Mahomet-Seymour graduate Brett Melton, who also played professionally in the American Basketball Association (ABA), is excited to bring his shooting clinic, All Net Basketball Academy, to Mahomet at the end of July.
After working in the corporate world selling educational material and advising others on their career paths in San Diego for seven years, Melton got tired of sitting in front of a computer all day and began to explore other professional options, which would allow him to utilize his basketball knowledge.
Melton began to volunteer with youth organizations in San Diego. With the guidance of mentors, Melton decided to return to his roots of fundamentally sound basketball by offering youth shooting clinics.
“It felt normal and natural,” he said. “I was helping people, but I was helping them make career decisions. I feel like (the shooting clinics) will help people, too, but in more of an environment I can relate to.”
Melton enjoys the interaction with the youth as he helps them learn how to handle adversity, be a team player, a leader and how to communicate effectively.
“These were things I learned when I was younger,” he said. “But I didn’t realize I was learning it.”
As a young boy, Melton also didn’t realize how his father’s attention to fundamental details would impact his career.
“My dad is very detail-oriented,” Melton said. “He would never let me shoot the wrong way.”
“I remember being in the third or fourth grade, playing for a YMCA team at Lincoln Trail,” he said. “A lot of my friends were making really cool shots, and I’d miss mine. My dad told me to keep shooting the right way, and my shots would fall, too. I didn’t realize what he was talking about because I nine or ten years old, but looking back on it 20 years later, I’ve had success because of the fundamentals my father gave me.”
Melton said he has seen a lot of young players shoot three-pointers before they are ready, setting them up for bad habits in the future. In San Diego, he has also witnessed youth only wanting to scrimmage, play one-on-one or “do the crazy moves they see on TV.”
Looking back on his career, which included playing at the University of Illinois and at San Diego State University, Melton can see that through his extraordinary work ethic, he was able to achieve success through basketball.
Melton said his mom woke him at 7 a.m. every morning. After getting ready for school, he shot baskets until the bus came. He shot baskets again at recess, and then after being dismissed from school, Melton went to MSHS to shoot until his dad, who was the Athletic Director for more than 30 years, got off work.
As Melton became a skilled shooter, his friends would not allow him to play in pick-up games anymore, so he created situations to grow as a player. Melton said even though he could not play with his friends, he did not go home to cry, but instead played 5-on-5, although he was the only one playing.
“Growing up, I saw Michael Jordan like everyone else,” he said. “I would go to the front yard and do what he did. A lot of kids do that, but I didn’t put a limitation on myself. For some reason, if I saw Michael Jordan do something, I immediately thought it was possible and that I could do it, too.”
“A lot of parents tell kids that’s impossible,” he said. “I never had anybody tell me that something was impossible. I was always being encouraged to practice as much as I can.”
Recognizing Melton’s talent, his parents allowed him to try-out for a Chicago AAU team in high school. Playing with future NBA players like Darius Miles, Dwayne Wade, Glen Richardson, Eddy Curry and Corey Magette gave Melton the confidence he needed to perform at a higher level.
“A lot of parents I’ve met through education and basketball, don’t necessarily believe in their child,” he said. “They say they do, but they don’t make the sacrifices to have their child play basketball, football or baseball as much as they can. I think that really disables the child from believing in themselves. I want to be that positive motivator and encourager who says you can do anything you want. Look at me.”
Melton hopes that by keeping the shooting clinics small he and his assistants will be able to give each player the individual attention they deserve. All Net Basketball Academy will come to MSHS July 17, 18, 19 and 20, and is open to seventh grade through high school students.
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