What do you get when you mix a former NBA video coordinator of eight years, an innovative football strength and conditioning coach, with a top rated sports physical therapist?
The answer is the Miami based summer training haven of BluePrint Basketball, where some of the more recognized names in the NBA like Kevin Durant and Joe Johnson come to hone their skills.
Creator and founder Irv Roland teams up with Manning Sumner of Legacy Fit, and Alex Da Silva of Miami Flexibility Trainers to form this trio of basketball training among a landscape of offseason trainers.
Roland used to spend summers with legendary NBA trainer Tim Grover of Attack Athletics prior to founding BluePrint Basketball. He credits Grover — Michael Jordan‘s trainer, among others — “as one of the best to ever do it” and those summers gave Roland the inspiration he needed to start his own company. Once in Miami he met Sumner through a mutual acquaintance of Heat guard Mario Chalmers. After working out with Sumner personally, Roland was convinced that a partnership could be formed as Sumner showed an ability to be sport-specific in his regimens. They were later joined by Da Silva through another mutual contact and the blueprint was created.
I caught up with Roland at the University of Miami’s training facility, where the company does most of its work with the players, where he explained the concept behind the name, “BluePrint,” and much more.
“The name to be honest, I’m a huge Jay-Z fan and of the Blueprint albums he made” Roland says. “The idea, the concept was on how to give guys the layout on how to be successful in the game of basketball. I want to keep it simple and really perfect what they do so its just automatic.”
Through Roland’s contacts around the league and with a little help courtesy of the NBA lockout, BluePrint Basketball opened with a bang on July 4, 2011, with Durant and Johnson as the first two players to train with the team.
“I started out with those two guys and it just ballooned from there” Roland says, “’cause of my time in the NBA, my relationships, word of mouth, Twitter– the word really started to travel. Then the lockout was unbelievable for me because guys even on the Heat couldn’t go to their facilities and they knew me. So they came to train with me.”
The client list has grown to include many of the NBA elite like Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, and Rudy Gay along with numerous others. But, when asked which NBA player stood out the most in their work ethic the answer was eye-opening.
“Damien Wilkins” Roland says with little hesitation, “He’s one of the hardest workers we had and just his mindset. I think it comes from his bloodline with his father and uncle playing in the league. He just really knows how to approach the game, he shows up on time and he gets it done.”