Baldwinsville resident Gary Pluff stands with his 14-year-old son, Casey, in the garage at his house that Gary converted into a basketball court. Gary just published a new book on basketball, The A-Z Basketball Book: What Every Player Needs to Know to be Great at the Game!.
continued The students conceptualize an idea, Pluff said, and use technology to make that idea a reality, just like he did with his book.
“With technology, whatever you want to know is there if you’re willing to look hard for it,” he said.
D for Determination
Pluff began his teaching career in Fredericksburg, Va., in 1991, where he taught business classes. Starting in 1995, Pluff taught middle school students in the Philippines about computers for two years and physical education in Thailand for four years.
Then Pluff moved back to Central New York in 2001, where he got a job teaching a business class at C.W. Baker High School. But he was laid off in 2004 due to low enrollment.
Instead of searching for another teaching job, Pluff and his wife, Christi, poured all their life savings into opening an indoor play-place in Phoenix called “KidzClub Indoor Play and Party Place” in an abandoned 6,000 square-foot grocery store.
The reason behind opening this particular business, Pluff said, was because it fit with his “family-first” mentality. It was also a way for him and his wife to work and be with their kids.
But there were challenges and roadblocks in this endeavor, Pluff said. For one, his family didn’t have any income for a year, but Pluff said teaching overseas did help set his family up financially. Pluff did a little substitute teaching on the side, but said the money ran out fast.
“We stayed committed and focused,” Pluff said, “and just worked hard to realize our
vision without dwelling on the negative.”
Building a business from scratch taught Pluff and his wife many lessons, including determination, hard work and stick-to-itiveness.
Learning how to do everything involved in creating a business, from complying with city codes to building new walls and running electricity and plumbing through those walls were just a few of the obstacles Pluff said he and his wife faced in the path to achieving their goal.