to provide in a way that everyone can participate. Although they want their players to enjoy what their doing and have fun, they set expectations to “work hard every day of the week, no matter what we are doing, and to make the most of every opportunity given.” Looking forward, Vito’s main goal is to keep this program around for as long as possible. It is very clear that this program has the right goal and mission, to provide for the youth while also instilling valuable morals in their players.
“Basketball reflects life, you learn to build bridges which creates character, and use that to build on what they have learned through sports to grow as people … I want to continue to train these kids and be involved in basketball for the rest of my life…. I want to be able to continue to help families and the youth”
We cannot wait to see how Team Vito continues to grow and evolve in the near future. They have been one of the most competitive programs in our DMV circuit over the past few years and will be a tough opponent for everyone! Zero Gravity is very excited to have them participate this Spring and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this powerhouse program!
Make sure to follow Team Vito on social media: