Posts Tagged “Basketball”



We want to congratulate Blake McNamara on signing with Wheelock College.  Here is Blake’s recruiting story and interview from after he committed.  We wish Blake the best as a Wheelock Wildcat!  

1. Share your recruiting story and status (what was the process like?)

On April 29, I committed to Wheelock College.  I phoned the coach and infomed him of my decision.  The process was exciting.  I really enjoyed conversing with College coaches and recruiter (asst. Coaches).  I went on several visits to different schools to get a feel for the campus, the coaches, etc.  each time my family and I were invited to watch the team play.  That piece gave me a real good idea of what type of players the coaches recruit as well as the coaching styles.

2. What school are you going to, and why did you choose them?

I choose Wheelock because their collegiate Basketball program is top notch.  What I mean by that is the Coach LeVangie is great, he truly invests himself in each player and took a great deal of time to meet with myself and my family.  Coach LeVangie meets with players once per week to check in on their academic load and how it’s going, he looks out for his team and it is a comforting to know he has your back.  The campus is nice and right in the heart of Boston, it is in the “Fenway Five” district (5 area colleges in the consortium).

3. How did SportsForce help in the process?

SportsForce was instrumental in getting my video and portfolio out to college coaches.  They assisted me every step of the way, with making the video, providing guidelines for my initial and consequent contact with college coaches, offered advice for my college visits and meetings with coaches. SportsForce was great!

4. What advice would you give to other players and parents with the recruiting process?

Get your emails out early to college coaches, contact as many coaches as possible.  Some colleges that I added to my list later in the year meant that the deadline to apply to the school had passed.  Send emails early and leave enough time to visit the school and apply.  Many deadlines for applications are the beginning of Jan or Feb.

5. How excited are you on your future in college?

I am very excited to take my basketball career to the next step and play at the collegiate level.  This is something that every boy dreams of and now my dream has come true, with a lot of hard work and help from SportsForce!!!

6. How much money do you anticipate your family saving in college expenses?

I am not exactly sure how much money I saved as a result of basketball but my parents estimate it to be around $35,000 – $40,000 (over the 4 years). The money at Division III does not come directly from athletic funds or scholarships but is rolled into the financial aid package.

7. Would you recommend SportsForce to any other student-athletes? Why?

I would recommend SportsForce to any high school athlete who has the desire to play ball at the collegiate level.  They are helpful in a variety of ways and the money you put into the program comes back around, for just under $500 my family is saving an upward of $35,000 and to play ball at the collegiate level……PRICELESS!!!

 

Over the last five years SportsForce Recruiting has helped over 1,000 student-athletes and families successfully navigate the college recruiting and athletic scholarship process while saving families on average $50,000 in college expenses.

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As the first round of this year’s NBA Playoffs begins to wrap up we’ve certainly had some surprises as well as some disappointments. We’ve seen incredible performances as some well…flat out mystifying ones. Here are a few thoughts on what has occurred thus far…

1. The Knicks just aren’t that good. Despite all the hype about Melo, Linsanity, STAT, and Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler and despite being a headline love child for the major media outlets, we can finally see that the Knicks simply aren’t a great team and deserved that 8th seed. I know they had some injuries, I know that the Heat are a great team, and I know fire extinguishers are a very formidable opponent…but its hard to deny that this Knicks team was pretty over hyped.

2. The Pacers are the anti-Knicks. How can a team that finished with the 3rd seed be so under the radar? Despite the lack of a true superstar, this Pacers team is loaded with very good players. Danny Granger, David West, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Paul George, Darren Collison with names such as Leandro Barbosa and Tyler Hansbrough off the bench. They may not all be household names, but that is a VERY good team with a lot of talent and depth. Don’t be shocked if they give the Heat a serious run for their money.

