For athletes across the country and the world, COVID 19 has put a serious kink in their ability to perfect their craft. But Charlottesville based basketball skills trainer Damin Altizer, founder of DR1VEN Training and coach at Saint Anne's-Belfield, is doing his part to help out.
Bath County High School grad Damin Altizer is a former walk on at UVA, and for the better part of a decade he's trained basketball players of all ages and skill levels, from middle schoolers to the pros.
"I've always said with basketball, all you need is a ball and yourself and you can get better," Altizer says.
Getting better has a different look in the face of a pandemic, so Altizer is offering free half hour training sessions via zoom on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Over the last two weeks, he's averaged close to 300 participants on each session, from all over the country and the world, including right here in our backyard, with kids from Lord Botetourt, James River and Staunton River, among others.
"It just fires me up," he continues. "Obviously we all want to be in the gym, coaches and trainers alike. Seeing people working out in basements or kitchens or outside in their garages, it just kind of fuels that passion in a way that we never thought possible, because we never thought we'd be in this situation. But it's just so awesome to see these kids finding a way to get better."
"It takes me on the right avenue for me to get better and put work in since all the schools and gyms are closed," said Lord Botetourt freshman Jackson Crawford. "In my opinion, he's one of the best trainers around. I've been training with him for over four years, maybe five. Honestly, it's probably one of the best opportunities you have to get better during this time."
Damin has put in work with countless UVA players over the years, including Kyle Guy, De'Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome from last year's national champs. It was actually Jerome who inspired him to offer the twice a week training.
"He was in Phoenix and he didn't have a gym," said Damin. "He couldn't get in to their facility and he asked for a ball handling workout so I sent him one and he was doing it in his apartment in Phoenix, in his living room area so it's literally middle school and elementary school kids, all the way to NBA players, are trying to find any way possible that they can get better in these times. It's just cool that the game and these workouts can kind of bring people together in that way."
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