Sunday, February 28, 2010


The Jay vs. Wagner game summary can be described by the individual performances and important aspects that shaped it.

-Erica Donavan: “E.D.” would not be denied! She put her stamp on the game early by hitting two jumpers to start the game and hitting Wagner Big, Arielle Roberson, with full body collisions to keep her off of the block. The Ohio native went east coast on Wagner. She banged, she boarded, she bullied and she BALLED! She was a female version of Anthony Mason. She was Ron Artest. She was Bruce Bowen. She was the leader of the 1989 Pistons, too tough and too good to be stopped. The previous meeting with Jay saw her productivity hampered by a swarming Wagner defense that limited her touches. Donovan played the majority of that game in the post, where the long Roberson and her athletic T-Bird teammates bothered her into a difficult shooting game. That was not the case on Saturday. Donovan was the ultimate leader as she implored her team to jump on her back and ride to Austin. Unlike the earlier Wagner game, Jay made sure to flash Donovan to the high post and run the offense through her. Almost every possession included a touch by Donovan. She hit jumpers from 15 feet, she pump faked and finished big buckets in the lane, and she found open teammates while helping break the stingy pressure of the T-Birds. This was the best performance that I have seen from Donovan. Her will to win was incredible. Her teammates drew inspiration from her confidence and commanding presence. Her 25 point and 12 board performance was “Beasty”, as my young one would say!

-Mike Floyd: A team is said to take the characteristics of its coach, and if that is true, Mike Floyd is extremely tough! Coach Floyd is focused, driven and has his eyes on the prize; Austin.

I heard an interesting rumor that if true, best describes Coach Floyd’s philosophy of living in the moment. A former Jay Lady Mustang described visiting the campus last year and seeing one of the trophies that she worked so to hard to earn defaced and replaced with a foreign object. The trophy was won a long time ago and had been sitting in the trophy case of the long time Jay coach. Apparently, Coach Floyd removed the name plate indicating what year the trophy had been won and inserted a plate describing his current team as the recipients of the trophy. This type of ‘seizing the moment’ may not appeal to the sentimentality's of some, but it illustrates that he is on a mission! He understands that this type of team, lead by fearless Donovan, comes around ever so often. He understands that he must motivate and inspire his squad to dream big. Obviously, he knows what he is doing.

Coach Floyd flipped the script in the Wagner game on Saturday. In the previous meeting between the two schools, he almost exclusively zoned the T-Birds. This time he went in to a sagging man defense that protected the paint and jammed the middle. It has been said that “a good man defense LOOKS like a zone while a good zone defense LOOKS like man defense”. That was surely the case in this game.

Floyd had an answer for the dreaded full court press of the T-Birds. Most teams succumb to Wagner’s press because they fail to use the pass to break it. Plenty of hapless dribblers fall victim to the Wagner’s press but Floyd’s girls did not. They passed the ball against the match up zone press instead of dribbling into hot spots, where the T-Birds trap and cause turnover for teams. Floyd positioned Donovan in the middle of the court to exploit the gaps in the press. Floyd was also sure to drill home the philosophy of getting back to stop transition baskets. The Lady Mustangs played transition defense beautifully.

Coach Floyd’s real gem was the mentality that he instilled in his girls for the night. On paper, Jay was supposed to lose this game. Coach Floyd and his “Us against the World” philosophy understood that the game is not played on paper. He balled up the paper and threw it at the T-Birds. His girls played “Bully Ball”. They did not dive for loose balls; they dove on players while going for loose balls. They contested every shot and boxed out on rebounds without much regard for their on bodies. The game was very physical and it wore the T-Birds down. Boxers are told to lean on their opponents so their legs will grow weary in the latter rounds. Sure enough, The T-Birds got tired as layups, open threes and free throws came up short. Coach Floyd knew that the referee’s whistles’ would get tight in the late stages of the game. Fouls that were called in the first half would not be called as such in clutch time. Any referee that worth anything does not want to be the deciding factor in a game that decides a state tournament berth and the crafty coach from Jay obviously realized this fact.

