Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Visitors!!

While the assistant coaches for Baylor were tending to the future yesterday, Head Coach Kim Mulkey was in town having lunch with the big bird in the hand, Sune Agbuke. Mulkey met with Agbuke, her high school coach and her family at Cornerstone High School. Reports are that Sune will officially visit Baylor on November 5th and sign in the early signing period of mid-November.

Wagner High School has been receiving it's customary yearly visits from college coaches.

Arielle Roberson has had recent visits from NC State, Boston College, Colorado, and Miami. San Diego St was on campus yesterday.

Ebony Watkins has had recent visits SFA, Memphis, UTA, UTSA, Southern Mississippi, and Southern Charleston.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Distinguished Visitors!!

San Antonio area kids are continuing to woo in the college coaches during this open period for high school visits. Some local players getting college visitors:

Daneille Blagg(2011/Smithson Valley HS/South Texas Hoyas)- The following schools have already visited or are scheduled to visit her home within the next week: Wichita State, SMU, Western Kentucky, SFA and Tulane

Taylor Calvert(2011/SteeleHS/DFW Washington)- Georgetown University is visiting on Thursday.

Erica Donavan(2011/Jay HS/TeamXpress Blk)- Recently visited Central Florida and NC State is up next.

Alexis Govan(2011/Stevens HS/TeamXpress Blk)- Western Kentucky is reportedly
coming out this week.

Ebony Watkins(2011/Wagner HS/Lady Rohawks)- Ebony recently visited Charleston Southern University.

Avery Queen(2014/Boerne HS/SA Finest Blue)- Oklahoma State came on last Thursday

Recee Caldwell(2014/Johnson HS/SA Finest Blue)- Oklahoma St last Thursday. Baylor today(Wednesday). Texas Tech tomorrow(Thursday).

McKenzie Calvert( 2014/Steele HS/DFW Washington)- The Baylor commit will host her chosen school today Wednesday.

The last three freshmen compel me to share an email sent last week by a father on an elite freshman player. The father is getting grief about his kid playing on varsity. He sent this to me in response to my Cain vs The Able blog:


WOW, are we serious. Please explain to me WHY a freshman girl can’t play on a Varsity basketball team. Is it because your senior daughter can’t go left, can’t make a layup, doesn’t know how to attack seams, or let’s just keep it real, shouldn’t even lace it up? And due to all your daughters deficiencies she will lose playing time to a freshman girl who can do all of the above and much more. A freshman girl who wakes up at 5 AM to work on her skills. A freshman girl who eats, sleeps, and dreams about this game. A freshman girl, who breaks down NBA film to improve her basketball IQ. Ask your senior daughter if she even knows what is meant by basketball “IQ”. I guess you’re the parent that is also disgruntled at work when someone off of the street comes in and gets that Director job. You being a 10 year employee getting over looked AGAIN! Hmmmm maybe that Masters degree this individual holds over your Associates degree really means something. You should have stayed in school or better yet when you got over looked the first time maybe you should have gone back to school to get more training. More training? What a noble concept. But you say, my daughter dominated at the YMCA and the CYO. She is as good as this freshman. She practices once a week. HAHA what a joke. Try working on your game EVERY SINGLE DAY! STOP fighting your kid’s battles. Make these future leaders stronger by letting them fail now and find a way to overcome it. Seniors do not deserve to play. They should have to earn it like they will have to earn everything they want for the rest of their lives!

I included this because it still shows how far we have to go as a city. This antiquated mindset is pathetic. Baylor University is currently ranked #4 in the Sporting News preseason polls. Today, Wednesday, they have flown in two coaches to visit two different high schools. The object of their attention are two FRESHMEN, McKenzie Calvert and Recee' Caldwell. And some still have the nerve to question whether capable freshman should be ALLOWED to play varsity? As the email stated, "WOW, are we serious".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cain still jealous of the Able!

