Ok, so it seems like everyone wants to know what is the dealio at the RAC. And as many of you know, I work at the RAC full-time. So naturally I am being looked to for answers. There have been a lot of changes here in recent weeks, and it's no secret that this place has been and is currently in a period of transition. For this reason, I have preferred to say as little as possible when asked about all of the goings on. But here is what I can say.
Yes, Dana Barros is no longer at the RAC. We had high hopes when he first came in that he would be able to run an AAU program, put on camps and clinics, run NEBA (New England Basketball Academy), do private lessons, etc. But due to his prior commitments with the Celtics he just couldn't be here as much as we needed him to be. It just wouldn't work. We have no hard feelings, and wish Dana the best of luck in the future. I enjoyed working with him for the few weeks that he was here.
So what does it mean now that Barros is gone? Well one misconception that some people have is that Barros bought the RAC. He did not. He was the Director of Basketball Operations, that's it. We still have the same owner we have always had, and the facility's Operations Manager is Darrin Nicoli (who took over about 2 months ago).
So with Dana gone, who is the new Director of Basketball Operations at the RAC? At this current time, no one. For now, the responsibilities of the DOB will be shared by Nicoli and myself. We are both working tirelessly to organize basketball tournaments, leagues, camps and programs to be held here. We had a basketball camp last week with 84 kids in it. We had a 3-on-3 basketball tournament just yesterday with 12 teams, over 45 players. There was some really competitive games, and everyone there had a blast. We have 3 AAU tournaments planned for the Fall AAU season. Plus more. We have a "Jr. Ballers" program coming up for younger kids to learn the fundamentals of the game, plus fall basketball leagues for Elementary and Middle School players. Darrin and I will be running these programs. We are also reaching out to local travel team, middle school and high school coaches to help out with coaching. Then hopefully when these coaches come in they will bring kids who play for their team/program with them. The more kids we have in these programs the better.
With the Rivals gone from the RAC and with Dana Barros gone, will the RAC still have its own AAU teams? Right now the plan is to not have an AAU program based out of here. We will put on our own AAU tournaments (fall and spring AAU) and on the weekends that we're not putting on our own tournaments we will rent out the courts so others may run their tournaments here. Our plan is between our tournaments and rentals we will have a tournament going on every weekend in the spring and fall.
We are excited about the direction that the RAC is headed in. We have a ton of new programs that we are introducing. We will have programs for football, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, volleyball and wrestling. We will still have plenty of basketball programs, but we are doing much more now. Plus we have the pro shop that is finally open, with jerseys, apparel, equipment, memorabilia, etc. for sale. Our summer recreation program for the kids has also been very successful, with over 45 kids enrolled.
So yes there has been a lot of change over here lately. But I am confident that we will be stronger in the end. For more information on all of our programs, check out www.racathletics.com or call 603.382.0641.