Balanced Hoops

Spring programs:



  In our Deciders program, we will have two and a half hours of skill developement per week with two games per week as well.  Players will be trained to play with balance , understand offensive spacing as well as the importance of playing the game without the ball. Games will be played 3v3 on end to end baskets with the importance of applying their training legislated into the game rules, along with the regular rules of basketball. Coaches will use games to reinforce the importance of playing with pace and a sense of urgency. Additionally, players will be given video feedback from coaches.

  The result is a fast-paced, high-intensity environment in which players learn to make decisions and apply skills at game-speed through a progression of conceptual learning, practice, and competition.

This program is for Boys and Girls age 10-15

Hours: 24 hours of development over 12 sessions

Features:  Individual Skill Development / IQ Development / Personal Film & Coaching Feedback Reports / Professional Coaching

Participation will also include a Balanced Hoops jersey.

Schedule:  Monday & Wednesday evenings 6:00-8:00pm at

Whitinsville Christian School, Whitinsville, Ma.

Cost: $350

Dates: March 16th - May 6th



The Takers/Makers program is a shooting program designed to make 'shot takers' into 'shot makers'. Consisting of two 60 minute sessions per week focused on improving shooting technique, shot selection, and consistency, with a goal of improving overall shooting percentage during each session. 

Hours: 12 hours of shooting development over 12 sessions

Features: Video feedback / End-of-program evaluation/ Professional Coaching. Participation will also include a Balanced Hoops jersey.

Schedule: Monday & Wednesday evenings 8:00-9:00pm at 

Whitinsville Christian School, Whitinsville, MA.

Cost: $200

Dates: March 16th - May 6th




Recommended for ages 10+



   Many children play basketball but only a few will become basketball players. That's the simple truth!

   The goal of Balanced Hoops is to produce highly skilled basketball players who don't just play the game but who truly understand how to execute every play at an advanced level. At Balanced Hoops we have programs in place that through proper training, game play and rules legislation help players achieve the ability to play the game off of two feet, with balance, ultimately leading them to better decision making on the court. Our college-level coaches teach why balance is so important and why playing the game off balance on one foot or no feet leads to bad play. We also emphasize the importance of proper court spacing and the rewards of being productive off the ball. All of this will be reinforced with training and game time rules legislation that emphasize the training portion of the program. It's this level of detail to the fundamentals that sets our program apart. We believe that in order to create next-level basketball players , we need to build confident, skilled and balanced game-time leaders who love and respect the game from the very beginning.

 Please visit the "Programs" page to access more information on our programs.

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1. Players touch the ball more often. In the 5 on 5 game, players can go almost the whole game without touching the ball. In 3 on 3, you could touch the ball EVERY possession. When the player gets more experience handling the ball during game situations, the player is going to improve much more than the players who hardly touch the ball in 5 on 5. It doesn’t matter if you are the point guard or the star post player, you’re still going to get more touches in 3 on 3.

2. More room to operate. A lot of younger players, especially under the age of 12 don’t have the skill, strength, or experience to utilize their basketball skills with 10 players on the court. 3 on 3 gives them more room to operate and practice their skills.

3. Players learn the game! When there are only six (3 on 3) players on the court, players are more inclined to run the pick-and-roll, screen away, and screen the ball without a coach even telling them to do so, because there are fewer options out there. After awhile, they will start to figure things out for themselves which is FANTASTIC and exactly what you want the players to do. With ten (5 on 5) players on the court, a lot of those options aren’t there, because they lack the skill, strength, and experience. Now, with fewer players on the court, it gives them a split second longer to recognize a situation.

4. No pressing & zones. Now, instead of spending time on breaking full court pressure, breaking half-court pressure, playing against a 1-3-1, playing against 3-2, playing against a 2-3, playing against a triangle-and-two, playing against a box-and-one, you can focus on the FUNDAMENTALS. Youth coaches waste so much of their precious time working on things that they shouldn’t worry about at an early age.

99% of the presses that are ran by youth coaches wouldn’t work in high school or college, anyways. Most of the presses I’ve seen, just run 2 to 3 players at the ball and hope he throws the ball high enough, so somebody else can pick it off. It’s just a tactic that takes advantage of a flaw in our basketball development system, because players lack the skill, strength, and experience to react correctly to these situations. Spending that extra time on basketball skills and concepts, will benefit them much more for the future. Not to mention, if taught incorrectly (which most of the time they are), the zones and presses can ingrain some terrible habits in your players that don’t work at the higher levels.



   Balanced Hoops is supported and endorsed by the

USA Basketball youth development,

FIBA 3x3 and Jr. NBA programs.




Don Showalter

Head Coach and Director of USA Youth Basketball 


     “Middle school players should not play 40 AAU games in spring, they should be in the gym developing skills“

NBA players thoughts on youth development.



Image result for larry bird

Larry Bird
 "The key to being a good shooter is balance. Everything follows balance."
"There are many times when you are better off practicing than playing; but most people just don't understand that"



Kevin Garnett

    “Our league now is at a point where you have to teach more than anything. AAU has killed our league. Seriously, I hate to even say this, but it’s real. From the perspective that these kids are not being taught anything. They have intentions and they want things, but the way they see it is not how our league works. You earn everything in this league. You’re not entitled to anything.”


Kobe Bryant

"They're less prepared. AAU basketball is just killing us. There’s so many games being played without a concept of how to play them. Everything is off the ball and how to beat your man off the ball. There’s no concept of playing two-man game or three-man combinations. That concept is a lost art.