We all know the story. One brother has his act together and the other brother does not. Jealousy consumes the insecure brother so he hits young bro on the head with a rock. The story of jealousy never changes. However the rocks have changed dramatically. Today, the rocks are message board bashing, spineless emails sent from phantom addresses and blogs like this one. The Internet has allowed cowards to throw rocks and hide their hands. But even the Internet can not still contain all the jealousy that consumes the weak. They express themselves like their big brother Cain, never mind the kids they hurt.

One kid is one of the best players in the nation. It was during the Final 4 in Austin that the Cainites surrounding this kid revealed their ugly faces to all. During one of the games, I sat with my daughter in a section that was supposed to be cheering for this elite player.

My daughter is a fan of this kid. She has heard about her legendary work ethic. I have motivated my child during 5 am workouts with the tales of how this elite kid’s immense skill set was constructed in a similar fashion. My child understands the obsessive dedication to the game that it takes to become as skilled as the elite kid and she could do nothing but respect her. So we were both very surprised to sit in a section of parents of this kid’s high school teammates only to hear her get bashed on almost every play. A few parents put down this kid in a despicable way throughout the entire game. Be reminded that this is in Austin at the Final 4 and still these Cainites hit this kid in the head with their slanderous stones. I was shocked. This was just the beginning.

While driving around Austin for lunch on championship day, I received a call. The call was the father of the elite kid. He was frustrated. On the day that he was supposed to be rejoicing the accomplishments of his baby girl, he spent the morning scrambling to find her breakfast. This was not a spoiled kid with particular dietary tastes, or a superstitious routine. The parents in charge of providing breakfast for the ENTIRE team on championship game day, conveniently forgot his daughters breakfast. Only his daughter! Of course this could have been an honest mistake until you found out that this was one of the same parents who continuously bashed this kid for all to hear. To add insult to injury, a fellow club/high school coach in the San Antonio area texted me during the championship game that “ they are up here killing” this kid. He had to sit through the same insults and baby bashing that I sat through the previous day.

What I found appalling was that the high school coach allowed these things to happen to one of her players. This type of jealousy does not manifest itself in one weekend. These parents have been acting like this for some time. The high school coach should have shown the strength to cut the jealousy down as seedlings. Instead it was allowed to become a forest of negativity and a hard working kid suffered because of it.

San Antonio is not immune to the jealous cowards. Just like Cain, they hide and see who is looking. When they suspect that no one is watching, the execute their premeditated attack.

Meighan Simmons is arguably the greatest HIGH SCHOOL player in San Antonio’s history. The jealousy surrounding her last season was nauseating. To hear parents justify how good their child was by slamming Simmons became the norm. Kids who have played travel ball in front of college coaches and still were not offered any scholarships were as good as Simmons according to their parents. These delusional parents chose to try and derail the Simmons train. Their failure to equip their children with the tools to play college basketball at the level of Simmons burned them so much that their inner Cain erupted like green David Banner.

Check the message boards. See the anonymous emails. The baby bashing is at an all-time high. Until some coward is sued for Libel and Defamation of Character, the stones will fly. Until the IP address of the anonymous email senders are subpoenaed and the senders tracked down, Cain’s little brothers and sisters will keep up with their antics. Last week I saw a dad take matters in his own hands.

At the local fall league, I saw the father of one of the elite young players in the city approach a possible Cain in regards to his daughter. This dad is one of the Deliberate Dads I wrote about. He is very involved in his child’s basketball career. Instead of hiding his child in a weak travel ball program that runs from competition, he put her in the most competitive( for now ) club in the city. She was the youngest player in the program and still he did no fight her battles . Apparently, this father heard that another father was “bashing “ his child. The upset father walked calmly over to the ALLEGED baby basher and simply said “ Let’s go outside and talk”. The ALLEGED baby basher did not want to go outside and talk. He knew that this father was in no mood for discussion. The slighted father perceived that his flesh and blood was being hit by stones for no valid reason. I personally know both guys and I’m glad that they did not go outside. No good thing could have came from it. What did come from the encounter was a very strong message to the baby bashers. Some people are ABLE to defend themselves from the jealous attacks from CAIN!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Texas Jamboree!

