Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Central Texas/South Texas Spring Signings

The biggest fish from the San Antonio/Austin area for the spring signing period was landed by a Pac-10 school. Congratulations to Texas D-1 Ambassador Brandon Thompson of San Antonio Stevens who signed Monday with the Arizona State Sun Devils. Brandon has been with the Ambassadors for 5 of the last 6 seasons playing his club basketball. I've spent several hours in the past couple of days giving interviews with ESPN's Reggie Rankin and's Mark Reeves about not only what kind of player Brandon is, but what kind of quality person as well.

Thompson spent the last couple of months working on his SAT score and was offered in successive weekends by Georgetown, Texas Tech and the Sun Devils. I'd had a score of other inquiries about him this spring as his recruitment heated up. I've known Coach Sendek for a long time as he and his staff recruited Pflugerville's Bryan Beasley back in 2005 when he was at North Carolina State.
Brandon is as complete a player as they come at the high school level. he will be a tremendous combo guard. He looks to get his team mates involved, can score when needed and knows when to take over a game. He's an excellent, long armed defender who can score from the perimeter, mid range, or get to the cup.

Brandon really asserted himself last summer in helping lead the Texas D-1 Ambassadors to the semifinals of the Mike Kunstadt's Denton Shootout hitting big shots at the end of two contests to win it for us at the buzzer including one against the Dallas Mustangs and Nolan Dennis (Memphis-Baylor signee) & Nick Russell (Kansas State signee). brandon will have a great career in the PAC-10. The sky is the limit for him. Congratulations to Brandon and his family from his basketball family, the Texas D-1 Ambassadors.Former Texas D-1 Ambassador Russ Permenter who signed with UT-San Antonio out of HS, decided to transfer back close to home this past season and spend a year at Temple JC. The move paid off for Big Russ as he is now headed to the rugged Big East to play for the Providence Friars.

Texas D-1 Ambassador, Pflugerville's Brian Todd a 6'4" W has signed with Mary Hardin Baylor

Hutto's Thomas Orr & Texas D-1 Ambassador W 6'4"Thomas Orr has inked with Panola (TX) JC.

Texas D-1 Ambassador Chris Harpe of Killeen Ellison (below) a 6'6" P has inked with Dallas Baptist UniversityCameron Catlett a 6'3" G from San Antonio Madison has signed with University of Texas-Arlington.He is also a former Texas Ambassador.

Travis Smith (below) a 6'3" WG from San Antonio Madison will take his game to Angelina (TX) Junior College. Smith played two seasons for the Texas D-1 Ambassadors.Other Area Signees

2009 G Dray Baker San Antonio Taft Temple JC (TX)
2009 P Justin Cooper San Antonio Fox Tech Temple JC
2009 P Travis Gipson San Antonio O'Connor Temple JC
2009 G Alex Lewis Converse Judson Temple JC
2009 G Rashad Miller Austin Akins Grayson JC (TX)
2009 G Josh Orta San Antonio Stevens South Plains JC (TX)
2009 P Aaron Plunkett San Antonio Stevens Navarro JC (TX)
2009 G TyRon Williams Austin Crockett Clarendon JC (TX)

2010 G Kenneth Black Round Rock Centenary (verbal)

We wish all these kids the best of luck as they pursue their hoop dreams and most importantly, their education!

Coach Max

Sunday, April 19, 2009

DP Basketball Training Institute (AZ) 93 Texas D-1 Ambassadors 81

We're done out here in Denver. It was a crazy, ill fated trip. Three kids didn't make it here because of weather and two players suffered injuries serious enough to keep them out of action for the next several weeks.

The two games we lost would quite frankly have been blowout wins for us with even a couple of our guys here and able to play. Twice we had 10 point half time leads that could not be sustained in the Mile High thin air. In fact, last night we played the last 8 minutes of the game with only 5 guys as the other two fouled out. These comments are not meant to be disrespectful to our opponents, we are simply one of the best teams in the coutntry when at full strength.