3. The Spurs and the Thunder are for REAL. Both of these teams are an absolute joy to watch. In terms of the Spurs, Duncan has found the fountain of youth, Parker is playing some of the best basketball in the league, they have an incredibly deep roster, and play possibly the best team basketball of any team out there. You want to know how basketball is supposed to be played? Watch the Spurs. The Thunder, on the other hand, are just so difficult to contain. Durant, Westbrook, and Harden are nearly impossible to stop…if you corral one, another will go off. We saw this against the Mavs. Games 1-3 were all very close, but Durant, Westbrook, and Harden each took over one of those games and got the Thunder a win. It’s hard to do much about that.

4. Andre Miller is incredible. There’s a lot of buzz about Javale McGee following the Nuggetts win in game 5 and deservedly so…he played great, but this overlooks the absolute CLINIC put on by Andre Miller in that game.  Post moves, floater, bank shot, lob pass, spin move, you name it and Miller put it on display AND made it look easy. The fact that Miller has no speed, can barely jump, and is older than every single player on the Lakers roster, yet is still able to dominate a game…that is incredible.  I’m not sure about George Karl’s claim about Miller being a top 10 point guard of all time, but this guy might have a serious claim to top 10 most underrated of all time.

5. Javale McGee has made himself some serious cash. You think McGee doesn’t know he’s a restricted free agent this summer? Something tells me he’s going to be getting a lot more than that $3.5M qualifying offer after his performance in the Lakers series.

6. Was Josh Smith serious with that inbounds pass? I know the Hawks got away with it because Rondo fumbled the ball at the end and it will probably be overlooked and forgotten, but come on. You are going to throw a bounce pass right at one of the league’s great steal artists…and expect to get away with it? Imagine if Rondo didn’t fumble the ball afterwards and ended up scoring…that play ends the Hawks’ season. I guess that’s why they are the Hawks.


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With the NBA Playoffs starting Saturday, we had a couple of our bloggers makes some predictions for how things will pan out.

What’s the most intriguing 1st round matchup?

Kyle Williams – Definitely the Memphis/Clippers series. Both teams have the talent to win the West and the athleticism of both teams should make this series a really fun and exciting one to watch. The Celtics/Hawks and Lakers/Nuggets matchups also have potential to be very interesting.

Dave Vinluan – Clippers vs Grizzlies. Interested in seeing how CP3 plays in the postseason with his new squad.

Jeff Morgan – The one I’m looking forward to the most is probably the Grizzlies vs. Clippers. Tons of young talent on both teams, both with something to prove, should be a really entertaining series to say the least. Close 2nd would be Knicks-Heat, If Melo continues his torrid pace and Amare can be Amare, Knicks just might be able to give the heat a series, at the very least a couple of close games. Should be a fun one.

 

Biggest Potential 1st round upset?

Kyle Williams – Nuggets over the Lakers. The Lakers are definitely a more talented team, but they have struggled with consistency this season and if that continues, the Nuggets have the athleticism and depth to run the Lakers into the ground. The Knicks also have a shot at upsetting the Heat as they have a lot of talent on that roster, but so does Miami so I find it hard to see the Knicks winning more than 2 games.

Dave Vinluan – Knicks over Heat.

Jeff Morgan – If Atlanta was any team besides Atlanta I would say they have a good shot at upsetting the older Celtics. They’re more athletic, and have more size than the C’s down low and if they put everything together I can see them pulling off the upset. Watch out for Denver too. They have always played the Lakers well, especially at home, if the Lakers lose either game 1 or 2, Nuggets have the talent to capitalize.

 

Who wins the West?

Kyle Williams – Thunder. While the Spurs and Grizzlies are playing great basketball, it will be hard for anyone to compete with the athleticism and scoring ability that the Thunder bring to the table. They are a great team at home and the Durant/Westbrook/Harden combination will be very hard to stop along with Ibaka and Perkins anchoring the defense down low.

Dave Vinluan – OKC Thunder. Westbrook and the scoring champion, the Durantula will take this team far.

