Being in several NBA & Collegiate programs I have never experienced both a solid basketball organization & a lifestyle that helps build young men's character like A&M does. I was impressed at what Ray and Dre put together for basketball but how they reach the minds of young men was way beyond my expectations. I am more than proud to see our future leaders being put in positions to succeed and exceed their lives for the better. Honored to have experienced this program and I am now living the A&M way too. Continued Success & Keep leading our future leaders Today!
Derek Anderson Sr NCAA Champion- Gold Medal, Junior Olympian, NBA World Champion
I first had the pleasure of being taught by Ray Abellard while attending Brant Lake Camp in upstate New York. Right away, I could see his precision to detail and the importance of sharpening my focus to get the best out of everything we did together on the court. Throughout all of our workouts, he was challenging me to push myself to limits I did not know I was capable of obtaining, but all the while, he was encouraging and supportive. He stressed to me the important of being consistent with my training. Success doesn't happen overnight but is a continuous process that is achieved over a long period of time. Finally, the ability to visualize success is one of my main takeaways from Ray. To this day prior to games, I go over in my head different scenarios I might find myself in and visualize a successful outcome over and over again whether it's making the right pass, seeing the ball go in the hoop, beating the offensive player to a spot on defense, etc. Basketball aside, Ray is a great person willing to help young student athletes strive to accomplish their dreams. Fortunately, I was able to learn under Ray and now can say I will fulfill dream of playing professional basketball in Israel this upcoming year.
2014- 2015 Ivy League Rookie of the Year
2016- 2017 Ivy League Player of the Year
Spencer Weisz College: University of Princeton Professional | Team: Israeli League, Hapoel Gilboa Galil
The best thing I can say about Ray is “Thank You”. Ray has helped me on and off the court from telling me about the Division 1 way of playing basketball to being a great roommate giving me advice on how to spend my time wisely as a Student-Athlete. I learned many things in college, but thanks to my point-guard and roommate I followed my dreams of playing professional basketball”.
Dexter Lyons Semi Pro/ Orlando Magic/Celtics, A-sun Defensive Player of the Year (U.C.F)
Playing basketball for over a decade in High school, College, and playing professionally in Spain, Germany, Denmark, and Dominican Republic, and now the NBDL, I’ve seen alot. I’ve seen countless trainers disrespect the game I fell in love with, just to do it for the money. Dre Murray is the type of trainer I wish I had growing up. His selflessness and commitment to the kids are second-to-none. He pushes all past their limit, showing them hard work, persistence, and a commitment to building not only there basketball game but character along the way. In my time working with him we have developed a friendship and a bond that will last a lifetime because of the passion we both share. He knows the game in and out. He focuses on stuff we as a society and a country stopped focusing on, the fundamentals of the game. I would recommend him to anyone who’s trying to better themselves and anyone with a dream to play in high school, college,or professionally. He goes about doing things the right way and in this day in age that’s rare. Currently my younger brother is involved within his academy (A&M Sports) and constantly showing progress and development.
Alejo Rodriguez Semi-professional Basketball Player
In today’s society, several children live up to playing basketball without a purposeor with a dull, far-fetch purpose. Many children grow up to becoming teens with a sole purpose of playing in the NBA without any back up plan or passion. Basketball then becomes a crutch for the wounds the person endures form being told, “They are not good enough.” We at A&M Sports believe that with hard work and determination you can make a basketball career a reality, yet at the same time we understand that some will not reach their athletic expectations, therefore we use basketball as a method of discovering our inner character rather than as a crutch.
A true developing player values the philosophical components they learn when practicing and competing in basketball because they not only apply what they learn on the court, but off the court as well—in school, at home, and in their community. This has been highlighted in basketball culture nationwide, yet little to no organization seems to take their values to heart on such a profound level as the A&M Sports Academy.
As a graduate from A&M, there are these internal forces of energy that endure within you. The words of my coaches speak to me in class, at the gym, and at work. Students of this academy understand that as we practice we are giving it our absolute best effort. When we compete in games with our schools and travel teams, we understand that if we do not give 110% effort in practice then our balance collapses, thus hurting our individual style of play. It is just like studying for Finals in college. When you study and review your assignments as you go through the course, rather than waiting until the last minute, you are virtually preparing for success. And if we do not succeed, we scrutinize our past mistakes to align our path for a productive and efficacious future. Ray and Dre have built an academy of industrious, disciplined, optimistic, and encouraging leaders who seek for wisdom and peace in their livelihoods as young men. They are ingrained with the belief that “hard work beats talent” and it reflects in their training and stands out when they compete. Ray and Dre have established an academy far greater than a traditional basketball academy. They have created one that takes its player’s individual visions and uses that as a driving force to grow each one’s character. Therefore, in essence, they will vocalize their views, and display their unique styles to the game of basketball and their community.
