For many sports activities followers, the title “Armstead” is synonymous with Arik, a veteran defensive lineman for the monster 49ers. For skilled basketball gamers — within the NBA and world wide — the title instantly conjures up 100-degree days and double exercises in Sacramento. Guss Armstead, probably the most revered basketball trainers within the nation, held courtroom there. Guss, who’s Arik’s father, hosts his personal summer time league, prepares gamers of all ability ranges, finds the gamers a spot to dwell and even feeds them. human generally. Professional ballers love him, not only for his elite coaching expertise however for creating a real assist community.
I first met Guss on a heat spring day in Sacramento greater than 15 years in the past, after I went to “Basketball City,” Armstead’s longtime headquarters. (It closed in 2007; Armstead’s hub is now at Sport Courts Health in Sacramento.) There are three full-size courts which have housed NBA gamers like Matt Barnes, Bobby Jackson, Andre Miller and Brad Miller. There I used to be searching for a person I had by no means seen and due to this fact searching for anybody much like a coach. I by no means noticed the person, however what I did see was a tall, bald, dark-skinned man carrying a black T-shirt, lengthy black shorts and cross-trainers. individuals snigger due to lacking layups. It is like half health club, half barbershop. I knew I used to be in the correct place. Not solely was I experiencing the world of offseason basketball coaching for the primary time; I skilled a group that had been constructing for many years.