Jeff Morgan – As much as I want to say the Lakers, to me the Thunder are the team to beat. They’re super talented, they have size down low, Durant and Westbrook are one of the best 1-2 punch in the league, with a healthy James Harden I can’t see a team beating them 4 times. If they get past the Lakers (potentially) in the 2nd round, look for them in the Finals.

 

Who wins the East?

Kyle Williams – Heat. Miami is just too talented and Derrick Rose’s health is a big time question for Chicago. Chicago has a potentially brutal series lined up with Boston that could wear them down a bit. I think the Bulls are the best team in the East, but Rose’s health is too uncertain for my liking.

Dave Vinluan – Chicago Bulls. Managed the #1 seed without Derrick Rose for most of the season, and it helps when you’ve got the White Mamba…

Jeff Morgan – This one is tougher because I can legitimately see 3 teams coming out of the East: Bulls, Heat, and Celtics. However, ECF we most likely be Heat and Bulls again, this series is a toss up, it all depends on who’s healthy and who’s playing the best coming into the series. I think the Heat have an easier path – NY and IND then the Bulls – PHI and BOS, so I’ll give the Heat the slight edge here and say the win it in 6.

 

Who wins the NBA Title?

Kyle Williams – Thunder. They have the talent and athleticism to compete with Miami and Westbrook will be a very difficult matchup. I will have to see Lebron win a title to believe it.

Dave Vinluan – OKC Thunder

Jeff Morgan – Who wins the NBA Title? I got Thunder-Heat in the FINALS. Which would be a hell of a series, and even though the Heat have more experience, I think the Thunder are too tough on their home court and win the championship in 7. Lebron and Co. will have to wait yet another season.


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Michael Jordan Slam Dunk Competition

Watching Saturday night’s Slam Dunk competition was like watching a train wreck.  But it wasn’t one of those quick ferocious crashes that are over in a matter of seconds.  No, it was one of those slow-motion Michael Bay-esque train wrecks, that takes about 50 times longer than it should until everyone watching looks at their watch wondering when it’s going to be over so they can move on with their lives.

It’s bad.  I mean really bad.  It’s on par with a really bad Adam Sandler movie, or a really good Rob Schneider movie.  So how did we get here?  When did the NBA’s Slam Dunk competition become as entertaining as a mediocre D-list celebrity?  This thing used to be huge. We’re talking Cindy Crawford in her prime huge.  Even non-NBA fans would tune in to watch the dunk competition.   It wasn’t just a footnote of All-Star weekend; it was the whole damn book.  So let’s take a look at what happened to the once great Slam Dunk competition.

The Players

The Slam Dunk competition used to be THE contest to see some of the best and most athletic players in the NBA showoff their ridiculous skills.  Just look at this list of competitors from past competitions:

Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, David Thompson, George Gervin, Spud Webb, Clyde Drexler, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, Jason Richardson, Brent Barry

The list goes on and on.  Point being, you wanted to see these guys throw it down as hard as they could.  Dunks were memorable not just because they were spectacular, but because of the players who did them.  Dr. J’s Free Throw Dunk, Jordan’s BETTER Free Throw Dunk, 5’7” Spud Webb’s ridiculous performance, Kobe’s between the legs, Carter’s elbow dunk.   This was pure athleticism at its best, the crowd was raucous, and more importantly it was just plain FUN to watch.   You wanted to see what these guys could do, and how far they could push the limits of a human being dunking a basketball.

Now, the allure is gone; but more importantly the players are gone.  If you didn’t watch this year’s Slam Dunk competition, I’ll give you $1,000 if you can guess all 4 participants.  Lebron James, you say…no.  How bout Dwayne Wade…no.  Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Derek Rose, Carmelo Anthony. Ha, not even close.  Try, Derek Williams, Paul George, Chase Budinger, and Jeremy Evans.  That’s a rookie, two second year players, and Chase Budinger, who probably dunked more times in this competition that he has in his 3-year NBA career.  Yeah, I’ll be hanging on to that $1,000.  How do you even sell tickets around that line-up?  The marketing guy who can promote that should win some kind of award.  Jeremy Evans ended up winning it with some “OK” dunks I guess, but there lies the next problem with the dunk contest.