Jordan Alexis A&M Sports on the Game of Basketball
Andre and I go back to our teenage days at New Utrecht High School. Encouraging each other to work as hard as possible. While pushing ourselves on and off the court to be the best we could. We made ourselves accountable and built a great friendship through basketball. A&M Sports Academy is a great program that can help build confidence in kids through basketball and help build certain qualities of hard work, grit,respect and team work while playing. That same confidence that Andre helped establish in myself when we were in high school helped me to become a successful professional basketball player today. While playing in college I achieved amazing heights, receiving 1st team All NEC and participating in the NCAA March Madness Tournament with Fairleigh Dickinson University. Upon completing my college career, I have continued my path of hard work and consistency by playing professionally in Israel, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Germany and also participating in numerous NBA workouts. I had the ability to do all of this because of the confidences instilled in me from being such a close friend to Andre and having his teachings rub off on me on a daily basis. I’m thankful to have been taught this essential tool at a young age and in that time propel myself into a successful basketball player.
Chad Timberlake Professional Basketball Player
My boys have been working with A&M Sports Academy for 2 years and It has undoubtedly improved all aspects of their basketball skills as well as, their confidence, attitude, and knowledge of the game. Ray’s and Andre’s work ethic and positive energy is 100% evident in each and every workout with my boys. They are extraordinary at working on the technical aspect of shooting and ball handling. They break down the movements for the children through intense yet fun drills that transform their level of play. With every skill, they explain clearly why a specific skill/movement is correct so that the kids fully understand the importance. Once They feel the children have developed their skills and demonstrated them technically correct, they start to incorporate their new learned skills into game time situations to challenge them under a bit more pressure.
A&M Sports Academy knows 100% what kind of effort it takes to become a great basketball player. Ray and Andre has an amazing sense of understanding each individual child and what areas they need a push in. Their work ethic is contagious and spills over to every aspect of your child’s life. I feel very fortunate to have found these young men and I know they’re helping my boys work towards their full potential.
A&M Sports Academy Dad
Coach Ray and Coach Dre are spectacular teachers on the idea of basketball being more than a sport. They emphasize decision-making, mental toughness, consistency, perseverance, and much more. Sometimes I would stay long hours after school and I would just feel like quitting what I was doing, not even thinking about the effort I was putting. Yet through basketball I developed the ability to switch moods within little or no time and therefore I could take care of my own mental barriers easier than others. I would not be able to thank my coaches enough for developing me into a leader, role model, hard worker, and much more, which helped me become the strong individual I am today.
A&M Sports helped me tackle obstacles in many ways. I learned the values of confidence, consistency, diligence, teamwork, and sportsmanship. When you become a member of the A&M sports family, it’s not a matter of just playing basketball. If that were the case then you could just go to the park on your own and hope you make it ahead of everyone else. A&M Sports gives you a chance, a chance to be great at what you want to accomplish through structured coaching and teaching. Every player at A&M that enters the gym never leaves the same way they came in. They leave with new strategies to help them get better. Not only do you leave with strategies, but you also leave with homework. When I found out that I had homework for basketball, I would not have ever thought that it would raise my game so high. It gave me that edge to believe that I was working harder than the kid right next door to me or the kid that lived across the street from me competing for my spot. Basketball opened my mind to a new way of thinking and I owe it all to my coaches for the achievements I have made.
Jordan Alexis A&M Sports Academy Student
My name is Lev Akabas, and I have been working with Ray Abellard and Andre Murray at A&M Sports for four years. Every Saturday, A&M Sports offers a group basketball program which I attend. Ray and Andre run a wide variety of drills that develop many aspects of my basketball game, such as shooting, ball handling, fitness, and defense. I have watched my game improve drastically, both mentally and physically.
A key aspect of the A&M Sports program is that they not only teach the fundamentals of basketball, but they mentor young players in the areas of discipline, mental toughness, and a positive approach as well. Drills foster teamwork and cooperation and create an atmosphere where every kid, no matter how shy, is communicating with their teammates and helping out other children on the court. Ray and Andre improve their clients’ confidence in their own skills while teaching the value of good attitude and effort.
Working with A&M Sports has given me the experience and skills to play basketball at a high level elsewhere, such as at school and at summer camp. The coaches set goals for me that seemed, at first, to be hard to achieve, but I have accomplished all of them, thanks to their help.
A&M Sports is an excellent program. Their exciting plans for the fall include a shooting clinic and a league, so check them out!
Lev Akabas A&M Sports Academy Student
Dre Murray is one of the rising basketball and sports educators in the New York metropolitan area. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious and his skills as a coach and motivator are second-to-none. Dre connects with children and teens of all skills levels and abilities with his charisma and passion. Everyone feels like a winner with Dre. He is the perfect fit as the head of Camp Laurel’s summer Basketball Program.
Jem Sollinger Director, Camp Laurel
Ray Abellard is one of the finest teachers of basketball I have seen and I coached for over 30 years. Ray has great basketball knowledge and is a motivator who displays his love of the game during each and every lesson he teaches. He breaks down skills and eliminates casual habits, replacing them with proper footwork, fundamentals and work habits. His enthusiasm is contagious and he treats all people with respect and dignity. We are proud that Ray has been connected to Brant Lake Camp as our Director of Basketball Improvement.
Rich Gersten Director of Brant Lake Camp