HARBOR SPRINGS — Trevor Huffman has lived in Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Germany and France, but Petoskey has always been home for the professional basketball star.
Coming from someone that currently plays and resides in the French Riviera, that’s a lot to say.
“Oh yeah, the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived is Petoskey and now the French Riviera,” Huffman said. “I’ve come back every summer. Who wouldn’t want to live here in the summer.”
Huffman, 33, a former Petoskey High School basketball standout and current professional playing in France for the Antibes Sharks, is back once again in the place he calls home for the summer, sharing his vast knowledge of the sport and teaching the game he loves.
He’s doing so with his chin held a little higher than usual, however, after Antibes won the Europe Pro B Championship on June 1.
“It only took me 12 years,” he said with a laugh. “It was probably the best sporting moment of my career. The best feeling. I was so relieved to win something that no one else had. Just to put your hands on it.”
In his 12th professional season, after a prolific college career at Kent State in which he led the Golden Flashes to the Elite 8 of the 2002 NCAA Tournament, Huffman averaged 10.9 points and 5.1 assists a game while shooting 41.3 percent from 3-point range.
Now, away from the Alps and the sparkling blue water of the Mediterranean, Huffman brings his basketball knowledge to the courts of Northern Michigan, specifically those of Specialized Sports Training facility where he’ll lead the Trevor Huffman Academy throughout the summer.
Kids from the age of six to the college and professional level will have a chance to learn, train and gain from Huffman in preparation for their respective seasons.
“I’ve always liked doing it. It makes me feel like I’m young and I like to see the kids,” Huffman said. “I think basketball is one of those things that you never stop training or getting better. You’re only getting worse if you’re not doing something. Your skill work, your footwork, your whole body.”
There’s a lot of goals and training worked into the camp, which will run throughout the summer, Monday through Thursday, but the main point Huffman wants to get through to the kids is that over time, hard work will pay off.
“In reality, it’s a lot of hard work to get up to the college level,” he said. “I know I can make kids more efficient basketball players. We’re trying to be better leaders, we’re trying to be better basketball players and we’re trying to be better athletes. I try to get the point across to kids that it’s not suppose to happen today. It’s suppose to happen 90 days from now.”
Partnered with friend Rob Beigle of Specialized Sports Training, Huffman sees the facility as a hidden gem of Northern Michigan and something many of the basketball crazed area can benefit from in getting personalized one-on-one training, unlike many of the state-wide larger collegiate camps.
“This is like a dream facility for kids up north, they just don’t even know it yet,” Huffman said. “There’s a lot of kids that can do it, they just don’t have the resources or the knowledge to know ‘I’ve got to start working now as an eighth grader, ninth grader.’ It starts to click as they’re a junior and senior, but by that time for a lot of people, it’s too late.”
Boys and girls of all ages are encouraged to sign up, as the first day was Monday, and in an area where basketball continues to grow, Huffman sees the camp as a benefit for everyone looking to advance.
Coming from a now championship winning professional player, few can argue differently.
“If your goal is to play in college and play on varsity, it’s not a one week thing or a three day thing, it’s all your offseason,” he said. “It starts day one and after day 100, hopefully through the series of workouts, they’re going to be programed for success. That’s what I want to do.”
For more information or to sign up, call Specialized Sports Training at 231-242-1900.