Photographer / Holly Simmons
Showtime Basketball in Noblesville is only about two years old, but its growth has been rapid and it shows no signs of stopping.
Currently, there are 51 boys and girls teams, from first grade through high school.
“Regardless of our size, we really want to make sure we’re still making a good product,” says Eric Schellhammer, Showtime’s director of basketball. “We can have 100 teams, but if it’s not a good product we have to reevaluate.”
The program calls Finch Creek Fieldhouse in Noblesville its home. There was a local need for youth sports, and Schellhammer was approached by the facility’s owner and chief operating officer because of his background in basketball. He had played at a junior college in Michigan, then went on to become a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky University, an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin, and an assistant coach at IUPUI, all on the girls side.
Schellhammer’s two daughters were always playing at Finch Creek Fieldhouse, and he was asked to put on a camp for first-grade through eighth-grade boys. This volunteer position turned into much more. As he began building the program, starting with about six boys teams in the spring and summer of 2019, it didn’t take long for him encourage the launch of girls teams.
“Being a girl dad, that was really important to me,” Schellhammer says. “We launched the girls side along with the boys side right before COVID hit, and we were shut down. We went back to the drawing board, and we were back at it this past fall.”
The program put protocols in place, followed CDC and Hamilton County guidelines, and had an explosive fall and winter season, growing from 32 teams to the current 51. They also started an AAU branch called Showtime Select, for eighth-grade and ninth-grade boys, before also starting Showtime Select for girls, for a total of 57 Select teams.
“We grew by around 700% through COVID,” Schellhammer says. “That’s pretty substantial.”
While there are many youth programs out there, Schellhammer points out what makes Showtime stand apart from others.
“The two words I built this program on are growth and development,” Schellhammer says. “We aren’t elite, we aren’t the highest level, and we’re not rec. We’re in the middle. I preach that this is a process.”
He focuses less on wins and losses, and more on developing skills and working on growth over time. He adds that a benefit to being hosted by Finch Creek Fieldhouse is access to M14 and D1 training, both independent basketball training programs that offer dynamic skill, strength and competitive training, and also operate out of the facility. As
part of Showtime, enrolled youth in the fall and winter get 10 training sessions with the M14 staff. Youth enrolled in spring and summer get strength training for speed and agility with the D1 staff.
“We’re just really lucky to have them right here in our backyard,” Schellhammer says. “We want to make sure we use those resources, and it has really helped our kids.”
Retention for Showtime Basketball is high, and Schellhammer finds deep satisfaction in watching the kids come back year after year. Some have been coached by him since day one. He loves the business side of what he does, but he loves coaching the kids even more.
“I coach my tail off because at the end of the day, they’re still learning,” Schellhammer says. “I absolutely love what I do because I want kids to be successful, have a smile on their face and work hard. Nobody in Showtime is getting offered a Division I scholarship anytime soon. There will be a day for that. For now we are learning, growing, developing and having fun.”