the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

Triple Threat

Area AAU basketball program built from the ground up

The process of starting a basketball program comes with various highs and lows.

The hardest part of this journey is to simply get the ball rolling. This journey extends far off the court to put the pieces together to make a successful program. After overcoming several obstacles, the coaches for the new Lake County AAU team Triple Threat have formed a reliable and successful program for players and parents.

Many think the hardest part of starting up a program is finalizing all the details, however, Triple Threat coaches have the exact opposite idea. The hardest part for them was to simply get their feet off the ground and get things in action.

“Taking the leap, going out and actually getting it done was the hardest part for us,” Coach Corey Yarc said.

Once they took that leap, they not only needed to think about the plans for this year but for the upcoming years as well so they could continue to thrive. For their first year, they had it fully planned out to ensure success.

“We decided to only start off with 17u,” Mark Yarc said. “We also had a skill development camp for younger kids with the idea that it would turn into a larger variety of age groups for upcoming years.”

It only took four months from when the program organizers got together and decided to make this a reality before officially launching the program. In these four months, they had to finalize many important details and make sure they had necessary accommodations, including; gym space, jerseys, and many other resources. These other resources included insurance, functioning websites with important details, social media platforms, bank accounts, and tournaments. 

The initiative for starting a program is different for every coach. In Triple Threat’s case, it was to give players of all levels an opportunity to play outside of school ball. When Corey Yarc was asked what gave them the idea to start the program, he responded with “I had been a school coach and I saw the need that the same kids that played school ball needed a place to play in the offseason.”

Most AAU teams just take everyone that tries out and place them on teams with no true coaching. Then, they just have them play every weekend without any training. This is where Triple Threat is different, they coach all their players and go through many training and evaluations before even playing their first game. They want to see all their players develop, rather than just go out and play every weekend with no purpose or advancement of skills. Triple Threat is an unselfish program. This is helping it continue to grow at a tremendous rate, to one day be a top program in the Lake County area.

There are many factors behind the scenes that contribute to these large successful programs that most aren’t aware of. However, there are big contributions the players are making to the program without even realizing it. Every time a player speaks or tells their friend about their program, that adds one more person that is aware. When more and more people talk positively about a program, it just continues to expand. 

“Kids who know one another want to continue to play with each other,” Matt Yarc said. “Word of mouth plays a big role.”

When players that have experienced only positive things from a program and they are constantly talking highly of it, it will cause more and more kids to join year after year. This was clearly seen with Triple Threat as they only had one team their first year and are now going into year three expecting 15 teams.

Word of mouth isn’t the only crucial aspect to continue to bring more players in. There is a large amount of work on the coaches to find the players that will fit well into their program. These coaches have to get in contact with players and families. 

“Recruiting from the coaching staff brings in a majority of the players,” Corey Yarc said. “This mostly includes talking to players, their coaches and parents.”

Without coaches making this additional effort to obtain these players, the population of the program would be much less.

Social media presence was also very important for Triple Threat. Almost “everyone” is on social media so it is an easy way for players and parents to get more information about the club and get a deeper understanding of what it has to offer. Co-Founder Coach Milo is a big advocate for social media presence. “We think it’s important to show the public eye we’re getting out there and competing,” he said. “We also showcase our tournament wins along with how we run our practices.”

These posts have clearly grabbed the eye of many families causing its growth to triple over the last three years. Triple Threat racked up 900 Instagram followers in just 2023 alone. Without a strong social media presence, who knows where Triple Threat would be today.

Triple Threat is a great organization that keeps growing yearly. The future looks promising for this new AAU team. Due to its exceptional connections and resources, it will continue to grow exponentially. 


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About the Contributor
Ryan Stolarick
Ryan Stolarick, Staff Reporter
Ryan Stolarick is a freshman at Lakes and this is his first time on the Talon Times staff. He enjoys playing baseball and basketball, hanging out with friends, and watching anything involved in the sports world. His favorite athlete is Michael Jordan.