‘Therapeutic’ training: Sacred Hoops conducting virtual workouts online

Belle Fourche's Jet Jensen goes through drills during a Zoom workout conducted by Sacred Hoops Basketball Academy.

The Sacred Hoops Basketball Academy has gone virtual.

The basketball program is offering free online workout sessions to hoops-thirsty players during the coronavirus pandemic. The workouts are conducted by the Sacred Hoops Basketball Academy coaches through Zoom, which is a video conferencing service.

Sacred Hoops Director Allan Bertram said there’s been more than 600 players participating in the workouts.

“It’s therapeutic for a lot of our kids,” Bertram said. “They are able to do something they really love to do. They are able to do it with other people, but they are able to do it in a safe way.”

The registration for the workouts are at . The workouts started close to two weeks ago and they’ve quickly spread across the region. Bertram said basketball players from South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa and Oklahoma have participated, while players from Nebraska have registered for this week. They are conducted Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.


The basketball program offered three different workouts last week and they’re usually 30-to-35 minutes per session. There’s been as many as 113 players participating in a session.

“We are just blessed to be able to provide it and more importantly blessed to have as many coaches as we do and who are willing to dedicate their time,” Bertram said. “We are doing it for free. They are not getting paid for it. They are just giving back to kids. Because they love the sport of basketball.”

Jackson Edman- PierreSD.jpg
Pierre's Jackson Edman goes through Zoom workouts conducted by the Sacred Hoops Basketball Academy.

Bertram will conduct workouts from his garage in front of his laptop, while players will participate in their living rooms, dining rooms, driveways and garages. The coaches will conduct a host of basketball-centric drills, while also emphasizing in strength and conditioning, speed and agility exercises.

The network of Sacred Hoops coaches will assist in the sessions. One coach will lead the workout and three other coaches will give feedback to players through the drill.

“We typically will have four Sacred Hoops coaches on one workout,” Bertram said. “One person is demoing the drills, three other ones that are doing nothing but coaching kids throughout the drill to make sure they are doing it right, and if they need to do something differently they are telling them as it goes on. It’s not like picking up a video on YouTube and doing it. You are actually getting coaching while you are doing it as well.”

Bertram, Sam Willard, Jordan Long, Skylar Bertram, Dwight Walker, Paul McVey, Jeff Larsen and Zach Edman all assist in the workout sessions in some capacity. Allan Bertram said it’s also therapeutic for the coaches that are cooped up at home.


“We love being in a gym and we can’t be in a gym right now,” Bertram said. “It gives us an opportunity to be around the game yet and really help kids. It’s kind of taken on a life of its own -- so-to speak -- but it’s been really cool and really rewarding.”

Even when the pandemic stops, Bertram envisions the new training method becoming commonplace for the program. The basketball academy provides opportunities for players across the entire state and it brings the training to them.

The new video training practice would eliminate travel, while Bertram is already conducting 1-on-1 workouts to West River players from his garage in Flandreau.

“A kid living in Harding County for example who wants an individual basketball workout -- even when we get back to normal and we can get in a gym and he can get in a gym -- we can put him through an individual workout just like we did a kid in Sioux Falls,” Bertram said. “He can be in Buffalo, South Dakota and we can be in Sioux Falls. It could change things a lot, I think.”

The academy also provides summer basketball teams, but those are currently in limbo. The summer season was pushed back due to the CDC guidelines. Bertram has communicated to the players and parents they still plan on having a summer season, even if it means running right up until the fall sports season.

“We are going to do whatever is the smartest and safest thing for our kids and families and our coaches,” Bertram said. “We are just playing a waiting game.”

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