How Big is Basketball in Texas ?
How big has Basketball become in Texas ? Well let’s see, currently there are 32 native Texans on 2007 Rosters in the NBA ! I think that is more players than any other state, or area in the Country ! I remember telling readers and anyone else that would listen to me over 15 years ago that, Texas had more Basketball Talent than any other state in the Country ! More High School Players that go D-1, and more NBA Players as well ! And again 15 years later, I’m still the Big-Mouth yelling loud enough for everyone to hear me, that Texas Players are doing big Things at every level ! Bet you didn’t know since 1981, there has been a native Texan in the 1st round of the NBA Draft every year except for the 2002, and 1996 Drafts ! Every major city in Texas is represented by a NBA Player, Dallas TX has Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, Houston TX produced Emeka Okafor of the Charlotte Bobcats, San Antonio TX has Jeff Foster of the Indiana Pacers, and Austin TX produced Chris Mihm of the Los Angeles Lakers, this represents the 4 largest cities in Texas !
If that’s not impressive enough, even smaller areas of Texas are producing NBA Players, like Beaumont TX Kendrick Perkins of the Boston Celtics, and Galveston TX Damon Jones of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Longview TX David Wesley of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Waxahachie TX Desmond Mason of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets ! Wow, Texas is producing NBA Players from every area of this massive State ! This years draft should include several more Players from the Lone Star State including Texas A&M All American Point Guard Acie Law IV from Dallas, and the nations best Shot Blocker Boston College Center Shawn Williams from Mansfield TX !
Native Texans on current NBA Rosters in 2007
Practice Fundamental Skills Everyday…Yes, Everyday!
Coaches love golf. Athletes love golf. The reasons most folks who are involved with athletics love golf is the tremendous degree of difficulty, the challenge of conquering it, and the competition. Golf is the quintessential non-contact sport that is wildly popular among those who love competition.
Due to the length of time it takes to play a round and the expense of it, golf is a game that is typically played on weekends. Busy weekday schedules also contribute to keeping the clubs in the trunk six out of seven days.
There just isn’t enough time during the week to work on your game….right golfers? Most golfers conveniently forget that there are golf ranges and club professionals at the ready to help instruct those of us who expect to play well and actually win.
I would hazard a guess that somewhere around 40 percent of coaches play golf. Of that 40 percent, I would bet that only 2 percent actually practice on a regular basis. However, I could almost guarantee that 100 percent of those coaches who do not practice get angry when they play poorly! Do they really have the right to get angry? And no, paying 50 dollars in greens fees and another 50 in lost
Golf is no different than any other sport. In fact, golf requires you to practice often or your game will suffer. There is no off-season, unless of course you live some place where it snows. Yet, even then, I would imagine there are ranges or places to work on putting.
How many of you have told the players on your team that if they practice ball handling for ten minutes a day, they would be better than their peers? Yet, how many of them actually do it? Coaches usually end up telling kids that when they ask the coach what they “need to work on” in order to get better.
However, it’s been my experience that when kids ask what they need to work on, that typically means, “I’m unhappy with my playing time and I’d like to hear the reasons why I’m not playing.” That question is not usually an invitation for you to come up with a practice plan for him.
We tell kids all the time to “work on their game.” Most kids will not unless you, the coach, are there with them. Heck, you know what it takes to correct that slice of yours but when was the last time you went to the range for practice? How do you expect immature kids to just go practice when you won’t?
I’ve got a guarantee for you…If you practice fundamental skills with your team for 20 minutes a day, your kids will be better and they’ll be working harder than any other team in your area. Your team’s turnovers will decrease and your players will make more plays on their own. As the turnovers diminish and your players make more plays, their confidence will grow. So too will their love for practicing fundamentals. They will equate their success with practice and in turn, want to practice more.
Much like talented American Idol contestants, gym rats are getting rare. There are so many things for kids to do other than practice basketball skills, it’s no wonder they do not find their way to the gym.
The inconsistent duffer will always be a duffer and inconsistent unless he gets some instruction and starts practicing. The only problem is that the duffer does not have anyone constantly encouraging him to get better. Why? Because, if the duffer gets better, then he actually might win on a more consistent basis and that’s not good for the guys he plays with....his competition!
The coach, on the other hand, has every reason to want to see his kids get better. I believe it is up to coaches to get them in the gym and turn those kids into gym rats.
Warning: DO NOT interpret my recommendation to get in the gym incorrectly. I mean get in the gym and practice. NOT get in the gym and play! Playing is important but working on individual improvement is far more important than playing games.
Playing games without practicing skills is the equivalent of your weekend golf game. All it does is solidify the bad habits that you already have. It can also cause you to create more bad habits as you try to self-correct something that you don’t even know how to diagnose in the first place.
At the end of the day, you could become a much better golfer if you got some quality instruction and took the time to practice what you learned. Instead, most will simply go out and buy new clubs because they “just can’t hit” the ones they have.
The same holds true for your players. They are relying on you to provide that instruction, break them of their bad habits, and help them practice. The alternative is attempting to correct them during the games this weekend.
The choice is up to you.
RUMBLE in the BRONX
It’s hard to believe that ten short years ago there were no major summer basketball events being held in New York City, the basketball Capital of the World. Well its true. I remember traveling all the way to Lafayette, Indiana to find the Gauchos, Panthers, Illinois Warriors and Houston Hoops all in the same event. Summer basketball has thrived in NYC for a long time, but it was exactly 10 years ago that I decided it was time for the Big Apple to host a premier tournament. The fact that my self and my program are both located in Upstate New York posed some problems, however, I am a graduate of Fordham University and my wife is a born and bred Bronx girl. With the support of some perennial NYC powers and Fordham University, the RUMBLE was born.