-“Bully” Ball: The Lady Mustangs played a brand of basketball that some call “Bully Ball”. Bully ball is NOT dirty, but is very physical. It is like a speedy wide receiver going across the middle and getting whacked on the first play of a game. For the rest of the game, that receiver has his head on a swivel, anticipating the next hit. Better yet, trying to avoid the next hit. The wide receiver becomes so preoccupied with not getting hit that catching passes become an after thought. His effectiveness has been limited due to the defense imposing its will on him. That is exactly what Jay did Saturday. Point blank layups became 10 foot misses as the T-Birds were anticipating when and where the next blow was coming from. This physical brand of basketball was smart and effective in neutralizing the more athletic T-birds.

So how do you defeat Bully Ball? Hit them back! Harder! The Detroit Bad Boys of old tormented the Chicago Bulls and particularly Scottie Pippen for years. Not until Pippen learned to give the front line of the Pistons some of their own medicine did the Bulls overcome Bully Ball.

We all remember the ‘Malice at the Palice’. Please recall what immediately precipitated Ron Artest’s outburst on the innocent fan? It was a well timed message to Ron Artest from a more physical Ben Wallace. Wallace let Artest know who the real Bully in that scenario was and he would have to take his aggression out elsewhere. Artest is no dummy and knew that he ran up against a bigger bully. I love Ron Artest as a basketball player and believed that he, like Bruce Bowen, is a defensive genius. That being said, the only language that Artest and Bully Ballers understand is the language of force.

Bully Ballers catch the ball on the block while being closely guarded and instantly think “bucket”! You can here the admonishment of all the Bully Ballers across the globe as they score easily on defenders while yelling “Weight Room!” or “Too Small!” Lebron James is the King off Bully Ball right now. The way he dominates and imposes his will on opposing players is almost unfair.

Two particular sequences sum up the physicality and mindset of Jay in this game. Donovan grabbed a rebound in the middle of the key and her teammate was in her way. Donovan pushed off her own teammate with a forearm ‘chuck’ and hit a 10 foot jumper. She forearmed her own teammate! The other scenario included the very talented Jay freshman Aleyah Harris and Wagner’s Arielle Roberson. Harris fouled Roberson on a layup attempt and both players exchanged elbows after the whistle. What is remarkable and indicative of the mindset of the Jay team is that Harris could care less that Roberson is one of the best and most sought after players in the city. Few know that a young Harris is a former cheerleader and a very talented volleyball player. She is quite delicate off of the court but transforms herself into an enforcer during the game. Harris was putting everyone on notice that she too, is for real. Both players received technical fouls. Obviously the technical foul on Roberson was of more consequence to game than the tech on Harris. The underlying message in this scenario illustrates that Jay was going to be the aggressor and disrupt the continuity of the high scoring Wagner offense.

-Destiny Amezquita: The freshman standout for Jay was clutch. Her big three and free throws helped seal the deal. As I sat on the Wagner side of the fans, I heard faulty instructions from the crowd. I heard a gentleman continually shout, “Let her shoot it”. He believed he was giving great advice because the young gunner had missed badly on a couple of early shots. However, had he known Destiny and her father, he would have realized the error in his advice.

Destiny plays summer ball for her father and his version of the “Lady Mustangs”. My daughter has played with him and against him on many occasions. In a game where repetition is king (queen), Destiny has shot the ball close to 10,000 times in games! No exaggeration, her father routinely plays her in close to 100 games a year on the club scene. She rarely shoots less than 20 times a game for her father. That equates to 2,000 shots a year for the last 5-6 years. She also has the ball in her hands almost every possession. All these games reps have created a scoring machine. And in terms of toughness, I have personally witnessed Destiny playing in 5 games in one day! I knew she was going to get stronger as the game progressed. Her demanding father reportedly trains her by making her run sprints while dragging a tire. How about that for toughness?

-“Too many sweets will make ya Fat”: This is an old school saying from all the Big Mama’s across the globe. This advice was not concerning nutritional heath and the dangers of sweets. It was frequently given to put a life lesson in perspective. It applies to this game in this way; Len’Nique Brown is the “sweets” that made her team fat.

