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For The Love Of The Game

VanLieu Brothers Return To the Region As Gymratz Basketball Program Bringing Their Coaching  Expertise To Local Hoop Mavens


Top and Bottom: Group training groups with Coaches Dustin and Ryan VanLieu. Center: Ryan with Dwight Howard.

Top and Bottom: Group training groups with Coaches Dustin and Ryan VanLieu. Center: Ryan with Dwight Howard.

MIDDLETOWN, NY—Ever since my youth when I would venture to Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn to watch pick up games that would feature future NBA All-Stars I have been an unabashed addict of the game.

That love of the game was enhanced by being privy to many off-the-scale high school basketball games including the NYC Championships at Madison Square Garden,

It is certainly no secret how much I love high school sports .

That passion evinces itself strongly through fall, winter and spring. Right now, immersed in the entrancing milieus of football, soccer and cross-country, one might be surprised that the sport of my dreams is none other than basketball.

It is the reason why year after year I show up at pre-season scrimmages as an appetizer for watching, photographing and writing about games night after night right through to the NYSPHSAA Championships at Glens Falls

Along the way I have had the privilege to cover and affirm the accomplishments of some of the region’s most outstanding hoop stars. That included the VanLieu brothers, Dustin and Ryan throughout their remarkable high school careers. Now the duo have returned to the region to give back to the community and the game that fostered their immense passion.

This piece is about their new enterprise, GymRatz Performance. And it is written with the fervent hope that young men and women will take advantage of this remarkable nurturing medium to not only enhance their hoop skills, but to marshal the discipline and attitudes that come from such fine training, to deploy into many other aspects of their lives.

Having been the recipient of the BCANY Golden Media Award For Outstanding Coverage of Scholastic Basketball every year since the award’s inception in 2005, I have made it my mission to affirm the game I love so dearly and to encourage the young men and women who devote themselves to it.

What follows is a description of the GymRatz Basketball Performance provided by Coach Dustin VanLieu:

“GymRatz Basketball Performance is our way of giving back to the community and giving back to this game that continues to open doors for us”

This is what Dustin VanLieu, co-owner and lead trainer of a Professional Basketball Training Organization now available in the Tri-state area, has to say about the company. Along side Professional Basketball Trainer, former OHoops Basketball Expert and twin brother Ryan VanLieu, the two have relocated back to the 845 to provide athletes the opportunity to take their game to the next level.

Throughout their basketball careers, School Scoring Records have been shattered, they’ve been featured on ESPN, SportsNation, DIME Magazine and NBC Sports and have trained and worked directly with numerous college, overseas, and NBA athletes including Chandler Parsons, Dwight Howard, DeShawn Stevenson, Kendrick Perry and Patric Young to name a few. The VanLieu twins bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and innovation as well as a passion for the game that is both contagious and effective.

GymRatz Performance specializes in Private Training, Group Training and Team Training as well as speed, agility, and vertical jump training and currently trains athletes from the following areas: Ulster County, Sullivan County, Orange County, NYC, Pennsylvania, D.C. along with plans to work with several local pros this summer including guys like John Merchant III (Legano Knights, Italy)

Recently, GymRatz Performance made a guest appearance at the BCANY Coaches Convention at SUNY Cortland, where Coach Ryan hosted an on-the-court demonstration, introducing the innovative Multi-Phasic Training Progression him and Coach Dustin developed to ensure a direct correlation between skill development and on-the-court performance; and they’re just getting warmed up!

Up next includes a Basketball Camp in Kingston, PA, a training event in NYC and a pre-season training session for Section 9 on October 26th at Monticello High School. To register for the pre-season training session you can find the Official Flyer below:

insert posterTo find out more information about GymRatz Basketball Performance and to see their training in action, follow them on Instagram (@GymRatzPerformance) and on Facebook. You may also email them at

Coach D

Co-Owner/Lead Trainer

845-467-5897 (text preferred)

IG: @GymRatzPerformance

“Where the Court is Home and Ball is Life”

GymRatz Performance

Where the Court is Home and Ball is Life


Mission Statement

GymRatz Basketball Performance was founded on a genuine Love of The Game. Our mission is to instill a passion and drive for Basketball not just as a sport, but a way of life.