2010 PG Cody Doolin continues to make national level noise with another outstanding performance. He's as mentally tough as any player I've ever coached. This coming Monday University of San Francisco (who've already offered) will be in the gym to watch Doolin and Austin Westlake team mate Conner Kemper.

Tre Demps 24
Cody Doolin 24
Conner Kemper 10
Daniel Alexander 8
Jake Kocher 6
Paul Garnica 5
Mark Nwakamma 4

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Texas D-1 Ambassadors 85 New Mexico Lobos 70

Today's game was played between two teams depleted by injuries. Despite that, both groups got up and down the court and they both shot the ball extremely well. 2011 P Mark Nwakamma is really stepping up his effort on the defensive end and establishing himself as a prospect. Tonight we'll have a tough one as we strap it on with the Southern California All Stars.

Cody Doolin 19
Paul Garnica 16
Tre Demps 12
Conner Kemper 10
Daniel Alexander 10
Jake Kocher 9
Mark Nwakamma 9

Pump N Run Elite (CA) 87 Texas D-1 Ambassadors 84

We lost a tough game against a quality team today, but it left a bad taste in our mouths. Already 3 men short because of flight problems due to the weather we proceeded to almost immediately lose D.J. Stephens to a severe ankle sprain & Jonathan Perry who was taken to the hospital with an eye injury. We were saddled with 3 other guys having 4 fouls, and despite all that almost tied it at the end. The kids showed grit, but now we'll have to totally change our style of play offensively and defensively (switching to a zone which I generally abhor) in order to survive and advance in the tournament. We play later today at 4PM against the New Mexico Lobos (NM).

Paul Garnica 18
Tre Demps 17
Daniel Alexander 12
Cody Doolin 12
Conner Kemper 9
D.J. Stephens 5
Jake Kocher 4
Mark Nwakamma 4
Jonathan Perry 3

Friday, April 17, 2009

Texas D-1 Ambassadors 93 Las Vegas Blue Devils 66

Despite being short three players on this trip, the D-1 Ambassadors did what they do best. We wear opponents down with substitutions coming in quick bursts. Both teams wanted to force the pace but we were stronger inside and around the rim than the Las Vegas Blue Devils squad. In control for most of the game, the last seven minutes we just had them sucking air at a Mile High and won by near 30 points with several higlight dunks; including 3 by Skywalker D.J. Stephens & one by soph guard Tre Demps.

Our scoring tends to be pretty balanced but San Antonio All Metro player Jonathan Perry of Kerrville Tivy stepped up and was money from the perimeter while leading the team in scoring with 18.

Perry 18
Kocher 14
Alexander 12
Stephens 10
Nwakamma 9
Demps 9
Kemper 9
Doolin 8
Garnica 4

Denver-The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Denver in April is a crapshoot as we're finding out. The Texas D-1 Ambassadors arrived this morning from Texas a couple of hours ago to compete in the Adidas Double Pump Tournament here in the Mile High City. the forecast is 24" of snow!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow.

Most of the guys have not seen snow, so the first order of business was a team snowball fight on our way across the street to grab lunch. God Bless Texas (and Louisiana too). We're without our thre players from baton Rouge this weekend because the weather was so shaky. We'll be a little shorthanded but should be fine. We play Las vegas Elite tonight in our first pool game.

Monday, April 13, 2009

San Francisco Rebels 91 Texas D-1 Ambassadors 85

Sorry to say we were stopped short in the Semifinals of the Pangos Easter Classic in Las Vegas late Saturday. We fell to a very good San Francisco Rebels team 91-86. Any time you lose a 15 point lead it kinda sticks in your craw but although winning is important, how hard you compete is the real measuring stick.

Congratulations to the boys. They went 4-1 beating some very good teams in the process. I was particularly impressed with their character as they won with class and in our lone defeat they handled it with poise as well.

We head to Denver , Colorado on Friday to compete in the adidas Double Pump Event at the Gold Crown Fieldhouse.

