Stanley Remy, Trainer to Dwyane Wade and All-Stars, Dishes on Miami’s Basketball Boom

MIAMI -- Growth and development are often the results of perseverance through challenges. South Florida basketball skills trainer Stanley Remy believes in the process of challenging his clients, so that they can become the best versions of themselves on the floor.

Stanley implores them to fall in love with the incessant grind of getting better. That virtue came from working with South Florida native and former NBA player Keyon Dooling, a close friend whom he credits for getting him into basketball training.

Stanley has constructed his brand (@RemyWorkouts) through hard work and a results-driven program that has helped to mold the games of some of Miami’s finest hoopers, homegrown and otherwise. He counts Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, Jeff Green and Brandon Knight among his clientele.

His success with his client base has helped him build equity in the NBA community. The South Florida native was able to take his workouts to the next level through the formation of Remy Runs Miami, which has become the elite pickup game for top-level basketball talent visiting or residing in Dade County. These 5-on-5 exhibitions are a who's who of players from around the NBA, NCAA and various professional leagues—including John Wall, Andre Drummond and Victor Oladipo, who recently opened his own Skill Lab gym in Miami.

As Stanley's brand expands, so does the exposure of basketball in the Miami area. He gave CloseUp360 a window into why training is his passion, how South Florida is no slouch when it comes to talented hoopers, and the history of skills development locally after one of his open runs this offseason at the University of Miami.

(The interview has been edited for clarity and length.)

CloseUp360: How did you get into the industry?

Stanley Remy: Well, I played basketball myself. Once I stopped playing, I fell in love with the passion of getting people better because of my good friend Keyon Dooling, who played 13 years in the NBA. He helped me get better. So I fell in love with that process because I got a lot better and I knew this is what I wanted to do also. 

CU360: What was your game like?

SR: I was a really good shooter. I think that was my specialty. Being able to make shots, I was really good with that

CU360: You mentioned Keyon, but how did you build your own brand in the Miami market?

SR:  Well, yeah, it started with Keyon, Udonis Haslem, James Jones, Malik Allen. … There was a lot of those South Florida-based guys who were big in Miami already, who had high school careers here in Miami and Broward. Being able to get with those guys created a buzz. I think the biggest buzz that was created for me was through the youth. It's when I started training Brandon Knight, who's one of the best players to ever come out of South Florida. Two-time Gatorade Player of the Year, McDonald's All-American, Jordan Brand Classic...was a top-three player in the country from ninth grade all the way to senior year.

That's what continues to have me training youth until today. I never neglect the youth because I was able to retrieve Brandon through training younger players. And right now, I'm currently working with the number one high school player in the country who's also from South Florida, Vernon Carey Jr.

CU360: Tell me about Vernon's game. 

SR: Lefty, 6'11", 260 [pounds]...just a force, man. Started training with me around seventh grade. His dad played in the NFL for [seven] years. We're good friends. He brought him to me and it was a major project definitely. We didn't know whether it was basketball or football we were going to go with. But just stuck with it, man, and I know my formula works to getting guys better. He stuck with the formula and look at him now.

CU360: What is that formula?

SR:  Well, basketball is definitely 90 percent mental—understanding how to be a student of the game, not just a basketball player. I always tell them it takes that effort—that extra effort—outside of working out and getting better. As far as building towards your craft,  it's like what are you doing outside of dribbling a basketball, shooting a basketball to get better to train your mind? And then just falling in love with getting better. You can't make it like it's a punishment to get better. ... You got to like it, you got to love it. And when you love it, you are more passionate about it and you'll get better quicker.

CU360: Obviously word of mouth goes a long way. How did you expand your client base?

SR: You build a lot of chemistry and trust from guys when you see them getting better. When they see themselves getting better, they trust a lot of different things you do. They check your track record. They check to see how [other] guys interact with you. Then through training, when you're on that court, you build a different type of relationship. It's a real bond when you're in the trenches with these guys—late hours, early mornings putting up shots. When they see their game progressing, they can do nothing but build that trust with you.

So when I say I'm having an open run, of course, they're going to come. It's a part of their training regiment in August. I lock them in the gym for two and a half months of just getting their skills better. But now afterward, you want to apply all of these things that you're learning in an in-game situation without seeing any cones. You want to see live bodies. So that's a part of your training regiment. And guys that I don't train even come because they know my track record. I'm all for other trainers coming in and bringing their guys in. That's how I view things. I don't try to barricade it to only my guys. I try to open it up to every NBA guy. 

CU360: You mentioned that bond. What are some standout moments for you in the gym?