Having the best pure point guard in the city has allowed the T-Birds luxuries that most teams do not have. The majority of the time, all her teammates have to do is, get open and she will eventually find them. She runs the T-Bird attack with the precision of a fighter pilot landing on an aircraft carrier. She has had thousands of touches this season alone. She has had to make hundreds upon hundreds of decisions. She also has been able to turn the ball over a lot. EVERY good guard has had the opportunity to make mistakes. It is these mistakes that allow for growth. Great guards learn about the importance of time and score. The great Morgan Wooten would drill “time and score” into his players constantly. Simply put, there is a time to make certain plays and take certain chances and it inevitably depends on the score of the game and how much time is left. This all important on-the-job-training is instrumental in developing an elite guard. Nique is as elite as gets in this city and her competence at being an elite guard has made her fellow teammates “fat”. I am not calling ANY KID physically fat; I am just illustrating how the saying applies to the game. The brilliance of Nique has had some unattended consequences for her squad.

Jay would put pressure on Nique and she did what a point guard is supposed to do; pass. They then started denying Nique when she gave up the ball and making the other T- Birds make crucial game changing decisions. The very sweet Nique has shouldered the bulk of the pressurized decisions for the last few years for the T-Birds and the Jay coaching staff understood that. They forced Wagner's’ shooters to make crucial passes. They made Wagner’s slashers shoot contested jumpers. The made Wagner’s improvisational and creative scorers make fundamental plays. Things like faking a pass to make a pass or looking off defenders to finish a set play. Or reading the weak side defenders to truly see if Roberson was open and immediately analyzing the probability of the pass leading to a successful score. Just because a pass gets to the attended target does not make it a good pass. Nique understands all these things and processes them in an instant. All the reps have allowed her to do this so well that she will do the same for the USC Trojans next year. However, this is the downside to having your best player as a point guard. When they are forced to give up the ball, things change. And change is not good for a team that thrives on the consistency that a great point guard gives them. Not in the clutch with a trip to Austin on the line anyway!

-Smile Now Cry Later: While watching the Jay kids celebrate, it was impossible not to feel happy for them. All their hard work and sacrifice has paid off with a trip to the State. Their efforts are historic and their elation was motivating for any young player in that building. Seeing the excitement of dreams being realized and goals being fulfilled was a thing of beauty.

Conversely, watching the pain and agony of defeat for the T-Birds was difficult to stomach. Anyone who understands how hard these kids work and believe could not help but feel bad for them. Nique, Chelsea Solis, Michelle Rodriguez and Ashley Cattlin deserved to go back to Austin. Coach Tina Camacho is as passionate about her program as any coach in this state has had her eyes on Austin since last years defeat to Pflugerville.

However, when both scenarios are put into perspective, this is how this beautiful game goes. You win some and you lose some. Wagner’s 2008 joy was Jay’s 2009 pain. Both schools have immensely talented kids in the high school and middle schools programs that ensure that this will not be the last time these two lock up for a berth in Austin.

We should all get behind Jay and cheer for them to rep San Antonio to the fullest! Next up is a very good Hightower team at 8:30 on Friday night. Hightower better get ready for a fight, because Jay is coming is coming out swinging!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Charde houston Q & A

Click here for Q & A with Charde Houston!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some Club tryout info!

A few weeks ago, I asked some of the parents of elite basketball players to give their DO's and DONT lists when choosing a club. I will now provide tryout information for SOME local teams. I could not find or contact many clubs for their info.

SA Lady Rohawks- The Rohawks are affiliated with Mike T. White/Cy-Fair Texans Fila group. They will have recently added an OLLU Assistant Coach to its staff. For tryout info contact, . An orientation is scheduled ar February 19, 2010.

SA Heat- The Heat will have tryouts February 23 and February 25, 2010. The location will be Tejeda MS at 7pm-9pm. For contact info,

TeamXpress- TeamXpress is an Adidas sponsored team. Tryouts/practices on the weekends at Sam Houston High school. For info contact,

South Texas Hoyas- Hoyas tryouts will be March 13th. For contact info,

SA Comets- The Comets will have varsity tryouts on February 12th at Cornerstone Christian School at 6:30. The Comets Elite was sponsored by Mike T. White/Cy Fair Texans for the last couple of years.

