The Performance Factory, Ottawa's newest basketball training facility
Keeping kids active during the summer is important for many families and one summer camp is taking it to the next level when it comes to basketball.
Former professional basketball player Keith Gough, who is originally from Halifax, also played for Algonquin College in the late 1990s.
He now calls Ottawa home and opened up a basketball training facility called The Performance Factory.
It is year-round training for anyone looking to take their skills to the next level.
“We cover everything. We do speed and agility. We do plyometrics. We handle all of the skills training,” says Gough. “I have young players coming in. I have college players coming in. I have high-level high school players coming in. I have pros that are home for the summer coming in. We cater to everybody.”
Right now, the gym is hosting dozens of kids for summer basketball camp. Players like 15-year-old Francis Mullowney, who just started two weeks ago.
“I think it’s very good competition,” says Mullowney. “Lots of good players come here and it’s also just a good atmosphere.”
But for the kids, it’s more than just sports.
“The ball handling, all the shooting, it gets you prepared to play for an elite team. I think that’s great,” says Mullowney. “And it’s not just on-the-court principles, he also teaches leadership.”
Gough wants to instil life lessons into his young players, and prepare them for their future.
“They’re learning and growing their self esteem, confidence, how to deal with teammates,” says Gough, “and just build that camaraderie with people and develop those types of skills as well. So we believe that this is a staple that will follow them for the rest of their lives.”
Many of Gough’s athletes have become better both on and off the court since joining. Alex Safo says he has made a couple of teams that he wouldn’t have made otherwise, thanks to Gough.
“The work ethic that he makes you put in when you’re in here, you’re going to give 100 per cent,” says Safo. “He’s a really good trainer. I came around about two years ago and he really improved me and my ball handling and shooting.”
Both Gough and his some of his coaching team played professional basketball overseas and are now passing the torch on to the new generation.
“We try to keep them in the right direction,” says coach Anthony Pigram, who was also a Harlem Globetrotter. “Let them know about their future. Let them know the mistakes that we made, for them not to make them. We just try to keep them on a high note, keep them positive, and most of all, have fun.”
The Performance Factory opened its doors this past March and is more than just a summer camp. It can hosts birthday parties, full gym rentals, and runs open gym sessions. You can visit their website for more information.