Professional Basketball Player, Eisvögel USC Frieburg
They say it takes a village but I'm a stubborn girl. I was determined to make my way in this world on my own. I set goals for myself at a young age, the first being to play Division I basketball. I loved basketball and everything about it. I still do to this very day. I've accomplished just about every goal I've ever set. And while I remain stubborn, I'm no longer the little girl you THOUGHT she was doing it on her own. As I look back on my career and my life there are certain people who stick out to me because they helped to shape me into the basketball player and woman I am today. Phil Odom is one of those people. Phil was a teammate of my Dad's in the South Abington Men's League. I remember going to games and watching him play because he had this creativity and dramatic flare in his game that captivated me. I loved watching him play and I loved the creativity he possessed. Plus, he was the 8th grade girls coach at OLP which was a very big deal to fourth grade me. When seventh grade rolled around, I had been given the opportunity to play on the eighth grade team. Looking back, that year had a huge impact on the type of person I would turn out to be. I always knew Phil was a tough coach. I knew I would have to have thick skin. I knew that Phil would let you know when you screwed up...BUT (this is a very important "but") he would always provide you with the alternative action you should have made. To me it is very important to distinguish between criticism based on emotion and criticism based on facts, criticism that is constructive and gives you a place to go from the point of the mistake. That is what growth is all about, right? Being able to take criticism and apply the lesson you learned without giving attitude is a level of mental toughness that many 13 year old girls do not possess. I'm not perfect and I didn't always maintain that level of mental toughness at 13 and 14 years old, but I most definitely improved leaps and bounds so that by the time I hit college my mental toughness was far greater than others.
I've mentioned earlier that I’ve accomplished just about every goal I've ever set. I've made All-Rookie team, First Team All-Conference twice, All -ECAC honorable mention, CAA All-tournament team. I'm the 3rd leading scorer in Northeastern Women's Basketball history. I set the record for assists, and honestly writing down the rest makes me uncomfortable. It's a great feeling, winning these accolades. Most of the other people who win these kinds of awards have experienced very little failure in their careers leading up to college. I was not one of those people. In fact, by my junior year of high school, I could probably count on one hand the number of people who thought I could have the college career that I did. It didn't help that I was working my way back from a torn ACL. Phil Odom was one of the people who never lost faith. I said I was a stubborn girl. I didn't care if I didn't have any accolades from high school. I still had a goal to play Division I basketball and Phil Odom never left my corner. Phil took the time to work out with me and develop my game. Phil's belief in me and the support he provided helped me to not get discouraged by past failures. He helped to teach me the importance of giving my all no matter what, no matter the odds that are stacked against you.
I'm much wiser than the 13 year old girl I once was. I realize that these things that I've been able to accomplish I by no means did alone. Phil taught me fundamentals, he inspired creativity on the court (especially with the dribble), he taught me the importance of being able to listen, he taught me not to worry about other people's opinions. Phil is an important member of my village. I'm playing professional basketball in Germany today because of the lessons Phil taught me on and off the court.
Manager Lady Lions Basketball Team, Penn State University
My time at Keystone Karma was short, but impactful. Playing for Phil Odom, I certainly learned more skills, better moves, and even better techniques to improve my game, but what has stayed with me all these years is the tough love Phil gives. Sometimes it’s hard to hear, but he has a way of always turning out to be right. If you want to grow as a basketball player, Keystone Karma can help you, but if you also want to develop as a person, Keystone Karma is the only place to go.
Guard, NCAA Division I, Mount St Mary’s
Being a member of Keystone Karma is something I’ll always be grateful for. Keystone Karma was my second family. They were extremely supportive and I made relationships that will last a lifetime through the program. By being a member of Karma, I was introduced to Phil. Phil has taught me more about the game of basketball that I could ever imagine. My first year with Karma, I was a shy girl who was not confident with my game. Phil gave me the tools and confidence I needed to make me a successful college athlete today. Joining the Karma family was the best decision for my basketball career.
Forward, NCAA Division III, University of Scranton
Playing for Phil and John was the best decision I made for my basketball career. They taught me how to be a better basketball player as well as person. The skills I learned on the court really helped prepare me for my college career and life. Playing for Keystone Karma allowed me to connect with different coaches/players/people. I learned how to develop relationships with people I had never played with before and this has really helped me in my college career. Phil taught me how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, travelling to different tournaments in different states and still being able to be consistent in different environments. Phil and John helped to shape me into a great basketball player and I appreciate everything the organization gave me. Phil and John are great coaches who have become family to me.
John and Phil are great teachers of the game and even better people. The dedication to the game and to teaching life lessons is amazing. They care about the girls and push them to reach heights they might not know or see yet. At Karma, you get to compete and earn your keep which was great for our daughter Lacie. The culture of family is evident and it is like a little family. They are so generous with their time to work with the girls and to give back to the community. John and Phil are great coaches and an even better people. They are the best and make the Karma experience top notch with the family-like atmosphere which makes them a very special AAU program. Our daughter, Lacie, really improved and had to compete all the time which made her better and mentally tougher.
Legislative Intern, US Senate
One of Phil's best attributes and something I have always admired about him was his undeniable desire to try and push every player, no matter how skilled or talented, to become the best version that he saw in her both on and off the court. The life lessons he managed to intertwine into daily practices have continued to guide me long after the buzzer sounded on my basketball career.
Forward, NCAA Division III, Kings College
Karma helped me build my confidence at a time when I had none. Sophomore year of high school I was overweight and not living up to the potential I had. Phil and John helped me to set goals, work at my game, and instilled their own confidence in me that helped me build my work ethic. Phil and John taught me many important lessons on and off the court that have stuck with me to this day. They are a big reason why I excelled in my senior year of high school and my collegiate career.