Robin Gray put on a good event at the Antioch Sports Complex on Saturday. The Texas Jamboree featured some of the better local teams in the city. While the play was tough to watch at times with rusty ball players, a few kids stood out:

Kia Baez(Lady Rohawks)- For whatever reason, Kia is not playing at Brandies as rumored earlier. That is a huge loss for the Broncos. Baez has all the makings of a star. She is longer than her 6'0 frame. She can literally touch the rim on lay ups attempts. She can hit the open three ball and is strong passer. A little smoothing out the edges will go a long way with making Baez a major D1 prospect.

Leslie Vorpahl(SA Heat/Churchill)- Every time I see her, I become more of a fan. She has a knack for neutralizing defenders with a suttle in & out dribble and a quick burst of speed. The deceptive thing about the move is that it is precipitated by a little skip that keeps defenders guessing. She has mastered the Steve Nash quick step lay up. This move is tough to block as its quicker to the rim and not traditional. She is the best passer in the city! Hands down!

Lauren Rubio(Road Runners/South San)- According to her club coach she is "the best pure point guard in the city". While I disagree with that assessment, I understand his trust and enthusiasm in this kid. Rubio is a lefty with a strong handle. Her hesitation dribble freezes defenders. She can knock down the open jumper but strength is her passing. Her vision is trumped by her willingness to take chances by threading the needle and no look finds. Admittedly, I missed on this kid. You can not find 25 kids in the city better than her. In my defense, this was my first time seeing her.

Asha Decides!

Rooselvelt star, Asha Hampton-Finch has committed to Prairie View A&M. Theresa Nunn of the South Texas Hoyas stated that Asha "fell in love with the recent success of the basketball program and the engineering program."

Stay tuned for an update from Asha detailing her detailing her decision.

Congrats Asha!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mark Lewis Great Article!

ESPN HoopGurlz columnist, Mark Lewis wrote a well timed article on the use of social networking sites by college recruiters. I was forwarded a Facebook page of an elite athlete in the South/Central Texas region last year and was alarmed at what I read. I then wrote, on this blog, about how dangerous this could be to prospective athletes.

In a recent conversation with a college coach, I learned that an elite player had "too much baggage" for the program to continue to recruit her. This coach went on to bring up the fact that she had questionable character. The evidence to question the character of this elite player came from her social network page .The site included vulgar songs(in which she often quoted), promiscuous comments, and questionable relationships that put this elite player in a very negative light.

As Mark Lewis wrote:

"If a college program is trying to decide between you and another recruit and all things are pretty even on the floor they're going to look even closer at the intangibles. Coaches are constantly envisioning recruits in their uniforms and you don't want to give them an image in their mind that they can't shake or, worse yet, aren't interested in."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Top Teams in City!

The Churchill Fall League gave a sneak peek into some of the front runners for best in the city. Here are my early pick for the city's best.

1. Jay-The best team in the city last year is still stacked. They have the most effective player in the city in Erica Donovan. No player exerts her will like E.D. However, the Mustangs took a huge hit with the loss of super sophomore, Destiny Amezquita to a knee injury. They still feature a good back court of sharp shooter Kiarra Tayler and freshman Antania"T" Newton. The have size with 6 footers, Raven Reyes, Aleeya Harris, and Vanessa Orr.

2. Steele- The loss of Meighan Simmons and Olivia Patterson to Tennessee and Southern Illinois were huge hits to Steele but they are still loaded. They have three Division 1 players on the roster in Taylor Calvert, Elena Gumbs and freshman phenom, McKenzie Calvert. Team chemistry should not be an issue because all thee players have played together for years on the club scene. The also have a solid veteran in Lauren Zoldey. Steele is now dancing with the big girls by moving up to 5A and bumping heads with Judson and Wagner.

3. Wagner- Coach Camacho lost her coach on the floor in USC pg, Len'Nique Brown. However, Thunderbirds are not lacking for talent and have the best 1-2 punch in the city with Arielle Roberson and Ebony Watkins. Kiarra Rivera should have a huge year on the boards and newcomer Ashley Ross is a future star.