Over the past 10 years at the RUMBLE, we have watched NBA stars from Carmelo Anthony to Sebastian Telfair make their mark on the event that is known as the premier grassroots event during the month of June. Just as interesting as the games themselves is seeing who might come to watch. Celebrities such as Allen Iverson, Fat Joe, Rafer Alston, Elton Brand and Jay Z have all taken in games at the Bronx Campus. With the outdoor barbeque complete with a live DJ this event seems to have a different flavor to it than most other grassroots tournaments.
This years event promises to be as good as ever. With 15 of the GBOA top ranked teams already committed we are expecting some genuine "Rumbles" on the court. As far as individual talent this years event will be loaded from the 15's all the way up to the 17's. Greg Monroe and Tyreke Evans will be the "headliners" in the 17U division, while all 3 age groups will have a good amount of the top 50 talent participating in their respective class.
I am looking forward to this years event especially because the most important upgrade to the tournament will be the newly installed air-conditioning system in the Nations oldest Division 1 facility the Rose Hill Gym at Fordham University. For the RUMBLE veterans out their I am sure you can remember some hot New York City days in the past where that AC would have come in handy! Looking forward to seeing you all this June!
NBA age requirement
First of all, let me just say that I have known for quite a while that David Stern was probably feeling all kind of pressure to do something about all the influx of young players coming into the league. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure something was coming down the pipe. But to my knowledge, America is suppose to be the land of opportunity. When did we stop those opportunities ?.
Isn't it amazing that we have Tennis players becoming pros even at the age of 13, baseball players signing minor league contracts at the age of 15 or 16, Hockey players also during the same. But basketball players are denied the same right ?. Yes, I have heard all the arguments about the fact that they are not ready. But you know what, the NBA teams have the right not to pick them. To me one of the beauty of being american is knowing that you have the right to apply for just about any job. Conversely that company has the right to turn you down. What I am saying is the NBA team has the right to not draft any of these players. Now, when that young player they drafted did not work out, the team is blaming the player for coming out. Am I missing something ? Why did you draft him ?
Look, I feel just as bad for a kid who didn't pan out after 3 years of playing ball , but to me if he was man enough to make a decision on turning pro than he also need to be man enough to except the consequences. But taking his right to make that decision is just not right.
Let us examine what just happen to poor poor Johnny after not making it after 3 years. At the least he will probably earn $600,00 per year, which is 1.8 million for 3 years. Most people who are working 8 hour jobs every single day will not make that in their lifetime. If Johnny has 1/2 a brain and a decent agent than some of that money will have been invested. Which mean he will still be better off than most of us. Even if that doesn't work out, Johnny can still go overseas and make a lot of money. So this execuse that we are just trying to save poor old Johnny does not wash with me.
But let's say I agree that we need to do something about the mistake some of these players are making . I have another idea on how we could have resolve this. Before I reveal it, I am basing my idea on the fact that it seem that the NBA can come with and evoke whatever rule they want to as long as the Player Association approves.
Why doesn't the NBA set up a selection commitee of 10 who would poll all the General Managers in the league on which High School player they would definitely take in the lottery with a cap of no more than3 or 4 players. Than let the world know these 3 or 4 players have been invited to participate in that year's Draft. If the player decide to enter fine, if he doesn't , that is also fine. The list should not be change. I'm sure you want to know why 3 or 4 players. The reason is if the next Lebron James, Greg Oden, or Kevin Durant want to come out for the draft at least they will have that option. But conversely, this rule stop the Ndu Ebi's of the world from coming out. This rule would have allowed Billy Walker to come out instead of rushing to go to college so he could get his one year in. Now he's busy recovering from an injury. How come I don't hear anyone talking abot that ?.
Look at the end of the day, I understand people want to do what is right for these players. I have a whole lot of respect for David Stern and applaud the fact that he had the guts to do something. I just do not agree with the rule.
How college coaches will travel
Well another year in college basketball has past and here we go again with coaches leaving programs to move on to bigger and better things. John Pelphrey is now the new Arkansas coach, Billy Gillispie has taken over Kentucky, Bob Huggins has taken over West Virginia... Wait a minute, are we talking about the same Bob Huggins who had just taken over the Kansas St program just a year ago ?. Is this the same guy who convinced Billy Walker and Michael Beasley to come to Kansas St ? No!!!, there must be a mistake!!. It cannot be the same guy.
B & M ( Billy and Michael ) could have gone to any school in America ( Actually, they could have gone straight to the NBA if not for the new rules) but chose to go to Kansas St with the belief that they would be playing for Bob Huggins. Why is it that coaches can up and leave whenever they feel like it, but the players are bounded unless the school feel like letting them leave ? Come on!! You cannot tell me that most of you do not believe this is unfair. Kids want to play for Pitino, Donovan, Calhoun, because of their style of play and the relationship they have built with that coach.
It is amazing to me how our kids get penalized every year when coaches leave and not enough is being said about it. Well, I for one am saying it . It is WRONG!!! A year ago, I sat down with Billy Walker and heard the excitement in his voice in preparation to play for Bob Huggins. The irony of this is that if he would not have graduated early ( He started playing the 2nd semester and got hurt for the rest of the year) he might have had a chance to get a release ( If the school allowed it ). But being hurt, where is he going ? It seems to me in the basketball world, rules are always being created. When are we going to create a rule that is going to help the kids ? Gary Charles