Daniel Alexander 15
Tre Demps 11
Tre Drye 10
Jake Kocher 9
Brian Williams 9
Cody Doolin 9
D.J. Stephens 8
R.J. McGhee 5
Jonathan Perry 4
Paul Garnica 3
Conner Kemper 2

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Texas D-1 Ambassadors 88 A-Train Snow Bears (Utah) 67

Prior to the game, we had several people report to us that our opponent from Utah had several players who were the sons of Utah Jazz players. The point guard was Tyrone Corbin's son. All that is to be respected of course, but our kids were not intimidated.

Keyed by great perimeter defense by 2010 Bryan Williams & 2010 Paul Garnica we limited them to almost no penetration and when any of their players did turn the corner the help defense and shot blockers were there to swat or alter shots. The kids are really playing great help defense and we're limiting the other teams in the amount of transition basketbs they scored.

The D-1 Ambassadors took control of the game early and never relinquished it. Our depth really takes a toll on our opponents. We take on the San Francisco Rebels in the semi final later this afternoon.

Brian Williams 16
Daniel Alexnder 16
Conner Kemper 13
Paul Garnica 9
D.J. Stephens 8
R.J. McGhee 8
Jake Kocher 7
Jonathan Perry 3
Tre Demps 4
Tre Drye 2
Cody Doolin 2

Texas D-1 Ambassadors 89 Branch West Prep (CA) 71

With an ESPN Outside The Lines crew shooting the action the Texas D-1 Ambassadors put on another high flying act & dunk-a-thon in beating Branch West Prep out of California by a score of 93-71. The kids have been so impressive that we've been asked to do an interview Saturday morning about the club & the players with ESPN. Apparently their show is about the growing importance of high level club basketball in the recruiting process. It's an honor the kids have earned, and I tip my hat to every one of them. All the folks in the 210, 512, 254 area codes as well as down in "The Roux" (Baton Rouge, LA) should be very proud of how these boys are representing their respective communities on and off the court as well as in the classroom.

It's to the point where who the scorers are doesn't really matter because they are trying to set each other up so much they'd rather count assists. R.J. McGhee who can score with the best of them made it a personal bet with San Antonio's Paul Garnica over who could get the most ASSISTS. Now that's team play! It has been fun. Gold bracket play begins tomorrow against the A-train Snow Bears from Utah. Needless to say the trip to Las Vegas has been extremely worthwhile for the continued exposure of the boys. We respect our opponents and understand that one slip in bracket play and it's loser go home.

Brian Williams 16
Conner Kemper 14
Tre Drye 9
Paul Garnica 9
Tre Demps 9
D.J. Stephens 8
Cody Doolin 8
Jake Kocher 7
R.J. McGhee 6
Joanthan Perry 4
Daniel Alexander 3

Friday, April 10, 2009

Texas D-1 Ambassadors 98 Belmont Shores Silver 71

This afternoon's game was not a case of one team being terrible and the other good. Rather, it was a case of one being deep, relentless on the boards, playing hard nosed man to man defense and knocking down shots. The Texas D-1 Ambassadors simply wore their opponents out. The team is really jelling and is unslefish. Case in point is San Antonio area scoring leader (26PPG) 2010 Paul Garnica dropped dime after dime to his team mates, not opting to look for his own shot and being a key player in the rout over a solid opponent. The game was fairly close at the half, and then the boys went on a mission.

We've had some outstanding kids over the years and some pretty good teams but I've never been so proud to go to war with anyone since my son's team in the Class of 2006 as I am with these guys who are predomiantly 2010's.

Here is a list of the scorers:

Brian Williams 15
D.J. Stephens 13
Cody Doolin 12
Daniel Alexander 11
R.J. McGhee 11
Tre Demps 9
Tre Drye 8
Conner Kemper 8
Jake Kocher 7
Jonathan Perry 4

We take on Branch West Prep (California) tonight at 7:30PM Las Vegas time.

Texas D-1 Ambassadors In Las Vegas For the Pangos Easter Classic

Why would a team go through the trouble and expense of traversing two time zones to play in a tournament where there are no D-1 college coaches in attendence? The Texas D-1 Ambassadors fortified with 3 of Louisiana's best touched down Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas today to compete in Dinos Trigonis' Easter Classic.