The Dunks

The dunks just aren’t that impressive anymore.  And it’s not because these guys aren’t athletic or creative, it’s that NOTHING surprises us anymore.  Everything has already been done.  Seriously, think about it.  One of the reasons Wilkins and Jordan and Kobe’s dunks were so memorable was because we hadn’t seen anything like it before.  They had the element of surprise, and being able to do things with a basketball that we had never seen before.  Now, jumping from the free throw line barely draws a response from the crowd.  A Windmill 360 is met with drones; Between the legs…Ho hum, what else you got?  And that’s the problem, there isn’t anything else left.  There are limits to what the human body can do, and unless they bring out the trampolines and let the players do front flips, ala, NBA JAM style, there’s nothing that will draw the kind of awe and amazement from the crowd that the earlier Slam Dunk competitions did.  Unless of course they use some kind of props or rely on over-the-top gimmicks in order to equal the same level of dunkness (I’m christening that word right now) of years past.  Speaking of which…

The Gimmicks

I know what you’re thinking, but the props are so creative.  Aren’t they so entertaining?  Remember last year when Blake Griffin jumped over a car?  Remember when Dwight Howard dunked on two basketball courts? Remember when…just stop, right now.  They’re gimmicks people.  They’re props used to try and create the illusion of something more impressive than it actually is.  Seriously, watch Blake Griffin jump over the car again…watch it.  Now take away the car and what do you have?  A pretty mediocre dunk at best.  Hell, watch Griffin’s top 10 in-game dunks…every single one of those is way more impressive than his jumping over the car dunk.  It’s just a gimmick, and unfortunately that’s what now defines the Slam Dunk competition.  Don’t believe me.  These are some of the things that have been used in the past few years in dunk competitions.  A car, A cupcake, A plastic basketball court, other players to jump over.  This sounds more like a circus act than a dunk contest.  What’s next?  A player gets hit in the face with a pie by a clown before he slams it home.  Is that really better than watching Jordan dunk from the free throw line, or watching Vince Carter do a 360 windmill dunk?  We’re one step away from the Slam Dunk competition turning into NBA’s version of David Letterman’s crazy pet tricks.  Let’s watch as Chase Budinger tries to dunk while throwing his pet Chihuahua throwing a flaming ring of fire.  Participants feel obligated to think of some crazy gimmick in order to entertain the fans and have a chance at winning the dunk contest.  Come out and just attempt a regular old-fashioned amazing dunk…you get booed off the court. Watching Jeremy Evans crotch plowing into the back of Roy Hibbert’s head is the reality of the Slam Dunk competition today.

So David Stern, for the love of all that is holy and great about the NBA, get rid of the Slam Dunk competition before Adam Sandler comes out in drag while Gordon Hayward tries to dunk Rob Schneider into a giant basket of chocolate pudding…actually, check that, cancel the competition after this.

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Sport: Basketball Position: Center Height: 6’4″ Class: 2011School: La Costa Canyon High School Carlsbad, CA

Madisen Irwin scored an amazing 42 points in the Mavericks 90-43 win over Torrey Pines this past week. Irwin also scored the game winning free throw in the last 1.7 seconds of the game in her squad’s tough win over Poway. Irwin chipped in for the win with 13 points and13 rebounds. She is committed to the University of San Francisco.

To view Madisen complete SportsForce profile click here – http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/madisen-irwin-basketball-2011

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Sport: Basketball Position: Guard Height: 6’1″ Class: 2011 School: Otay Ranch High School San Diego, CA

Otay Ranch senior Alex Perez kicked off his season right at the Holiday Hoops Tournament at Mt. Carmel High School. Perez scored at least 30 points in each of two wins for his team. Perez scored 30 points in a win over Mission Viejo Trabuco and followed up that performance by scoring 34 points in his team’s win over Mission Hills.

