Faith Sjoberg of Presque Isle (center) finds herself in traffic while guarded by Lauren Roy of Winslow (left) during a 2020 Class B North basketball quarterfinal in Bangor. Sjoberg is offering personalize basketball training this summer to youngsters in Presque Isle. Credit: Joseph Cyr / Houlton Pioneer Times

Faith Sjoberg wasn’t super excited about the prospect of looking for a summer job, so she figured out a way to make some money while doing something fun.

The 15-year-old junior, a standout guard for the Presque Isle High School basketball team, is sharing her hoop knowledge by offering one-on-one training to youngsters in The Star City.

“I had the idea a few weeks ago,” Sjoberg said. “My parents wanted me to get a job this summer, so this would give me the opportunity to get out of the house more and make some money while I’m at it.”

Sjoberg started her enterprise with the help of her family. Her dad, Kevin Sjoberg, put a post advertising her services on his Facebook page, which included some graphics provided by her sister, Emily.

She said her love for basketball and an affinity for kids seem like a great match.

“I love the game, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me,” she said. “I love working with kids, also, so it seemed like a good way to share my passion for basketball with them.”

Her basketball knowledge has been derived from her years of playing organized ball. Sjoberg also has helped out at summer camps in the past.

“I think she’s got a great name for herself in the County and I think she would do a good job,” Presque Isle girls coach Jeff Hudson said. “She’s got a quiet personality but she’s smart and she’s kind of a self-made player.”

What should work to Sjoberg’s advantage is the fact the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out the vast majority of summer sports clinics and high school summer leagues.

Sjoberg conducted her first session last week, working with a young man who will be a freshman at Presque Isle High in the fall. They met at his home.

The pair have met up for two more trainings this week.

Her plan is to match the sessions to the basketball needs of the individual players.

“I can personalize the training sessions to their height, their position and their role [on a team],” Sjoberg said. “I also use some new drills that I know could help any player.”

Sjoberg said she is open to working with players of any age, but is gearing her efforts toward those in elementary and middle school.

“Any player that wants to get better, I want to help them,” she said. “Kids also enjoy the process and that’s a lot more meaningful to me.”

Sjoberg is not yet old enough to have a driver’s license, but said she’s within a bike ride of a local court or is capable of getting a ride to a client’s home.

She doesn’t envision her basketball training efforts as a money-making scheme. She’s only charging $10 per hour for her services.

“That’s enough to hold me over but, also, I don’t want to get too expensive because I want quite a few customers,” Sjoberg said. “I just want to be a good deal and, if they like my service, they’ll keep paying.”

The training should help provide some basketball fun for Sjoberg who, along with teens across the state, watched her AAU season get wiped out by COVID-19 restrictions. She hopes there will be some limited team practices later this summer.

Sjoberg said she isn’t overly concerned about working with players one-on-one as the sessions are held outside while keeping a safe distance.

Hudson said Sjoberg, and her clients, will benefit from the basketball training.

“She does love it and I think it would be good for her to help her personality come out,” Hudson said. “She does know a lot about basketball, so I hope she gets a lot of calls.”

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...