The Editor of Full Court Press & Nothin' But Net Magazine carries a big stick in the West Coast recruiting world as witnessed by the variety of services at his event to evaluate and report back to college coaches. Yours truly was also there, repping the Lone Star State and The Boot (aka Louisiana) coaching the D-1 squad but also taking notes along the way for the Texas/Louisiaina Basketball Report. I got to rap a little with Nike's West Coast Rep and the ESPN West Coast Editor. They were watching the D-1 Ambassadors intently for their entire first game, and our boys didn't disappoint them.

With the Big Boys of the grassroots basketball scene watching us intently, the D-1 Ambassadors came out flicking the rock from behin the arc and before you knew it we had a 14-4 lead. We strapped it on shortly after getting off our flights with the hometown Las Vegas Dog Catchers. We've played them in the past and just as advertised they were chock full of hard nosed kids who just flat out got after it. On this afternoon we simply shot the ball incredibly well in the first half (as we're inclined to do) in building a 15 point lead at the half. We're as good a shooting team as there is in the country, & we are now working on getting tougher with teams who try to bump, intimidate and bully us.

The boys really answered the bell by playing great team defense against a team with quick guards. The scoring was balanced with six players in double figures. 2010 R.J. McGhee of Baton Rouge Istrouma hit 16, 2011 Tre Demps of San Antonio Reagan notched 15, 2011 Tre Drye of Baton Rouge Glen Oaks had 12, 2010 Daniel Alexander had 14, & Cody Doolin of Austin Westlake had 11.

When the Dogcatchers made their scrappy run at us it was the toughness inside of 2010 Conner Kemper & Tre Drye that kept the ship righted as they battled on the boards in a very physical 2nd half and were not intimidated. The final score was Texas D-1 Ambassadors 86 Las Vegas Dogcatchers 73

Uncharacteristically we missed several dunks in the game, but the kids did a great job considering we had just gotten off an airplane. We'll have fresh legs today as we all got in bed at 10:30 last night (Old Coach Max too!) and will do our best to hold it down as several of the West Coast's top programs lay in wait for us.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Texas D-1 Ambassador Harris Davee Wins National Championship

Texas D-1 Ambassador Class of 2007 redshirt Freshman Harris Davee of Austin Lake Travis won a National Championship this March as part of the Richland Junior College (TX) Division III Junior College basketball team.
Davee was one of our hardest working players over the years and without a doubt was one of our toughest defenders. A physical, hardnosed guard who was unselfish and hardnosed. Congratulations to Harris and his Family!
Richland won the 2009 Division III NJCAA National Championship on March 14, in New York. They beat No. 7-ranked Mass Bay Community College 67-47, No.2-ranked Hudson Valley Community College 59-57, and finally No.1-ranked Minneapolis Community College 58-57 to take the Title.
Throughout the tournament Richland College played 12-13 guys a game while the Thunderducks opponents played only eight to nine. That made the difference said Coach Jon Felment, and when asked if he could sum up this team and season he added, "Four words...... one family, one goal." "We were very talented. We had good guards and good posts. The biggest thing is how close the boys were"

R.I.P. Danny Steele (1957-2009)

Thanks to all of you for your support last week, as I came to grips with the loss of a dear friend. Forgive me for neglecting my blog during this past week.

All to soon at the age of 51, My Lord Jesus Christ called my friend Danny Steele home. A rare guy who lived by a 'Code' of fairness, decency, integrity & respect that is rarely found today. He always found a way to make others laugh and was a great friend to my son and me.
He'll be missed by many as his funeral procession showed. Acknowledged as one of the best in the business of restoring vintage automobiles his fellow members of the San Antonio Gear Grinders Auto Club led the hearse to his final resting place behind close to 100 of the beautiful projects he had helped restore. It was quite a sight and tribute. He was buried in San Antonio this Thursday where he received a full military burial...Coach Max