Hard to believe that today is the last day of camp. The kids all worked hard and improved throughout the week. I cannot imagine going to a camp and not be able to understand what the coaches are saying. Some of the translators have trouble understanding what we are saying, so imagine what is going thru a young players mind. The kids that understand English have such an advantage when running drills or running a play. Last night ran into two former Nike All Asia Camp players, Ito and Matsui. They were great players at the Nike camp and both went to Montrose Christian. After High School Ito attended the University of Portland and Matsui went on to play at Columbia. They are currently playing professionally in Japan and both play for Toyota. They just won the JBL championship. Here at the BWB camp there are quite a few kids that are being recruited by schools stateside. Basketball is a great game that provides opportunities for so many kids from all over the world. Basketball Without Borders helps these kids grow not only as players but as people too. Besides basketball they provide these kids with invaluable tools thru life skills sessions. They have courses on leadership, teamwork, sex education, etc… Basketball Without Borders changes so many lives, not only the kids but also the coaches. Cannot thank the entire BWB staff for all of their help in making everyone feel at home and for making our lives so easy. Thanks to God for giving me the life that I have.
Here in Japan with a great group of coaches, players, ex players and a great staff from the NBA offices. On Tuesday we all went to the site where the tsunami hit last year. It is really hard to comprehend just how powerful the ocean can be and how large the waves were. The devastation and damage that the tsunami caused is still very visible to this day. I’m sure for most people the damage is permanent as many have lost loved ones, friends, homes and everything that they owned. After being at the beach we went and did a clinic for the kids at a local school. The kids were so excited to see us and in everything that they did. At the school everything was so neat and in place. The Japanese are very proud, respectful and honorable people. We need more of that in the states. On Wednesday headed over to the gym and got to watch game one of the NBA Finals. It was great to see some of the game. The NBA Basketball without Borders people run an unbelievable event. The staff is the best and they are so helpful with everything. I cannot thank them enough. This is my third event with them and they always go above and beyond their call to make things easy for all of us. Yesterday the camp opened up with media day, afterwards it was time to get into the gym and do some station work. After lunch it was time to see the kids play and do player evaluations. In the evening it was time for the draft. There are some big kids here at camp from all over the place. Will keep you posted as to what happens in the next few days. All I know is that it is a day closer to getting home and seeing my family.
First of all I would like to apologize to all of my followers for not writing a post in quite some time. I didn’t have much to write about. I am currently in Tokyo, Japan getting ready to work the NBA Basketball without Borders Camp. Just flew in this afternoon from Guangzhou, China where I finished up my 11th NIKE All Asia Camp. Before the boys camp I also worked the girls NIKE All Asia camp. I love coming over to China and now I am looking forward to seeing Japan. Tomorrow we will be taking a trip to where the tsunami hit Japan the hardest. I’m sure it will be a life changing trip. China has changed so much in the past decade and I am amazed every time that I go there by the progress and industrialization that occurs there. The basketball is getting better every year as well. The players are getting faster, stronger, quicker and they are also developing their fundamentals. The world has caught up quickly to the United States in more than just basketball. We need to get our act together on and off the court, if we want to remain a super power. We need to understand that basketball is a team game and if you play as a team you will always beat a bunch of selfish individuals. We need to practice the fundamentals more and play less games. Years ago kids went to camp to work on their games, now all they do is play games and they don’t ever work on their weaknesses. The toughest part of this trip is being away from my family. Will try to blog every other day and let you know what is happening in Tokyo. May God Bless you and your loved ones.
It is hard to believe that March 1st is a couple of days away. This means that most High School teams and players are thru playing as well as most colleges. The question I ask you is “what are you going to do to get better?” In order to improve you need a plan and then you need to put the plan into action. Everyone can improve and get better if they are dedicated and if they stay focused on their goals. Make goals, write them down and keep them where you will see them all of the time. I put mine on the bathroom mirror so I saw them first thing in the morning and the last thing before going to bed. A constant reminder of what I wanted to do and needed to improve on.. By writing them down you are taking the first step. Keep a journal, what did you do during your workout, what drills, how many shots did you take and make. Challenge yourself, set goals each and every workout. By tracking and charting your shots, you can see your improvement and when you see yourself getting better, you gain confidence and confidence leads to success. When you see yourself improving then you want to practice more. You cant just play a 100 games in AAU and expect to improve your shot or ballhandling. You have to put in the lonely hours. Instead of just playing games all summer you need to improve your skill level and you do that by drilling. Repetition is the key, “perfect practice make perfect.” You need to go to camp. I have several camps and the kids all improve by the end of the week. I have two weeks of boys camp in the Pocono Mountains and a week of girls as well. For info on the camp go to www.hoopgroup.com Then for all you college players I have a college camp at Haverford College. Register now, space is limited. College camp will be open to girls if I get a minimum of six players. Info on my camp page. If you pay in full for the college camp by the end of March you can take $100 off of the camp price. Another way to improve is by joining my shooters club info also on my website. If you join before the end of March the cost of the shooters club will be $149 a savings of $50. Keep track of your shots with my iHopla app available on iTunes or the Droid Market. Go to camp, join the club, keep track of your shots, get better. Take care and God Bless.