SA Finest- SA Finest is now affiliated with Nike Cy-Fair Elite. One of the SA Finest teams will play on the Nike circuit this upcoming season. For tryout information contact,

SA Comets(Leonard)- The Comets is an invite only club and are tryouts by appointment only. For info contact, .

Simmons is an All-American!

Meighan Simmons was recently named to the WBCA High School All-America Game. The game will be played on April. 3, 2010 in San Antonio during the Final Four weekend.

Blog here

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quick Hitters!

-Steele looks strong heading into playoffs- The Steele backcourt will be the reason that Austin is the destination for the Knights. Olivia Patterson and Elena Gumbs played extremely well last Friday night against Boerne Champion. However, Meighan Simmons was spectacular.

Simmons did things that I have not witnessed from her before. She has tightened up her handle to compliment her ridiculous speed. She used retreat dribbles and change of pace dribbles to be unstoppable. The play of the game was a wicked crossover and And-1 finish to seal the game. Champion left the outstanding freshman, Brooke Allemand on an island with very little weak side defensive help against Simmons. Simmons had been attacking the right side of the floor for the entire fourth quarter so when her initial move right shifted the quick Allemand, Simmons yanked her with a cross over that would have made AI smile and was at the basketball in one dribble. The out of position weak side defender was too late as Simmons finished the bucket. With her trademark swagger she just shook her no as if saying “I will not be denied”.

The question is will the Lady Knights be denied again for the state title or is the third time a charm.

- The South Texas Hoyas are in discussion to add a VERY recognizable high school coach to its staff. The addition is will add a ton of value to that club.

-Jay wins a Big but losses Big- The Jay Mustangs got great news when the city’s leading rebounder, Raven Reyes transferred last week.

However, the Mustangs lost second leading scorer and All-City point guard, Julissa Garrett to a knee injury. Let’s hope that JuJu makes a full and speedy recovery.

Jay star Erica Donovan hit a step-back three pointer to win it at the buzzer against Stevens last Saturday. Freshman Destiny Amezequita played by hitting a clutch three to keep the Mustangs ahead. Jay Big, Vanessa Orr had her best game of the season to help keep the Mustangs undefeated in district.

-The city scoring race has Meighan Simmons at 24.73ppg, Shana Holmes at 24.23ppg. On the private school side, Jackie Woods is averaging 24.6 while Lytle’s Cheyenne Berry is averaging 31.81!!!

Banged up!!

- Southwest guard, Shana Holmes and her injured ankle is expected to be back for the playoffs.
- Hillary Lumpkin is resting her hurt back tonight against Seguin.
- Champion freshman Heather Hormuth is a warrior! The young post for Champion had 14 points in a great game against Steele. What is more impressive is that she did it after being injured in a major car collision the night before the game. Hormuth’s mother and she were rear ended by an 18 wheeler on I-10 Thursday night. Fortunately, Hormuth and her mother walked away from the crash with sprains and bruises but no major injuries. The same can not be said for their car as it was totaled.
- Wagner pg, Len’Nique Brown is playing with a mask to protect her fractured nose.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 is HERE! is here!!! is the new whatever, whenever in girl’s basketball. The launch of the national site makes WHEREVER girls basketball is happening. The site includes the following:

Recruitment Services- has partnered with Right Fit Recruiting Services to help all members get recruited. Just click on the Recruitment Services tab and get started. at Right Fit allows players to upload highlight videos, create player profile, and email colleges, insert grades and test scores for FREE!

Not sure what college division or school you are looking for, no problem! The easy to use search criteria allow for players to research schools based on their own specifications in seconds. After creating profiles and uploading highlight video, simply email the information to ANY college program in the country. When the college coach opens the email, you will immediately get an email indicating that your profile has been viewed! Now the Ball is in your court. Finish!!!

Informational Blogs- is conducting interviews and hosting guest blogs featuring elite players, coaches, sports physicians, and organizational leaders in an attempt to help all.

We have aligned interviews with college coaches sharing their expertise on matters such as recruiting and skill development.

We have respected High School coaches willing to share favorite drills and practice habits.

