Our Swish House — Thank You
And to all hoopers young and old — the future of Swish House fitness is coming!
The tears crawl out of my eye sockets and attempt to pin the corners of my eyes like Brett Hart in his prime. ONE-TWO-THR — NO! I’m good! I’m good. See. Look everyone, all friends here!
So many familiar faces — Charlie. Ben. Gibs. Beller. Michael. Breck. Dues. Jude. Jaimie. Jimmy. Heidlof. Tai. Nick. Kwasi (like where’s Pras?). Erica. Meg. JP. Alex.
Breathe, Trevor. Breathe.
My voice is cracking before I even speak.
“Guys, I have some big news, I’m going to take a head coaching…”
God, I’m getting soft in my old age.
The last two years of my life flash through my brain like a Disney cartoonist. Swish House. Bucktown. Chicago. Summer on Dues boat. The basketball workouts. Michigan. The experiments. The Swish House parties. Oh my. Coast Sushi. That Northwestern/ND football game. The Wise Owl. Mercy Home. The Swish Lab. Gameball. Boston startup sessions.
Swish House is inside me, resting below the surface as real as King Tut’s tomb.
First, it was HoopsLink. Then it was Swish House. I got to know the team. The drills and design have come a long way, but this was a fitness company spawned from lifelong basketball lovers that never wanted to do anything but their sport. We built Swish House because we know what it’s like to run alone on a treadmill or turn circles with your legs on a stationary bike (but seriously Soul Cycle, how do you make turning circles with your legs so cool?)
In my humble opinion, running, dribbling, passing, and shooting a ball with your friends inside a welcoming team fitness culture is a lot more fun than any X-Sport or CrossFit workout.
Yes, Swish House’s goal is simple: to inspire basketball athletes of almost all skill levels to have fun and stay fit with a basketball in their hands. Fitness and boring suffering don’t have to go hand in hand. I remember the first class I showed a five-man weave and realized Swish House was going to have to be different.
It was then I decided I wanted to make a basketball fitness workout that almost any level of basketball player can do.
Swish House has evolved over the years. We added more former pro and high-level player, coaches, and trainers. We added new drills. We got better at the game, and no doubt, happier. We invented the pre-game warmup, game day shooting, Swish Lab HIIT training, Buzzer Beaters and Basketball Burns. Where else in the world can an NBA/WNBA player, a high school has-been, or a basketball mom/dad (of three) come to get their basketball fix and burn at least 500 calories in one hour?
I’ll let you guess.
Swish House turned into a genuine, welcoming community where people from every possible background (and basketball background) come together, slide the leather ball between their fingers, hear the swoosh of the net (again), drip with sweat, and laugh their ass off when a teammate hits the game-winning “Gambeball” shot (or airballs, Gibs), which then makes the two to three other small-sided teams run a down and back.
Running Swish House became a sort of home for me — it’s a place that brought me joy because it brought others joy. No, not everyone, but most people. And to me, that’s a start. I always missed playing and being part of a team after I retired from the game. Swish House was the closest I got to that feeling again. Plus, I’ve always wanted to share my knowledge, expertise, and passion for basketball training and fitness.
Swish House gave me that outlet.
One of my dreams for Swish House is to become a national fitness company built by our very own basketball players, members, trainers, and coaches.
I’ve had many Swish Housers tell me how our classes have changed their lives for the better. This inspires me to keep creating new content, workouts, and Swish House drills for you.
Many of our members are the salt of the Swish House Earth — the hoopers that go all out and try to improve every day, regardless of how many hours they sat in their office, or far they had to drive, or long they had to wait on the L. Basketball and fitness teams are necessary for personal accountability and I always enjoy seeing Swish Housers stay after practice to talk about life, or figure out how many points they scored in Swish Lab shooting, or how hard my practice was compared to Kristin or Alex.
This is the fabric and thread of Swish House camaraderie and culture.
Whatever, you get the point — gushing about Swish House is normal for me.
Coach Huff, what’s this about, hurry up!
Okay, well, many of you know I’ve accepted an offer as Head Coach and partial General Manager for the professional team Okapi Aalstar in Belgium. I made some of my greatest overseas basketball memories there. However, this was one of the more challenging decisions of my life (okay, yes, it was like getting junk punched by a kid with an iron fist). In the end, I felt the decision to coach in Europe would make me better at growing, coaching, and training the next generation of Swish House. It was a challenge I couldn’t turn down.
Please, Dues (and the rest of Swish House), don’t kill me, I thought. But I picked up the phone and made the call. Over the years, our friendship, just like the Swish House family, has grown considerably. So, this is what I’ve wanted to tell the Swish House family that I’ve worked with over the past two years:
Thank you. Thank you for having me. Thank you for letting me work with you. Thank you for taking me in and allowing me to help you grow, and push you to be your best. And listen, I’ll be back to check on your progress.
My Swish House job for two years was to develop an unrivaled basketball fitness class experience for you. It’s come a long way. I worked with our rockstar pro and D1 college players Tara, Alex, Kristin, and Erica. And what has spawned is a new element of Swish House, which is to provide a platform for basketball coaches, ex-players, and trainers across the country to start their very own small, local basketball fitness business. More importantly, they can do what they love!
What you’ve seen is the tip of a massive Swish House iceberg. Now as a pro coach, I’ll be developing a Swish House training manual, designing better drills, connecting with the country’s next pro trainers, coaches, and former high-level players. My next push is helping them develop their own Swish House.
Most of all, I hope Swish House has allowed you to de-stress and live authentically with your fitness, health, and life through the game we all love.
What a journey it’s been!
God speed everyone. Come visit me in Belgium. I’ll put you in the VIP seats! To our next Swish House chapter, cheers, and thank you for reading this super long letter...