The best story of the year by far in all of basketball has to be the emergence of Jeremy Lin. The reason it is a great story is that he is a young man of faith, a Christian. The Tim Tebow of the NBA. Billy Walker said that ‘Tebow only performed miracles on Sunday but Jeremy does it everyday”. The only one that performs miracles is Jesus and He has done so in my life. The only way that Jesus was able to perform miracles in my life was for me to accept Him as my savior. To put Him first in everything that I do. Before Jesus came into my life, I was selfish, lied, had many bad habits, hurt people and didn’t care. Thankfully Jesus put people in my life that led me to Him. These people showed me that Jesus was always there, even when I didn’t want Him there. They showed me that I had an incredible gift that He gave to me and I was throwing it all away. Since I have become a Christian the Good Lord has blessed me in so many ways. I owe everything to Him.
Back to Jeremy Lin, the kid graduated from Harvard and bounced around before finally getting his shot with the Knicks. A ten day contract, sleeping on a teammate’s sofa. Wonder what was on his mind? I am sure that he never gave up praising God or doubting what God’s plan is for him. It’s easy to go to God when things are going bad in your life, asking God for His help, to get you out of that situation. But what do you do when things are going really good? Do you praise Him then and give Him thanks? I am sure Jeremy never stopped believing in the Good Lord above and he never stopped believing in himself. Once he got the opportunity he made the most of it. He was ready to perform on the biggest stage of them all, Madison Square Garden. Now he is a household name. Most people give up on the Good Lord and themselves. In order to be successful in anything that you do, you need something spiritual in your life. Otherwise you will always have an empty feeling as if something is missing in your life. You also must believe in yourself when others don’t and you must have the desire, drive and dedication to continue, when others doubt.
Jeremy Lin will be successful on or off the court because of his faith in Jesus. Thank you, Jeremy and thank YOU, JESUS for Jeremy. Remember to always put God first in your life.
Well, all of us hoopheads got our NBA basketball on Christmas Day. The season has been very interesting so far. There is no rhyme or reason behind what’s happening. One night a team blows out another by 30 and then they lose by 30 the next night to some sorry squad. Two weeks of camp, then right into the season. I don’t have a problem with the shortened training camp period, but to make matters worse; the training camps opened up the same day as the free agent signings. Therefor many teams didn’t even have 10 players at camp. The free agents didn’t report to their teams until they were signed and then couldn’t practice until they passed a physical. The players not being in the best of shape because they didn’t know when the season was going to start. I have a problem with this, if you are a “professional” athlete your job is to stay in tip top shape all year long. I know it’s hard to simulate game conditions in the off season, but you don’t put on 20 extra pounds either. What’s going to happen to you when your career ends? With the late arrivals of players not being in the best of shape and a shortened training camp; compound this with free agents having to grasp a “new” system in only two weeks you are setting yourself up for some ugly basketball. This is what you get unpredictable games. Now that the season is under way the players are playing too many games in a short period of time. Their bodies are breaking down with minor injuries because their bodies have no time to recover in between games. With a shortened season practice time is cut down drastically. Instead of holding a practice, coaches are more inclined to give the guys a day off to get their “legs” back. I’m sure Allen Iverson wishes he were still in the league. NO PRACTICE. If you never practice how are you to get better at anything. The NBA is still the greatest game on earth and the players are the best. As the season progresses the games will get better. Have a great day and remember to give God all His Glory.
As you well know by now I keep track of my shots whenever I workout or do a shooting lecture or motivational talk. This keeps me from getting bored and most of all it gives vital information as to whether or not I’m getting better. My goal is to make 99% of my shots during my lectures. This past year I came up a little short. During my lectures in 2011 I shot 23,263 shots and made 23,012 for a percentage of 98.92%. From beyond the arc I made 660 out of 722 or 91.41%. I need to work harder and focus more. Until you can swish every shot there is always room for improvement. Looking forward to the new year and becoming a better Christian, husband and father. There is always room for improvement as a player but even more so as a person. The opportunities are endless. Started the year off on new year’s day with a new record I made 16-17 NBA 3 pointers from 23′ 9″ in one minute with one passer and one ball. Made my first 16 before rushing the 17th, turns out I had plenty of time. Gives me something to shoot for later in the year. If you want you can check it out below on the last post. Can’t thank Mike Stevens enough for his friendship, ideas, use of his facility etc.. I could go on all day about my friend. Let’s just say he is a GREAT guy. Also would like to thank Matt Stevens for passing the ball to me and last but not least thanks to Bill Hughes for filming the new record. After 23 years of doing camps, clinics and working out players I’m still excited to get in the gym. Everyone always asks me ” who do you like working out the most?” I always answer with “whoever is interested in listening and learning and working hard.” It doesn’t matter whether the player is 10 years old or a 10 year NBA veteran. Start your new year off with setting goals, write them where you will see them often every day. Record your progress and you will be on your way to reaching them. As far as shooting goes make sure you purchase my app iHopla available on iTunes and the Droid Market. Makes charting your shots simple. Prizes each month to the player that makes the most shots on the phone app. You must send me your daily workout numbers. Also new this year when joining my Shooters Club, I will personally call you and go over every detail of your shot, this is in addition to a written evaluation and breakdown of your shot. This year I will also be recording some of my workouts, posting them on FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter and on my website. Thanks again to my loyal followers and any new followers. Don’t be afraid of hard work. Have a great, happy, healthy new year. Praise the Lord for another day, praise the Lord everyday!
