Community Spotlight: TNT Elite Hoops

 

Nick Trapp, left, and Gerrod Trytten, right, founders of TNT Elite Hoops.

Nick Trapp, left, and Gerrod Trytten, right, founders of TNT Elite Hoops.

TNT is a fitting name for one College Park basketball training company.

It’s an initialism for their slogan, “Today not tomorrow,” but it also reflects the way the company has exploded in College Park since it opened in February of 2015.

Gerrod Trytten and Nick Trapp, who both grew up in College Park, started TNT Elite Hoops after they coached together for other companies for seven or eight years, Trapp said.

Now, they coach basketball players ranging from middle school beginners to college and professional athletes, but they don’t stop there. They go beyond the call of duty for the average coach, leading their players to success both on and off the court.

“In order to play for our teams, you have to be doing well in school,” Trytten said. “We have nonstop communication from our cell phones with not only parents but also players.” The coaches make themselves accessible to their students at all times, because their care exceeds what they do in practice.

Coach Gerrod Trytten watches a student get ready to shoot.

Coach Gerrod Trytten watches a student get ready to shoot.

Trapp said their facility at the Church on the Drive provides a setting for players to spend time where they won’t find bad influences, especially once they get to high school. “It’s a type of environment where they’re being productive,” he said. “They’re in here lifting, they’re learning, they’re staying with our younger kids teaching them instead of [being] out doing other things that aren’t getting them anywhere in life.”

Trytten and Trapp advertise personalized training on their website, but that doesn’t begin to cover the amount of individualized care they show each of their students. During one practice, Trytten pointed out students who have been with TNT for a long time. He remembers who trained with them for several years, even before he and Trapp founded TNT.

Jace Spinelli, a ninth-grader at Bishop Moore, has been training with Trytten and Trapp for six years.

“They’re always into it,” Spinelli said about his coaches. “They never want to give up, and they always try to push you to keep winning and never back down from an opponent. They know the game well, and they know how to teach it.”

Coach Gerrod Trytten gives players directions during practice.

Coach Gerrod Trytten gives players directions during practice.

Kyle Arzt, who was a student of Trapp’s and Trytten’s, became the third coach for TNT two years ago. He said his favorite part of coaching is “interacting with different people every day,” since no two players are the exact same. He’s an example of the kind of personalized training TNT provides — and of the kind of real-life experience Trytten and Trapp give their students.

“It’s kind of funny just looking at him grow and us helping get to where he needs to be,” Trapp said about Arzt’s development as a coach. “It’s kind of a reflection of where we were seven or eight years ago.”

The name TNT also has one more meaning. After picking the name, they realized it could also stand for “Trapp and Trytten.”

“But we don’t tell that to anybody else because it’s not about us,” Trytten said. “It’s about the players and everybody that comes through.”

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