4. Churchill- With Stacy Moore retired, a lot of eyes will be on the Chargers. Danielle Espinoza, Carly Trusdale and company are now joined by one of the best guards in the city, Leslie Vorpahl. If Saturday's fall league schedule is any indication, Churchill will be a tough guard for opposing teams. They move the ball well and play a trapping style.

5. Stevens- Coach Anissa Hastings will hit the ground running. She brings her trademark intensity to a team that is loaded with ballers. Alexis Govan is as intense as her coach. Shooter Alexis Sendejo will stretch the defense. Elexus Allen is long and will contribute as a sophomore. This will be the best half court defensive team in the city!

26-5A -The strongest district?

Roosevelt- They feature two Division 1 players in Asha Hampton-Finch and Niaga Mitchell- Cole. They have solid post play in power forwards Jasmine Davidson and Markia Thomas.

Reagan- The Rattlers will be tough this year. Sabrina Berry can play! Add Marissa Rodriguez, Lisa Kuster, Moriah Mack and Wendy Knight to mix and you may have a Top 5 team in the city. Add Terry Barton to that mix and odds are you WILL have a Top 5 team in the city.


Smithson Valley- Danielle Blagg is intent on making the play offs this year. Veterans Alison Salmon and Ashley Bryand will make SV a contender in 27-4A.

Great Blog!

LSU long time assistant Bob Starkey has a great blog. One particularly good one is titled, 8 Traits That Corrupt Chemistry by Rick Pitino.

Here is an excerpt:

6. Lack of passion:
If you cannot sense the energy and excitement from people you’re trying to recruit or hire, they might not have it. They should be passionate and driven enough to know what they want—to have goals and expectations and to articulate what they’ll do to meet them. One year I asked one of my players what he wanted to accomplish outside of basketball. This player, at the end of his junior year, responded, “I don’t know.” I dismissed him from my office and told him to come back the next day with something better. I told him I don’t deal with I-don’t-know people. At age 22, young people should have some plans and ideas, or at least be searching for help in creating them. I-don’t-know people wallow in mediocrity. People lacking passion don’t enthusiastically seize every opportunity to improve themselves. They love what success could bring them, but they don’t want to put in the hard work it takes to become successful.
• How to prevent a lack of passion: Make your own passion a beacon for others to follow and emulate. If you’re not boiling with observable enthusiasm, those around you might not, either. Try to surround yourself with high achievers. Celebrate the grind. When hard work yields results, point it out—loudly, if necessary. During the long hours, remind your people that it will pay off in the end—cheerfully, if possible.

7. Excuse making:
When someone goes wrong, it’s never their fault. They’ll point fingers in all directions except at the person in the mirror. College basketball players will blame teachers for shortcomings in the classroom, referees for bad calls, teammates for not getting them the ball. I always tell my guys that failure is OK if they own up to it and use it as fertilizer to make things better. I tell them excuses are a sign of weakness, and weakness won’t be tolerated.
• Channeling Bill Parcells once again: You are your record.

8. Front-running:
The front-runners are at their best when everything is going their way. It’s easy to be upbeat and positive when you’re playing well and your team is winning—but how do you respond when times aren’t so good? Sports and business are full of people who can ride a wave of positive momentum, but aren’t so good when they have to generate momentum in the face of opposition or adversity. They tire mentally and physically and are bypassed by their competition. They become self-satisfied too easily.
• How to prevent front-running: Keep the hammer down during good times. My halftime speeches are always more volatile and demanding when we’re ahead—players will take criticism more easily in that setting, and they’ll stay on task. When we’re behind, I try to be more analytical, calm, and upbeat. When we have a double-digit lead late in games, I’ll tell my team during timeouts that the scoreboard doesn’t matter; we’re tied, and I want to win the next four minutes by the next media timeout. I create a game within a game, trying to keep the pressure on them to rely on their fundamentals and do what we’ve coached them to do. Keep your own emotions on an even keel, and maintain your discipline. If you get overly comfortable when things are going well, it’s a signal to others to let their guard down and relax.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quick Hitters!

