2016 ABA Fall League

HS Action shot 2 - 2015

Round 1 GAME SCHEDULE

>TUESDAY – AUGUST 23, 2016

Lakewood Community Center – 3601 Kenwood Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35810

5:30p – BRZ vs. ESP (Girls)

6:20p – SRB vs. TUR (Girls)

7:10p – USA vs. FRA (Girls)

8:00p – LAC vs. GSW (HS Boys)

St. John Paul II Catholic HS – 7301 Old Madison Pike, Huntsville, AL 35806

6:00p – SCR vs. FTW (MS Boys)

6:50p – SAS vs. IND (HS Boys)

7:40p – RGV vs.TEX (MS Boys)

8:30p – ERE vs. AUS (MS Boys)

>THURSDAY – AUGUST 25, 2016

St. John Paul II Catholic HS – 7301 Old Madison Pike, Huntsville, AL 35806

6:00p – MIA vs. CLE (HS Boys)

6:50p – DET vs. CHA (HS Boys)

7:40p – OKC vs. TOR (HS Boys)

8:30p – POR vs. BOS (HS Boys)

 

 

 

 

 

ENTHUSIASM

“ENTHUSIASM is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever accomplished.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“None are so old as those who have outlived ENTHUSIASM.”  Henry David Thoreau

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your ENTHUSIASM.”  Aldous Huxley

 

I had a phone conversation with a Division I college basketball coach tonight about our team playing next week in the Under Armour Finals…the conversation ended up with him talking about how frustrating it is to watch some AAU games at this point in the summer.  Although it’s just the 1st leg of the NCAA Live Evaluation Period, many players have played so many games since the end of their HS seasons – the April Live Evaluation Period, Team Camps & Play Dates with their HS teams, and now back with their AAU teams – that so many talented players were just going through the motions.  One game is no different from the next – because there is always a next game.

I remember this well when I was on the road recruiting.  Players/Prospects can stand out from others just because they are excited and have ENTHUSIASM.

So I hang up the phone call and walk upstairs to help tuck in our kids and pray with them & I see this on the floor of our 4 year and 362 day old son, Camp.  We have the 2nd session of our JR Ballers Camp starting tomorrow.  He missed the first one because we were in Iceland.  So he has everything laid out so that when he wakes up – he’s ready to go.

Now that’s real ENTHUSIASM.

Here’s hoping that our ABA teams & all the other teams finishing up the AAU circuits this month – will attack each day, each game, each possession – with the ENTHUSIASM of a child.

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“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14, New Testament

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KFI Kofubolti Camp

I had the opportunity to go back to Iceland and coach at the KFI Basketball Camp in Isafjordur, Iceland the first week of June.  It was my 2nd time working in the camp – which is now the biggest in Iceland.  It was a pleasure working with some of the talented boys and girls who will be feeding Iceland’s National teams in years to come.  It was also a great opportunity to meet and work with outstanding coaches from the Icelandic Super League and coaches from Europe.  From a basketball standpoint – the KFI camp focuses on fundamentals with individual skill development and team concepts.  There’s no doubt that all of the players in camp improved fundamentally and left with a greater love for basketball.

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How about this view when you walk out of the gym?

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Working stationary ball-handling by catching indoor soccer balls

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Station work – teaching these U13 guys how to seal and call for the ball

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Some of the U15 & U16 players

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Icelandic cookout on the last full day of camp

post player clinic

Teaching U16 National team players during my clinic

Girls U16 National players

These 3 can REALLY play – all National team players – U16

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At my clinic for the coaches

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2 very good young players – Elvar and Michael – terrific knowledge of the game

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Out for a jog around Isafjordur harbor – dark blue water, Mtns., and glaciers in distance

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Had a chance to coach the All-Star game with Yngvi Gunnlaugsson – KFI head coach

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Great week with Siggi.  Absolutely knows everyone associated w hoops in Iceland.  The Man!

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After working with Matti & Martin.  These guys can play & work their tails off.  Getting ready for Icelandic National team camp later this summer.

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U20 National team practice – getting ready for tourney in Greece this July.  Finnur Stefansson does terrific job coaching this group.

Jakob and Edith

Great catching up with Jakob and his fiance’, Edith in Reykjavik.  Hard to believe he’s starting year 11 as a pro in Europe.  Miss coaching him!

