Who is Rich Stoner?
I can remember the day that I was cut from my middle school basketball team as if it were yesterday mainly because it became the defining moment of my life. I was an eighth grader trying out for the middle school basketball team after having been cut the year before as a seventh grader. This year was different though, I had made it all the way through to the final tryout and was primed to make the team. However, this was not the case. The team list was posted and I was one of two players not on it. Finding my name absent from the list set off a range of emotions including anger, devastation, and depression. I blamed everyone I could think of, most notably the coach for making a mistake, but in reality I had no one to blame but myself. I needed to be in better shape, handle the ball better, finish better, shoot better so the coach had no choice but to pick me for the team. At that moment I was faced with a choice, the choice to give up and move on or to assess my overall game, identify and attack my weaknesses. I decided to continue to pursue my dream of playing high school and college basketball. My decision to continue on with the game I love ultimately changed me as a person and set me on a path of hard work, dedication and success on the court in multiple levels.
I went right to the gym the day I was cut and many other days there after in order to hone my craft and work towards realizing my dreams. The decision to continue to pursue my basketball dreams was a wise one. My hard work and dedication paid off. I made my high school team and became a starter at every level. I had the option to play basketball for several colleges, including being asked to walk on at my Division 1 alma mater, Wagner, where I competed on scholarship in track and field. Beyond my playing years is where I experienced the most success, with a coaching career that spanned a decade (seven as a head coach at Metuchen High School). During my time as a head coach, I was named 2005 Coach of the Year by the Home News Tribune and the Star Ledger and 2006 Blue Division Coach of the Year by the GMC Coaches Association. After taking over a Metuchen High School team that only qualified once for the state playoffs in the previous 17 seasons, my teams qualified for the state playoffs seven years in a row, advanced to the state semifinals in three of those years and made it to the state finals twice. During this time, we also won a division title and advanced to the county finals, no small feat for a tiny group 1 school. I was fortunate enough to win 103 games (second highest in school history), compile a winning percentage that ranks as the highest in school history, and coach many college and professional players.
Today, my passion for basketball continues with my company, Elite Basketball Training. Throughout my life, I have made mistakes and learned from them while garnering a wealth of basketball knowledge. Now I want to instill this knowledge along with my penchant for hard work and passion for the game of basketball on to you, today’s basketball player. I want to provide you with the tools to elevate your game and become elite.
I am also a passionate skier and have started my own media/clothing brand based on apres ski. For more information visit All About Apres.