Perspectives

Princeton Global in the Community – Trenton Hoops

Bryan Caver helping kids get outside with pop-up basketball clinics

The former McCorristin High and Seton Hall star Bryan Caver is helping youngsters in Trenton get moving by hosting pop-up basketball clinics. (Courtesy of Bryan Caver)

In a continued effort to help youths in Trenton grow and improve, former McCorristin High and Seton Hall University hoops star Bryan Caver has begun free, pop-up basketball clinics around the Capital City this summer.

As part of their work with Hoop Skillz Elite and The Safe Haven, Caver and Vangela Crowe, along with Joshua and Ciara Caver, plus Kevin Avent, who join them in serving as the clinics’ coaches/trainers/instructors, have begun this venture anew now that the coronavirus pandemic is getting behind us, allowing kids to go outside their homes more in the summer of 2021.

These pop-up basketball clinics give the players a chance to stay out of trouble and safely improve their hoops skills, even if it’s just for a couple hours on a Saturday morning.

“When I first started these a few years ago, I hadn’t done anything with basketball in a while,” Caver said. “My mom had just gotten sick, and while I was taking care of her, she asked me why I’d gotten away from basketball. I thought about it and realized I can help kids who can’t afford clinics or camps.”

It must have been meant to be. Caver started his first basketball clinic July 9, 2018. A day later, his mother, Juanita, passed away at peace knowing her son was back doing something he loves and sharing that love with the area in which he grew up.

“The idea was to bring these to neighboring parks around the city,” Caver said. “Especially after last summer with COVID-19, we want to help kids get outside and help them deal with trauma, curb violence and just get some fresh air. That’s why we’re bringing it to the community.”

This year’s clinics began successfully June 12 at the Limmie J. Caver Sr. courts (named after Bryan’s father) in North Trenton and will continue to move around the city for the next two months.

“The first one we ran earlier this month had a great turnout, and the kids were excited,” Caver said. “It’s truly more about the conversations with these kids at these clinics that excites me.”

Next up is a boys-only event scheduled for Greg Grant Park in East Trenton June 26 for 11-13-year-olds. Don’t be surprised if the park’s namesake – former Trenton High, Trenton State College and NBA guard Grant – makes an appearance that day or at another event in July.

Middle school girls will be the focus after that when the clinics move to Edgewood Park in West Trenton July 10, then 8-11-year-old boys and girls will get their chance when the series returns to Greg Grant Park July 24.

The free pop-up clinics will wind up their summer tour of Trenton with another visit to West Trenton’s Edgewood Park Aug. 7 when instruction will be provided for advanced level, 14-16-year-old boys only.

With the hope of “bringing the basketball camp experience to a neighborhood court near you,” Bryan Caver and his family, in conjunction with Princeton Global Asset Management and the Baseline 2 Baseline sports podcast, are inviting 20 participants per site to sign up, which the players’ family members can do so by contacting him at (609) 977-4867 or by e-mailing him at caverhoopskillzelite@gmail.com.

“Brett Shaver of Princeton Global Asset Management truly stepped up to help us out with this,” said Caver, who also thanked his friends on the Trenton Police force who keep the events safe.

Each clinic runs from 9-11:30 a.m. on those Saturdays at the aforementioned sites. A bag lunch will be provided.

While the event is free, donations are requested to help Hoop Skillz Elite and The Safe Haven purchase indoor/outdoor basketballs (girls’ size 28.5 & boys’ size 29.5), cones, speed ropes, basketball nets, food and beverages for participants, as well as camper t-shirts and giveaways. Checks can be made payable to Hoop Skillz Elite, and mailed to Hoop Skillz Elite Inc., 616 New Willow St., Trenton, NJ 08618. You can also contribute via the Cashapp: $Caveman1110 or via Venmo: @Bryan-Caver.

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