To view Alex’s complete SportsForce profile click here – http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/alex-perez-basketball-2011

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Sport: Basketball Position: Guard Height: 5’10″ Class: 2011 School: Rancho Buena Vista High School San Diego, CA

Rancho Buena Vista guard Johnny Dee scored a game high 45 points in his team’s win over Bonita Vista in the Grossmont Tournament. Dee scored 45 of his team’s 88 points with 22 of those points coming in the third quarter and 18 coming in the form of three pointers. The Longhorns easily beat Bonita Vista 88-67.
To view Johnny’s complete SportsForce profile click here – http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/johnny-dee-basketball-2011

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Check out more action from last year’s SoCal Hoop Review. The 7th Annual SoCal Hoop Review was held April 10th and 11th at Cal State University Dominguez Hills and Lynwood High School in Lynwood, CA. The tournament was open to all high school grades including seniors. Both AAU teams and High School teams took the chance to compete.

The tournament showcased top talent from across the country and gave players a chance to show off their skills in highly competitive games in front of top college coaches, scouts, as well as media. Check out the highlight video below from the action at Lynwood High School.

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This post is courtesy MVPToday.com

The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, announced on Friday that Corey Hawkins of Estrella Foothills High School is its 2009-10 Gatorade Arizona Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Hawkins as Arizona’s best high school boys basketball player.

Hawkins is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior guard led the Wolves (31-1) to their third straight Class 3A state title this past season, averaging 36 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 3.7 assists per game.

The returning Gatorade Arizona Boys Basketball Player of the Year finished his career as the state’s all-time career scoring leader with 3,154 points and also set the single-season scoring record with 1,152 points this winter.

The 2010 Arizona Republic Small Schools Player of the Year, Hawkins scored a season-high 65 points in a win over Chino Valley High on Feb. 2.

Hawkins has maintained a 3.14 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a youth basketball camp counselor and participated in a humanitarian effort to collect and send shoes to earthquake victims in Haiti.

“Corey Hawkins has a work ethic unlike any player I’ve ever coached and he’s made himself one of the most complete basketball players in the state,” said Estrella Foothills High Head Coach Ty Amundsen. “He has made such an enormous impact on our team and on our program as a whole.”

Hawkins joins recent Gatorade Arizona Boys Basketball Players of the Year Taylor Rohde (2007-08, Pinnacle) and Jerryd Bayless (2006-07, St. Mary’s) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Hawkins has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Arizona State University this fall.

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Div. II Boys: Lincoln (San Diego) 74, St. Francis (Mountain View) 59

Typically the Lincoln Hornets are known for their second half play, but on Friday night they came out of the gate ready to play and built a 9-0 lead before St. Francis was able to score. By the end of the first eight minutes of play, both Victor Dean and Norman Powell had 9 points each.

The Lancers struggled to keep the deficit below double digits while the Lincoln Hornets continued their streak of explosive third quarter play rode a 22-9 run to their 24th straight win and a state title. Even with a commitment to shoot lights out from beyond the arc the St. Francis Lancers could not overcome a 23 point fourth quarter deficit that was largely credited to the combination of Dean and Powell. Dean and Powell scored 24 points apiece and combined for 15 rebounds.

Overcome with emotion Coach Jason Bryant expressed his satisfaction with his team’s performance. “This is special, for San Diego and for Lincoln High,” said the third-year coach. “I knew at the beginning of the year the pieces of the puzzle were there.”

After 30 years a team from the CIF San Diego Section finally won a boys state title in Division I or Division II. It was only appropriate that the team that won the trophy was one of San Diego areas most historically significant programs. Victor Dean is heading to Fresno State as a football recruit and costar Norman Powell looks to be a legitimate future D-I prospect.

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