Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pro Hop is not a travel!!

Watching San Antonio female basketball players get called for travelling violations for executing proper Pro Hops is disheartening. Whether you call it a Pro Hop or Broad Jump, it is nothing more than a Jump Stop. The Jump Stop is the most fundamental play in the game.

All us old heads were raised on the jump stop. My high school coach mandated that his guards not over penetrate and stop at the free throw line on most all fast breaks. He drilled the point guards in advancing the ball in the middle of the court. The wings would fill the lanes wide. The guard would then execute a sound jump stop and pass, most of the time a bounce pass, to one of the wings filling the lanes. The jump stop followed a full sprint and pushing off of one leg to land on two feet. Landing with two feet wide and with your butt down was essential to balance and preventing a traveling violation. This jump stop was great in teaching kids to play under control, maintain spacing, prevent offensive charges and not over penetrating. Fast forward to today.

The Pro Hop is a terrific weapon for offensive players. At the state tournament last March, they showed a video collage of some of the best performances at the state tournament over the years. In one of the most dominating performances, Dallas area Tiffany Jackson put on a clinic in the Pro Hop. The muscular 6'2 post was Pro Hopping her way into scoring position at will. She took this skill to the University of Texas and now the WNBA. Jackson was fortunate enough to play in a city where the referees did not stagnate her development by erroneously calling her Pro Hop a travel.

As long as players take a pound dribble before leaving the air and lands on two feet, it is not a travel! The evolution of the game has led to players changing directions and covering more ground using the Pro Hop but that does not automatically make it a travel violation. See the following video.

or Becky Hammon

These are two videos showing different instances of Pro Hops. Our players will continue to be stymied by bad officiating and unable to compete against Dallas and Houston area kids if this is allowed to continue. The game has advanced and the competency of local referees should too!

(Sidenote: In a recent game, a player who executed a legal Euro Step was told by the referee, "This is not Europe so don't use the Euro Step". How does a kid get better in such a repressive basketball environment?!)