Salo's Showcase Helping Athletes Get Back in the Gym

Updated: July 03, 2020 10:40 PM

Luke Salo didn't let the pandemic stop Salo's Showcase. Instead, the basketball trainer adapted by offering training virtually. As things in the Northland continue to slowly open up, his phone continues to blow up as athletes are simply looking to get back to work.


"You know I've seen players walk in a gym and literally their eyes light up," explained Sale. "They kind of let a breath out and say 'I miss being in a gym like this.'"

For a couple weeks now, Salo has been working with Northland area basketball players. The Cotton native has been able to use the gym in his hometown and the Hakamaki family's personal gym in Wright.

"Players have all been wanting to get in the gym so bad. They want this normalcy again. They want to just get the ball in the hoop and rather than always shooting on and outside hoop where you get the wind, it's nice to get into a gym," he added.

Back in March is when everything was put on pause. Salo had to revert to doing his training virtually and players had to put in the work on their own.

"We got one in-person session before everything shut down. Then two and half months of virtual training," said Moose Lake/Willow River junior point guard Natalie Mikrot. "It was tough, but it gives you something to do. Take your mind off of what's really going on," she added.

Through his virtual sessions, Salo, who has been doing his showcase four about 5 years, extended his network of training nearly 50 local basketball players by adding nearly 15 new faces. He's currently training with athletes three to four days a week letting players contact him when they feel it's safe.

"Just the human contact. You can push yourself mentally as much as you want, but just to have that someone there pushing you, it's just another level," said Mikrot.

Salo had one full season of college basketball. The rest was riddled with injuries. However, through his experiences he says he's met so many talented players in the Northland and wanted to give back.

"I had to find ways to keep the game in my life other than just playing myself because when injuries happen, you kind of have to find other ways that aren't so hard on your body," explained Salo. "I think it was always my dream absolutely to give back to the community and keep basketball alive as a whole and around the area."

Now more than ever, these small sessions have made a difference for players getting ready for when they finally return to their teams. Salo says he's been happy to help.

"It's something no one around here has been through before, so you just have to reach out and help any way that you can," he said.

For more information, visit the Salo’s Showcase Facebook page.

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