RJS Basketball and Difference Makers Basketball came together to present the Midnight Madness. This high school showcase event at Trenton Catholic Academy sent shockwaves through Mercer County. RJS CEO Ricky Sullivan also has coached at the Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp and the 8th Grade Seminar Showcase. Basketball Spotlight sat down with Sullivan to get caught up on RJS plans for the future.
One On One Feat: Rickey Sullivan (RJS)
BS: What’s Up Rickey, give us a brief history on RJS Basketball?
RJS: What’s up Mike, in a nutshell RJS Basketball is my life’s work. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love the game and the absolute rush behind it. RJS Basketball was birthed 12 years ago when I realized a positive shift was necessary in my life. I had the desire to give back, share my knowledge of the game and the discipline it provided. I made the decision to live my dream and build a legacy on my own terms.
BS: What’s RJS vision?
RJS: The RJS vision has always been to open my own facility that would bring life and attention to basketball in the South Jersey area. I had to continuously grind and hustle to create a body of work that would be respected and highly sought after. I took it upon myself to learn the business side and invest in myself. Over the years I have been able to build upon each accomplishment to get to the place I am in now. It was my goal to create a high caliber of basketball in this local area, that would be tangible to the youth and athletes right here. I had to see my future and my end game early on, and that helped me to stay focused. Despite every ‘No’ I have encountered – I never took my eye off the prize. Now, all these years later I am preparing to open the doors to the most versatile training facility in South Jersey and experience my vision as it comes to life.
BS: What are some of the obstacles you have encountered on your journey?
RJS: Trying to overcome emotional roadblocks – lack of support from people I thought would be there for me. I was a one man show; the marketing guy, the errand guy, the walking advertisement. I had to wear all the hats and wake up every day to believe in myself, by myself. Sleepless nights – looking for gym space and planning for what I knew in my mind would be great. Making daily decisions about the next move was stressful. For every door that closed, another one opened and that is what helped me stay afloat and keep going.
BS: Besides training, you have a few events under your belt. Describe the events and how did they come about.
RJS: I started to think outside the box about ways to set myself apart. I came up with the idea of 2 training brands competing against each other. I knew the community would love to see and be a part of the rivalry created between two respected trainers. I thought it would generate more business for us both and create a platform for us to showcase these events year after year. The first event was called the RJS vs Gymwork Future Classic (grades 7-12 boys and girls), and the RJS vs Gymwork Little Dribblers Classic (grades 3-6 boys and girls).
BS: Now to the big event! Give us the breakdown on how you put together the Midnight Madness.
RJS: I have been sitting on this event in my mind for quite sometimes. As a matter of fact, you and I were supposed to do this event together LOL. It was all about the timing and the perfect alignment of opportunity. Julian Dunkley, founder of Difference Makers and I competed against each other in high school and always maintained a positive friendship. When it came to doing business, us teaming up was the recipe for success. We simply talked about what we wanted and made it happen. The event was sold out and left an impression on the community, just like I had envisioned in my mind.
BS: What would you like to see different in the world of basketball training?
RJS: I’d like to see more trainers coming together to make things happen and create other avenues for success outside of just training. It’s a new regime – I pride myself on building relationships and partnering with various branches of the basketball training network.
BS: How was your experience working at the Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp and 8th Grade Seminar/Showcase?
RJS: Being extended the opportunity to coach at a premier event was an honor. Working with such talented kids and next-level coaches was extremely rewarding. This was a great experience and I am grateful for having been selected to work at this event. I will never forget the experience of these events.