Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Double Trouble-Joshua & Jeremiah Jones

Double Trouble- Round Rock McNeil's Jones Boys
Who's who?  I can never tell.  Identical twins Joshua (L) & Jeremiah (R) a pair of 2012 6'1" SG's from McNeil High School will have varsity basketball fans buzzing this coming high school season.  For now, the talented duo is leading Texas D-1 Ambassadors 16U-Team Chip with their silky smooth shooting and ability to take defenders off the bounce and get to the rim.

Opponents will be dumbfounded by both player's ability to excel in the one on one aspects of basketball.  They are long, and very difficult to stay in front of when they decide to break you down in the lane.  They have beautiful shots and can stroke the three ball with ease.  These youngsters are still growing and are going to be wonderful prospects to watch as they enter their junior year.

D-1 Ambassadors Roll in Bastrop Tournament

The Texas D-1 Ambassadors 2013 Team Bostic squad took a skeleton crew to the Bastrop tournament over the weekend and went 4-0 to win the JV tournament championship.
Although Team Bostic were missing their big men, they adjusted their style of play and received great hustle from the crew of (PG) Darian Bostic, (PG) Josh Hester, (SG) Will Coleman, (F) Justin Moss and (F) Pierce Felix.

Next up for Team Bostic will be the Houston Hoops H-Town Summer Slam on July 6-8.

Great job!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

John Lucas Southwest Invitational Camp

One of the really rewarding parts of being involved in the evaluation business is the relationships that get built over time with some of the really good people who are assisting the players in meeting their next level goals.  One of those guys is NBA legend John Lucas (below).  It is my pleasure to announce the players from Austin, San Antonio, Killeen & the Brazos Valley who will be attending his highly selective Southwest Invitational Camp next week.  Last year there were well over 100 Division One coaches in attendance as Coach Lucas' SWIC served as one of the first events which kicked off the NCAA live viewing period.  This year will be more of the same as players report for drills and evaluation on the 5th, and then showcase their games to the D-1 coaches who will be out in full force on the 6th of July.
Meet The Players ( All Representing the Texas D-1 Ambassadors):

2013 Class
PG 6'0" Travon Landry of Bryan High School.  Landry started as a freshman at San Antonio Madison before having to shut it down part way through the season with a nagging groin injury.  He is back at full speed again and recently captured All Star Honors at the Adidas Phenom Camp this past weekend in San Diego, CA. In the All Star game, Landry notched 12 points and 14 assists.  Landry's already on the radar of high majors, including the Baylor Bears.

2012 Class
PG 6'0" Michael Hardge of Georgetown.  Before it's all said and done, Hardge will have been a 4 year varsity starter who will shatter the Eagles scoring and assist records.  A high level athlete, Hardge can handle the rock, D you up & get to the rack.
WG Alex Caruso of A&M Consolidated.  Caruso was initially brought to my attention by Coach Bill Walker at Texas A&M.  He is clearly a mid major plus guy who sees the floor incredibly well, and at 6'4" and growing has mega hops.  Reminds me some of former Kentucky high flyer Jeff Sheppard.
P 6'9" Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill.  Lammert will not attend due to a nagging injury.  After holding his own at the Pangos All American Camp the young 2012 (still 15) is clearly the best 2012 "big" prospect in the Austin/San Antonio area as he's a sure fire 7 footer.  Not only is Lammert tall; he's coordinated, runs the floor well, has nice touch around the basket and can shoot the three ball.

