Five-Star Basketball Camp is among the most exalted institutions in the pantheon of hoops history, boasting more than 250 NBA players and over 10% of all Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coaches among its staggering list of alumni. Hosted by acclaimed hoops analyst and personality Tate Frazier, "The World of Five-Star" is a six-part narrative podcast series that explores the meteoric rise and fall of Five-Star Basketball, unlocks an archive of untold stories from campers and coaches, and chronicles how its founder, Howard Garfinkel, became one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport. Welcome to The World of Five-Star.
The series is a co-production between UNINTERRUPTED and RTG Features, in association with Figures Network.
Episode 1: The World According to Garf
The World of Five-Star tells the story of how Howard Garfinkel helped shape the game of basketball as we know it today through his crowning achievement: Five-Star Basketball Camp. Host Tate Frazier spent the past year uncovering what he would consider “the best basketball story never told” about a chain-smoker from Manhattan, who built a camp that completely changed the recruiting business forever. In this episode, we’ll explore the motivation behind the man they call “Garf” and detail his unusual journey to becoming a basketball guru. With the help of Five-Star legends like George Raveling, Larry Brown, Rick Pitino, Bobby Cremins, Tom Konchalski, and never-before-heard conversations with Garfinkel himself, we’ll hear how the foundation of Garf’s iconic camp was built. Welcome to The World of Five-Star!
Episode 2: The Three Discoveries: Moses, MJ and Muggsy
By the dawn of the 1970s, Five-Star was on the rise and ripe with young coaching talent. On this episode, host Tate Frazier dives into the three game-changing player discoveries, including the unparalleled exploits of the camp’s first true phenom Moses Malone, the rare origin story of how Mike really became Air Jordan, and a controversy involving a 5-foot-3 point guard from Baltimore who Garf nicknamed, “The 8th Wonder of the World.” With the help of Five-Star legends who witnessed it first-hand like Hubie Brown, Roy Williams, Muggsy Bogues, Dick Vitale, Dave Odom, Grant Hill, Mike Fratello, and Pete Gillen, we’ll show how these three unique players used Garf’s camp as a launching pad for their historic careers.
Episode 3: The Basketball Boom
All eyes in the basketball world were on Howard Garfinkel’s camp, as TV crews began to flock to figure out why Five-Star had so much cache in the college basketball space. With firsthand accounts from the players who lived it, we’ll highlight the many standout players during the camp’s “Basketball Boom” starting in the mid-1980s up to the new millennium with the help of Coach K, God Shammgod, Ben Gordon, Metta Sandiford-Artest, Maverick Carter, and more legendary Five-Star alumni.
Episode 4: The 300
It’s hard to keep count of all the coaching trees rooted in Garf’s camp, but by the time Garf hung it up, by his own calculation, there were 300 coaches who had gone on from FIve-Star to the collegiate or pro game. This episode is your chance to listen in on basketball trade secrets from the best coaches to ever lead the game as we uncover how Five-Star became the “Harvard of basketball instruction.”
Episode 5: The Step Back
The recruiting world ran through Howard Garfinkel’s Five-Star camp. That didn’t sit well with anyone outside of Garf’s orbit, especially as the money in college basketball continued to pour in from all sorts of different avenues. To help tell the story of how the NCAA and shoe companies took over Garf’s turf in the summertime, we focus on some new voices who lived through the transition: Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery, legendary broadcaster Bill Raftery, camp head coaches Jerry Wainwright and Dave Odom, and legendary coach Hubie Brown. Host Tate Frazier helps break down Five-Star’s fit in the new basketball landscape.
Episode 6: The Legacy
Now you are able to get a sense of basketball’s rich, connected history through the Five-Star Basketball Camp. At its peak, it’s where the game’s greatest coaches and players went for over 42 years under Garf’s watch. In this episode, with the help of Coach K, Jay Bilas, Bill Raftery, and our many Five-Star fixtures, host Tate Frazier tells the story behind Garf’s final days, shares some never-before-told reflections from Springfield, and examines the enormous legacy Garf left behind with the people who helped Five-Star earn an exalted place in the pantheon of hoops history.
I worked FiveStar for 8 summers, some of the best times of my life!! I was very close with Garf, Leigh, Tony and the whole family! Best basketball program ever!
A must for basketball fans
The story of Howard Garfinkel needed a deep dive and Tate Frazier does a fantastic job of telling it. It’s great to hear the Titus and Tate host flex his journalism muscles and tell the story with the reverence it deserves.