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Tigers Sports

Summer Hoops Camps & Leagues Make A Big Difference At Linden by sidelinechatter.com

Posted Thursday, April 24, 2008 by sidelinechatter.com

Summer Hoops Camps & Leagues
Make A Big Difference At Linden

Don’t look now, but the summer high school basketball camp and leagues are right around the corner. One of the best camp-league combinations is run at Linden, which is under the guidance of Head Coach Phil Colicchio and his staff.

The Tigers, like all teams, try and continue to develop over the summer season and that part of the busy year is one of the reasons Colicchio and company have put together one of New Jersey’s top public school programs, including back-to-back Group 4 state championship squads in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007.

As we look ahead to the summer hoops season, Linden’s colorful head coach took time out to talk with Sideline Chatter about his popular team camp and summer league, which still have openings for interested teams. Read on, and check out dates and contact information at the end of the Q & A with Coach Colicchio:

1- How important do you think are the June team camps where there is such great competition in late spring/early summer period?

(Coach Colicchio): I think the June team camp is extremely important. The past few years it has been huge for us because it’s given us a good kick-off to our summer. It takes place in early June, so it is before the AAU, travel teams and summer leagues really start. We always have our entire roster available. The biggest positive about the team camp is it gives us a chance to look at our younger players from the freshmen and JV teams playing against other good players and teams.

2- Tell us how the team camp has helped Linden and perhaps some other area teams from past?

We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the participating coaches. They love it. It helps all teams mesh sooner and it’s given all the teams a chance to see where they are early in the summer. In addition, there is no pressure to win the game. So it allows you to try new combinations, line-ups, defenses, offenses ect...

3- How does the competition there set tone for important summer camp/league scene?

One of the things we stress here is competition. Competing against your teammates, against opposing players and teams. In practice, many of our drills are competitive. Our conference is the toughest in the state. Year-in and year-out, our out-of-conference schedule has some of the best teams in the Tri-State area on it. Competition over the summer just gets us ready for what we’re going to deal with during the season. We have been fortunate to have some of the best teams in the state in our team camps and summer leagues over the past few years. Seton Hall, Immaculata, Newark Eastside, Roselle, So Brunswick, Bridgewater, Colonia, Watchung Hills, Plainfield, Cardinal McCarrick and Trenton Catholic have all been in either our summer league or our team camp. They’ve all won a conference, county or sectional championship the past 3 seasons. This summer is no different. In our team camp and summer league we’ll have some of the best programs in the state competing in them again. Playing against quality programs like that can only help you down the line.

4- Are you just looking for elite level teams or can a middle of the road team just trying to improve against great ‘comp’ enter the league?

We have both, elite teams and teams looking to play great competition. Originally, when we first started making the schedules for the team camp we were going to divide the 16 teams into two groups. The best eight would be in one group and have them play against each other and the next eight teams would be in a separate group. After thinking about it, we changed the schedule to make the two groups as even as possible. Over the summer especially, teams want to challenge themselves by playing teams that are better then them. Changing the schedule made that more of a possibility for every team.

5- What Linden players have progressed through off season training/camps in recent years that you can point to as true testaments to off-season regimens?

I would like to think that all of them make progress. In the summer, the foundation for next year’s team is being built. We do A LOT of teaching at that time. We have great coaching on our lower levels. From our feeder programs, to our middle schools, on to our freshman and JV teams. By the time we get them, most of our kids know the fundamentals. We try to take it to the next level. We’ll work on getting them to play better as a team and try to figure out what our style of play will be for next year. If I had to pick one player recently that benefited from what we do it the off-season I would have to say Darrell Lampley (St. Peter’s College). He went from coming off the bench his junior season in ’06 to being an All-State/D1 player his senior year in ‘07.

6- Tell us about the camaraderie that develops among teams in the Linden League.

Some of my best friends in coaching are guys that are in our summer league. During the summer, you get to see the other coaches in a different light. It’s more laid back for the coaches and the players. Don’t get me wrong, when the games start it gets very competitive because no one wants to lose but before and after the games you’ll always see kids and coaches from different teams hanging around talking to each other. During the season we all root for each other. One of the most difficult games I’ve ever had to coach in was in ’06. We had to play Seton Hall Prep in the first round of the TOC. When I came to Linden 11 years ago Seton Hall was one of the
1st teams to enter my summer league. Coach Farrell is a class act. Many of the things we do here are things that I’ve picked up from him. I’ve seen some all of his players since they were freshmen/sophomores. It was rough coaching against someone that I have so much respect for knowing that in order for us to win we had to end their season.

7- How do you approach the summer now as a strategic point for keeping a high school program at such a high level?

Basketball is a 12-month sport. After the season, our kids break for about 2 weeks then they get into the weight room to help them get ready for next year. Once the summer comes, it’s all about teaching the kids to play the way we want them to play.

8- Does it cost teams much to enter your league?

The team camp is $450 and the summer league is $575

We are still looking for teams for both. These are the teams included in our team camp and summer league. Any coach that is interested can contact us at lindenbasketball1@comcast.net or call/text my assistant, Marty Luc at 908-403-3865

Linden Team Camp Roster


St. Patrick



Watchung Hills





Union Catholic

St. Mary



Trenton Catholic*

Bridgewater *

Plainfield *



*Seton Hall Prep
* St. Patrick
* Immaculata
* Bridgewater-Raritan
* Paterson Kennedy
* Cardinal McCarrick
* East Brunswick
* Colonia
* Watchung Hills
* Newark Academy
* Hillsborough
* Rahway

Linden Team Camp 2008

The Linden boys basketball team is running the 3rd annual Linden Team Camp from June 16th to June 19th. The cost for the team camp is $450.00. Each of the teams is guaranteed 2 games a night for the 4 nights . In addition, our district requires each player to be covered by insurance. The cost for insurance is $6.00 per player. A separate check is to be made out to 'Bollinger' for the insurance, along with a list of the names and addresses of each player. The sites of the Team Camp will be Linden H.S., the P.A.L. recreation center and the 2 Linden middle schools. All teams must have a deposit of $100.00 paid by May 19, 2008. Checks should be made out to Linden Tiger Sports Camp, and can be mailed to 10 Elisa Lane, Clark NJ, 07066.

All interested coaches may contact assistant coach Marty Luc via phone or text at
(908-403-3865) or e-mail at lindenbasketball1@comcast.net

Below is a listing of the teams that participated in the Team Camp last summer

Bridgewater Raritan
St. Joseph (Met.)
Trenton Catholic
Watchung Hills
So. Brunswick
Bishop Ahr
Paterson Kennedy
St. Mary’s
Union Catholic

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