 

KFI shirt

 

Talladega

Eli & I w Denny Hamlin - Talladega May 2016

I made my first trip to Talladega for the Geico 500 last Sunday.  An all boys trip with my father-in-law, 2 brothers-in-law, and son, Eli.  Not knowing much about NASCAR, I went with an open mind – excited to see what all the hype was about.  I left with a respect for the sport and more of an understanding why so many fans love it.

A few take-aways from my day at the Geic0 500:

ACCESS – We had HOT passes and the access we had prior to race was incredible.  This picture with Denny Hamlin was taken 5 minutes before he climbed in the car to get in line for the start.  We walked up to him in between interviews and got the picture.  How cool would it be to walk out of the tunnel with Malzahn, Saban, or Popovich prior to gametime and ask him if the team is ready to play?

TEAMWORK –  I had no idea how many people were involved with each race car and driver.  Each car had at least 8 or more people in matching safety suits working on pit road to keep the car and driver going.  No doubt – true teamwork to get a car in and out of the pit in under 10 seconds.  Everyone has a job and they do it.  Many parallels here to other team sports.

NOISE – We saw the Blue Angels airshow last summer in Pensacola and I thought they were loud.  NASCAR is another level – especially when the cars are grouped together.  I thought it was louder in the pits than in the stands – but when you factor in the rattling metal in the stands, it’s pretty close.

SIZE – I think the track is 2.6 miles or close to it.  From the inside, it feels as if you are in some huge amusement park.  It’s difficult to even see the other side.  I couldn’t believe inside the track is a gas station, concessions, trailer park for fans, RV/Private Bus park for drivers, garage, more trailer area for driver/teams, an outdoor children’s play area, and all the pit road stuff.

FANS – No idea how many were there.  Stands were full and there had to be just as many, or more, inside and outside the track in mobile homes.  Had to be 100K+.  Fans were all races, ages, and socioeconomic levels.  And…..I did not see any altercations.  Tons of law enforcement – but they were enjoying themselves as much as anyone.

SPEED – 195-200 mph.  Unreal – it looked like they were just cruising along in the warm up laps until they told me that they were all going over 100 mph.  You almost have to be that fast just to stay on the track.

We spent the first 100 laps inside on pit road, and in garage area.  When Earnhardt wrecked the first time, people sprinted to the garage in front of his area.  While they worked on his car – he did interviews and signed autographs and took pictures.  Again, incredible access during the race.  We went to the stands for the last 60 laps and got the view from above.  Saw a couple of the wrecks from above the action and could actually see how close they drive to each other at 198 mph – unreal!

One thing NASCAR has figured out is how to make the fans feel a part of the event.   Others tell me that the access you have has been scaled way back due to safety concerns with terrorism and such.

To top it all off, we realized after meeting and posing with Denny Hamlin that he’s sponsored by Jordan – with the logo on his suit and Jordan special racing shoes.  Funny that we picked him, and it turns out he has a hoops connection.

Overall, Great experience and one that I would definitely recommend to anyone who has the chance to go.  After 100 minutes of soccer at the Scenic Cup with HSV United on Saturday and an early start to get to the race on Sunday – Eli made it out of Talladega talking about the experience.  Things got quiet and I looked back to see him snoozing.

Eli snoozing

2016 ABA Senior Showcase Games

2016 SR Showcase logo

2016 Senior Showcase INFORMATION SHEET xls

ALL GAMES PLAYED AT:

HUNTSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL GYM – 2304 BILLIE WATKINS AVE., HUNTSVILLE, AL 35801

ADMISSON – $8 FOR ADULTS, $3 FOR STUDENTS 11 AND OLDER, 10 & UNDER – FREE

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE SENIOR SHOWCASE GO TO BENEFIT THE JAMES A. LANE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB IN HUNTSVILLE.

Girls Game – 1:30 P.M. – ROSTERS TO BE ANNOUNCED

KELSEY WATKINS – ARAB

KAYLA KEY – HARTSELLE

RACHEL O’KRASKI – HUNTSVILLE

DIAMOND JOLLY – GRISSOM

TE’ JOHNSON – GRISSOM

KAITLYN HADLEY – BUCKHORN

TYLER FREDERICKS – BOB JONES

KENYSHA COULSON – LEE

EMILEE MURR – LINDSAY LANE CHRISTIAN

TYRA JOHNSON – AUSTIN

NEOLA GARNER – LEE

ALISHA DAVIS – AUSTIN

SAMAIYAH PULLEN – LEE

PAIGE WARD – BUCKHORN

JESSICA WARD – BUCKHORN

SIDNEY ISON – WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN

MAIA HILL – HAZEL GREEN

LARA TANNER – HAZEL GREEN

DIAMOND CRUTCHER – JOHNSON

 

BOYS – GAME #1 – 3:00 P.M.