2011 Class
SG Jake Kocher of Austin St. Michael's.  Kocher is right there in the same breath as the area's top scorer along with Deon Mitchell.  In fact, Kocher easily led Austin in scoring by almost a 10 point margin.  He's got deadly three point range coupled with a knack for finishing in traffic. Kocher was picked as one of Mike Kunstadt's Top 13 at the Houston GASO. He's seen his recruiting begin to pick up and at the moment is being pursued by Lafayette, Denver, Texas State, Bradley, Weber State and others.  Kocher has an official visit scheduled for Stephen F Austin in August, once the live period ends.
PG Josiah Monroe of Bastrop.  Monroe will flat out get after you defensively. Stays in front of the toughest point guards.  Can shoot the three unconsciously and gets to the rack as well.  Monroe is a tough as nails football player too, running the veer offense to perfection.
WG Jalen Washington of Pflugerville Hendrickson.  Washington is deceptive with his speed, can stroke it from the perimeter and when he decides to go to the rack is pretty much guaranteed to finish and/or go to the FT line.  Also, loves to comeback to his left and flush with AUTHORITY if you try to overplay him too much to the right.  Count mid major Wichita State amongst his suitors.
PG Deon Mitchell of Pflugerville.  Mitchell has one of the deadliest killer crossovers I've ever witnessed.  He's smooth, and can elevate in transition and throw it down.  Already offered by the Big East's Marquette last summer. His name's on the lips of many high majors including Arizona & Arizona State.
WG Max Yon of San Antonio Reagan.  Yon has great bounce in his step, can shoot the three from deep, and attacks the rim like few others.  Most of the Sun Belt & Southland is on him but the kid has high academics as well.  Could raise his stock to high major offers this summer on the circuit.
PG Eric McClellan of Austin High.  Prior to joining the D-1 Ambassadors this spring, McClellan was pretty much an unknown. After his first tournament in Phoenix in early May he was causing a buzz.  At 6'3" plus and growing he has a big time next level frame. Handles the ball well, can break pressure and EXPLODES to the rim.
WG Jaleel Williams of Killeen Ellison.  Williams is now approaching 6'6" with a prototype body.  He has a nice perimeter stroke, elevates extremely well, is ultra long (making him an effective shot blocker) and has all the tools to be a high major.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Texas Showcase Talent

Texas Showcase Team Champions

Varsity   New Braunfels Avengers
Junior Varsity     ATX-King
8th Grade  NAOE Bulldogs
5/6th Grade Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Williams, AGAPE Purple, AGAPE Black (All Tied)

It's always fun seeing new talent come on the horizon.  These were the guys that caught my eye at my Texas Basketball Inc. "Texas Showcase" held in Austin, TX this Sunday were as follows:

2017 Kade Ball  (headed to Austin Westlake)
Every time I looked up, Ball was scoring a basket from a variety of places on the floor.  He's from a good basketball family and is the product of a great community program in the Westlake Hoops. Ball dropped 20 in one contest.
2017 5'10" Isaiah Jasey (headed to Killeen Ellison)
Like all young post men Jasey needs tons of work on his footwork, but you can't teach height and length.  Has a natural timing on his shot blocking while keeping his body squared up.

2016 P Anthony Johnson (headed to Killeen High)
Who doesn't love a kid who registers double doubles with regularity.  Johnson, at 5'4" is a widebody who is relentless around the goal and has pretty good post footwork already.
2014  W  6'1" Willie Mays Jr.  (headed to Austin McCallum)
Mays is a do it all athlete (and a relative of THE Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid). What a bloodline!
2014 G Darius Johnson (headed to Austin LBJ)
LBJ Coach Freddie Roland will have him another speedster in slashing guard Darius Johnson who gets to the hoop any time he wants.
2013 P 6'9"  Leonard Allen  Round Rock
Allen's long and lean, and will definitely grow more.  Strength and aggressiveness is an issue but hard work will overcome that and make him a top prospect. Has a nice touch and displayed an effective baby hook.
 2012 SG Brooks Taylor  SG   Houston Memorial
I didn't see Taylor do too much else but it looks like he can sling it from the perimeter with the best of them when he has his feet set.
2012 WG 6'3" Kyle Hittle  New Braunfels
The Unicorns should have a nice squad this coming fall with lots of "solids". 2012 Hittle will be ultra effective at the high school level because he competes on every play.  Sprinkle in a nice perimeter shot along with a solid body (which makes him board bigger than 6'3") and it makes him one to watch.  Needs to increase ball handling skills to convert to a SG at the next level.


