Coach Taylor,

I just wanted to let you know how correct you are regarding these other camps and "trainers" are!  I have personal experience in this as I am a College Coach and I see it everyday.  Camps being run by incompetent kids.  These poorly coached kids themselves that played at a bad University themselves and now they are trying to run a camp?  What a joke!  The sad thing is these parents fall for it, hook, line and sinker!  It's so sad!  These "trainers" never coached as a head high school coach or college coach.  They are all "volunteer assistants" or some freshman coach!  It is an indication of why our game is so bad.  Thank you for respecting the game, coaching development vs winning, for being a true professional.  My sone attended your camp in San Diego and it has changed his life which in turn has changed our lives!  You have made a difference so thousands of kids lives!  I found out about your camp from an NBA player I coach that attended your camp when he was in the 8th grade and he says it is, to this day, the best camp he ever attended and that it made him the player he is today!  So, I just want you to know the influence you have.  Please continue to do God's work and I will always preach the gospel of Coach Taylor.  Keep doing what you are doing and lets try and weed out these punks that just try and steal money from these innocent parents.  These organizations and "coaches" need to be eliminated!  They are bad for the game!  They ruin the game.  We need actual experienced coaches, not these fake coaches.  Thank you again because I never take the time to write emails, but in this instance I feel I had to!



Coach Taylor,

 First of all, my wife and I would like to thank you for all that you deposited into our son Jordan Hamlett #14 Blue 8th grade at the Phenom Camp this weekend. You confirmed some things that we have been doing this summer. We began a book study this summer on the " Principles of Success" by John Wooden. Jordan's goal during the camp was to make your team. He was so happy when you told him he made your team. Jordan shared with me that he can only define success by doing his best and not by rankings. It's notbased on what others think success should be. Coach Wooden speaks of this. 


Coach Taylor, Jordan focused during this camp on doing different things that you emphasized. He drew two charges, played good defense, and concentrated on getting others involved. He was named to the Sportsmanship team which was great for him. It wasn't about the award but what it stands for and reinforced what we want him to be on and off the court. He continued to discuss what you shared throughout this camp. Our goal this summer is to help him become a well rounded young man that is a basketball player.


Also, this morning Jordan told his mom and I, "thank you for bringing me here and taking the time to fulfill my dream. He gave us a big hug." Jordan wants to be the type of player that you value. Coach Taylor, you reinforced what we have been sharing with him. I share with him to play the game the right way and respect the game because you have to earn it every day.


Lastly, Jordan's look on his face when you said you will see him again. He said he is going to work even harder. Thank you for everything, Our goal next year is to be able to attend one of your camps/clinics next year. Also, I plan to purchase your book "AAU Wasteland". I believe this will provide me with information and clarity regarding the AAU circuit.


Sorry for the long email, I know your very busy. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions during the camp and the impact that  you made on Jordan's life



Dr. John 


Coach Taylor,


I wanted to reach out to you to extend my gratitude for hosting such an amazing camp this past weekend.  We are all still talking about it. 


Carter has attended numerous camps throughout the years, at prestigious institutes, but your camp provided something "beyond the ball" that I believe will change the way Carter approaches how he practices, plays, and competes moving forward.  


I wasn't convinced that traveling across the country to your Phenom camp would be worth all the expenses, but that was quickly put to rest from the moment the camp started and seeing your different approach from the "broken system."  Describing and demonstrating the discipline and dedication it takes to be an elite athlete mean so much coming from a former Division I coach.  I can assure you, from the talks Carter had with us, on our long flight home, you sparked a fire in him that I know will make Carter work that much harder now to achieve his goals. 


As former college athletes ourselves, my husband and I both know the dedication, work ethic, and determination it takes to make it to such a level.  We have tried to explain it to Carter on numerous occasions, but I truly don't think he grasped it until now.  I am thankful it isn't too late, as Carter assures us he will dedicate the time, effort, and discipline that it will take to make it to that level.  Time will tell.


The passion you clearly have for the game is evident, but what impressed me most was the emphasis you put on education and always taking 100% responsibility.  The life lessons you instilled in these young men in the 3 short days they spent with you, are lessons that every single one of them will take with them for the rest of their life, regardless if they play Division I basketball or not.  Thank you for changing the game, it is refreshing.  We look forward to seeing you at camp next year.


Please let me know how the boy is doing that was injured in the all star game.  He has been on our mind and in our prayers.



