Friday, July 27, 2012
Great article on how AAU/Travel Team Coaches are getting hired at some of the top college programs in the country. With all the talented young coaches in Puerto Rico this article makes the case for why more focus must be placed on developing more travel team programs. Here is the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/washington-area-aau-coaches-moving-to-college-ranks-bringing-basketball-prospects-with-them/2012/07/26/gJQAMjCQCX_story.html
Posted by Under New Management at Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Grassroots basketball and basketball development in Puerto Rico in general is at a crossroads. IPRB spoke with several former National Team players and others who have been involved in basketball in Puerto Rico for a long, long time. The consensus, the "golden years" of Puerto Rico Basketball has long past. The days of Mincy, Piculin, Casiano and others is a distant memory and given what other countries in the region and around the world are doing to develop players Puerto Rico better wake up and stop living in the past. The current development structure is totally out dated and broken. Clubs are set up to make money. Leagues are set up to make money. Coaches jump from club to club acting as hired guns offering their services to the highest bidder. Most of the games are played on concrete and thus the referees are not allowing the normal contact of the game to exist. Parents think their sons are better then they are and very little is done to develop players athleticism. The best young coaches are not being nurtured and developed. The best young players are not being nurtured and developed. The game is not the hands of the right people. The leadership and stakeholders are not "basketball guys" and thus the culture of the game is not being taught. Puerto Rico is falling behind. While Puerto Rico is clearly ahead of the game at introducing fundamentals to players under the age of 10, by the time a player reaches 12 years old they simply cannot compete athletically. League rules including substitution requirements and minimum player requirements are archaic and only serve to prevent the best players and teams from competing at the highest level. The time has come for the game's stakeholders and leaders to take a hard look at how players are being developed, how many games are being played versus practice time and how a structure can be created where the best players and teams compete in a new league. Little Lads, ACB and Federacion are well run recreation leagues. They do a wonderful job and serve their purpose. But truth be told none of them are development leagues for elite players. The performance of youth teams from Puerto Rico this summer at FIBA, Nike Global Challenge and AAU Nationals Pool Play is a combined 3-12 (YBOA and AAU Consolation/Classic Brackets are not considered elite grassroots competition). And this year the teams Puerto Rico have competed against are not considered to be teams stacked with elite talent. No team thus far has gotten out of pool play and advanced into the Championship Bracket at any of the AAU tournaments this year. Our recommendation is to create a new league and development program starting in 2013. We would love to share more information but we know there is an element operating in grassroots basketball which is notorious for stealing ideas and copying almost to the letter from other operators and grassroots programs. The time has come to for change on a number of levels.
Posted by Under New Management at Thursday, July 26, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
These other sites are killing me with recycled content and no originality. We haven't published a story in months but readers keep coming back. There is lots to talk about. We will start with the Olympic Qualifying debacle and why Puerto Rico didn't qualify for the Olympics. No finger pointing or calling out any names. It's a team sport and one possession never decides the outcome of a 40 minute game. Im about to jump on a flight to Washington, DC in a couple of hours so we can follow the 18U Team at the Nike Global Challenge. Log on around noon for our story on why Puerto Rico didn't qualify. Everyone knows why but for some reason nobody wants to say it.
Posted by Under New Management at Thursday, July 12, 2012
Friday, December 2, 2011
Take a look at the talent in the graduating Class of 2012 and 2013. There may be a total of 5 players in the combined classes that have a real shot shot at playing on Div. 1 level. Combine the classes of 2014 and 2015 and possibly up to 10 players have a shot to play D1 ball. The class of 2016/14u has 8 players in that class alone that are being courted by top private schools and some have already received letters of interest from D1 schools. You may ask what makes this class different then the rest? The answer is simple. Almost all of these players were exposed to AAU before turning 10. Their parents recognized that they were not as good as everyone said they were and the players themselves recognized that they had to learn to play the game at a faster pace. In our post yesterday, we talked about the lack of defense on the island. Go to a game at any level and you will see that most kids have no idea how to play defense. That reality allows for players with decent offensive skills to develop habits which are exposed in a more competitive environment. For most players from Puerto Rico they rarely get a chance to play at a high level until reachingHigh School. For most, it's far to late to make changes in their style and the speed in which they play. But for those who have the opportunity to play at the AAU D1 Nationals they typically come back to the island humbled and hungry. More importantly, the parents get a chance to witness lots of players who are superior in every facet of the game. "Eating some crow" tends to change one's one appetite and that is always a good thing. The following players are on the list have a real shot to play D1 ball with a couple of them potentially being really, really special. * the list below is not a ranking. Edwin Cancel Josh Colon Nicholas Washington Robert Aviles Jhivvan Jackson Ebube Ebube Georgie Pacheco Leandro Allende
Posted by Under New Management at Friday, December 02, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
One of the greatest challenges for players making the transition from Puerto Rico to both prep school and college seems to be their inability or unwillingness to play defense. Local coaches do a wonderful job developing fundamentals in young players but defense seems to be the "forgotten fundamental". When talking to stateside coaches the complaint we seem to hear over and over again is how far behind players from Puerto Rico are when it comes to understanding defensive principles. Puerto Rico has earned a reputation of producing undersized fiery PGs and bal pressure on the defensive end is critical to disrupting an opponents offense. Part of this is a result of how local leagues prevent some of the younger age groups from pressing full court along with almost all youthcoaches playing zone defense exclsuviely. It should also be noted that FIBA's influence is ever present thus zone defense is the preferred discipline. We are not suggesting that there is anything wrong with playing zne defense. We take the position that it is impossible to play zone if players have not been taught and understand "ball, you, man", "help and recover" and basic rotations. Players must be taught that playing defense can help them make the team, increase playing time and is the key component in winning championships. Nike has produced a series of videos which should help coaches introduce that defense is cool. Reward players who make defensive plays. Chart deflections, charges and defensive rebounds. See link below and remember, Defense Never Sleeps!
