By Madisen Carter
Thirteen-year-old, John Rudolph, has been training at Unlimited Potential Basketball since he was just eight years old. His first visit at the training facility was for a President’s Day Camp back in 2018, and he instantly enjoyed working on his basketball skills, and even came back the same day to join another training session. Since that first day at UPB, Rudolph has visited the UPB Training Facility more than 680 times and has spent more than 700 hours training.
Rudolph admitted that he was not a big basketball fan before he started training at UPB and that he mainly focused on playing soccer. As he continued to work on his basketball skills, he decided in March of 2020 that he would stop playing soccer and dedicate his time to the game of basketball. Now with around five years of basketball experience, Rudolph’s skills have exponentially improved as he joins private training sessions and small group training sessions with Coach Packie at UPB.
Rudolph said a huge skill he has improved on since training at UPB is his ball handling skills and shooting. Now he can take on more difficult ball handling drills and shoot consistently from the free throw line and behind the three-point line.
“My favorite part [about training at UPB] is probably working with the coaches and seeing how I improve after each session, [and] I like how the coaches challenge me in many different ways,” Rudolph said. “One of my favorite parts is the competitions with Coach DyShawn because he always challenges me and makes it really difficult for me to beat him.”
Not only does Rudolph spend countless hours working on his craft at the UPB Training Facility, but he also puts in hours with his AAU teams. This year was Rudolph’s first time playing on an AAU team, and he played for the Renegades and Flight Academy. When in season, Rudolph would spend three days a week practicing with his AAU teams and then spend four to five days a week at UPB. Sometimes he would even work with his AAU teams and with the trainers at UPB on the same day.
“It's good to see my improvement from the UPB sessions and [that] paying off inside the games,” Rudolph said. “During the AAU season, I would ask my coach after practices and games about things for me to work on with the UPB Trainers. I think this really helped me improve during the AAU season.”
Now that Rudolph is in his AAU off-season, he has been training at the facility even more consistently. With all of his visits since 2018, Rudolph is one of the most well known athletes at UPB. Even professional athletes including one of Rudolph’s favorite basketball players, Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Poole, knows Rudolph and even wished him a happy birthday. Trainers at UPB refer to Rudolph as “the GOAT” or a “UPB Legend.”
“We are fortunate to accompany John on his basketball journey and see him grow into the special young man he is on and off the court,” Coach Packie said last year on Rudolph’s birthday.
Rudolph said his main goal in basketball is to play college basketball and then be able to play professional basketball. He has plenty of time to work towards that goal, and at UPB, we know how dedicated he is to the game and how much work he puts into perfecting his skills. We cannot wait to see where the game of basketball takes him!
“Basketball is really important to me [and] special to me because I love seeing myself improve from season to season or from [each] training to training. I just like seeing myself improve more than anything,” Rudolph said.
Smith has been with UPB for a few weeks now and is helping with group training and private training. He said he has enjoyed seeing the variety of different athletes that come into the gym from division I college basketball players all the way down to three year olds. He said group training has been his favorite part so far, being able to interact with a lot of different athletes and helping them improve throughout the sessions.