 “Where the Court is Home and Ball is Life”

When we say Ball is Life, we don’t just mean playing ball every day.  We don’t just mean we’re addicted to the swoosh of the net, or the sounds of the game; The ball bouncing, sneakers squeaking, crowds screaming, or rims rattling. When we say Ball is Life, we truly mean Ball is Life.  We carry ourselves, and expect all our athletes to carry themselves, the same way off the court as we do on the court.  Discipline, Rules and Regulations, Team Work, Loyalty, Perseverance, Commitment, Leadership, Accountability, Sacrifice, Sportsmanship, RESPECT.  Treat your home that way you respect the court. Live your life the way you play ball. That’s what we mean when we say GymRatz Basketball Performance: Where the Court is Home and Ball is Life.


GymRatz Performance

Where the Court is Home and Ball is Life

Meet the Team

Ryan and Dustin VanLieu

Co-Owners/Lead Trainers

Bio: Coach Dustin brings valuable experience both on and off the court. His basketball career began at Tri-Valley HS where he started for his Varsity Basketball Team for 5 years, shattering the all-time career scoring record with 1,600 career points as well as leading his team to the school’s first Section IX Championship in Tri-Valley history. Coach Dustin continued to play college ball for the Number 1 ranked NJCAA III college in the country; the Sullivan Generals, where he earned the Coach’s Award as 6th man for a team that featured current New York Knick’s Small Forward Cleanthony Early. Coach Dustin decided to take his passion for the game in a different direction after college and moved to Orlando, Florida to work with OrlandoHoops Inc. (OHoops) as their Marketing and Promotions Coordinator and Office Manager. Coach Dustin also interned as a trainer and shortly after began his training career.

Coach Ryan is now back in NY as well after working at OHoops as a Lead Skills Trainer/Basketball Expert for the last 2 years. Coach Ryan has worked with NBA All-Star Dwight Howard, Talented Houston (Now Dallas) standout Chandler Parsons, 2-Time National Champ and France all-star Taurean Green, Sherwood Brown of the Florida Gulf Coast, NBA Champion DeShawn Stevenson and Jamaica’s National Women’s Team standout Jennifer George to name a few.

Coach Dustin specializes in speed, agility, explosiveness, vertical jump training as well as skill development where Coach Ryan also adds his expertise as a Shooting Coach and Ball-Handling expert. Together they created a training model which includes four progressions to enhancing an athlete’s individual skill while translating into improved in-game performance. Together they also helped OHoops burst into the National spotlight and aim to bring the same attention to the Tri-State community.

Gary DeJesus Jr.

Director of Basketball Operations

Bio: He was born Nov, 2 1976 in the Bronx NY. Gary Moved upstate in 1988 where he attended Ellenville High School. Upon graduation, he had 3 years of varsity basketball experience and was an integral part of the team’s success which included numerous league titles. Gary went on to attend Allen University in Columbia S.C where he studied Marketing and Advertisement. In 2012, Gary continued to build his resume, adding a degree from Sullivan County Community College; an AAS in Sports Management and Recreational Therapy.  He was selected as SCCC Sports Management Student of the Year in 2012.

Utilizing both his Marketing expertise and passion for Athletics, Gary became very active in youth sports in the local communities. He has been a part of the Ellenville Wawarsing Youth Commission for 5 years now, currently heading the NFL youth flag football league, implemented a summer youth basketball league that has grown every year for the past four years and has also been an AAU Basketball coach for the last 4 years.  Gary has joined the GymRatz Team and will be responsible for Marketing, Promotions, Scheduling, Public Relations, Event Conception, Organization and Execution and much more!

Contact Information

 Dustin VanLieu:         845-467-5897 (text preferred)

Ryan VanLieu:           407-276-6105 (text preferred)

Gary DeJesus Jr:        845-820-0449 (Cell)

845-210-7149 (Office)



Private Training

Get 1-on-1, specialized instruction from one of our Professional Basketball Trainers. Our Private Training is tailored to your individual strengths and weaknesses!

Contact GymRatz For Rates Contact GymRatz Presentations.


Monthly Package (1x per week)

Monthly Package (2x per week)

*Middletown’s Finest Athletes get 20% off

**Monthly Packages include Middletown’s YMCA annual membership

Group Training

Open Invite: (Contact Gymratz for group training rates).