North Carolina


Las Vegas, Nevada , at the jr phenom in San Diego , 6,7 , how you doing Coach Dave im #177 other wise known as bryce , I want you to know that you changed my life at the camp it wasn't just I camp to me it was a life changing experienceand I know that you do not like to get attached to the kids like me but I just wanted you to know that you changed my life and i am better person because of it and the hook shot is amazing on bigger defenders give me another year with the hook shot and they can stop me in my sky hook is getting better . you not only change me as a basketball player change me as a person you showed me there is no excuse for not giving a hundred percent and for that i thank you

I appreciate all that you do!

Hello Dave Taylor,

I am Iniko (niko)  mom. We came to your phenom camp in San Diego this past summer. The phenom camp, largely due to your amazing approach and leadership was the best we have attended and we've been to a lot of camps! My son stated on one of his homework papers for you that you are his new favorite coach! And you are also one of my favorite coaches. I would like to stay involved with you and continue your coaching presence in my son's life. If you remember Iniko, he was runner up for MVP and was the MVP of the all star game. I don't say this to brag or over estimate his talent-he's only in 8th grade, but so you might remember him. Please let me know what camps you are involved with. I am hoping you will still be doing the phenom camp in San Diego!

Thank you,

Jeannette, Niko's mom

You have changed my life!

Coach Taylor,


I wanted to just send you an email thanking you for the greatest event I have ever attended.  I am being recruited by over 20 High Major schools and it is all thanks to you!  You taught me so much, you taught me discipline, self reflection, being a great teammate, effort, responsibility, mental toughness, and this is just the intangibles.  You also made my shot quicker, taught me the importance of conditioning, ball handling and post play.  Before meeting you, I was only being looked at by some D2's and some low level D1's.  Once I left your camp, my life changed!  My grades are also up, you have really impacted my life and my families life.  I hope to one day pay it forward and I just wanted to thank you for turning me into the man I am today, you are the best!



Thank You

Coach Dave, My name is Jordan Usher i attended your phenom camp in california over the summer.  I very much so enjoyed the camp and had fun.  While at your camp i acted childish and immature.  I was the one mocking you in the film room.  When the camp was over i took it upon myself to turn my attitude about basketball around.  I am in the 9th grade and start on my varsity basketball team.  All of this is because of you i thank you so much for helping me change my attitude towards the game.  Being more mature has even gotten me noticed by the university of tennesee.  I thank you so much for all you have done.  Hopefully i will get a chance to see you again. But until then thankyou.


Thanks Coach!

Hello Coach Taylor,


I want to take a moment and express my appreciation to you. My son, Nicolas, attended your Adidas Phenom camp in New Haven 4 years ago. What you taught him provided the foundation for the player he is today. Even more importantly, what you said motivated him to use the great game of basketball as a way to get a higher education. He's still a junior, but I'm happy to say that many great DIII schools are following him. I know DIII schools don't give athletic scholarships, but since he got 1,970 on his SAT he should receive merit-based support, and hopefully the school will help his mom and I with other ways of $upport. 



You are an amazing coach!

Hello Coach Taylor!


I just wanted to thank you again for all that you do for the youth basketball community.  My son just verbally committed and he also had two of his teammates commit and all three have you to thank for this!

So often today we meet coaches and AAU programs that are only concerned with one thing, MONEY!  You are one of the very very few that is not. We met you at the West Coast All-Star Camp and been in contact with you ever since.  You have always provided advice and mentorship for no charge, just because you say that is your job.  We are so lucky to have met you.  We stopped playing AAU and just attended all of your events and we are now proud to say our son has received a scholarship and we could not be happier.  

You are doing God's work and are so refreshing a human being.  You are attractive both inside and out and we will always be forever grateful.  Your website has also helped and we appreciate all you do.  I am sure you do not hear this enough but you are one of the great ones.  One of the best motivators and caring people we have met.  

Please keep doing what you do, you are doing things for the right reason and I only hope others are fortunate enough to have you in their lives as we have been.

God Bless,

The Johnson Family



The "Harvard frosh Corbin Miller stepping up" story



I was thinking about you the other day and the fun experience Corbin had with you. Here is a little update on what he is doing in his world. I hope all is good with you and your family.


Bret Miller

The "Harvard frosh Corbin Miller stepping up" story is located at

I thought you might enjoy this story from

Phenom Camp


You may not remember me but my name is David G II I attended the Phenom Camp in 2007. Even though I don't play basketball anymore the Camp is one of the more memorable times in my young life. Going against Josh Shelby, Tony Chenault and Treg Ziglar to name a few was some of the best competition I've ever faced on the court. I would really like to thank you for the opportunity and experience you gave me. This camp set me up for success in football(I'm in Texas) Where I made All-State as a RB and had several D-1 offers before settling on Univ. of Texas-San Antonio with Larry Coker. The extra practices which were optional taught me a very valuable lesson. I attended every one of them. And learned that there was no substitute for hard work. I know that there may be better athletes than me, but the Phenom Camp taught me that no one will ever outwork me. So being the Ford Built Texas Player is a direct result from being a Phenom Camp All-Star. And once again I must say Thank You from the bottom of my heart and God Bless you!!!

