As a young child growing up in Boca Raton, Florida, Brandon Strassburger dreamed of a career in basketball, so when Coach Rollie Massimino gave him the opportunity to play the game while attending Northwood University, he knew it was meant to be.
“As a kid we all knew of Coach Mass and the famous Villanova upset, so when I got to know him in person, he opened my eyes to all of the other possibilities of a profession in the game and made me realize there are many aspects relating to the business and management side of it that most fans don’t think of,” said Strassburger who joined Northwood Florida in 2009 in the Entertainment, Sport & Promotion Management program. “After working for coach and the Northwood Seahawks for two years I had my eyes opened even further while interning with the Miami Heat. That experience is something I’ll never forget. While attending some of the NBA Final games I got to witness first-hand all the behind the scene efforts. It was really cool to see the things we learned in class come to life at the American Airlines arena,” he smiled.
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Strassburger is applying the lessons to his own business ventures.
As dozens of boys visit Northwood University Florida to learn additional techniques to score hoops, many are also discovering the importance of integrity and the value of a college education.
Welcoming over 70 campers in its inaugural year, the Big Time Basketball Summer Skills Camp, which was founded by Strassburger, a 2012 graduate who now serves as Northwood University’s Director of Student Life, is designed to impart life lessons in addition to jump shot, dribbling, passing and defensive skills.
“Every coach has college or professional playing experience, and they’re familiar with Northwood’s mission and code of ethics so they’re stressing the importance of how a solid education, combined with honor and integrity can carry one far – both on and off the court,” said Strassburger, who’d first learned of the University through an open basketball team tryout.
And parents are taking note as well.
“My son truly enjoyed his experience at the Big Time Basketball Summer Skills Camp. Coach Brandon stressed hard work and dedication as keys to success in education and in athletics. The core basketball skills he learned at camp will surely improve his growth as a player and an individual,” said Steve Cook of his son Carter’s experience.
“I’ve always had basketball coaches that taught me there was more to life than just basketball. I met my best mentors and role models, and some of my best friends through the game, so I’ve always wanted to use it to teach our youth that being a good person and that valuing their education is more important than being a good basketball player. A lot of the children who I’ve trained over the years and those who attend camp often describe me to friends and parents as the older brother they’ve always wanted. Hearing that makes everything I do well worth it,”
added Strassburger. “There are many people who have influenced me and aided in making my first camp a success. I’ve had a lot of families, friends and coaches that have invested much time and effort into getting me on the right track and always making sure I was doing the right thing,” he said. - Suzi McCreery