For the past month, Metro High Performance Coach, Sam Gruggen, has been travelling across Metro New South Wales conducting numerous performance workshops and development opportunities for athletes in Metro areas of NSW.

Gruggen has continued his work with the State Performance Program (SPP) which is the first tier of Basketball NSW High-Performance Program. The program is run over three terms and from the athlete’s perspective, there is a strong focus on the identification, development, and support of individuals aged 13-17. He has continuously engaged with various SPP sessions per week with which includes Monday sessions for athletes that are Under-16 and Friday sessions that are focused on Under-18 athletes.

Gruggen also assisted in running the 2018 U14 Talented Athlete Program camps in Narrabeen with Basketball NSW, Country High Performance Coach, Curtis Sardi.  The Talented Athlete Program (TAP) is a single camp-based program that aims to expose a group of 50 selected athletes to the NSW/Australian Style of Play and concepts of play whilst also providing educational opportunities for athletes in the field of nutrition, injury prevention, and effective rehabilitation exercises.

The first camp consisted of 50 male athletes over 2.5 days along with seven coaches with the second also consisting of 50 female athletes across 2.5 days and six coaching staff.

“It was great to complete the TAP camp of 2018 and having so many athletes enjoy and learn as we introduced them to their first idea of the Basketball NSW Style of Play,” Gruggen said.

“I personally look forward to seeing these athletes that have participated in the camp, continue to develop in terms of their basketball careers along with their increased progression on their personal growth. It is wonderful to see at the end of the camp the new skills they have learnt as well as other things such as rehabilitation processes and healthy lifestyle choices.”

Gruggen has also been active in the commencement of the National Performance Program by identifying and selecting athletes in Metro NSW. The National Performance Program identifies potential Boomers, Opals and junior Australian players who are on the Basketball Australia depth chart. This program offers a state of the art athlete management system, which Gruggen oversees and helps manage the various athletes’ workload to ensure they are all performing at the best.

Also, each athlete in the program is given the unique opportunity to have an individual session, such as Gruggen work with them weekly/fortnightly depending on their workload. Gruggen focuses these sessions on advanced skill development in a high intensity environment.

“I’m extremely excited to have the National Performance Program up and running. This is a prestigious program that is nationally endorsed.” Gruggen said.

“The training programs focus on individual physical skills, technical skills, and tactical knowledge at the international level as well as learning to become a holistic basketball player. It is also very personal as every NPP athlete receives an Individual Performance Program formulated in conjunction with the athlete, our coaching staff, strength and conditioning staff, and other support staff.”

Finally, Gruggen has been busy preparing and mentoring the U16 Metro and Women’s teams ahead of the U16 Championships next month. Gruggen has been working closely with Sardi to oversee the upcoming Metro v Country warm up game in Newcastle this weekend.

On behalf of Gruggen and Sardi, we wish the best of luck to all the athletes, coaches and staff as they prepare for the U16 Australian Junior Nationals on the 6th-13th of July held on the Sunshine Coast.


U16 NSW Country V U16 NSW Metro (Free Entry)

June 23, 2018

Men – 10:00AM
Women – 12:30PM

Singlet Presentation – 11:45AM

Newcastle Basketball Stadium 


2018 Australian Under-16 Junior Championships:

July 6-13, 2018

University of Sunshine Coast Stadium and Caloundra Stadium

Sunshine Coast, Queensland