Sorry for not writing in awhile. Would like to take this time and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and also happy holidays as well. Make sure you take the time to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you and how much you love them. You should do this everyday, not just during the holidays. Well the NBA season will also begin on Christmas day. Don’t know how good the games will be as teams haven’t had much practice time, played many exhibition games (not a bad thing for the viewer), or played together as some players have just signed contracts. That’s what makes the NBA so interesting, there’s always something going on. Teams are different this year. The champs no longer have Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea or Caron Butler. They now have Vince Carter, Lamar Odom and Delonte West. The Clips pick up Chris Paul (unless the trade isn’t allowed right before tipoff) and Caron Butler. The Nets get hit with an injury to their big man Brooke Lopez, guess the Dwight Howard trade is off. So much going on Kobe’s wrist, his divorce. Speaking of divorce, was anyone surprised by KK filing for divorce with KH. I don’t know KK nor do I want to, but I do know KH and I feel sorry for him, he’s a good guy. He will rebound from this like he rebounds errant shots. The Knicks get Chandler. Are they turning into a defensive team? Now they will let guys blow by them more often because they have someone behind them who can actually defend. Hopefully Tyson won’t be in foul trouble. The owners complained that they were all losing money, so what do they do, they overpay for free agents once again. Did you see what they are paying some of these guys. Kwame Brown seven million! Nene, DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler, it pays to be BIG! What a joke the lockout played
out to be. The NBA was heading in the right direction with viewership last year and now the lockout crops up. How will this effect sponsorship, viewership and attendance? These questions are yet to be answered. At least we have something to look forward to. Don’t forget that Christmas is the day that Christ was born and if it offends anyone that’s too bad. Too many people are afraid of Jesus, a man who never harmed anyone and spread love to everyone.
After watching last year’s Final Four I vowed not to watch college ball again, but here I am watching it because there is no NBA. Nothing has changed at the college level a bunch of athletic kids running around with no idea how to play. There are quite a few pro’s in the same boat. Just watched Kentucky against Old Dominion. Kentucky is ranked number 2 in the country. If they are the number 2 team in the country it is going to be a very long winter watching hoops. They have trouble shooting Free Throw’s once again and have a ton of turnovers. That is not a very good combination to have, if you expect to be a contender. Listening to the announcers they continually talked about Kentucky’s length and athleticism. Length and athleticism are GOD given. Skills and fundamentals are honed through hours of repetition from hours of work in the gym. The lonely hours. When is the last time an announcer said that the guy is a “gym rat.” Just playing games will not make you a better shooter, better ball handler or a better passer. You have to be sound fundamentally. Yes, guys are gifted with there height and athleticism but how about putting some time in the gym and being able to knock down a free throw. Have some pride in your game. Now watching another game and the announcers are talking about both teams having trouble scoring the basketball. WHY? How about going into the gym and working on hitting a fifteen foot jump shot. There should be no excuses in this day and age of players not being able to shoot with all of the things that they have available to them. If you go to college the chances are your team has a GUN or DR. DISH. Use the machines and shoot 500 shots in a short period of time, do this several times a week. You will get better, try it and see. If you do it more than a few times a week you will improve more. Try it and see for yourself. Please make the college game pleasant to the human eye. It just amazes me that there were not more players at my college shooting camp with the poor percentages that are being posted. I’ve seen enough for the day, I’m off to the YMCA to make shots, something not seen enough in the NCAA. Since the NBA season looks lost I will also spend my evenings watching High School basketball. Will have my thought and insights on high school ball shortly. Take care and sing the GOOD LORD’S PRAISES in all that you do.
In order to improve as a basketball player you need to train, work on your weaknesses and practice correctly. If you do not put the time in to work on your game you will not improve. It’s really quite simple. Kids would rather play games than go to a basketball camp that would make them become better at playing the game of basketball. If all you do is play you are not developing as a player. If you can’t dribble with your left hand and you don’t practice it, when are you going to be able to dribble with your left hand? It’s not going to happen in the game. Kids wonder why they can’t make shots in games? Well you don’t even practice and when you do practice you don’t have a clue as how to practice properly let alone how to shoot the ball correctly. When is the last time you saw a kid at the park shooting by himself? Now kids have trainers and if they are not with their trainers they won’t practice on their own. So they work with their trainer once or twice a week and that’s it. Then in the fall, spring and summer they play a ton of games in AAU. If you want to become better you have to work at it, put the time, sweat and effort into improving. MAKE SHOTS NOT EXCUSES