Sonny Vaccaro Poised for Return to Summer Hoops

Posted On: 09-23-2010

Sonny Vaccaro, once the most powerful man in grassroots basketball, is poised to return to the summer scene and possibly partner with Chinese apparel manufacturer Li Ning.

Vaccaro, who turns 71 Thursday, declined to mention specific potential partners, but says he has appointments Monday with “people who would like to get totally involved.”

“I believe there are going to be opportunities for me to be involved in things next summer,” Vaccaro said Wednesday night by phone from his home in Carmel, Calif. “I don’t know exactly if I will do them or how I’ll do them, but I do know there’s a lot of interest and I’m going to listen.” first reported the development last month.

Vaccaro already has an informal network of travel coaches and summer power brokers in place, including Keith Easterwood in Memphis and Gary Charles in New York City.

“I’m gonna do whatever Sonny does,” Easterwood said by phone.

Easterwood said he’s already spoken with some AAU programs currently affiliated with Nike and wouldn’t be surprised if they “jumped ship” to join Vaccaro.

“It’s going to shock me if some of these programs don’t jump ship,” Easterwood said. “That’s a distinct possibility. I’ve talked to people outside of the city [of Memphis] who have traditionally had Nike programs.

“Because their contracts expired last month they’re going to listen to what’s best for them and their basketball team.”


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