Both teams an outstanding showing today. D-1 Ambassadors 17u went 2-1 on the day with that tough loss to a nice athletic San Antonio Heat team. 17u started the day with a great win over the Austin Glory & then went up against a tough West Texas Elite squad. With great guard play from 2011 5'5 Megan Brauer & the all around play of Julie Dirienze , D-1 took off in the second half and never looked back.
Team 2014 Coach Dean
D-1 17u Coach Billy James

2011 W Julie Dirienze  has a nice smooth game. Julie has nice size coupled with good athleticism and the ability to shoot the ball. We have talked to several college coaches over the last week and they are really showing interest in the junior from New Braunfels.
2011 G 5'5 Megan Brauer has great range with the ability to burn you from deep. The junior from Temple can handle the ball very well. and loves to get out and run. Megan can finish at the basket with either hand and don't mind taking you off the dribble. Megan is also getting some nice looks, and will do good things as we approach the live periods in July.

Team 2014 has to one of the best skilled groups in  the area. The young group of 7th/8th tipped of the tournament against the Austin Glory 16u. With great athleticism and a high skill level, the youngsters showed that age doesn't matter. Team 2014 jumped all over the glory and took a commanding lead down the stretch to close it out. 2015 W 5'6 Kennedy Harris continues to dominate the paint. Not only can she get in the paint, but the 7th grader can take you off the bounce or burn you from the outside. Look for Harris to be a major prospect in the class of 2015.

                                                              2015 W Kennedy Harris
2014 F 5'7 Dominique White  has really played good basketball over the last few tournaments. Dominique has a nice skill level, and she is continuing to develop her game. The 8th grader from Pflugerville Connally High School has a nice shot, good ball handling, and passing skills.

2014 F Dominique White
2014 G 5'5 Tiffany Fowler has bloomed like a flower. Tiffany has really become a true all around player. I remember when Tiffany came to the team about 3 years ago, I said this girl can really shoot but she moves very slow. With hard work & dedication Tiffany has majorly picked up her speed which added quickness to her shot.The 8th grader from Round Rock has great will take you off the bounce or burn you from deep. look for Tiffany to be a nice prospect in the class of 2014.
2014 G Tiffany Fowler
Team 2016 headed to Big Spring this weekend to compete in the Dream Team Classic. Coach Brenton & his young group has really turned it on in their first year. Lead by 2016 W Kianna Ray & 2016 G Mikayla Christian the young group plans to do big things in the near future.
Team 2016 Coach Christian
2016 W Kianna Ray with Texas Coach Gail Goestenkor
2016 G Mikayla Christian
Authored by Coach Joseph Dean-Girls Program Director

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Texas D-1 Ambassador Darrington Hobson Drafted By Milwaukee Bucks

This time last year I was sitting at a table eating wings with Daniel Alexander (Texas A&M) and Vince Carter of the Orlando Magic watching the NBA Draft.  This year it's a much more mellow setting. I'm in my bedroom, in my recliner, but I am sweating out the draft.  Then, it happened!

At 9:48PM Central Time, Darrington "Butta" Hobson a 6'61/2" WG from the New Mexico Lobos went #7 in the 2nd Round of the NBA Draft to the Milwaukee Bucks.  Best wishes go out to Darrington, the first Texas D-1 Ambassador to be drafted.  The former star from Gulf Shores Academy in Houston (where he played longside UNLV star "Wink" Adams & former Boston Celtic Gerald Green) can do it all.

Myself and Coach Mark Beasley always believed Darrington was a future pro, even as a prep player.  His court vision was out of this world.  He handled the ball well enough, could thread a needle with his passing and was a streaky shooter from deep NBA range, and a lefty at that.  looks like he has matured under Coach Steve Alford with the Lobos and has now realized his dream of being a pro.

Hobson led the New Mexico Lobos in scoring rebounds & assists this past season.  He declared for the draft after this, his Junior season.  Butta, from Coach Max, Coach Beasley and all your ex D-1 Ambassadors team mates who went on to play college ball off that group: Chip Ivany (UTSA),  Junior Treasure (Texas Southern), Jason Ebie (TCU), A.J. Hardeman (New Mexico), Bryan Beasley (Rice), Leslie Jackson (UTSA), Russ Permenter (Providence) & Brandon Webster (Fresno State) we wish you the very best!  We'll never forget the butt whoopin' we put on the Portland Legends in the Las Vegas Easter Classic when they had Kyle Singler (Duke) and Kevin Love (UCLA & Memphis Grizzlies).