GymRatz Open Invite Groups are open to the public of all ages and skill levels.  Whether you’re just a beginner or have years of experience, we will modify every drill to make sure you are always being challenged.


GymRatz Exclusive Groups are Invite-Only.  You will be invited to a small group of athletes all around the same skill level and will be expected to compete and push each other.

Team Training

GymRatz Performance takes a unique approach to team training.  Not only do we specialize in skill development for every position on the floor, we identify the style of play your team plays and cater our training to increase skills that directly relate to your style of offense and defense.

Team Training: Contact Gymratz for group training rate.


  Training Calendar





Private Training available all day.  Appointment only.


9:00-10:30 a.m. – GymRatz Rise&Grind Session @ SCCC (Exclusive, College Men and Women)

11:00-6:00 p.m. – Private Training available. Appointment only.

7:00-8:30 p.m. – GymRatz Finest Group @ Harmony Christian School. (Open invite.  Boys and Girls ages 8+)


Private Training available all day.  Appointment only.


9:00-10:30 a.m. – GymRatz Rise&Grind Session @ SCCC (Exclusive, College Men and Women)

11:00-9:00 p.m. – Private Training available. Appointment only.


Private Training available all day.  Appointment only.


9:00-12:00 p.m. – Middletown’s Finest AAU Team Training @ Middletown Recreation & Park

1:00-9:00 p.m. – Private Training available.  Appointment only.


9:00-10:30 p.m. – GymRatz Finest Group @ Middletown Recreation & Park (Open Invite, Boys and Girls ages 8+)

1:00-2:00 p.m. – GymRatz Rising Phenoms Group @ Harmony Christian (Exclusive.  Boys and Girls ages 11-14)

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Privates available @ Harmony Christian School.  Appointment only.

3:00-4:00 p.m. – GymRatz Phenom Group @ Harmony Christian School. (Exclusive.  Boys and Girls ages 14+)

5:00-9:00 p.m. – Privates available.  Appointment only. 

Training Locations

YMCA of Middletown (Privates Only)

81 Highland Avenue, Middletown, NY 10940

Harmony Christian School

1790 New York 211, Middletown, NY 10941

 Middletown Recreation & Parks

47 Academy Ave, Middletown, NY 10940

Sullivan County Community College (SCCC)

112 College Rd, Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759


GymRatz Basketball Performance developed this Training Progression Model in order to provide a clear and concise training methodology that translates to on-the-court performance.  By following this progression, athletes will not only become more skilled, but their court awareness, basketball IQ and ability to react in pressure situations will all be enhanced as well.




During this phase, we will explain and demonstrate the move, movement, or concept.  Footwork, hand placement, ball placement, court vision, and speed(s) will be discussed, shown, and practiced step-by-step.


Once all questions are answered and the player has the basic knowledge of the skill, we rep the correct fundamental principles until the player can perform the movement full-speed. Footwork, eye, hand, and ball placement, and speed(s) must be performed correctly here.  If the player continues to struggle, we back-up to FUNDAMENTAL BREAKDOWN and start step-by-step again until the skill is done game-speed. There are no set number of repetitions that the player must perform before moving on.  Everything must be correct before the next phase.


The player can perform the skill correctly now and at game-speed so during this phase, the coach will apply defensive pressure and implement a “timing” aspect to the drill.  The player knows how the coach will be playing him/her, however, he/she must react accordingly to the coach’s defensive pressure.  This, again, is repeated over and over until the player begins consistently reacting at the correct moment.  At this point, we offer counter options to the move. These options are FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN DOWN, REPEATED INTENSELY, and then performed against a specific defensive movement until the player can react consistently full-speed.


Now the player has the concept of the move along with the ability to perform the individual and counter moves properly and at game speed with defensive pressure.  During this phase, the coach will no longer let the player know the defensive read.  It’s now “live”. Starting with the very first move, the player will react according to the defensive pressure.  This again is repeated over and over, until he/she is consistently making the correct decision, reaction, and counter appropriate to their defender’s movements.  From here, now the player is encouraged to attempt the move during a practice or scrimmage as he/she should have the confidence to perform the move successfully.



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