We will publish weekly Blogs on ACL prevention exercises and Nutritional Practices.

Social Networking! - Players can create their own page within the site! They will be able to upload hundreds of photos, video and connect with ballers across the nation at a click of a button. All for Free!

Groups- Club Coaches/Directors using have a distinct advantage over others since creating a Group on the site will allow for many things such as: Advertising tryouts, events, player’s accomplishments, and uploading game footage for FREE!

Informational Resources- Parents, knowledge is power! will feature continuous educational resources specifically for you. Simply click on the Informational Resources link on the left and get to it.

Highlight Videos! has partnered with some of the hottest young video makers to create highlight videos featuring some of the best ball players in the nation. These videos will be music videos with exciting clips of young ballers going to work! We will debut a new video on the first Tuesday of every month.

Live Broadcasts- will broadcast live events online. FOR FREE! Some of the events that are being covered are a professional free agent camp during Final Four weekend, elite club tournaments.

Chats/Blogs- users will be able to start chats and blogs in the discussion areas. This additional tool allow for all to have a voice! Be advised that inappropriate content will not be permitted! Violators will be banned. This will remain a safe and positive place for all to enjoy!

Twitter- is now on Twitter. If you are an avid fan of the game and want to participate by updating scores in your area, signings, and happenings, this is for you! We will have correspondents throughout the nation keeping the users updated. Send an email if you want to be considered as a correspondent in your area.

Apparel- has launched the ShesBallin clothing line. T-shirts, Shirts, Bags, and Basketballs will be available on the site. We also have partnered with three street artists that will work exclusively with SheBallin designing shoes for the Sneaker Heads. Each artist will add their own individual flavor to the shoes and market them only on the site! T-shirts and Shirts will also appear in regional stores!

The first Blog on the site discusses the San Antonio's area " New comer of the Year' candidates. Now You join and give your own opinion!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

McDonalds All-American Nominees

The McDonald's All-American Nominees are out and the list has a lot of local flavor. The San Antonio area players that are up for nomination include:

Kiante Ageous- Sam Houston (Arizona)
Len'Nique Brown - Wagner (USC)
CeCe Harper- Madison ( Kansas)
Jessica Kuster- Reagan- (Rice)
Meighan Simmons- Steele (Tennessee)

Congrats young ladies!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Do's and Don'ts of Club Ball from Elite Parents #4

With the high school season winding down and club ball ready to start, I have asked some of the parents of college bound kids to provide advice selecting a club team.

This advice comes from the father of Southern Illinois commit, Olivia Patterson:

As parents we ALWAYS want the best for our kids. This sentiment should be the same when selecting a club basketball team for your daughter.


- Select a team that fits the skill set of your daughter. For example, if your daughter is extremely athletic and has above average speed an UP-TEMPO style club may be what you are looking for. As this type of team lends itself to freedom of play and individuality. Conversely, if your daughter is more skilled than athletic then a more structured or "half-court set" type of team may be beneficial. I can't stress enough putting your daughter in the best situation to succeed. Just because YOU like how a team plays doesn't mean your daughter will be successful.

- If at all possible talk to former players and parents of the perspective team. Get an unbiased view of the program of play, coaches and organizational history. While the win and loss record and the production of college bound players is important ,the goal for your daughter should be personal development and exposure. You can't get that sitting on the end of bench of an elite team.

- Select a team where the coach's daughter isn't on the team. My reasoning is this, no matter how much the coach tries to remain or "appear" to be impartial there will be some perception of favoritism and that can only affect the team negatively. Not to mention if your daughter and the coach's daughter play the same position, in your eyes, will she get the same coaching and opportunities?


- Don't select a team for your daughter solely based on the coach's name. The coach's name is just that, a name. Trust me when I tell you this, your daughters ability goes much farther than the coach's name or reputation. A name doesn't get you exposure, playing does. A reputation doesn't get you letters of interest, your ability does. On the rare occasion where your daughter's talent's and abilities align with the elite coaching pedigree of a well known coach, CONGRATULATIONS.

