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The NEX Elite program out of Massachusetts is only in its second season, but a strong foundation allowed the group to enjoy immediate success. New England Exposure Basketball is led by an experienced, talented unit that will guide nine teams this summer.
“I think the key is to get good quality coaches, and we have those from our younger teams to our older teams,” said Pat Russell, an NEX Elite co-founder and the current director of basketball operations. “We have high school coaches, and most of them do not have kids on the team they are coaching.”
Russell has proven to be a pretty fair coach himself. He began coaching his daughters, one of whom is now a senior at Babson College and one who is sophomore at Penn.
“A number of the players on that first team went on to play in college, and then every one of the players on my younger daughter’s team got a scholarship,” Russell said. “Once I was finished coaching my daughters, I knew that I wanted to keep coaching, and we just decided to go our own way and start this program.”
NEX Elite will take a step forward this summer when the club begins competing in the powerful All Star Girls Report Summer League.
“We had considered joining the League last year, but we wanted to wait to get our feet wet running our own program. We knew there would be some first year hurdles, and we wanted to focus on handling those things.
“This year, we wanted to try to challenge our kids and have them play against tough teams from other parts of the country. We have gone to the Deep South Classic the past two years, so we are familiar with the ASGR staff and how they do things. We know that we are going to face good competition, and that the events will be well run. They use good facilities, and they just treat people right.
“Plus, we know that there will be a lot of college coaches at the ASGR events, so our kids will get great exposure.”