-Erica Donovan(Jay HS/TeamXpress) is reportedly taking an official visit to Central Florida this weekend.

- Churchill Fall League starts Sunday.The league features Champion, Antonian, MacArthur, Reagan, Stevens, Wagner, Clark, Madison, Jonson, Seguin, Brandeis, Stevens, Marshall, Canyon and Lee.

- USA Coach Mike Krzyzewski had a great quote in yesterday's victory over Russia. When speaking of Kevin Durant's great performance he said "We are going to him....I learned in coaching that you should get you best player the ball". As obvious as this may seem, some coaches have yet to learn this complicated strategy!

- "Dad, Amber is trying to kill me!" This quote came from who many consider the #1 player in the nation for the class of 2014, Brianna Turner. The 6'3 Turner is more skilled than most elite guards and her work ethic is very impressive. She works out with a personal trainer numerous times a week. However, she has crossed into deeper waters since the beginning of school.

Turner attends Westbury Christian with club teammate and Stanford commit, Amber Orrange. Apparently, Orrange work ethic is borderline insane. At times she works up to four hours a day after school. When Turner has already put in her extra work after school, Orrange uses her status as a probable All-American to "persuade" the young freshman that one hour extra practice time is not enough. She constantly pushes Turner to work more. The "trying to kill me" comment was made during a phone call from Turner to her father. Orrange, the #15 ranked player in the nation according to ESPN Hoopgurlz, stacked two enormous Plyo Jumping Boxes on top of each other and was leaping on them. She expected the 14 year old Turner to leap on the boxes too. The future All-American is getting a first hand account of what it really takes to be the best, from one of the best.

- Speaking of the Best- Devine High School AD and head football coach, Chad Quisenberry recommended a book for those striving to be the best.

Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else

A book review:

Gordon reveals the deep truths and proven strategies that take the very best to the top. Training Camp reveals that the best performers-in a variety of fields-all share the same qualities. Among other traits, the best of the best are able to maintain a big-picture vision while taking zoom focused action, they are mentally stronger, they seize the moment and they inspire excellence in the people around them. But these aren't inborn traits; the great news is that they're skills and attitudes that can be learned and applied by all.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blame Game!

Last month my daughter attended an elite camp. The camp directors chose four "all-star" games to address every kid in the camp. To say the camp featured elite kids would be an understatement. Each "all-star" game grouped players according to their perceived ability. Whether this grouping was an accurate assessment of each player's abilities is debatable but all but one game was decided by single digits. These games seemed to be pretty evenly matched.

When the "all-star" games were chosen, I was livid. My child was chosen to participate in the "second all-star" game. This was not the top game with the best talent. I was so incensed that she was not chosen to compete against the best players that I contemplated not allowing my child to participate in the "second class" game. I felt her showing during the camp proved her standing and her eventual place in the "top all-star" game. In my rush to judgement, I failed to realize that the "second all-star game" featured at least six players ranked in the HoopGurlz 100 in their respective classes. This was no generic "all-star" game. But in my disappointment, I played the BLAME GAME!

I initially blamed the tournament directors. They stacked earlier teams which allowed certain players to shine since they had more talented teammates(help). They are underestimating my child. They obviously have no clue about talent. THEY THEY THEY!

In reflection, I realize that I was blinded like many parents are regarding their children. Instead of assessing why my child was not chosen for the top game, I automatically blamed others. I thought I was beyond the blame game. Being a coach and talent evaluator, I get blamed often. Parents blame me for their child not shining. In hindsight, I am very disappointed in myself.

On the drive home, I remembered an argument I had with a parent of a former player some time ago. This parent blamed me for his child playing tentative and not shining. In our heated discussion, he went on to "brag" about almost getting his child's former teacher fired because his child received a failing grade. Again, the former teacher of his child was in hot water because his child EARNED a failing grade. His reasoning for getting this teacher in serious trouble was that the teacher failed to do his/her job because THEY failed to notify him that his child was in danger of failing. Never mind parent portals that allow parents to check grades online daily. Never mind holding the child accountable. It was the teacher's fault, not his and surely not his child's.

