Paul Savramis spent 1996-2004 teaching basketball skills and as a motivational speaker in Europe. The founder of both Eastern Invitational and Rising Stars basketball camps, Paul Savramis saw his work in Europe as the next challenge in his career. But what Paul Savramis didn’t expect as he traveled across the sea was how rewarding his participation in these camps would be.
Interviewing Experts: In 1996, you made your first trip to Europe. Explain the work you were doing there.
Paul Savramis: I was participating in the Swiss Allstar Basketball Camp, which is Europe’s biggest basketball camp.
Interviewing Experts: Sounds exciting.
Paul Savramis: The entire process was really unique. The attendees represented a diverse group of young people from throughout the world.
Interviewing Experts: With so many participants speaking so many different languages, it must have been difficult.
Paul Savramis: Participants are divided into groups, depending on age and level of expertise in basketball. The official camp languages can be English, German, French, or Italian.
Interviewing Experts: Were translators available to help those who didn’t speak English?
Paul Savramis: Yes, at every event we had translators, but all of the participants spoke one universal language: basketball. In many cases, very little translation was necessary.
Interviewing Experts: The participants were likely able to watch coaches demonstrate what needed to be done.
Paul Savramis: Yes, and many of the participants knew enough about basketball that it just naturally flowed. We also had kids with us from America –The NIKE Whiz Kids –that put on performances of dribbling and shooting.
Interviewing Experts: The Swiss Allstar Basketball Camp seems to follow similar principles as the basketball camps you’ve founded.
Paul Savramis: Yes, at the European camp, as well as at my camps in the States, the emphasis was always on fun-damentals (emphasis on fun). They also stressed that anything is possible with desire and hard work. That positive message and other motivational themes carried over from each of our programs to the other.
Interviewing Experts: The games were still competitive, though.
Paul Savramis: The spirit of competition is always alive and well in all of the activities in a basketball camp regardless of origin. But we also work hard to instill and to reinforce the values of teamwork and cooperation in each participant.
Interviewing Experts: The game of basketball seems to be a way to work as a bonding interest for many of these participants.
Paul Savramis: Yes, when you take a step back and look at it, these camps are all about bringing people with this one major shared interest together, although they often find that they have other interests in common once camp begins.
With more than thirty years of experience running basketball camps, Paul Savramis has personally witnessed the long-term effects of competitive sports at a young age. Paul Savramis received his Master’s degree in physical education from Queens College. Following graduation, Paul Savramis founded Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp, an interactive learning experience for all involved. Paul Savramis is also the founder of Rising Stars, a highly respected basketball camp in New York.