Join the Elite Basketball Club

for 6th-8th Graders in St. George, Utah

Founded by Ex-NBA Player Shawn Opunui

Our players have the most fun and confidence playing the simplest, purest game imaginable with no pressure.

And in this environment, they become world-class players who get recruited and paid to play.


Pure Fun with No Pressure

Our players have zero pressure and receive constant encouragement. This means they have much more fun and learn the game much more quickly.

NBA-Level Coaching

We heavily emphasize basketball IQ. We play the smartest, most efficient way with the proprietary system developed by our founder, ex-NBA player Shawn Opunui.

Expert Skill Development

Our players receive world-class skill development in the simplest, most effective form. No useless and misguided drills that teach them bad habits! 

Recruiting Opportunities

Our ultimate goal is to get players recruited and paid to play. Our top players are exposed to elite recruiting opportunities in professional tournaments. 

Finally, a REAL Basketball Program
Where Players Actually Develop & Have Fun

To maxize his potential as a player, your son needs four things:


We perform best when we’re in a flow state. The only way to get in a flow state is to do something for the pure love of doing it. To play his best game, he needs to be having fun!


We perform at our best when we receive constant support and encouragement, not yelling or criticizing. 


A good system puts him in the best position and role to maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses. 


Good coaching gives him explicit instructions on exactly what, why, when, and how to take any action at any position on the court. This gives him confidence that he's doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.

Quality coaching also helps him develop his skills in exactly the right way, without ingraining bad habits.

This is exactly what we give our players. If he sticks with us long enough and does the work, in our club your son will:

  • Play the game better than he ever has because he will be put in the best position to shine in his natural abilities and taught exactly how to develop his best game.
  • Have more fun playing than he ever has.
  • Have more confidence in the game than he ever has.
  • Become a world-class, recruitable player who gets paid to play.

What Our Players & Parents Say:

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What Players DON'T Get Here:

  • NO stress.
  • NO pressure.
  • NO yelling.
  • NO criticizing.
  • NO politics.
  • NO sitting bored on the bench game after game.
  • NO pointless drills that teach bad habits.
  • NO confusion on the court.
  • NO wasted talent in the wrong position and role.

What Players DO Get Here:

  • Constant praise and encouragement.
  • Unshakeable confidence.
  • Tons of playing time.
  • The most FUN they've ever had playing the game.
  • NBA-level coaching from the mind of ex-NBA player Shawn Opunui.
  • Expert basketball IQ training with film analysis.
  • An unbeatable, proprietary basketball system where they shine in exactly the right position to maximize their unique abilities.
  • Rapid, world-class skill development.
  • A clear path to ultimately getting recruited and paid to play the game they love.

Who is This For?

  • Players who are humble, coachable, and dedicated to master their craft on their own time.
  • Parents and players who are open to non-traditional methods and who think outside the box
  • Parents and players who are tired of the politics and ignorance of traditional programs.
  • Parents and players who see a bigger picture beyond high school and want a more elite program than high school or traditional training programs.
  • Parents who trust the coach and support the system and process without interfering.
  • Parents who are willing to invest in their son’s development for the long-term.

Our Founders


Shawn Opunui, Ex-NBA Player

When I was 12 years old my coach told me, "Shawn, you're always going to be the smallest guy on the court. The only way you'll ever make it in this game is if you're smarter than everyone."

And that's exactly what I did. From the age of 12, I devoted my life to the game of basketball. If I wasn't in the gym, I was watching film. 

It was from thousands of hours of film analysis that I created my secret basketball system, which I used to dominate the court without anyone knowing what I was doing.

I played high school basketball in Orem, Utah. I was then recruited to BYU, where I played for one year before transferring to BYU-Hawaii. 

After my sophomore year, I was recruited to the Dallas Mavericks. I later went on to earn millions playing professional basketball in China, Japan, and Australia.

In a game where the average height is 6'7", I dominated at 5'11"--because my game was based on intelligence, not athleticism.


Steve Palmer, Head Coach

Over the past two decades, I have been a coach, educator, consultant, and writer. I am a New York TimesWall Street JournalUSA TodayBusinessweek, and Amazon best-selling co-author.

I fell in love with this game at a young age and played through high school. Since then, I have been a passionate fan and devoted student of the game. 

As the head coach of the Smart Ballers club, my passion is developing confidence in young players and giving them a better chance than I had to go as far as they can in this game.

My wife and I have been married for 17 years. We have four children and a granddaughter.

Our Values

We are Professionals

  1. We take personal responsibility for our attitude and results.
  2. We do not make excuses or place blame. We focus only on what we can control.
  3. We never argue with refs or engage in any fighting.
  4. We put in the work to master our craft.

We are Learners

  1. We are humble and curious.
  2. We understand that this is a mental game more than a physical game.
  3. We allow ourselves to make mistakes.
  4. We view setbacks as opportunities to improve.

We Play as a Team

  1. The only stat that matters is a win.
  2. We master our roles and stick to them.
  3. No hero ball!