NBA China 12U National Camp

In mid-July, I had the opportunity to travel to Hangzhou, CHINA as one of 2 coaches selected by NBA China to run the 12U National Camp for the Chinese Basketball Association.   The top 90 – 12 year old boys were selected from 20 different Chinese provinces.  We had them in camp for 5 days.  Nine – 2 hour training sessions at the Chinese Olympic Training Center.  It was a pleasure to work with these kids.  They were so hungry to learn.  It was my 2nd trip to China to do a camp for the NBA.  And just like my first trip – it was a 1st Class, 5-Star, Incredible experience.  Some of these young men have a lot of God-given ability and can be good players with the right coaching over the next few critical years.  It will be interesting to see how many actually make it through the hard training philosophy of the Chinese system.

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The campers were in perfect lines waiting for us before the 1 session of camp.

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Love this picture!  You listen with your eyes.  It was fun motivating them and getting them to understand it’s OK to be passionate about working and getting better.

 

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Working on defensive slides.  We always had to pull the group in close to demonstrate the skill before sending them to baskets.  Thankful for our 2 interpreters (Jason seen here) and Lancer.

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We had a few push-up clinics early on to help them understand the importance of getting places quick and being vocal with your teammates.

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This young man has some GAME!  Tin ended up being Mr. Basketball in the camp.  Really good leadership ability and a lot of JUICE.  I’d love to see how he would do if he had the opportunity to come to the States.  Hopefully we’ll see him playing for Team China in the future.

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These are some big 12 year olds!  They might be the next “Great Wall” for China Basketball.

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Great story here.  “Big Harold” as I called him is 14 years old and 6’11”.  His mom is about 6’8″ and dad is 7 footer.  Both played for team China and are now coaches.  He hung around after he practiced with his team and I got to work with him.  He worked so hard.  Really good, strong hands – Scores with both.  Pretty good feet as well.  Wants to be good.  The Good Lord has blessed him with terrific genes for basketball.   Can you imagine the hype that would surround him if he was in the States playing high school and AAU???

 

Some of very interesting sights out and about.  Just like any big city – you have to have you head on a swivel.  People, buses, cars, and in China ESPECIALLY bikes and scooters are everywhere.  I liked the scooter/bike fashion:

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The weather was much like we have in the south – really hot and humid.  Most of the women carried umbrellas to create shade.

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Fresh Durians.  In Asia – called the “King of Fruits”.  Some are more than 18 inches long. 

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Dragon Fruit.  Texture like Kiwi with a milder taste.

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Partial Skyline View of Hangzhou from West Lake – a beautiful resort area that people from all over China and Asia visit during their Holiday/Vacation.

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The view from the restaurant on the 26th floor of the JW Marriott.  West Lake in the distance.

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West Lake District at night

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AAU Nationals – Scouting Report

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Exhausted and Excited after our win for 5th Place game vs. New Jersey Stack

What a GREAT TRIP for these 4th Graders!  We qualified for AAU Nationals in March and took our ABA 2025 Navy team to play in the tournament in Clarksville, TN – July 7-12.  It was a great experience for these boys – playing 7 games (pool play + bracket play) in 5 days against teams from 6 states:  Georgia, Louisiana, Washington D.C., Indiana, North Carolina, and New Jersey.  I’m really proud of and for them.  They played in full court – wide open games and half court – street fights.  They got to experience emotional highs and disappointing lows.  Throughout the 5 days of games, I saw them grow as players and teammates.  They pushed each other and pulled for each other and showed great determination to earn 5th Place at AAU Nationals –  Division II which consisted of teams from the deep south, southwest, southeast, northeast, east coast, and midwest.  I’ve been fortunate as a player and as a college coach to be a part of outstanding, Championship teams – but none were more fun than seeing these 4th graders play so well and bounce back to play their best game.  I appreciate the support from each player’s family as well as our ABA extended family.

We emphasized 4 Characteristics that my Dad uses to describe Good Players:    Maturity, Toughness, Skill Set, and Athleticism (MTSA).  As we discussed each characteristic – we gave the team specific details to add to their ABA Notebooks.  It was really interesting to hear the boys talk about each of these as it related to them individually and to our team.  Considering MTSA – each player is at a different phase in their basketball development.  Toughness and Skill Set can be developed earlier than Maturity and Athleticism.  We want to do all we can to make sure that the factors we have the most control over:  Toughness and Skill Set – allow us to compete at a high level while the bodies develop and gain Maturity and Athleticism.  We had some great discussions during the 5 days in Clarksville.  Winning games is great – BUT means nothing IF these 4 Characteristics are not cultivated and drilled.  We are doing both.  Thanks for a great week to finish up terrific winter, spring, and summer seasons!

