Interview with Augie Johnston from Baller Boot Camp
One thing I have learned from very successful people is the way they develop and build relationships with others. I have had the pleasure to briefly get to know my guest speaker Augie Johnston. We connected online because we have the same passion which is to help players develop their skills on and off the court to fulfill their basketball dreams. Augie has 100s of basketball training videos to help you improve your basketball skills. I’m excited to have Augie tell you guys a little a bit about himself. Hopefully, this information is helpful to those who are serious about becoming a better basketball player.
Augie tell us a little bit about yourself (how you fell in love with basketball, where did you play high school, college, overseas, etc.)
I grew up in a small town in the Central Coast of California near the beach. I started playing basketball when I was 7 years old and back then I wore Converse All-Stars aka Chucks to play in. They were fire-truck red. I never really knew what my favorite sport was until I was about in the 8th grade. My friends and I were always playing 3-on-3 and stuff like that, but 8th grade I decided to dedicate myself to basketball and that’s when I started “working out.”
The rest is pretty much history. I was in the gym on a consistent basis after that and started to work on honing my craft. I later went on to play at Atascadero High School where we had a really good team my senior year and we went 20-3. Unfortunately, when you play on a really good team some players have to be willing to sacrifice their individual success for the team’s success. That’s exactly what I did and I didn’t put up the numbers to get recruited straight out of high school.
Once I graduated, I went and walked on at Cal St. Monterey Bay (NCAA Division 2). I stepped up my training to a more focused level and really found out what it takes to become a better basketball player. I became a MUCH better shooter and found that shooting the basketball was a way I could help my team and earn playing time. I later went on to earn a scholarship, was elected team captain, earned all conference awards, and finished my senior year with the 2nd best 3 point shooting percentage in the entire United States at the Division 2 level.
I earned some good accolades and near the end of my senior year I knew I had a chance to play professionally overseas. Some teams and agents in Germany started showing interest. I signed my first contract in 2009 and have been playing in Europe ever since. I played 5 years in Germany and am currently playing my first season in the country of Luxembourg. In the off season I run camps, clinics, and train players full time back in California. Check out one of my training videos here.
What are some of your favorite basketball drills to teach and use to improve your basketball skills?
I like ball handling drills that incorporate multiple dribbling moves with the use of cones. That’s really the best and fastest way to improve your ball handling ability. It’s game applicable and gets you a large amount of reps in a short amount of time.
Obviously, I’m a big fan of shooting as well. It’s my specialty and I like shooting drills that incorporate a large number of shots. In college, we would shoot 50 straight and then switch partners while most players limit their drills to 10 max. If you have a drill where you are running to each spot for a shot and it’s 50 shots you can really simulate the feeling of being tired in a game. These types of drills test your focus and endurance.
What advice do you have for basketball players who want to earn a basketball contract overseas?
I know it sounds cliche, but network. You can’t do it yourself. You will need someone, somewhere to help you out. Try to get in touch with as many agents as you can because they are the ones that will hopefully hand you a contract someday. Also, you have to be ready. If you go overseas you need to know that you have to put up numbers and win games or you will be fired. You can also check out Lamar’s article about how to earn a professional basketball contract overseas.
Why did you start Baller Boot Camp and what is the site’s mission?
I myself was able to totally transform my game in college and knew I had some training advice I could share with others. In the off seasons I would work with players in California and I fell in love with the player development side of basketball. Once I was overseas I had a lot of down time so I decided to start Baller Boot Camp as a way to continue to help players across the world. The site’s mission is to demonstrate the value of hard work, help players build their self-confidence, and give players the instruction they need to reach their basketball goals.
Who is your favorite basketball player and why?
Being a shooter myself that can put the ball on the floor I really like watching Stephen Curry, but at the same time I feel like he is everyone’s favorite player right now. I also like Kevin Durant due to the fact that I love confident but yet humble players. From a fan’s perspective, he offers everything you want to see; from dunks, crossovers, blocks, and knocking down difficult shots.
Augie Johnston is the founder of Baller Boot Camp where he helps others become better overall basketball players. Augie has experience playing 4 years in college and 6+ years professionally in Europe. He also has coaching experience at the NCAA Division 2 level, at the AAU basketball level, as well as experience training players in clinic and small group environments. For more information on Augie and his philosophies please visit Baller Boot Camp’s Youtube Channel.