By Connor Laubenstein /// Staff writer
Character, Humility, Academics, Motivation, Passion, Success. These are the fundamental principles upon which C.H.A.M.P.S. Basketball Academy, founded by Lewis & Clark alumnus Phil “P.J.” Taylor Jr. (’12), is based. Teaching children from ages 6-18 in the Portland area, the academy boasts a strong commitment to basketball and character.
A fairly young company, C.H.A.M.P.S. was founded in March 2013 by Taylor and two other coaching professionals: Dondrale Campbell and Vinnie McGee Jr. Their aim is to improve their clients’ basketball skills on the court, as well as their personae, to ensure bright futures.
“I developed this program to enhance the fundamentals and create skill packages for upcoming youth in the Portland, Oregon area,” Taylor said. “Being an alumnus, it was only right for me to stay home and host my training sessions/camps at Lewis and Clark College.”
Taylor has run four kids camps at LC in the past six months, and seven statewide.“The thought of having camps at the college I graduated from was a dream come true, and I love showing my Pio Pride.”
This past summer, the academy had two blockbuster skills and development camps. The camps offer a three-day, jam-packed schedule, and are designed to improve every facet of a young players game while still being affordable.
In an effort to incorporate the LC community and show pride in his alma mater, Taylor also includes student athletes from both the women and men’s basketball teams in his venture. Sarah Anderson (’16), Justin Leathers (’15) and Jason Luhnow (’15) volunteered at the Damian Lillard Special Olympics and unprivileged youth camp, presented by C.H.A.M.P.S.
The academy’s website provides videos documenting typical workouts and personalized skill challenges. With a simple layout, registration for C.H.A.M.P.S. skill clinics is an easy task. Taylor looks forward to watching his first round of basketball players succeed at the next levels.
“My goals for C.H.A.M.P.S. Basketball Academy are to inspire athletes to not only succeed on the basketball court, but to also become great citizens in society,” Taylor said. “C.H.A.M.P.S. Basketball believes that if you reveal great character, when you show your humility on and off the court, when you strive for excellence in academics, when you find what motivates you in life and become passionate about it, it will only lead to success.”