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Opening Ceremonies at Fortera Stadium on campus of Austin Peay

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Boys did a great job in warm-ups.  We usually had 15 minutes, and we used that time to teach them the importance of going hard and breaking a sweat vs. walking around.

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Just about all the boys met NCAA Champ, NBA All-Star, and Team USA Gold Medalist – Carmelo Anthony.  He was there watching his son play & was really good talking to them. 

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With former SEC Freshman of the Year, NBA All-Star, and NBA Champion – Mo Williams

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ABA Families.  Got just about everyone in this shot.  Had a few that came in the next day for Bracket play.  Very fortunate and Thankful for GREAT families.

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The boys waiting for our 5th Place game to start.  One of the great things about an AAU National tournament is getting to see so many other good players from across the country.

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Love this angle – you can see Dad on the sideline looking on. Fun to see a HOF Coach with Championships and nearly 800 wins get nervous for a 10U game!

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Our Team

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I love watching Eli and all of our boys play.

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The team getting their trophy.  Vincent’s face covered up – BUT…

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He got to be the 1st to take the trophy home!  Vincent was CLUTCH – stroking the game winner, corner 3 ball – on a nice pass from Kaden.  Am guessing Sweet Dreams here & a Sweet finish for ABA!

 

 

 

2017 ABA Summer Camp Series

We are excited about this summer & our Summer Camp Series.  For descriptions, dates, and places – use the link to our ABA website.  Players are made in the off-season.  Come #work, #sweat, and let us #teach you this summer.

http://www.alabamabasketballacademy.com/programsclinics/

To go to online registrations use the link below.

http://alabamabasketballacademy.myonlinecamp.com/

 

Best JR Ballers group 2017

ABA Senior Showcase Information

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7th Annual ABA Senior Showcase Basketball Games

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To benefit the James Lane Boys & Girls Club and NE Alabama FCA – will take place Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the Huntsville High School Gym.  Over that past 6 years – these games have raised almost $20,000 for charity and have allowed basketball fans in north Alabama one last chance to see the best players on the court.  In the past, the teams have featured players who have been Mr. and Mrs. Basketball, Alabama Players of the Year, McDonald’s All-American nominees, and have won every local and area award.  This year will be no different as you see on the rosters below.  Players will continue to be added until game time.

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UAH – All-American Seab Webster in the SR Showcase.

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Mr. Basketball – Trevor Lacey in the 1st SR Showcase.

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The SR Showcase is a great opportunity for  players to give back.

GAME INFORMATION:

TIMES:

Noon – Boys SR Showcase I

1:30p – Girls SR Showcase

3:00p – Boys SR Showcase II

PLACE:  HUNTSVILLE HS GYM – 2304 BILLIE WATKINS ST., HUNTSVILLE, AL 35801

ADMISSION:  $8 ADULTS.  $5 STUDENTS 11 & OLDER.  AGES 10 & UNDER – FREE

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE GAME GO TO JAMES LANE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB AND FCA.

 

