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John Giammarco – Greentree Summer Basketball League

October 14, 2011

John Giammarco – Greentree Summer Basketball League  (June 24, 2011)

First, can you let readers know how the league got started?

A chance encounter with Jamie Dixon in Indianapolis at the NABC Convention. He asked me why so many summer leagues for the High Schools and none for the college kids. One thing led to another and the Pro Am was born.

Tell us about this years Greentree Summer League – who are some of the standout players, when does it begin and where/how can people can see games?

League began June 20, 2011. Games are played at the Greentree Sportsplex and will feature many of the players from Pitt, Duquesne, West Virginia, Robert Morris and Youngstown State.

Admission is free. Games are on Mondays and Wednesday nights with games starting at 7-8-9 PM. My website www.pittsburghbasketballclub has all the info you would need for the league such as schedules, rosters etc.

How do players get selected for tryouts to the Greentree Summer League – who is eligible and how do you make the first round of player decisions?

No tryouts. Most of our players are D1 players. We have to follow some basic rules via the NCAA certification process such as no more than 2 returning players on a roster.

To allow the D1 coaches to attend and “observe” there players-no potential recruitable athletes may participate. No Juco players with eligibility. No High School players and no HS graduates of the class of 2011 may play without confirming they are enrolled in summer school at the institution of there choice.

How are the teams chosen – how are the various players “divied up” between teams?

Teams are selected via a hodge podge of coach’s recommendations, team needs, class schedules and NCAA rules. No science to it. Seems like the teams are well balanced this year

What do you and the players look to get out of the league/teams – what’s the ultimate goal for everyone?

Competitive –well played games.

How do the college coaches feel about the league? What input do they have with the league and the players during the league?

All of the feedback has been positive. It’s a great atmosphere for summer basketball. Everything is done To emulate regular season basketball- From great competition to 3-man official’s crews to game stats.

Do NBA scouts attend and use these games to scout players?

We usually see 10-15 Pro scouts at some point or the other through the summer from leagues literally all over the world

What are some of the more memorable moments and games in the league – what made them so?

Too many to mention. I guess seeing the players from Pitt, Duquesne, Robert Morris and WVU who have some very intense rivalries during the season put it all aside and play team ball during the league.

But more so than any game the memory of these games that always stand out for me are things like the fans getting to the gym 2 hours prior to tip off, fans bringing my staff something to drink when the gym is hot.

The excitement that builds waiting for the schedule to be released, rosters to be set. I get dozens of calls in anticipation from total strangers who just want to talk hoops.

The support for this league is amazing, best fans in the world! I have met some very special people through the years from this league and I find myself lucky to call these folks my friends.

What are some of the more memorable players you’ve seen – and what made them so?

Wow.. Lots of them as well. DeJuan Blair and Sam Young from Pitt, Joe Alexander and Joe Mazulla from WVU, Aaron Jackson and TJ McConnell from Duquesne, Jeremy Chappel and Dallas Green from Robert Morris just to name a few. 
Any last thoughts for readers?

Thank you for being there for these kids and making this league one of the best around. I can’t begin to explain to the fans how much it means to these players to see this place filled to the rafters for every game!


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