GOLD TEAM

TRISTON CHAMBERS – COLD SPRINGS

GAGE GOODWIN – CULLMAN

JACOB HYDE – GADSDEN CITY

JUSTIN HOPKINS – JOHNSON

TRAI JAMES – JAMES CLEMONS

TYSEAN WHITEHEAD – WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN

EVAN WILEY – LEE

WHITE TEAM

MYKELTI CHAPMAN – CORDOVA

TROY ELLIOTT – AUSTIN

TRAVION HARDIN – COLUMBIA

J.J. KAPLAN – GRISSOM

JOHN KENDALL – WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN

MARKEL MULL – TANNER

TREY PETTY – WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN

KEANDRE SWOOPES – WEST MORGAN

 

BOYS – GAME #2 – 4:30 P.M.

GOLD TEAM

JORDAN COUNTS – HUNTSVILLE

BRODY KNIGHT – DECATUR

JARRETT MURPHY – WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN

DAKOTA MACKEY – SAND ROCK

CALVIN BAK – MUSCLE SHOALS

BRANDON MILLER – SPARKMAN

AVERY NEVELS – ALBERTVILLE

MALIK TALLEY – SCOTTSBORO

 

WHITE TEAM

ASHTON RAY – LEE

BLAKE SADLER – HUNTSVILLE

KYLE HAYNES – PRICEVILLE

JORDAN RODRIGUEZ – GRISSOM

RYAN HUFFORD – RANDOLPH

XAVIER MALCOLM – HANCEVILLE

BRAEDEN STEWART – COLUMBIA

JALON STEWARD – GUNTERSVILLE

http://highschoolsports.al.com/news/article/-3813918369086446617/rosters-announced-for-senior-showcase-hoops-tripleheader-saturday-in-huntsville/

 

 

 

The most wonderful time of the year!

…for those who love to compete.  I love basketball, especially high school basketball.  It’s in my blood.  I really did grow up in a gym.  The bleachers, managers, and players at Grissom High in the 1970’s and early 80’s were my after school care – and I am thankful that’s the way it was.

I grew up going to the Alabama HS State Tournament with my dad.  Sitting in the end zone seats with him and his coaching friends as they watched nearly every tournament game that was played at the University of Alabama.  After about 10 seasons at Grissom, his 1981 team finally broke through and earned a trip to T-town and laid the foundation for the great program Grissom became.  I’ll never forget it.

Just about all of those days and nights in the gym growing up ended with a scenario of taking the shot to get to the State tournament or winning the State Championship.  I dreamed about it.

In 1988, my dream came true.  As a sophomore, and back up on the Varsity, we won it all.  We were led by 2 great players – Jay Scherer (6A Player of the Year) and Brooks Bryant (MVP of the State Tournament).  Two of the best to ever play in this area.  But we were truly a team with players who were “all in” before that became an overused term.  We were extremely well-coached by the best (in my opinion) in the State.  We pulled for each other & we pushed each other.  And we relished competing.  It started in the summers – during open gym and ended with 0 losses that season in tournament play.  I believe we were 11-0.

So this time of year is always special because it brings back memories of what we were able to accomplish.  We have a bond – all 19 students and 3 coaches – that will always be there.

Unfortunately, in sports, the best team does not always win.  I do think one could argue that we were not the most talented team in 6A basketball (highest class at the time) that season.  But there’s no questioning who was the best TEAM.  It was us!  My dad was asked by a coach or reporter after winning the Championship if he thought we were the best team?  In one of his great quotes he told the guy – “Well, I’m not sure if we’re the best.  But I am sure of one thing – that there’s nobody left for us to play.”

Wishing high school players and coaches everywhere – especially in Alabama – good luck as you start your “Dream” run to a State Championship!

Ronnie Waving

Ronnie shaking hands with group

1988 State Tourney tropy presentation