Terrell Myers (We R 1)
For years the state of Delaware was never known as a basketball hot bed but now things could be changing as the WE R 1 program has become one of the top AAU facets in the Northeast. Terrell Myers and Matt Pauls joined forces to put bring together some of the top talent in the tri-state area. We sat down with Myers to get his take on the program.
From The Directors Desk
BS: How did you come up with the We R 1 concept?
TM:The We R 1 concept began when Matt Paul (NJABC) and I (ECE) recognized there weren't enough prominent AAU programs in the Tri-State area built on professionalism and quality coaching. The idea was to not only develop athleticism, but to also focus on their social and mental development as well. Our concept is to use basketball as a means to promote other life long skills i.e. effective communication, perseverance, teamwork, and time management, networking all things they can pay forward in their careers beyond basketball.
BS: What made you take the challenge of making a flagship AAU squad in Delaware?
TM: After I retired from pro ball I decided to move to Delaware, I was contemplating returning to Europe, but was given the opportunity to train several players in the area and realized that not only were there quality players here, but that they deserved the same opportunities I was given as a youth. So I decided to give back and this is where I landed. It's been both rewarding and fulfilling.
BS: Who are some of the top players in your program?
TM:I consider them ALL top players; however here are a few names known on the circuit! (2019) Trevon Alderman, Fahmir Ali (2018) 6'4 Jamal Whittesey, 6'2 Chris Cropper 2017) 6'2 ErIc Ayala, 6'0 Jordan Money, (2016) 5'10 Mikey Dixon, 6'10 Sedee Keita, 6'3 Maurice Williams, (2015) 6'9 Tim Delaney, 6'3 Malik Ellison, 6'1 Traci Carter, 6'5 Tyler Kohl, 6'7 Derrick Jones and 6'10 Ernest Aflakpui. (2014) 6'8 Ben Bentil, 6'3 Austin Tilghman, 6'4 Kaison Randolph, 6'0 Jo Jo Cooper, 6'3 Todd Hughes, 6’3 Isaiah Washington.
BS: What are some of the obstacles that come along with being a program director?
TM:The main obstacle is making sure that everyone gets the attention they need to be the best they can be, from top to bottom. I am fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing team of people who share a common goal! Matt Pauls CEO of Major Cooperation, and Ron Martin VP are co-directors and most of our coaches have played in the NCAA Final 4, Sweet 16, or NBA so they understand the obstacles and are all prepared to deal with them. We've dealt with some local negative press which is understandable since this has never been done before in Delaware, so obviously people are skeptical about our intentions and our ability to succeed, but we've been able to work through that as well.
BS: What are the benefits of being an Under Amor program?
TM: Having an Under Armour sponsorship validates the hard work that we are putting in ... People are starting to recognize we are not a fly by night AAU program we are a sustainable organization that's achieving goals....The clear benefit is the ability to have the kids play on platforms they may not have been able to in the past, and to be invited to arenas where they can showcase their talents with the potential of scholarships! That's what it's all about at the end of the day helping them get into college. Under Armour has done a great job developing a platform for players age 10-17. Their middle school grind sessions will be a fresh look to the AAU seen this spring summer.
BS: What's in the future for the We R 1 program?
TM: Our goal is to keep expanding and developing kids. We pride ourselves on having meaningful relationships with our players and their families. Our only goal is to see kids DEVELOP and become good husbands, fathers, brothers and professionals. If we concentrate on those things the players will continue to come.... Like we always say "Don't be afraid to come to South Beach" you might really LIKE IT!
BS: Share one of your success stories of We R 1.
TM: I believe the 16U team that we have assembled this year is probably our best success story so far. To have Traci Carter, Malik Ellison, Tyler Kohl, Ernest Aflakpui, Sedee Keita, Derrick Jones and Tim Delaney on one team is pretty special. (That’s possibly 7 players in the top 100) We recently won the Pitt Jam Fest their first tournament as a team, by an average of 22 points per game; from that one tournament all of the players have received offers. This team is by many to be the number one 16U in the country.
BS: Share one of your darkest times with We R 1.
TM: The only dark time that comes to mind is the lack of initial support from some nay Sayers who thought we were all in this for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately there have been so many stories of coaches and organizations that gave AAU a bad name, because they were financially driven, or didn't have the kid's best interest at heart. It was a bit of a dark cloud being held over our heads to prove ourselves. Having only been together for 2 years and already having a UA sponsorship I think we are proving we're in this for all the right reasons, and people are starting to recognize us and things are going according to plan.