Thank you


Hello Mr. Taylor,

This letter comes to you at a very odd time for my family, and as I am writing this tears are already beginning to flow down my face.  As you know, Jimmy was diagnosed with bone cancer and did not have much time remaining when you had met him on that very fateful halloween night.  Our greatest fear was that Jimmy would live the remaining days of his life in such great suffering pain and having only been on this earth for 9 short years, we did not want any of his last remaining days to be in pain.  When you met our son, he was in a bad state of mind.  He was in pain, he was scared of what would happen to him in the end, he really had no one to talk to that he could start "fresh" with.  He had minor interests in life but had found himself in a rut.  He had talked to us quite often about all the things he wanted to do, like run on the sand at a beautiful beach, to go ta a basketball game, to go to a baseball game, to run free of pain, to be able to play a videogame and not be in pain.  The list was endless....he missed school, he missed his friends.  People stopped visiting him lately because of his deteriorating body and painful demeanor.  He was at such a down point of his life that his father and I were so concerned that he would rather just move on than continue in that state.  It seemed as though the pain would never go away, not just the physical pain, but the mental anguish he would feel daily.  

Then this GIANT Angelic man walked into our room!  This beautiful, handome gorgeous man with a BIG OL' PUMPKIN bucket full of candy!  When my son looked at you, his eyes opened wide, like you were an ANGEL!  When you introduced yourself as "the ugly candy fairy", my son laughed!  We had not heard him laugh in months.  When you asked us if you could sit down, we wondered if you were another Dr. with bad news but you were so tall, so vivacious, so happy, we knew that could not be true.  Jimmy looked so bewildered, as were we.  You then noticed that he had a basketball game on television and asked him if he liked basketball and that opened the floodgates.  He opened up to you like we had never seen before.  He was so excited to actually talk to a "real" basketball man.  When you two started talking basketball, my husband and I were so flabergasted that we simply could not breathe.  Our son was talking basketball with this complete stranger, when he would not talk to anyone.  Not us, not the nurses, not his family.  He seemed to have given up until that very moment.  When you remained for longer than any of us expected, my husband and I decided to leave you two alone because we could see that our son wanted to be alone with you.  We sat outside in astonishment, wondering when you would leave, hoping beyond hope that you wouldn't.  It wasn't 2 minutes before we could actually hear our son laugh, from the lobby!  When my husband heard that, he cried like I had never seen him cry before and he wispered in my ear, "Thank GOD."  We held each other and the nurses came by to join in, we actually had our nurses, nurses that would marry you tomorrow if you asked, nurses that absolutely fell in love with you that night, in tears! You were a miracle.......we looked at our watch and you were still in the room, 40 minutes later!  Then we saw you walk out, we were so sad that you were leaving us, as we walked over to you, the shock we felt when you asked Mary if it would be ok to have some of the other boys join you and our son to watch some games, was felt it in our toes!!  To see you wheeling other kids into Jimmy's room, was a sight to be seen!  These boys had never even met each other before and here you were, with all these boys and girls in a room, all laughing, all watching tv, all hanging on your every word and eating candy when they would not eat anything for weeks!  We wondered aloud, what was happening??  You stayed for hours, and for that we all, parents, family, nursing staff, could not thank you enough.

When you left us for the evening, providing us with your phone number and business card, that card you gave my son, black and silver, weighed more than a ton of gold to my son.  It never left his side.  The fact that you would stay in contact with him, when you are as busy as you are, was such an amazing thing for us.  He talked about you 24/7.  He said you two talked about everything, from life to death.  About sports, about your girls, about your teams, about your life and his. I do not know what you said to my son regarding the afterlife, because that is between you and my son, but whatever it was, you put my son at peace.  He was at peace for the first time in his life.  You made him feel peace.  He would call you at all times of the night and you always answered, when you called him, we would leave.  So that our son could have his moment.  You, simply put, made him happy.  

Recently Jimmy had a conversation with us, we knew life was coming to an end and he had such a mature conversation with us, he was so strong.  He told us he would be watching over us, he told us he would be busy playing basketball at the beach like his "coach".  He told us he was excited to meet a boy named Bart and to meet your mom!  He said so much to us.  He mentioned that he wasn't scared.  He said he would do all the things he wished he could have done on earth.  When he was done, we asked him why he was saying all this?  He said because he felt he wanted us as his parents to live life, to be happy and not sad.  That "coach" said I would be happy and able to watch over everyone to make sure they are happy.  He said he could not wait to watch you coach......he knew that he would not be able to do this until his time on this earth was done and although he wasn't hoping to pass on, he wasn't afraid because he was going to be able to watch over you.   He told us the question you asked him, and we started crying.  He told us what you had said to him about your life and we cried so hard as he told us it was going to be alright.  We could not believe this was our son!  