"So, it's really having to teach them how to think conceptually about the game, or the flow of the game or how to orchestrate or manage the game, which seems to be a lost art."

It's a topic Bryant brought up in the past. In January, he said European players are "way more skillful" because "they are just taught the game the right way at an early age."


Robert Horry

Horry took his kids out of AAU basketball and told a panel in New York last year, “A lot of these AAU coaches are in it for themselves. I think it exploits these kids. That’s why you see some of these kids get hurt so easily now because they are overworked."

Who we are:

Coach Dennis Richey 

 - Owner/Director of the Balanced Hoops Basketball Academy

 - Owner/Director of The Blackstone Valley Chaos Youth Basketball Program

 - Former Co Director of the Massachusetts Select AAU program

 - Boys Basketball coach at Whitinsville Christian School

 - USA Basketball Gold License Coach

  Coach Richey has been involved in youth basketball for over 30 years. Additionally his programs have helped produce over 30 college basketball players through the last 6 years.


Coach Walter Paschal

 Walter Paschal enters his sixth season as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach and Home Events Coordinator. In five seasons on the bench for the Rams, Paschal is the all-time winningest coach in program history with an overall record of 74-33. Including his 14 seasons at Fitchburg, Paschal has a career record if 274-197.


The 2016-17 Rams became the winningest team in program history with an overall record of 21-5 and trip to the MASCAC Championship game.


In his first season Paschal guided the Rams to a share of the MASCAC Regular Season Title, the first in program history.  After falling in the MASCAC Tournament finals as the three seed, the 2013-14 Rams made just their second appearance in the ECAC Women's Basketball Tournament advancing to the semifinal round.


Paschal, who was an assistant coach with the Rams from 1997-99, returns to Framingham State University after spending the past 14 seasons as the head coach at Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) rival Fitchburg State University. 


During his tenure with the Falcons, Paschal became the program’s all-time winningest coach with 200 victories. He led the program to a MASCAC regular season championship, a MASCAC tournament title, the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance with a second round


Paschal’s 2006-07 Falcon team established several program records including wins (26) and longest winning streak (23) en route to capturing the MASCAC regular season and tournament title and a first round victory in the NCAA Tournament. For his efforts Paschal was named the WBCA and D3 Hoops Northeast coach of the year. He has been named MASCAC coach of the year 3 times.( 2005, 2007 and 2016)  In 2005 and 2008 he led the Falcons to the ECAC Tournament finals.


A graduate of Bridgewater State University, Paschal currently resides in Holden with his Stephanie and children Abby and Logan.




Assistant Director - Coach Colin Richey

    Coach Richey is in his first year as an assistant with the Assumption College Men’s Basketball program. He previously helped the Nichols College Bison reach the NCAA Elite Eight during the 2018 season as an assistant coach.

   He is 2018 graduate from St. Michael’s College In Vermont. Colin was a scholarship player on the basketball team which played in the powerful Northeast 10 conference. He was also the 2018 recipient of the school‘s prestigious Jerry Lantieri Award.

    As a prep schooler he was a NEPSAC Class A All Star for both years he attended the Choate School in Connecticut. Where he was captain and led Choate to the NEPSAC Class A final and a regular season undefeated season in his Junior & Senior years, respectively.

   Colin was a 2010-2011 Massachusetts State champion at the Whitinsville Christian school. He also received the DVC player of the year award and was a two time DVC All Star. He also led the Blackstone Valley Chaos to a State Championship at the AAU level

   Coach Richey is a resident of Upton, Ma.


Coach Kevin Bigelow

Kevin Bigelow completed his fifth season as head coach of the AMCAT women's basketball team in 2016-17.  After two seasons of also serving as an Anna Maria admissions counselor, Bigelow was elevated to a full-time coach prior to the start of the fall 2014 semester. He now also serves as the department's Admissions Liason. 

In 2014-15, the AMCATS posted a 10-15 overall record and a 5-6 league record to qualify for their first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament as the seventh-seed. It marked the first time since the 2002-03 season that an Anna Maria women's basketball team advanced to the postseason. 

Senior Trafficia Warburton was tabbed as the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season. She was also named to the All-Conference First Team. 

In his second season at the helm of the program, in 2013-14, Bigelow led the AMCATS to their most-winningest season in over a decade. The team surpassed the 10-win mark for just the second time since the 2001-02 season, and finished the campaign with a 11-14 record.

Prior to signing on as the women's basketball head coach, Bigelow was an assistant coach under Anna Maria head coach Shawn Conrad. Bigelow was responsible for all recruiting aspects for the men’s program along with film breakdown, fundraising and academic advising.  The 2011-12 AMCATS squad, seeded 6th in the GNAC tournament, had a great run to the GNAC finals and earned an ECAC bid.

Before joining the AMC men's basketball staff, Bigelow held the same position at Worcester State University for two years and accumulated five years of coaching experience in the high school ranks.

"I am thrilled to lead this team and this program. This is a community that loves women's basketball, and I relish the opportunity to build upon that tradition,” said Bigelow. “I can think of no greater school to continue my coaching career and begin my head-coaching tenure than at my alma mater.”

Bigelow earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College. He resides in Worcester.


Coach Grant Brown

 As a player Coach Brown was a two time state champion. Both at the AAU level (Blackstone Valley Chaos) and at the high school level (Whitinsville Christian School). Grant also played college basketball for Norwich University.

  Coach Brown has been a college coach at Clark University and is currently an Asst. Coach with the Worcester State University Men's Basketball team as well as an active member in the National Guard.

  Grant is a Northbridge Ma. resident.