Coach Max

Sedric Martin To Cal State-Fullerton

Two members of the Texas D-1 Ambassadors Summer of 2007 team have continued on in the basketball wars and are pushing forward.
2008 PG 5'11" Evan Gilliland (L) of Austin St. Stephen's averaged 15.5 ppg and 3 apg for New Mexico Military Institute and his team mate 2007 P 6'6" Sedric Martin of Bastrop scored 13.9 ppg while adding 6.7 rpg for NMMI.

It looks like Gilliland will play for Lon Morris JC this upcoming season, while Big Sed has signed his NLOI to play Division One for Cal State-Fullerton.  It was Martin's first year at NMMI  as he signed with Moberley (MO) JC out of high school.

Best of luck to these two young men as they continue to pursue their education and basketball dreams...Coach Max

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Morse Win River City Classic

Coach Ron Morse and his texas D-1 Ambassadors 2013 squad ran the table, going 5-0  to capture the River City Classic in San Antonio. In pool play, D-1 beat the South Texas Hornets,  Texas Extreme, SA Zags & the Ultimate Champs by an average margin of 23 points.

The championship game was also one sided as they beat the Boerne Hoyas 52-31 as they turned up their defense.  Throughout the tournament the team showed great offensive balance and a commitment to strong defense wearing their opponents down in the 2nd half.  Will Morse was the leading scorer for the event, averaging 14 points and 4 assists while running the point.  Chris Moore, Chris Alfaro & Vincent DeBlasio all averaged 8 PPG.  Lanky WG Stefan Vidovic provided a lot of help in the rebounding department.

Team Morse plays next in the GASO Pearland event this coming weekend.

Happy Father's Day

I hope everyone enjoyed their Father's Day as much as I did mine this past weekend.  A buzzer beating loss in the championship game was only a temporary blip on the radar. (By the way, congratulations to the Austin Ice on their win).  How can you beat being in the gym all weekend with my son, Chip and future daughter in law?  My other son Mark wasn't present because he was busy being a dad for the first time, but he was with me in spirit.  I feel like I won the lottery.  Thanks to all the dads who support their children!

This coming weekend is pretty much the end of the dress rehearsals for most teams as we all prepare to gear up for the NCAA Live Period Events starting July 6th and going to the end of July.  No matter where your travels take you, best of luck and good health to all the kids , teams & clubs competing across the country

Coach Max

Monday, June 21, 2010

Player Profile: 2011 Wing Max Yon

I first met Max Yon back when he was in the 7th grade as one of our promising youngsters with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors.   A bundle of energy, he never met a shot he didn't like.  He rode a roller coaster of emotions on every made or missed shot.  There was no doubting the love of the game though, and even though he was a talented multi sport athlete it was basketball that kept his focus.  Today I was delighted to get word from his dad that after a two season hiatus he was coming back home to the orange and black.

Below: (L) Yon shows his ability to float in the air and the high release point on his deadly perimeter shot. (R) Yon drives hard to his left as he leads the break. Both photos are action shots from the 2009-10 season where he started as a soph and a junior on a talented San Antonio Reagan squad.

Yon will suit up with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Hardge squad as they accept their invitations to play in the Las Vegas Fab 48, competing against powerhouses such as Belmont Shores (CA), D-1 Sports (NC), Drew Gooden Soldiers (CA), Grassroots Canada & Memphis Magic to name a few. Then it's on to the Phoenix Desert Duel as they battle top tier teams such as the New Jersey Playaz, Seattle Rotary, Illinois Wolves, California Supreme, Mac Irvin Fire (IL) etc in front of hundreds of D-1 college coaches.

At 6'5, Yon has sufficient handles to lead the break, vision to see the floor and a deadly perimeter game.  What makes him so intriguing though is his rise and the way he attacks the rim with abandon.  You'd better box him out or he'll bang everything home that hangs around the rim. Couple his physical gifts with his high academics, and the sky's the limit for this mid major and on up prospect.

He's reunited with old D-1 Ambassadors team mate Dylan Cox of Cedar Park, immediately making us better on both ends of the floor as well as giving the depth needed to go deep into high level events.