Posted by Under New Management at Thursday, December 01, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
So many players and some really good coaches yet only a handful of D1 programs have Puerto Rican coaches as either Head or Assistant Coaches. Even at the high school/prep school level Puerto Rican coaches are absent. A lot of this has to do with the fact that most Athletic Directors know very little about Puerto Rico basketball and its rich history. Coaches have not done a great job marketing themselves and getting on the grassroots circuit. For years, young stateside coaches have recognized the importance of getting involved in the summer circuit. AAU and Five Star Basketball are two of the many summer based organizations which provide a fantastic platform for coaches to showcase their coaching skills and more importantly network with others in the industry. PRP Founder , Todd Washington is leading the effort to assist coaches from the Caribbean identify and secure opportunities to coach stateside. He has started, The Coaching Placement Program, "CPP". CPP will leverage relationships and assist local coaches secure opportunities to coach at the High School, Prep School, Junior College and Collegiate levels. Washington believes there is an immediate opportunity to place coaches at both prep schools and junior colleges. "We've identified a couple of programs that recognize the value of having Puerto Rican coaches on their staffs. Not only is there a ton of talent here on the island, Puerto Rico is the gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America. Puerto Rican coaches have a unqie advantage in that they can recruit in Latin and Central America. We think this is a huge opportunity and will support our effort to help more student athletes get a chance to further their education", said Washington.
Media reports in the last several weeks have suggested that a group of basketball powerbrokers were making a run at a BSN franchise. Although reports were never confirmed there seems to be some truth to the story. With NBA players not embracing the way the Euro/Asia teams operate and the cultural issues of being forced to live in places that seem a million miles from home, Puerto Rico was viewed as a real option. The BSN lacks star power and clearly certain parts of the island will always support their teams but the league as a whole cannot generate the type of advertising p and television revenue required to make the league profitable. Clearly a league wide merchandising deal is viable but the failure of the league to capitalize on the Jordan Brand opportunity in 2008 eliminated any possibility of a major apparel company partnering with the league. What only a handful of people knew was that the proposed tour of NBA stars slated to play in Puerto Rico in late October was not about just one game. It was part of a bigger plan, which included getting a handful of NBA players to agree to play in the BSN. Players and agents were looking for a destination to play should the NBA lockout extend past Christmas. Europe and Asia have been a mixed bag for NBA players. Agents believe that the lockout would last the entire season and that at some point players would need to start making some money. IPRB spoke with a local businessman who had been approached about participating in an ownership group that would invest a large sum of money to have 2 NBA All Stars play on a BSN Team. He a agreed to speak to IPRB provided he keep his anonymity,"I was approached a by my friend and client about participating in the tour. It was clear from the outset that the World All Star Classic was about more then just a game. It was about getting NBA guys to come to Puerto Rico and experience what the island had to offer. Had the lockout not ended we had committments from one of the top three players in the NBA and another who is in the top 10. Those two players would have sold out every arena in Puerto Rico in every game they played in. The television and advertising money which we had commitments for would have covered the costs of the players contracts and if we had a chance to secure the final piece which was getting the shoe/apparel company which currently has both players under contract to get behind the idea and support the project financially, we had a real chance to get this done." In the days leading up to the start of the tour which was to begin in Puerto Rico a number of players and their agents started to get cold feet about the viability of the tour and it in fact the lockout was going to end and a new CBA executed in advance of the game in Puerto Rico. Some have suggested that the NBA did not want to see this Tour happen, specifically, the game in Puerto Rico given word had leaked back to NBA that a plan to get players to play in the BSN was a real option. What would of and could of happened is something we can dream about as we prepare for the 2012 BSN season. If I'm a BSN owner and looking to add value to my franchise I'm going to watch very closely what happens with the age limit and the new CBA. If the minimum age is 20 and players are required to spend 2 years in college before declaring for the NBA draft the next KG, Kobe, Lebron, Dwight Howard and Brandon Jennings may see Puerto Rico as the best option to becoming a professional.