My husband and I remember when you left, you were such a strong man.  You then said to us something that absolutely touched us, you said, "I wish it would be me in there, instead of your son".  You then cried and hugged us as you walked away.  A miracle in our life, walking out slowly.....fading into the distance was what we considered a GODSEND.  All we could talk about was what an amazing experience it must be to have someone like you in our life.  To be a player for you, a student for you, must be the greatest thing in a person's life.  I could not imagine a greater gift for a young adult.  I know we have talked about your frustration with your calling, but I would hope that those kids of yours would see what our son saw.  Life is so precious, to be valued. To not be wasted.  Life is short enough, to put one's own life in danger via dangerous activities seems insulting to me and everyone who has experienced what we have experienced.  I wish my son could have attended high school, I wish my son could have played sports, especially for a man as great as you, I wish my son could have experienced the joy of competition, the thrills of college, the exhileration of a win!  The results of working hard for something.  All my son wanted in life was to be able to play, to be able to go to school, to be able to be "normal".  I hope you understand that for the time our son knew you, he experienced these things. His life was changed because of you.  Having said all of this, I hope this does not come out wrong, but we do not wish you would have been in that room instead of our son.  You are one of GOD's special people, you affect so many.  If you have affected others the way you have affected us, then you are one of the most valuable people on this earth, you are needed!

Jimmy passed away late last night.....with his last breaths he told us to smile, he thanked us, he then wanted us to tell you he is coming.  He is coming to all your games!  I am sorry coach but I am crying so hard right now, because these tears for the first time are tears of contention.  They are tears that represent my son and his happiness.  You are an ANGEL to all of us.  We speak of you as if you are mythical.  You must know this and I hope this does not make you feel uncomfortable, but we all speak of you often and we are trying to have another child and his name will be David Taylor.  You allowed us to be happy, to be at peace.  As my sister said, "Mr. Taylor is the most handsome, powerful, strong man I have ever come into contact with!"  We could not have said it better.  You are an amazing amazing amazing man because you know how to live, you affect lives.  

Thank you so much Coach.  Words can't say enough.  We are of modest means as you know.  Mary gave us the envelope you had left for us when Jimmy passed and we choked up so much when we read your letter and saw the check for his funeral expenses that we can't speak.  I pray for only one thing, that you will speak at our son's funeral.  I know this is a lot to ask, but I also know that there will be a lot of people in attendance and they could benefit from your wisdom.  It will be on Sunday the 22nd. I sincerely hope you understand the massive magnitude of impact you have had on our lives!  

Thank you so much David Taylor, you are forever our angel.  I am sure Jimmy is looking down on us right now drinking a soda and saying "lets play".  Continue doing GOD's work, continue changing the lives of the people smart enough to listen, continue being happy and continue breaking hearts.  You are the most beautiful man we have ever met.  We all love you so much, you are part of our family.  

With the most love one person can give to another, I give that to you.  Thank you!

Thank You


Hello Coach Dave:

It was a great honor to meet with you and share the ride to airport in San Diego. What a great camp you organized in San Diego (Jr Phenom). My son, Santosh, truly enjoyed the camp, and as a parent, I cannot imagine, what a great experience and learning for me to help support my son's dreams. On the way back, we were lucky to travel with NBA hall of fame, Bill Walton, on the same flight, and my son was excited to take a picture with him.

Hope you have fun in Tokyo, a truly great city. 

I will stay in touch with you for advise and guidance for my son, and truly appreciate your service and efforts in shaping up the dreams of this young generation not only on the game, but also in teaching values that are fundamental to the society


Hello from a Mom at the Phenom 150

 Dear Coach Taylor:  

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for this weekend. It has been an amazing experience to see these boys transform in just three days. Your speeches were inspirational and I believe well received by the boys and parents alike. It's great to have someone teach these boys the art of humility, teamwork and the importance of studying and working hard. I write this not just because I think you will leave a lasting impact on my son (a freshman) but because you will leave an impact on me. When you spoke last night of Michael Jordan's poster and the quote regarding how many failures he had in order to achieve success, I immediately ordered two posters. One for my sons house where he lives with his dad and one for my own.  I think the quote speaks volumes regarding fear and challenges and the ability to succeed only after trying.  I think it applies outside of the basketball of sporting arena and in very thing we do in life.  So I guess this is my long winded way of saying simply "thank you" for being real. The best to you.