Playing college basketball is a dream, a dream that very few have the experience of ever living. To play basketball with your twin brother makes the odds that much more unlikely. So what happens when the impossible happens and suddenly the dream disappears?.. Twice the greatness.
Success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome”. – Booker T. Washington
To reach the status of a collegiate basketball player puts you in the top 3% of all high school basketball players in the world. After leading their high school team to a successful basketball season, twins Charles and Michael Pack refused to be separated when attending college. They have always been level headed but adamant on their plans and goals, a trait that made their basketball talents all the more rare. Both went to college with complete scholarships and the world at their hands. Two combo guards, everything was seemingly in their control until it wasn’t…
Tragedy had a strange way of striking them both at different times. Charles first suffered a knee injury that would take tremendous rehabilitation just to play the game again, not even at the college level. For two brothers that had played the game together for years, the emotional and mental strain hurt just as much as the physical void. For many, this would be the beginning of the armor cracking. For the Pack twins this was the beginning of a story that still moves and motivates me to this day.
With Charles done with college basketball after one year, plans began to unravel fast. It is hard to project the future, but neither Charles or Michael could foresee the sudden sickness of their mother coming about. Stuck with their dream of playing with each other scrapped, their mother’s health uncertain, and the loss of a scholarship, they had their backs firmly pressed against the wall.
Charles quickly learned to open his eyes and stop limiting his pursuits to just playing basketball. The injuries could have ultimately been the best thing for his long term outlook, as he and his brother have since transferred and began schooling to find a career in basketball. A lot of the hardest times are preparing you for the upcoming blessings. Michael Pack wants to be an athletic trainer and Charles Pack wants to be a Division I coach. They decided that opening a gym would be a very attainable goal and now have a real opportunity to establish their brand!
Amazingly, no matter the circumstance, I never saw the twins waver in their faith or in their passion for basketball. A lot of the reason they were able to continue to grow in their faith and skill was the influence of Coaches Joe Einker and Thomas Moede. I also played under Coach Moede and he may be one of the greatest, most influential people I have ever met. Strong black male role models are extremely important in the development from a young man to a man.
When things seemed as if they were worst, their faith grew stronger. Izzy Ingle, a strong man of God took Michael Pack through perhaps the most adversity after numerous relationships did not end as intended. Mike turned to God in a major way as he was deciding which people to have in his life. He just was never fighting the battle alone.
Charles and Michael train Division I point guard on basketball, life lessons, and faith.
Unexpectedly, two former athletes with every expense covered now found that housing and everyday expenses were now a burden. Never did they see that the work they had previously put in would be their saving grace and the start of their new beginning. During the off season and breaks the twins trained a young man named Stefan DeLaGuaradia. His growth as a player was a direct testament to the growth in their faith and as men. As the college interest came in for Stefan, so did the recognition for the twins.
Charles and “Mike” were almost homeless, but also that much closer to realizing the seeds they had planted while pursing their goals. The Pack twins had trained youth and high school basketball players for side money and for the enjoyment, never realizing that these connections and skills would leave a tangible impact. The twins would soon launch Double Trouble Training and start to develop a new plan. There were three major lessons of life that Charles and Michael applied on an everyday basis:
1)Do not accept failure as an option.
Michael just knew that they would both become college basketball players, from the first time he stepped foot on the floor and in high school. After they reached their goal they never stopped working hard. Unfortunate circumstances on the road were not taken as a failure but rather rather an opportunity to to share their love of the game with others. Now things are set up for the twins to impact thousands of young kids who have the dream we once had.
There is nothing wrong with giving your all and coming up short, but you are only a failure if you stop trying. If your dream is deferred, find another way to make it a reality.
2) Keep your faith consistent
As uncertainty over the playing careers filled their lives, Charles and Michael had to also overcome the sudden sickness of their mother. Faced with no place to stay and their support system shot, it would be easy to pack it in. God never left them. He always had a plan and it came to fruition because they had faith.
As I followed these two for four years on social media, they never once showed signs of weakening, only strengthening their belief and faith in God.An interesting way they look at life is to break things down into quarters. With God taking the last shot, the game is never completely over until it is over. Consistency is key when facing adversity. It is easy to question things when nothing is young right but their faith is very calming and reassuring.
3) Make use of your best skills/talents
If you love to write, make sure you can write. If you have a gift with people, you have no business in a 5 foot tall cubicle. When I talked on the phone with Mike we talked about how basketball was going to take him places. I remember coming to college and choosing to do finance and accounting because they paid so much. I never got above a C in math and accounting classes kicked my butt. It is not always wise to choose something for the money or job prospects.
Mike and Charles have always been tremendous players but also fearless leaders and tremendous teachers. A lot of times, your story will be an inspiration and motivation for others in similar situations. The twins now have the ability to teach and impact thousands of lives!
Double Trouble Training is in its infancy but has already shown up at the University of Tennessee, Kennesaw state, and trained top 20 ranked players in the country. Charles and Mike are finishing their degrees and building their business all before 23. The idea is genuine, not for money or for the fame. As a part of their long term goals, they are looking to potentially get signed by Nike Training so have the opportunity to work with some of the highest ranked players in the country.
So many people are nervous or scared to mention God or Jesus in their everyday lives. Their willingness to bring up their faith has really been beneficial in building a positive image and great relationships. A young man named Tyler gave the twins the ultimate validation when he once wrote a paper on how his life has been positively affected by his basketball training. When people finally give you that positive reinforcement and feedback, it really feels good.
There are a lot of people teaching basketball and even others with more experience. “DTT” brings you a “swagger and confidence” that is noticeable on the court. Bring that swagger and confidence to your passion and I promise you will impress and move the masses. Charles and Mike are ultimately changing lives and impacting youth in a way they never saw possible, but the main upstairs did.
Follow them on Instagram at doubletroubletraining