Meet Stepan, Our First #CoachUpWay Winner
All month, we’ve been asking our coaches, athletes, and parents to submit their stories that best represent the #CoachUpWay. Although the responses poured in, there can only be one selected winner for this first edition! Below, you’ll meet our friend, Stepan, a full-blooded Russian dominating the courts out in California. If you’d like the chance to be featured here, tell us your story.
Here is Stepan’s story, written on his behalf by his father, Dimitri: “Stepan was born in Moscow and he moved to San Diego when he was just 7 years old. A few months later, I introduced him to the game of basketball. From that point on, Stepan has fallen in love with the game. His first season for 7 + 8 year-olds was in the winter of 2015; somehow, he was the second tallest kid on the team, so he naturally played the center position.
Over the first couple of games, he definitely looked a little lost. He was coming off the bench and could not get a good feel for the game. At the time, Stepan had just started learning English and the language barrier was difficult to overcome. Regardless, my wife and I were super excited to see him score his first 2 points of his young basketball career during his second game of the season. Ultimately, his rookie season was a learning experience and, by the end of the season, he became one of the best shooters on the team.
Just a couple of months later, Stepan improved his all-around skills and understanding of the game. He moved from center to the forward positions and quickly became the leader on his new team. What a change from his rookie season to the second season!
He led the team in points, assists, rebounds, and steals; even better, his understanding of English was better and he felt comfortable with the game. Stepan even had some unforgettable games with 22 points (he had the flu in this game!), 18 points, 12 points and 12 rebounds, and a 9 point and 18 rebound outings. Stepan’s favorite basketball players are Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry — he hopes to play like his heroes someday.
Today, Stepan is 9 years-old and he just started his 2016 winter season and will lead his newest team to many exciting victories, I am sure of it. It’s only been 1 year and 6 months since my son first touched the basketball — back in 2014 he knew absolutely nothing about the game but now he can lead any team of his age. Stepan will be a part of Naismith National Youth All American this coming Spring as well!
We are looking forward to working with CoachUp when Stepan gets a little older. Congratulations to Stepan for all of his hard work! We hope you like your $250 CoachUp bundle and use the CoachUp gift card included to take your game to a whole new level. Thanks, Stepan, for exemplifying the #CoachUpWay.