By Chris Guandalini (PGC Grad)
My name is Chris Guandalini, and I am a 1995 Point Guard College Graduate!
I still can’t figure out who recommended PGC to me after my junior year of high school, but I am very thankful they did. I wish I knew about it a season or two earlier.
The camp took place at Bryant College in Rhode Island. It was a unique week because we shared the college facilities with the New England Patriots summer camp. So being a skinny high school basketball player and standing near these giants was quite the experience.
Our group, which I feel couldn’t have been much more than 20, was blessed to be taught by the creator of PGC, Dick Devenzio. I can’t remember everything about him that week, but I know he was energetic, insanely intelligent, engaging, and always got straight to the point.
I played three sports, but basketball was my first love and the only sport I went to summer camps for. So before my junior year, I had experienced many different basketball sleepaway camps. PGC was like no other camp I had ever experienced. The dedicated classroom time was different, and I remember taking pages of notes. I still believe I have my notes somewhere, but I have sadly not located them. Dick made it a point to get to know each other early in the camp. We had to send in a notecard that answered many personal questions about ourselves, via snail mail, at the time. Yes, I am old. It got us off to a great start and helped us feel more comfortable, and helped us gel as a group early on. Dick knew what he was doing.
For the next part of this story, please remember that it was 1995 and does not reflect the current safety precautions and supervision of today’s PGC camps. From my recollection, Dick was the only adult supervising us there. The campers were all doubled up in the same hallway, and I am mostly sure we had no idea where Dick was staying. I had driven to camp, and we were actually allowed to leave the school at night. Dick told us we could. Some of the campers and I decided to take a short excursion to a diner/bar for a bite to eat. We were hanging out and eating french fries and happened to notice that Drew Bledsoe was sitting alone at the Diner’s bar.
While we were there, an obvious Patriots fan came to him asking for an autograph. Let’s say that didn’t go over too well for the Patriots fan. That night will be forever ingrained into my brain because of the whole Drew Bledsoe incident and the fact that we could leave campus.
To summarize my camp experience, I would say it was a life-changing week for me, taught by an exceptional man and experienced with many cool high schoolers from all over New England.
Quick fast forward to my senior season, which benefited greatly from that camp. Our loss in the state’s ended my organized basketball career and left me crying harder than I ever had or have since.
Besides intramurals and some adult basketball leagues, basketball became an afterthought for me. After college, I went to work for my father, and life just moved on. Between taking over a business, kids, marriage, etc., basketball was fading away for me. I was even watching less of my UConn Huskies.
I have two daughters. The oldest, Emelia, has never been into sports. But she loves the stage and shines up there. Yes, she gets that from me. My youngest, Adlee, has always been athletic from a young age but stubborn like my wife. Que Borat saying, “Myyyy Wiiiiife.” She didn’t take to any sports until about 3rd grade, when her friends played basketball that year. I was busy with work, so I wasn’t going to coach, but I became the assistant coach because I couldn’t help myself. I knew a good amount of the basic drills from my youth, but I wanted to see what else was out on the interwebs. While researching coaching basketball, I thought I should look up and see if PGC was still around and what Dick Devenzio was doing these days. I was saddened to see Dick had passed away so young in 2001. He had already given so much to the basketball world, but I wonder what else that great mind could have contributed.
After that, I read about Dena Evans continuing his legacy and what she and now Mano have built since. I was blown away by the PGC organization and dove into all the great free online content they had out there.
As I researched more and more, something started to build inside me, something I had long forgotten. It was my LOVE of basketball. I had put it aside and moved on from it, and when I came back, it was there and as strong as it was before.
Through the next couple of years, I continued to coach and consumed anything I could get my hands on. Then, one day, in my quest to learn more, I stumbled across Key5 Coaching, now PGC coaching. I joined instantly once I realized the affiliation with PGC.
At this point, I was only coaching my daughter’s rec team. Well, the pandemic hit right at the end of her 4th-grade season, and I just dove headfirst into all the content and live roundtables. TJ, Sam, and Lisa were my new gurus, and I attended everything I could.
I was a recreation basketball coach surrounded by middle school, high school, and college coaches, and I couldn’t have felt more part of the group.
I continued learning, participating, and applying the knowledge when I could. Our town’s middle school girls coaching job opened up this past summer. I decided to apply for it and got my first head coaching gig. I would never have gone for the job or done so well at the interview without the crew at PGC Coaching.
They fed my desire to learn and taught me many great things. I am looking forward to many more years of coaching and learning from all the great Coaches in the PGC Coaching Community.
That is my basketball story and how PGC has SCHAPED it. How will PGC SCHAPE your basketball story?
Walsh Intermediate Head Basketball Coach
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Athlete Story | April Boldman
I’ve been coaching in some capacity (various sports and levels) since 1996 and have been teaching and coaching since 2005. I was drawn to PGC because of the culture. The basketball stuff is amazing, but it’s the leadership and mentality training that’s truly impacted my life (and those around me).
Athlete Story | David Dean
A week or two later, I was back at PGC, back in this other world of basketball positivity. I remember Dena Evans’ talk on mental toughness. I remember all this deep wisdom about controlling momentum in games.
PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.