John Marshall Grad Jeremy Hays Finds Success With Fadeaway Fitness
John Marshall grad quickly builds training reputation
WHEELING — McMechen native and John Marshall graduate Jeremy Hays is used to being on the move. His exploits on the basketball court took him to Juniata College, then to places like Italy, Mexico, Canada, Buffalo, N.Y., Lynchburg, Va., Indianapolis, and finally to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a NBA Developmental League tryout.
At just 25 years old, Hays has already seen more than most. A resident of Carnegie in the Pittsburgh area, Hays is still living the vagabond lifestyle, though, as owner of Fadeaway Fitness LLC, a basketball skill development and personal training business.
“I’ve been doing basketball workouts the last year as a small, little side thing,” Hays said Wednesday. “In February I made it my full-time job.
“My mom (Judy) was a huge factor in that. She works at Our Lady of Peace and has access to kids. So I had flyers made and once she got it approved, I had her pass them out.”
Since then, business has been booming. Hays says he can’t even tell you how many clients he actually has at this point, but estimates he sometimes does 10-12 and even 15 workouts a day.
“It started out as just a couple back home and then a couple in Pittsburgh,” said Hays, who noted he ran nine workouts on the Fourth of July. “I was happy doing four workouts a week.
“Any kind of skill development whether it is pitching classes, anyone who teaches piano, there are a million people who do it. But they have to know what they are doing.
“You have to have played at a high level, but you also have to be able to convey and teach it.”
It’s a competitive business, to be sure.
Hays estimates he knows at least 10 other people offering similar services in Pittsburgh, as well as a couple more here in the Ohio Valley. Looking to find a way to make himself stand out, Hays took to the road — every day.
“Since I started small, I took it as do as much as necessary,” Hays said. “If I took the initiative to come to you, it shows I am committed to being there on time and helping your child get better.
“I can show how dedicated I am to be working with you. I go to different YMCAs, outside parks and back home I am usually at Our Lady of Peace.
“If they can’t come to me, I come to them. Then (parents) can put the word out that ‘he’s great and makes it easier on us.'”
Hays, who also has background in strength and conditioning, works with athletes in all sports. For basketball, he offers individual and group workouts in shooting, passing, finishing, advanced one-ball and two-ball dribbling, footwork, defense and rebounding. Fitness-wise, Hays’ areas of expertise are speed/agility, plyometric jump training, strength training, balance/control, core stability, nutrition, preseason, in-season and offseason conditioning. He also offers shooting camps, ball-handling camps, total athlete skill training and speed and plyometrics.
“And up here in Pittsburgh I am director of skill development for College Basketball Prospects of America, a Nike-based AAU organization that is also sponsored by Eastbay and Gatorade,” Hays, who also is employed as the operations manager at the Green Tree SportsPlex, said. “That program has been huge for me because I can help coach them during AAU but also run skill academies and camps.
“I’m working with them almost year-round. You can really see kids get better.”
Hays, who holds both the career and single-season records for steals and assists at Juniata, said his instruction is open to kids of all ages, from kindergarten into the elite college level players.
“(Wheeling Central graduate) Chase Harler is probably my biggest client,” Hays said. “I started working him out when he was in third or fourth grade and I was still playing. We kept working out together.
“Once I was done playing, it was like ‘let’s go work out.’
“He is a big success story. Now he is at WVU ready to make some noise this year.”
Eventually, Hays said, his business will get bigger. When it does, it will be time to find a permanent building for his instruction and the days on the road will be a thing of the past. Not that it really matters where he’s at, because Hays enjoys going to work every day.
“Anyone can go work 9-5 or find something to do to pay the bills,” Hays said. “I remember telling my brother, O.J., who is the art director for Chance the Rapper right now, that I get to do basketball and conditioning every day. It’s fun and exciting. I don’t dread going to work every day. I want to help people get to where I was and crush me and surpass me.
“I don’t have a wife or any kids. I’m constantly grinding now so I can build this asset and eventually be able to retire down the road and have fun.
“It’s just the way I do things, starting basically from scratch. Whether it’s an All-American or they are in kindergarten, I am going to do it the same way working on fundamentals.
“I am relentless. I want to go from good to great, then to unstoppable.”
For more information, you can contact Hays by going to www.fadeawayfit.com or by email at email@example.com. You can also reach him on Twitter and Instagram at @fadewayfit.