Check out this article about IMG Academy basketball program alum, Larry Sanders. Sanders is entering his second year playing in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks. He has been training and working hard during the lockout at IMGand is more than ready for next season. Article posted onHOOPSWORLD by Alex Kennedy:
Larry Sanders is only 22 years old, but he's already displaying the maturity and professionalism of a seasoned veteran. The 15th overall pick in last year's NBA Draft is working out at the famed IMG Academy in Florida to prepare for his sophomore season, and he's not taking any shortcuts.
Sanders is on a customized training regimen that includes two-a-day workouts, weekly meetings with a nutritionist and daily weightlifting sessions. After averaging 4.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 60 games last season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Sanders is hoping to speed along his development and contribute more next year.
"My first year was a rollercoaster ride," Sanders told HOOPSWORLD. "I think that's how it is for a lot of guys in their first season. There were a lot of ups and downs, but I really learned a lot. I got the chance to play and learn from all of my teammates. I'm just taking everything that I learned during the past year and using it this summer to get better for next season. Whenever the lockout ends, I know I need to be prepared and ready to go. That's what my team expects and that's what I expect out of myself."
One area that Sanders is particularly focused on improving is his jump shot. He has spent a significant amount of time perfecting his mechanics and working with shooting coaches. Now, he has extended his range and become more confident in his shooting ability.
"I've been working on my jumper a lot," Sanders said. "The shooting is coming along great. My jump shot is feeling really fluid. I'm starting to release the ball on the way up more and my feet are landing a lot better. The mechanics just feel a lot better with my jump shot. That's just from working on it and having so much repetition. Hopefully I can keep it going and improve it even more so that by the time the season starts, it'll be clicking and I can help my team win."
"I'm really just trying to improve every aspect of my game," he continued. "I'm a big man, but I want to expand my game and add new skills. I just want to keep getting better. The offseason is when champions are made. You have to put this work in during the summer. A lot of guys don't do it and we all see what happens to their game."
After spending so much time in the weight room, Saunders has bulked up and increased his strength. After matching up with some of the NBA's best big last year, he realizes that he must continue to add muscle and get stronger. He has already made tremendous progress in the several weeks he has been at IMG, and he hopes to see even more improvement as he continues his training.
"I've improved a lot," Sanders said. "Last summer, I was here before the draft and I was able to surprise a lot of people with how fit I was and how much muscle I had put on just from my workouts here at IMG. Now, we're doing that same thing this year, but we're turning it up. We're really turning it up so I'm expecting even better results."
While some players are signing abroad during the work stoppage, Sanders has no desire to play overseas. He's focusing all of his attention on the Bucks and making his sophomore season his top priority. Sanders will remain at IMG until the lockout comes to an end.
"I'll be here the whole summer," Sanders said. "As long as the lockout is going on, I'll be here. A lot of guys are going overseas and I'm not knocking that at all, but I just feel like I need to establish myself in this league before I start flirting with other ones. I'm just working out here so that I can have a good sophomore year and help my team make it further than we did last year."
Sanders is taking the initiative to develop his game and chose to work out at IMG specifically because they could help him improve in so many different areas.
"There are all of these people here that want to help you, but they teach you responsibility at the same time," Sanders said. "I'm making my own schedule and doing things by myself, which is important as a player and as a professional. You have to be able to take of yourself. That means making yourself better and knowing what to eat. There's so much help here from nutritionists and trainers. It makes everything a lot easier and you can learn from them. That's the biggest reason why I chose to work out here."
Entering his second season in the NBA, Sanders is doing all of the right things and looking forward to the end of the lockout, when all of his hard work will start to pay off.