We want to help our athletes reach the highest level they can in basketball, but we do not want them to end up with a broken dream if this is not achieved. We therefore envision a double-edged dream…

Within the Academy we believe that the investment our athletes make during their time in the program is an investment that will never be lost; an investment in qualities and a skills package that they will be able to implement in whatever field, and wherever they go in life.

In the past three years we had a lot of sessions from coaches all over Europe and the USA but the EA team are really different from anybody else. We learnt a lot, our coaches benefited from a new experience, and we were fortunate to have the guys here.

Lasha Parghalava
Director of Zaza Pachulia Basketball Academy

Domien Loubry
Brussels Basket Professional Player

I wish Elite Academy were around when I was a young and upcoming talent! Over the last few years I’ve improved several parts of my game every off-season resulting in the best stretch of basketball I’ve ever player… not bad for a 32 year-old! If you want to take your game to the next level, I would recommend EA every time.

Elite Academy is a program so unique it allows its players to grow with potential each off-season! I have been around the game for more than 15 years as an analyst, consultant and executive. What the whole team have managed to establish in Belgium is a top level, elite environment. For any youth talent seeking a chance to make it at the highest level, Elite Academy is a place that you should definitely experience to take the next step. I am happy to call Elite Academy the best of European talent development facilities.

Ermay Duran
Owner of Advance Pro Basketball & New York Knicks Special Advisor

The Academy is much more than just basketball; the love for each other, the will to fight for each other. I think everybody would go through a fire for one another. Not only for the players but also the coaches – we’ve created a fantastic bond over the years.

Max Gysbrechts
U18’s Captain & Class of 2020

Joerik is one of the most invested trainers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His workouts are prefect, from challenging drills to studying film of an array of players. Joerik offers the best combination of physical and mental preparation that a player can ask for.

Codi Miller-McIntyre
Professional Player

At my previous team I arrived 2 minutes before practice. My mindset changed in the Academy; now I sometimes arrive more than an hour before the start of practice to take extra shots. I come on off-days, and I stay late to do extra work. I try to be as efficient as possible with my time, using every minute to become a better player.

Zion Peeters
U18 Elite Academy Players & Class of 2021

What I think is so special about the Academy is that everybody has the same mindset, everybody has the same goals, and everybody wants to work hard! This was something missing at my previous club and what I really appreciate about Elite Academy.

Yannick Celzo
U18 Elite Academy Players & Class of 2021

What I like about the Academy is that the coaches are not focussed on winning games but on ensuring that each player progresses individually. We will never train just to perform or win the next game. In my time at the Academy, I never heard the coaches say something like ‘we need to win this game.’ Everything is focussed on becoming the most complete player when we graduate and leave the academy.

Louis Van Lierde
Class of 2019

What have our parents got to say?

About seven years ago our eldest son took part in his first basketball camp during the Easter holidays. This turned out to be no success at all: the coaches were the ones in the spotlight the whole week with no attention given to the players. In the same spring, a poster was displayed
at my son’s school promoting an ‘Elite Athletes’ basketball camp. We had never heard of Elite Athletes, but after a very pleasant and enlightening conversation with Werner Michiels (father of Joerik), our son was registered for his very first EA camp. The program looked pretty impressive and … there was hot food provided!

The camp turned out to be a real hit and many EA camps followed after. It was so nice to see how a team of young, dynamic coaches repeatedly succeeded in not only throwing up very “cool” basketball camps but above all paying a lot of attention to fundamentals and technical skills, simultaneously paying attention to the natural athletic development of the children.

We were therefore pleasantly surprised when coach Joerik – almost six years ago – spoke to us about his ambitious training project and came up with a daring proposal. He personally committed himself to train our then 12-year-old son up to age 18 in a very intensive way in a team to become a versatile, modern athlete with the help of the best coaches. Although at the time we were not looking for a change of team and feared the impact on our family life, we decided to take the big step by committing to EA. Now, six years later, the end of the training cycle is almost in sight and we can say in complete confidence that Joerik and his team have guaranteed by more than 100% their word. The results are beyond impressive.

Through the last six years of physical and technical training, the players – accompanied by the best coaches delivering in optimal training conditions – have not only become skilled individual athletes. The U18 team have become a machine that delivers with a killer instinct, always guaranteeing games which are enjoyable to support as parents. This result, however, did not come naturally and occurred through trial and error. Throughout the emphasis was always placed upon respect for personal development and individual growth of each player, with a lot of focus on injury prevention. Concepts such as ‘Trust the process’ and ‘You win some and you learn some’, taught us as parents to have confidence in the learning process and not think in the short- term.

Something just as, if not more important, is the development that the players have experienced off the court and the friendships that they have forged. Unforgettable trips, camps and tournaments at home and abroad (visiting countries such as Poland, England, Sweden, Spain and Luxembourg). There have been too many positive events with EA to mention!

Whatever the boys go on to achieve with basketball, the Academy has given them certain experiences and tools that will stay with them for life: creativity, perseverance, entrepreneurial spirit (e.g. organisation of commercial activities to finance trips and tournaments abroad), teamwork, the importance of the studying and approaching this within a learning environment (homework classes before practice). Additionally, the modern learning methods (workshops for efficient study, the importance of sleep, healthy food) have been of great benefit to our boys.
We did not hesitate, even for a single second, when Elite Academy announced their plans to expand and start a new U16 team and provide our youngest son, Simon, with the same opportunity to be a part of this special program.

Thanks to the entire Academy Team.

We trust the process!

Paul Van Lierde & Liesbeth Spaas
Parents of Simon (Class of 2021) & Louis Van Lierde (Class of 2019)