Texas D-1 Ambassador Julian Battley Dominates Shooting Camp

Former College Coach Aaron Paige runs a great shooting camp in the Austin area.  Last week 2013 W 6'1" Julian Battley of Harker Heights swept honors as he won the 4 awards.  Battley was top dog in the 1 on 1 competition, Free Throws, Skill Shooting as well as the Hot Shots.

Below: Camp Director Aaron Paige & Julian Battley (6'1" without the hair, 6'6" with the "do")
Below: Battley with shooting Coach A.J. Abrams (r)
Former Round Rock McNeil, University of Texas & current professional star in the Greek League, A.J. Abrams was Battley's shooting coach at camp.  Congratulations to Battley who is honing his game in anticipation of his future opportunities to play 17U with the D-1 Ambassadors.  He's one of Coach Max's "Ones To Watch".

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors 2012 PG Javan Felix is Smokin' Hot

2012 PG Javan Felix of New Orleans St. Augustine's, shown below suited up with the New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors Elite.
As the D-1 nation continues to grow, it does so with excellent mentors to young men and women, but most importantly it grows with quality basketball players who are great young people.  One of those mentors is Coach Greg Holmes, and one of the players is 2012 PG Javan Felix, the latest lead guard product out of the New Orleans area which has college coaches buzzing from coast to coast.

Contributing on the varsity as a freshman is no small feat anywhere but at a school as tradition rich as St. Augustine it's particularly impressive.  They hold a mythical National Championship, and in fact Javan's Pops, Rodd was the two guard on those impressive squads back in the 80's playing alongside a cat named Avery Johnson who is a household name here in the City of San Antonio from his NBA days.

Young Felix has been on the AAU scene since he's been 8 years old and has laced them up and battled against the great 2012 Texas D-1 Ambassadors teams which featured J. Mychal Reese, L.J. Rose, Winston Sheppard, Rashad Sulaimon and Company.  At the time Felix was a member of the New Orleans Panthers.  Now that Coach Greg Holmes (who has trained and coached Felix since he was 8 years old) has come on board with the D-1 Ambassadors we are more than happy to have Javan as part of our organization.

How impressive has Felix been on the circuit this spring?  He led his team to the prestigious Battle of the South Tornament in Jackson, MS.  No easy task.

Coach Greg Holmes, who knows him as well as anybody describes him this way:
"Javan can score, but he's a pass first kind of player who looks to get his team mates involved.  He has great upper body strength (at a stout 5'10", 180lbs) and can finish at the rim against anybody, when he chooses to penetrate.  He has a deceptively quick and fundamental first step. His game is patterned after Utah Jazz G Deron Williams ( from The Colony, TX) who he draws favorable comparisons to at the same age."  (Some folks also compare him to another N'awlins product in PG D.J. Augustin)-Coach Greg Holmes

June 15th was the first day of the contact period which will lead up to the July "NCAA live" viewing period.  The Kansas Jayhawks were on top of things as they made contact with Felix at 12:01 AM on the buzzer.  Felix has a multitude of suitors.  And why not, because in addition to his considerable skills he's humble and takes all honors courses at St. Augustine.  When I was there in March at the 1st round of the NCAA tournament which was held in New Orleans I dropped by practice.  After watching the kids get after it in the steamy, inner city gym in the shadows of the Superdome Felix quickly exited practice and got himself smartly dressed in slacks, shirt and tie to head off to work.  A really nice kid who is focused!

There's a long way to go before he signs a NLOI to the school of his choice but right now according to Coach Holmes the early favorites are Florida, LSU, Baylor, Wake Forest, Kansas & Alabama.  Washington, Oklahoma State, UTEP, Tulane, TCU, New Mexico State, Oregon State, Memphis, and Rice are some of the others who have expressed early interest.
During the Live period, the New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors will head to the East Coast to play in Jeff Schneider's Atlantic Slam I & II in front of packed houses of coaches July 8-11th.  From July 22-25th, they'll take their high flying act out West to Pangos Camp operator Dinos Trigonis' Fab 48 Event where they'll be super pooled in the marquee' event held this year in Las Vegas.  Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for additional profiles of our Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas kids.