My anger during that drive home became embarrassment. I felt ashamed that I started to blame others for personal failures. My child has never been trained by someone other than me. Her weaknesses as a player are my weaknesses as a trainer. My child is extremely dedicated to the game but so was EVERY player in that "top game". Instead of pointing fingers, I should (and did) implement a program to address her weaknesses. Instead of getting mad, I needed to hold my child accountable for working harder than the girls who made the "top game". Did she want to make that top game? Yes! She too felt slighted by the "second game" choice and showed her displeasure by dominating opposing HoopGurlz 100 players three years her senior in the game. She came out and scored at will. She led her team to a 20 point blow-out, the only blow out among all of the all-star games. If she would have played with the same urgency throughout the camp, she would have been picked for the "top game". If she played with a chip on her shoulder and with something to prove throughout the entire weekend, the camp directors would have had to choose her. It was her fault. It was my fault! No one else!

As the high school season approaches, get ready for the excuses. The coach will always be at fault. The teammates are to blame. The college recruiters are idiots and obviously do not know talent. Never mind that their livelihood depends on their ability to judge and recruit talent. At some point, we all play the blame game. The winners are those who learn to stop blaming the fastest!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Distinguished Visitors! Important Callers!

September is a busy month for colleges to express their love for local stars via high school visits and phone calls. Here are some of schools that will grace local campuses and the objects of their affection.


Arielle Roberson- (Wagner/TeamXpress): San Diego St., Boston College, NC State, Miami, Colorado(brother is freshman basketball player for CU)

Eboni Watkins-(Wagner/Lady Rohawks): UTSA, McNeese St., UT Arlington, Charleston Southern

*Also heavily interested: Memphis, Mississippi St., North Texas

Danielle Blagg-(Smithson Valley HS/South Texas Hoyas): SFA, SMU, Wichita St., Tulane, Western Kentucky

*Already reduced her list from more than 30 pursuers

Recee' Caldwell-(Johnson HS/SA Finest)- Texas A&M, UTSA, Texas Tech, Ohio St., Michigan St.

*Also heavily interested: Baylor, UCLA , Arkansas, UNLV, Kentucky

Brooke Allemand -(Champion HS/SA Finest)- UTSA, Texas A&M

Asha Hampton-Finch-(Roosevelt HS/South Texas Hoyas)- Prairie View A&M, Southeastern Louisiana, UT- Arlington

*Do not be surprised if Hampton-Finch verbals soon!

Erica Hernandez-(Floresville HS/South Texas Hoyas)- South Carolina Upstate

Kiara Taylor-(Jay HS/Lady Rohawks)- Mid-American, Texas Southern

Avery Queen(Boerne HS/ SA Finest)- Rice, UTSA

Heavy Interest-

Senobia Winbush(Clemens HS/Lady Rohawks).- One of the biggest winners of the summer.

West Virginia, North Texas, St. Johns, Tennessee Tech, Seton Hall

Niaga Mitchell-Cole( Roosevelt HS/Lady Rohawks)- Niaga will be the most sought after kid in the city for 2012.

University of Texas, UTSA, UTA, Georgetown, Memphis, Tulsa, Mississippi St., North Texas, Northwestern

Stay tuned for more updates on local stars.

Blagg narrows it down!

Smithson Valley/South Texas Hoyas star Danielle Blagg is reportedly visiting Tulane this weekend. Blagg has reportedly trimmed her list down to five schools: Tulane, Wichita State, SMU, Western Kentucky, SFA

Blagg had a huge summer that included over 30 offers from D1 institutions. She started reducing her list last month. She reportedly is taking visits to all five of her finalists as well as scheduling home visits with each school.

A case for each school:

Tulane- great academics and relatively close to Texas(parents)

SFA- close friend and former club teammate Chyenne Berry is a freshman here

SMU- great academics, close to home

Western Kentucky- successful coach, seven consecutive 20 win seasons

Wichita St.-coach won a ship' at Tennessee as a player, good conference

The winner will be: (I have NO information regarding where she is leaning. This is PURE SPECULATION)

Wichita State