Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Griffin.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Justin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in La Puente, CA and moved to Corona, CA when I was 11. I come from a family of seven, including two loving parents, three caring sisters, and one rebel brother to say the least. I started playing organized basketball when I was seven years old in the local community recreational leagues. Since then, I slowly developed my passion for the game.
I never knew what I was doing but absolutely loved the freedom I had to be whoever I wanted to be when I was playing. My parents were really strict and kept us sheltered, but sports was our outlet to have some sort of freedom. My parent’s support meant everything as a child and now looking back, I understand how grateful I was to have that unconditional support.
I wasn’t always the best player on my teams but I absolutely loved to compete. The turning point for me was when I was in middle school, my now brother in law taught me the importance of developing a strong a strong work ethic. Teaching me the value of practicing ‘smart’ which means having a plan on exactly what you are going to work on when you practice on your own. This allows you to start mastering the skills you want to add to your game, which in turn improves your confidence when you play.
I was a skinny kid growing up that was always told to EAT, EAT, EAT and put on weight. That in itself was stressful and wore on me because deep down inside, I never thought I would be good enough. I slowly let my game do the talking and starting focusing more on what I could control. I went to Santiago High School in Corona, CA and had a good high school career. I went on to Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, CA and that is where I really started growing into a basketball player. I learned the recipe of how to win and what all went into it. My freshman year my team was fortunate to win the California Community College State Championship. I also learned the value of learning your role and doing what you do best to help the team win.
I went on to get a full athletic scholarship to the University of Hawaii at Hilo. When I first transferred I realized that everyone was after what I wanted, The Spotlight, a Bigger Role, to be The Man. This is where my killer instinct came in and I knew I had to take what I worked so hard for. I went on to make a name for myself and earn the respect of my peers. I went on to have a successful career at UHH and finished with a hand full of honors including University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Male Athlete of the Year my senior season.
I graduated in 2006 and went on to start my 11-year professional career. I played in various countries around the world including Germany, Mexico, Romania, and Puerto Rico. I was lucky enough to develop as a player over my career and learned so much from the different coaches and teammates I had to honor to play with. The last six years of my career, I played for the best organization in Mexico, Soles de Mexicali. I was the captain of my team for the last five years and during those years. During that time we went to four finals and won 1 of those. It’s amazing the amount of dedication and discipline it takes to be the last two teams standing in a league full of teams.
During my last season, I knew I was ready to close the chapter of the ‘Professional Basketball Player’ and start of new one. I decided to use my experience and knowledge of the game I gave my entire life to and share that with the world. This is where Pure Joy Basketball was started. When I played basketball, it brought me a feeling of ‘PURE JOY’ so this is where the name came from. The game was my best friend, my therapy, a place where I met new people, traveled the world and experienced things I couldn’t imagine. So I figured if I had no idea what I was doing when I was growing up but still figured it out. Why can’t I be the one to show athletes exactly what it is going to take to use the beautiful game of basketball as a tool to guide you in life.
The game presents so many different life skills that transition into the real world. It’s those skills that helped believe in my abilities to run a business. Waking up and knowing that I have followed my heart and passion to help others is still surreal to me. I have a motto I like to share. “10 Smiles a Day,” meaning I wake up every day and make it a priority to make ten random people smile because I feel a smile can change someone’s day and hopefully, the people I smile at can make someone else smile. Positivity is contagious and I’m trying to do my part to spread it in this world full of negativity.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Pure Joy Basketball started in May of 2017. Starting a business is scary. There is no play or no right or wrong way to do it. It starts with a vision and then the trial and error begins. I started Pure Joy Basketball with a teammate that I played with the last five years of my career. Although we lived in different parts of town, the goal was to farm our local areas and slowly build clientele day by day. This was a difficult challenge because things don’t grow as fast as you would like them to.
The first year we had to put our names out there and show what we could offer. We went on tours and did free clinics to whoever would show up. We planned events hoping people would show, sometimes we had a lot; sometimes there were none. The growth of an unknown business takes a lot of time and effort. It takes a certain mindset and grinds to see the bigger picture. Unfortunately, the slow growth leads my business partner to give up and take a different path in July of 2018.
This was a huge turning point for me because I didn’t know what to do. I knew I loved the grind and going around to find and develop athletes. I knew if I continued, I had to offer the best value to athletes. So I had to make a change mentally. This was the turning point. Personally, my mind switched from trying to make money to cherishing every athlete I had the opportunity to get in front of. It didn’t matter the numbers, I was focused on adding as much value to each athlete I trained. Once I changed my mindset, things started to slowly organically grow. I started seeing the light.
Please tell us more about your work. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
Pure Joy Basketball is a one-stop-shop for the best Player Development you can find. I specialize in Shooting and Footwork. Eliminating any unnecessary and make your game as efficient as possible. I offer an array of services including Private Individuals, Small Groups, Team Practices, Specialized Basketball Camps, Basketball Academies, and School Programs.
When parents see me around there children, they easily see the passion I have for the game. During my sessions, I really try to build the players mentally as well as there skill set. I use my experience on try and connect with whoever is in front of me. I know exactly what it takes and the mindset you will have to develop to be successful. At the end of the day, if the player is confident and believes in themselves, they will be able to go through any adversity they may be faced with on or off the court.
I’m most proud of slowly becoming known as a company and not just a basketball company. Becoming known as a brand is extremely hard but it reminds me of my path as a player. It’s a process that takes time to develop. The recipe is the same, a day to day habit, dedication, persistence, and belief in yourself when you hit adversity. My energy and mindset I believe set me apart. I inspire to develop leaders on and off the court. Not everyone will be successful playing basketball but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in the game of life. The skills and mindset I try to instill in my athletes on the basketball court translates just as well in the game of life. It takes a village to raise a child and I do my part to help inspire and mentor any child that comes onto my path.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career was continuing to keep knocking on doors and creating my own opportunity. Proposing my basketball academy to my hometown in Corona, CA and getting acceptance was my proudest moment so far.
- Private Individuals: $85/hour
- Small Group Sessions: $35/Hour/Athlete
- Shooting Clinic: $40 1 1/2 hour session
- Website: Www.PureJoyBasketball.com
- Phone: 909-732-6900
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @purejoyball
- Facebook: Pure Joy Basketball