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Inspiring Conversations with Alando Durrett of Gifted Handles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alando Durrett.

Hi Alando, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I started Gifted Handles program based off of my own experience with the game of basketball. I wasn’t always put in the right situations to succeed in basketball, even though I was very talented at the game the coaches around me at the time in high school didn’t let me have the same opportunity to showcase my talent. It wasn’t until I got older in my 20’s where I got introduced to the right coach through former NBA player Dale Ellis to NBA/WNBA Coach Tom Newell, He taught me how to be a better player and to be a model to follow. That inspired me to start Gifted Handles. I chose the name Gifted Handles because growing up, my brother Jesse would say “bro you got those Gifted Handles”.

So through my experience of failures and accomplishments, I want to inspire kids to go after what they really want out of life and don’t be afraid to fail. But if you do fail get back up and keep rolling with the punches because life is not an easy task, but when the dream and goal is accomplished, you can look into the mirror and, say I went out there and left a legacy.  I will never forget the encouraging words iverson said to me when I was younger, “be who you are and not what everybody else wants you to be, never give up”. What AI said to me that always stuck with me. Growing up, I always wanted my own brand to wear and have my own business. Along my journey with basketball and building Gifted Handles, I’ve had the chance to train the rapper Game sons and nephew. I’ve trained high school, NCAA and overseas pro players. I’ve worked on films showcasing my basketball skills. I’ve worked with Cardi b and Damian Lillard on a project called Cardi Tries. With the adversity I’ve been through with basketball, I’ve been able to prevail and work with numerous companies and building partnerships and influencer relationships.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Basketball in general has been and up and down situation for me from not having a solid relationship with my high school coaches to Scams and other politics I faced with my pro career. Through Gifted Handles Program and my experience and what I went through in my own career, I always tell my student athletes try to have a solid relationship with your coaches because they can make or break your career in basketball early on. If I need to sit with the coach and parent to figure something out, I am always willing to do so because I am a basketball trainer/coach that cares. I believe I went through what I went through to try and help prevent others from going through the battles I experienced. I know there’s a kid going through What I experienced and I hope my story helps them through the challenges and Knowing that they are not alone.

As you know, we’re big fans of Gifted Handles. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Gifted Handles is a basketball training and a mentoring program. It’s created to give student athletes the proper development In basketball, mentoring session for them on and off the court and the everyday person who wants to elevate their skill level and stay in shape. Gifted Handles we specialize in ball handling, ball control and footwork. What sets Gifted Handles apart from other training companies is our passion, love and drive for the game. Gifted Handles is a company full of integrity. I am a person of my word. I truly Love seeing kids and my peers elevate in life. I’m most proud of what Gifted Handles has done in my client’s Lives more than anything. I’m also thankful for what Gifted Handles has done for me in my life. Gifted handles offers full all around basketball training, 1 on 1 private sessions, camps, small group training. We also have our apparel on Gifted Handles slogan is ‘The Heart Is In The handles’ reasoning for the slogan is. You can’t elevate and develop your handles if your heart is not in it. That goes for everything you do in life as well.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?

I see Gifted Handles having multiple basketball locations throughout Southern California helping the communities with growth and development of the youth through basketball. Gifted Handles apparel will also be in stores near you.
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