Boys Rosters

GAME 1 – NOON

>NAVY TEAM

JOHN GRAVES – F – BREWER HS

NOAH BURROUGHS – G – DECATUR HS

DANIEL SANDERS – G – ST. JOHN PAUL II HS – Huntingdon  College

JORDAAN RAMBUS – G – GRISSOM HS

TREY NANCE – G – GRISSOM HS

ISAAC TAYLOR – G – HARTSELLE HS

JEFFREY ENGLISH – F – ST. JOHN PAUL II HS

>WHITE TEAM

LUKE GRAHAM – F – PLAINVIEW HS

GRANT MULLINS – G – WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

JOHN WILLIAMS – G – ATHENS HS

BAILEY SMITH – G – HOLLY POND HS

D.J. FORD – F – ST. JOHN PAUL II HS

DEONTE JONES – G – BOB JONES HS

DEONTE GRAY – G – GADSDEN CITY HS

GAME 2 – 3:00p

> NAVY TEAM

JOHN PETTY – G – JEMISON HS – University of Alabama

JAMEL CLEVELAND – C – HUNTSVILLE HS – Columbia State CC

DEVONTE LANIER – F – JEMISON HS

MALIK BURNETT – G – LEE HS  – Troy University

DREW JONES – G – HOLLY POND HS – Lee University

MYLES PARKER – F – MADISON ACADEMY

L.J. DAVIS – G – JEMISON HS

> WHITE TEAM

ANTHONY MASON – C – AUSTIN HS

OMAR BARTHOLOMEW – F – COLUMBIA HS

JAVAN JOHNSON – G – AUSTIN HS – Troy University

JASON SCOTT – G – AUSTIN HS – Pensacola JC

CHRIS FREEMAN – F – HUNTSVILLE HS – Bevill State CC

KALIL JOHNSON – F – CLEVELAND HS – Lincoln Memorial University

OMAR JOLLY – G – NEW HOPE HS

GIRLS ROSTER

>NAVY TEAM

KATE PORTER – G – WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

KATE HAMMOND – G – ARAB HS – University of North Alabama

LASEANA OGUNNAIKE – G – LEE HS

TORY GARNER – G – JEMISON HS

AIMEE KNOTT – F – HUNTSVILLE HS

DAVIA LEAK – F – SPARKMAN HS

JACEY BELL – G – PLAINVIEW HS – Gadsden State CC

SOPHIE PAGE – F – AUSTIN HS

EMME WILLOUGHBY – G – COLD SPRINGS HS – University of Alabama-Huntsville

ASHLYNN BAKER – G – JEMISON HS

RUTH HORTON – G – HOLLY POND HS

TAMIA KING – G – DECATUR HS

 

 

 

THE ABA SENIOR SHOWCASE IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THESE GENEROUS SPONSORS

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Cynthia Hudson, CPA

 

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ABA Spring Skill Development Programs

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Huntsville & north Alabama

>Junior Ballers – Tuesdays – Twickenham Church of Christ – Huntsville

5:30-6:30p – Boys/Girls – PreK – 2nd Grade

>Skill Development Training – Mondays & Thursdays – St. John Paul II HS – Huntsville 6:00-7:15p – Intermediate Skill levels – starting at 3rd Grade

7:15-8:30p – Advanced Skill levels – starting at 6th Grade

>Skill Development Training – Mondays & Thursdays – Sand Mountain

Mondays (Plainview HS) & Thursdays (Geraldine HS)

5:30-6:30p – Boys/Girls grades 3-5

6:30-7:30p – Girls MS & HS

7:30-8:30p – Boys MS & HS

Montgomery Area

Skill Development Training – set schedule starting April 1st –

Contact Keegan Bell – keegan@ababball.com for training options NOW.

FULL DETAILS FOR ALL SPRING PROGRAMS

http://www.alabamabasketballacademy.com/programsclinics/

 

 

ABA Team Evaluations

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ABA Team Evaluations – this Sunday – 2/12 – at Oakwood Academy’s Gym – 7000 Adventist Blvd., Huntsville, AL 35896.

Schedule – for BOYS in their CURRENT Grades

1:30-2:45p – 3rd/4th Graders

2:45-4:00p – 5th/6th Graders

4:00-5:30p – 7th/8th Graders

Cost is $20.  We will have another Evaluation next weekend.  We will start Evaluations for our GIRLS next week as well.

More information – http://www.alabamabasketballacademy.com/club-teams/

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2017 Marvin Stone Classic Re-Cap

The 3rd Annual Marvin Stone Classic was an great day of high school basketball.  Really enjoyed hosting all 12 teams.  We had some very competitive games and outstanding performances.  Below are some of the top individual performers on the day:

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Austin Leslie/2019/Westminster Christian Academy – 6’3″ PG.  Starting to get into shape after missing most of the season with injuries.  This smooth lefty has big time ability to shoot it, attack off the dribble, and create shots for teammates.  Looking for big things from him.

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MJ Gurley/2020/Wing – Westminster Christian Academy.  Lefty played with a lot of energy attacking basket from the wing and in transition.  Has knack for scoring.  Bright future.

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Noah Boler/2019/Decatur Heritage Christian Academy – 6’8″ PF who can run the floor, stroke it from the arc with great technique, score inside with both hands, and has great timing blocking shots. Noah can be as good as he wants to be and can become dominant.  Has a chance to be a major player in Alabama for next 2 seasons. 

