Camden County College / Williamstown High School / Panther Basketball School
Crispin Basketball began with “Pop.” Joe and Jon’s grandfather, Cliff Crispin played ball at Woodstown High School and Temple University in the 1950’s. His 1958 Final Four (3rd place finish) team included Guy Rodgers and Billy Kennedy (thus, his minutes were limited!). He then went on to coach at the High School and Junior College level for over 30 years. He is truly the original in the Crispin family. The original baller, the original coach, and the original camp director.
Growing up, Joe and Jon would spend at least one week a year at the Camden County College Cougar Basketball camp. They loved every minute of it. It was special to not only attend a fun basketball camp each summer (there weren’t many back then), but to spend the week with their Pop. They had plenty of time with him over the years, but the days at Camden County are ones Joe and Jon refer back to often.
During their high school and college years, Joe and Jon worked various different camps. One steady one was run by their uncle, Grant Shivers. Coach Shivers was the head coach at Williamstown High School and was patient enough to hire the brothers even though they probably weren’t the best workers!
In 1998, Steve Crispin (Cliff’s son), launched a new camp at Pitman High School called The Panther Basketball School. This camp consisted of two sessions, a morning session for middle school players and an afternoon session for high school players. His focus was on the teaching various aspects of the game and his model is one we continue to build upon today. Joe and Jon worked the camp each year, but Steve ran a tight ship and ran a great school each summer.
This camp fazed out in about 2003, but was launched again by Jon Crispin and Bob Fisicaro in 2006.
Panther / Crispin Basketball School – Crispin Basketball (2006-2013)
Jon Crispin and Bob Fisicaro revived the Panther Basketball School is 2006, utilizing Steve Crispin’s model and focus on teaching the game. Joe joined them in the summer of 2008. It was during the mid-point of Joe’s playing career that he developed a clear vision for coaching. Joe also began working with some individual players during the offseason of his professional career overseas. It was during this time that all programs began running under the title of Crispin Basketball.
Joe became the primary director of our summer camp, while also publishing a blog as he began researching teaching concepts and player development. During these years, Crispin Basketball primarily ran a camp one week each year in Pitman, while working in respective areas for individual players.
Then Joe retired and really began his venture into the world of youth sports.
Crispin Basketball (2013 – Present Day)
Joe retired from playing professionally in 2013. His first seasonal introduction to the world of youth sports consisted of coaching his 3rd grade daughter and kindergarten-aged son at the State College YMCA. Following the winter season, Joe and his family moved back to South Jersey and prepared to launch the summer camp when Bob Fisicaro approached Joe with another idea. Summer league for their sons.
They tinkered around with a few ideas, but settled upon 3-on-3 “full court.” It was an awesome experience letting kids play and one that served as the foundation for the future of Crispin Basketball. As Joe settled back into town, various folks would ask him if he was willing to work with their kids or with a small group. This steamrolled a bit until he realized Crispin Basketball could serve the youth in the South Jersey area with some good programming and coaching. But there was one final key.
Joe had a vision for helping kids play (really play!) the game better and enjoy the game more, but was well aware of his weaknesses. He needed a great partner. Thankfully, he married one. Erin agreed that it would be impossible for Joe to serve people well if all the administrative details were involved, so Crispin Basketball began running various small programs over the course of the next year with her as our general manager. Erin runs the details of every show. It really was the beginning of Crispin Basketball as we know it today.
Over the past 10 years, Crispin Basketball has had the privilege of serving thousands of kids in the South Jersey area through camps, clinics, workout groups, individual workouts, leagues, coaching programs, and club program. Each of these programs were developed little by little over the years, but they were always motivated by a simple desire to help kids of all ages and abilities play the game better and enjoy the game more.
Thankfully, we have not only added programs, but great partners and coaches. And many others who seek to serve kids well as they pursue greater joy in the game.
In 2023, as Joe moved into his position as assistant coach at Penn State Basketball, another change had to occur. Erin becamse the owner and operator of Crispin Basketball, and our model evolved once again. Our focus is now more on partnering with other programs to give them a model for youth development. We offer curriculum to help other programs run what we have found best serves youth in the game of basketball. We really count it a privilege to serve in this capacity and aim with each passing year to improve what we do and how we serve. We want to change the game for the greater good and empower those we impact to pass it on.