SR: I mean, it's so many, man. I've had numerous moments with Brandon Knight. Like I said, Keyon, Udonis. Jeff Green, really good friend of mine. We've had a lot of moments. We got a great relationship—real funny relationship when we're out there training. He says, "No." I say, "Yes." I say, "Do this." He says, "No." … I make him do it anyway. We got a cool relationship. It's a lot of different situations.

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Stanley Remy passes the ball to Washington Wizards forward Jeff Green at the University of Miami. (Chuck Farris)

CU360: Take me through a day in the life of Stanley Remy.

SR: Ah, man, it's crazy. Usually we'll start our first session at 8 a.m. We like to do everything on time. Every hour on the hour, I have a different pro coming in usually from 8 to about 5. Then after 5, I might take an hour rest, and then I go to the arena and work with all the Heat players at that time—late nights. Usually my day can go from on the court at 8 a.m. and being done at like 9 at night. Every day, five days a week for three months during the summer.

CU360: Over the course of the day, how many guys are you seeing overall, pro and youth?

SR: Oh yeah, and that's the next thing: From time to time I fit in youth, overseas, college guys. You're talking about from NBA players, I see at least 12-13; from college, I see at least 10; from kids, I see at least 12 per day—every single day.

CU360: How do you work with the the Heat on their players' training programs in the offseason.

SR: You know, we work closely with the team. Obviously we don't want to overlap what they're doing. You don't want to overwork those guys. So guys set up different training regiments to make sure they get in with me and they get in with the team, so we work together. Guys from Tyler Johnson, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, Rodney McGruder. These are all guys that I work closely with. 

CU360: In 2010, LeBron brought attention to the Heat. But behind the scenes, fans really don't know about the basketball rise in Miami beyond the Heat. What have you seen from the basketball market, just how it's grown?

SR: Miami has always been a football state. I’ve seen these type of things that I’m doing now come and go. My whole thing is consistency—sticking with it. Even if you have a bad summer, bring it back next summer and create a consistency about our Miami culture. We can play basketball. We’ve been a part of this for a while. Guys like Brandon Knight and Keyon—those guys came up through the South Florida ranks. We know that we have the talent here. It’s just all about consistent programs to build the culture here, and that’s what we’re doing now. 

CU360: Was there one summer that changed the landscape? I know the Miami Pro League has gained popularity over the last few years.

SR: For sure the Miami Pro. I support it majorly, just because you're able to get your guys out there playing, working on things that they've worked on in the gym. That culture has definitely intensified what we have going on. So yeah, the Miami Pro, and it's just building piece by piece. It's not something that's specific—just piece by piece, guys understanding that we have something consistent down here. That's the main thing.

(Robson Lopes)

Miami Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside celebrate at the Miami Pro League. (Robson Lopes)

dCU360: Los Angeles has been the place for NBA summers. NYC is also always big. Where is Miami in that mix now?

SR: Well, you know, we break it down in regions. You got up north in the New York area, it's Chris Brickley. He's got a big name and does a great job with the runs and training. In LA out west, you got a lot of trainers out west. There's a lot of competition, but you have some of your top ones like Drew Hanlen and Chris Johnson. They do a great job with their trainings and their runs. And then me in the South, being down here at the bottom. I try to do the same thing.

CU360: Social media branding is so big for trainers now because of the inside access to players. How have you used that platform to get the word out about what you're doing?

SR: We're in the era of social media. Marketing was big back in the day and you paid lots of dollars to do something like that. But now, you can market yourself. You can show videos. You can show what goes on in your day and life. You can show your come-up from the bottom to the top. Easily you can let everyone see your grind. I think that people fall in love with what I'm doing. They respect what I'm doing, so they follow what I'm doing and the following keeps building and building.

CU360: Was that an instinctual thing for you with knowing how to brand and build awareness through social media?

SR: Absolutely not, man. It just happened like this. I didn't think about doing anything like this. It just kind of happened. I know I had a goal and I had a dream and I wanted to stick with it. No matter if I failed, I wanted to continue doing it and figuring out a way and a life to stay with basketball. I always wanted to keep basketball in my life in some kind of way. 

CU360: So what's next for you? How do you keep things growing?

SR: Oh yeah, it's going to continue growing, man. We're probably going to have our own facility down here next year. Just nicer and bigger things. I'm going to have travel teams. I'm going to develop the youth more and just grow. My whole thing and concept with this brand is every year, even if you just get an inch better, you still got better than the year before. We want to continue to just bring things down here and just keep building.

Check out our full feature package (video and written) on Miami's basketball boom.

 

Warren Shaw is a veteran NBA writer based in Miami. Follow him on Twitter.