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Trey Nance/2017/Grissom High School – 6’2″ G – showed the ability to score many ways.  Explosive off the dribble.  Able to make shots within their half court offense and also does good job running lanes and scoring in transition. 

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Raekwon Eason/2017/Bessemer City High School.  5’9″/G – Very physical player who uses his strength to attack off the dribble and make tough baskets.  Made big shots for BCHS to help them get the victory over Grissom.

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Anthony Bell/2017/Hazel Green High School – 6’7″ PF was very impressive in a big win over Cordova.  Length allows him to play bigger.  Showed the ability to play in high post and low post areas.  Used length to score inside and to alter shots defensively.  Really liked the way he competed on the boards and defended out on the floor and inside.  Sleeper prospect.

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Kira Lewis/2019/Hazel Green High School – 6’2″ – Combo GD.  Super Soph showed why he is one of the best in the class of 2019.  Very smooth and poised – showed that he is able to get places on the court with ease.  Long arms and quick first step combined with ability to shoot the 3 – make him a very tough player to defend.  Also – very good passer who can dominate the game without having to be the leading scorer – but can take over a game – as he did against Cordova leading HG to big win.    

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Isaac Chatman/2018/Cordova High School – 6’6″ Gd/Wing – showed why he is already being highly recruited by top mid major and high major schools.  Uses length to get to basket and score.  Also showed ability to shoot it well from the arc & make plays off the dribble for himself and teammates.  His stock will continue to rise as more people see Cordova play. 

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Kolbi Fuqua/2018/Cordova High School – 6’4″/Combo GD – love his toughness and ability to score in traffic through contact.  Made big shots for Cordova all day.  Used him as mismatch inside against weaker guards.  Does good job passing off penetration and ahead of double teams.

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Jayce Willingham/2018/Cordova High School – 6’4″ Wing – good size and length.  An athletic shooter who can also get his own shot and attack the rim.  Really impressed with his ability to score in a variety of ways and make big shots for his team. 

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Travarious Carroll/2018/Huffman High School – 6’1″ Combo GD – finished with 16 as Huffman notched big win over Austin.  Showed ability to handle pressure and score off the dribble.  Good quickness defensively. 

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Myreon Jones/2018/Huffman High School – 6’3″ Combo GD.  Had maybe the top performance of the day in heavyweight game with Austin.  Took over the game late making pull-up jumpers, finishing at the basket through contact, and making big 3’s.  Never changes expression on the court & does a great job as a leader.  Will be one of the top players in 2018. 

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Calvin Walker/2017/Madison Academy – 6’3″ Wing – Long, thin wing that can really stroke it and has a great feel for the game.  Does good job reading screens.  Deep range.  As he gets stronger will be very tough to defend.  Big game for MA in win vs. Plainview.

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Colin Blanchard/2017/Madison Academy – 6’1″ GD – One of the top performances of the day with 32 to lead MA over Plainview.  Shot the ball extremely well and used strength to score off the dribble and at the rim.  Excellent game. 

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Koby Tinker/2019/Plainview High School – 6’2″ G/F – led team with 19 points in great game against Madison Academy.  Made timely shots, defended, and made hustle plays.  Really liked how aggressive he was all night.  Has chance to be very good player.

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Caden Millican/2019/Plainview High School – 6’2″ G/F – Scored in every way possible in this game.  Very comfortable with the ball inside, in transition, and in Plainview’s half court offense.  Played extremely hard and defended several positions. 

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Jeffrey Armstrong/2018/Plainview – 6’0″PG – Did great job running the team and taking care of the ball.  Has the ability to get low and stay low as he drives and does good job of using is body to protect the ball and get through contact.  Great feel for the game and very poised.  Good JR prospect.

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Chris Freeman/2017/Huntsville High School – 6’5″ Combo FWD – Very long, athletic player who can really run the floor and attack the basket.  Can be an elite defender in college as he can defend multiple positions using his length and plays above the rim. 

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Jamel Cleveland/2017/Huntsville High School – 6’8″ C/PF – continued his strong play from the last few weeks as he had become a force for HSV.  Has really shown improvement in his ability to score inside and play with energy on both ends of the floor.  Best basketball is ahead for him if continues to work on his game and is able to affect the game the entire time he is on the floor. 

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John Cole Norris/2019/Huntsville High School – 6′ Combo GD – Had solid floor game and showed ability to knock down 3’s.  Very steady player on the perimeter who has the ability to step up and score points.  When he shoots it well – makes HSV a dangerous team.