Ryan Ang, 16, New Jersey’s youngest basketball trainer
NEW YORK — For many kids learning to play hoops, they just go out to play. By themselves or with other kids. That is where they learn the crossover dribble or the step-back jump shot. Remember the classic film “Hoosiers” where kids in Indiana practice their shots in their backyards?
Now, there’s something called a basketball trainer.
Ryan Ang, 16, from Rochelle Park, N.J. is a sought-after basketball trainer, possibly the youngest in the state. He has 40 clients — the youngest is 7 and the oldest are in their 40s — and teaches them how to dribble, pass, rebound, and shoot. He has trained at least five local teams.
Before he became a popular trainer, he was your average kid playing ball on streets and any available open space. A junior at Hackensack High School, he began playing intense basketball during the summer of 7th grade. He constantly worked on his dribbling skills, and would practice anywhere, a basketball his constant companion.
“I would weave in and out of cones while waiting for my mom at the local grocery store,” he said when interviewed by The FilAm.
He would watch countless tutorials and drills on YouTube, and is one of more than 160 million followers of the street baller called “The Professor.”
“I was very fascinated with his unique moves and wanted to copy them to perfection,” he said.
Ryan did not expect to become a trainer. However, towards the end of his sophomore year, he trained with the son of a head coach of an Amateur Athletic Union. The coach was very impressed with the drills Ryan presented. Soon, other kids saw his program and joined in on the training. It then came to the coach’s attention that Ryan could become a trainer.
He started with family friends until his circle of believers grew. He has trained both boys and girls, athletes from all over the state, and athletes of all ethnicities.
Not realizing it at first, Ryan now thinks basketball is an effective way to teach kids self-confidence.
“A few of my clients were either bullied in school or did not have high self-esteem. Somehow, through the skills and the training, they are able to open up to the world and have become more confident,” he said.
He would get calls from parents who compliment him that his program has exposed their kids to activities away from the Internet.
One of Ryan’s “memorable” clients is a father and his sixth-grader son. Both improved their dribbling moves as well as their endurance. “It also improved the bond between them,” he said.
For every hour and 15 minutes, Ryan charges $25 per individual. For basketball clinics, his rates vary. “Some athletes don’t have the money for my training, so I give them a break and help them out anyway.”
His Philippine-born parents, Winston Ang and Madelyn Allarey, are mighty proud of their son. His mother said that by the age of 15, Ryan has been the youngest Filipino instructor out of New Jersey to “uplift the basketball community.”
“At first my dad was against me playing basketball as he saw other kids starting at a younger age who were better than me at the time. However, he later saw the potential I had and supported me on my journey,” he shared. He has a sister, Samantha, who is three years older.
Ryan has been offered sponsorships and is soon to receive his own private gym. Being contacted by huge organizations with requests to train their athletes is “most rewarding.”
“Some of my drills are fun but also beneficial. It’s great to see athletes improve both themselves and their skills.”
Looking to his future, he wants to be a nurse, and make basketball training only a part-time career. “As of right now, nursing is my preferred profession, and training would be a side job/hobby for me.”
If the situation changes, his goal is to train outside of the U.S., and maybe even start his own basketball team. @The FilAm