- Don't select a team that playing schedule doesn't extend north of Waco or south of San Antonio. About ten years ago this may have been acceptable, not anymore. The game has become far too competitive and our daughters need to consistently compete against larger more diverse groups of players. After all, these are the same girls who they are competing against for those coveted scholarships. It only makes sense to level the playing field the best you can.

These are just a few Do's and Don'ts that I believe are particularly important when selecting a club team for your daughter. Ultimately if your daughter has the POTENTIAL to play basketball beyond high school it is incumbent upon parents to put their daughter in the best situation to succeed.

Do's and Don'ts of Club Ball from Elite Parents #3

With the high school season winding down and club ball ready to start, I have asked some of the parents of college bound kids to provide advice selecting a club team.

This advice comes from the mother of Kansas committ, CeCe Harper:

Having played collegiate basketball , a parent of 4 basketball players (2 DIV I, 1 DIV I Transfer to DIV II, and a current grade school player), and a short stint at coaching youth basketball, I can truly say that I have seen it all on the club scene and there is nothing that surprises me. The thing that sticks out to me most in choosing a club team, is the honesty and integrity of the organization and the person/persons involved in running the program. We have been involved in club basketball on the East Coast and currently in San Antonio where as the level of play differs, but the tricks of the trade remains the same. When I refer to tricks of the trade, I make reference to shady coaches, out of control parents, and most of all the glits and glamour of the high priced club v/s the Mom and Pop club as they call it. The first question I often tell kids that desire or have the potential to play beyond high school is, “if any coach on any team promises you a scholarship just by joining their club team”…..BEWARE ! These teams often come with a hefty price tag, and a lot of ill promises that only leave everyone bitter by season’s end.
Some of the Do’s and Dont’s I offer for selecting the right club and preparing your child for college are as follows:

Do –
- Be selective in the type of people you surround your child with; too often they could end up hating the game if not in the right environment

- Be open and honest with the coach, as you would want him/her to be with you; everyone will not be happy in every situation, but spreading rumors because you are unhappy is not a way to deal with the issue

- Research a coaches history and the history of his/her team; how often do kids quit only after joining for a year or so? Do understand that everyone has their own reasons for leaving/staying

- Find a team that fits your child’s playing ability;

- Be aware of teams that are pay for play: this is usually not the type of team you want to be associated with

- Be honest with your child about their talent level; there is nothing wrong with DIV II, III, NAIA or JUCO, if you are planning to get a free education. Everyone cannot and will not be able to play at the DIV 1 level

- Push your child to be the best student-athlete they can be; no one can help you into college if you cannot make the grades and most colleges will be hesitant to take a chance on a below average student. Every club should be pushing kids to excel as much in the classroom, as they do on the court

- Be more concerned with the improvements your child will make, rather than the number of games their team wins; college coaches could care less the score of a game

- Learn more about the recruiting process and the requirements of college athletics; don’t let the coach do all of the talking for you and your child, your family will have to deal with it for the next 4 years if the wrong decision is made

- Not jump from club to club; this reflects badly upon you and what you are teaching your child in some instances

- Try and form a bond amongst player and parents; get everyone to trust one another and what the coach is trying to do as a whole. You will spend lots of time together and there is nothing like teams divided

- Take the SAT/ACT more than once; taking it as early as the beginning of your Junior year is always a plus

- Pick a club based solely upon the coaches resume; just because he or she played basketball, doesn’t mean that they know how to coach

- Criticize the coach in front of or around your child; how can the coach get your child to trust him/her, if you as a parent don’t

- Be overly concerned about your team’s win/lose record; in the end it is the exposure opportunities that matter most

- Give a coach more authority over your child’s future than you have; get involved in your child’s recruiting process

- Believe a coach that tells you if you play for me, you will get a scholarship; he/she is not on the college staff making decisions

- Boost your child’s playing ability only to down play another child; cheer your team and together they can all do great things

- Believe that just because you are surrounded by top ranked players that you will be ranked or that your team will be the best team around; be a difference maker

- Waste your child’s time, your time, or a coaches time with schools that you are not interested in; you and the coach can divert time elsewhere

- Wait until the last minute to take the SAT/ACT or apply for admission to the school of your choice; if you don’t have the scores, you cannot get in!