STRATFORD, Conn. — If there’s one thing Patrick Parker knows it’s that practice makes perfect.
He sees it every day at Jump Shot Range, a basketball skill-building facility he and some friends opened on Access Road in Stratford in November. The idea came to him when his 13-year-old daughter told him she wanted to play basketball, but she didn’t know how to shoot.
“She needed a lot of reps to get good,” said the Milford resident, who by day is an attorney for a Stamford financial services company. “I thought, there are a lot of kids out there who could use an accelerated program.”
Unlike gyms that offer pickup games and leagues, Jump Shot Range focuses on training, helping children and adults perfect their shooting and work on the speed, agility, strength and conditioning that will make them better players when it’s game time.
Jump Shot uses state-of-the-art Shoot-A-Way 8000 Series “shooting guns,” baskets that rebound the ball back to any of 60 positions the player may use to practice shots. The rebounding features allows seasoned shooters to take hundreds of shots an hour.
Players can also tether themselves to VertiMax machines, which help with speed and agility training or work with weights to build strength.
Several area teams use the site with their coaches, but personal training is available for individual players and walk-ins who just want to use the equipment are welcome.
Jump Shot has partnered with Premier Hoops Development, or PhD, which will also hold programs at the Stratford site.
Since he works in Stamford, Parker relies on a team to help keep Jump Shot up and running. Kwame Burwell, a coach at the Cardinal Sheehan Center in Bridgeport, usually opens for the day at 3 p.m.
Stratford resident Curtis Eller, who played for St, Joseph High School in Trumbull until his graduation last year, helps out, as does Greg Astree, a personal trainer from Norwalk.
The youngest member of the team is volunteer Mikey August, a Stratford High School student.
Jump Shot offers family programs and birthday parties and usually runs programming on school holidays.
The site has already welcomed about 640 people and there’s always room for more, Parker said.
“We hope to see this place always jumpin’,” he said.
Jump Shot Range is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit jumpshotrange.com or call 866-55-RANGE (72643).
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