For many people who grew up playing basketball, it is hard to get away from the sport they love. Some actually grow up to be in the NBA or cover the sport like us here at Dime, but some find more creative ways to stay in the business. For Brandon Payne, the way he stayed connected to basketball was by founding his own training company, Accelerate Basketball, in Charlotte. I caught up with Brandon to talk about how he got started, his clients, and his goals for the future.
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Dime: How did you get into basketball training?
Brandon Payne: Growing up I always played basketball, and my father was a coach so I was always around the gym and I knew that when I got older all I wanted to do was coach. I got into college basketball coaching actually at a very young age while I was still in college. I was at Wingate University on the staff there and was having a great time with it. But I always had an idea of how to develop players more consistently because at the college level you don’t get the players year round. You get them for skill development in the fall and in the spring and of course all season, but you don’t really get a chance to fully develop players.
So I got away from college basketball and started working out players individually in the early 2000’s, and had a small company that did that as well as some general training with group clients. The whole time though I had this question of how do you combine strength, speed, agility, and skill work in to one efficient workout. So that’s how I came up with the concept of starting Accelerate, but it took me some time to put the money together and the company together. Two years ago it was time to pull the trigger and get this thing started and we’ve been growing and building ever since.
Dime: Talk about your location being in Charlotte.
BP: We are based in Charlotte and right now all of our training is in house, but we are working on online training models for not only players but coaches as well with drills, concepts, plays, and that type of stuff. We are trying to make our site a destination for players and coaches across the country.
Dime: Do you have relationships with programs in the Charlotte area like Davidson or other area programs?
BP: Not necessarily relationships. We have their players come in and workout with us but we don’t have any formal relationships with the universities themselves other than the fact that I know some of the area coaches and they know their players are down here working out. We don’t have any preferred arrangement or anything like that.
Dime: During the lockout, do you guys plan to aggressively target NBA players in the Charlotte area for training?
BP: We have been doing that already. We’ve been working with some Bobcats players and we’ve been contacted by more players who want to work out with us in the next few weeks. The funny thing about NBA players is a lot of them are coming off injury because when you play an 82-game schedule it takes quite a toll on the body. We actually have a relationship with one of the best sports physical therapists in the region and so we have worked together on some players like Gerald Henderson and Tyrus Thomas. We’ve been working with them in conjunction with Architect Sports who works on their injuries and rehab and then they come here to Accelerate to work on their skills and training.
We are also talking to about five more players who plan on getting started here this month, so we think our NBA numbers will be much higher very soon.