12 MONTHS OF www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com, WITH THANKS TO OUR BRILLIANT GUEST BLOGGERS
Video: This site is about supporting athletes and our sport. It is only right we should start with our video congratulating the featured athletes on this site.
12 months ago this website www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com was launched and we are proud of how this platform and network has built up with the help, guidance and input of so many.
Reflections on the journey so far
The initial premise of this platform was about the featured athletes we support. We were aiming to fill in what were a series of gaps in the support they required. A lot of the associated activities with this platform had been going on well before the site was launched. I (like others that coach them) demand a lot from the athletes I work with and I want to make sure their efforts are rewarded in every way possible. They have all provided some great input on, and appreciation of, this platform, service or whatever you want to call it. Both Paul Mesecke (my former boss who was Director of Coaching at Sturt Sabres when we began to build this platform and conceptualised this site with me, and is now a partner in the site) and I felt if we did not provide this platform to support our athletes then they would be left to their own devices, or even to that of external scouts or agents, to get exposure to US Colleges. We felt that this would lead to costs for them, not generate the great team values we were trying to build in our athletes, so felt we needed to work with the athletes to take control of these requirements. They still get others to help (including paid scouts and agents), some do, and that is more than fine it is just there is no need to do it if they don't want to. We are proud of the great team men our featured athletes have become, along with the significant success of teams that they play in.
Beyond the athletes from Sturt, I have extended it for some other athletes I coached who we are lucky to have come on board.
Here is a little bit more of an insight of how and why I really began ramp things up with this site:
I also want to thank my bosses at Basketball SA and my club, the Sturt Sabres, for their support, insights and input into this platform. With their ongoing help and support we are figuring out the "what" we do. We run this platform independently, but we simply could not provide this service if they did not allow it.
We don't always get it right but the objectives we set out to achieve have exceeded our expectations. We always knew the "why" we were doing what we were doing what we do but we have to also figure out the "what". We are slowly working out the What we are doing and here is what we have arrived at.....
This site is 100% for the good of basketball; with a spotlight on our featured, high performance athletes, from South Australia.
www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com network is:
The NUMBER 1 source of information for US College Coaches on elite prospects out of South Australia.
Australia's NUMBER 1 source for insider blogs, information and true stories. Written by athletes, and coaches that support elite athlete development. Educational, inspirational and informative for the whole, global basketball community.
An independent platform ran by volunteer coaches who support and work within our nation's high performance pathways. Open, honest and transparent for the good of basketball.
Infact my work in providing support for the kid's I coach in this way probably all started quote a few years ago with the highlights we made and hosted for Daniel Carlin (below). I was lucky to coach Daniel at Central Districts Lions for 2 years in U16s and as an U18 topager. Daniel represented Australia at U17 Worlds, was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder and played in the national championships of the NAIA with Westmont College.
Here’s a video we made to support Daniel’s college aspirations, who because of his talents and capabilities was recruited by many high major division 1 programs across the US:
Jye Watson, a friend who has provided very valuable input and insights, and now working with Mogul Sports group, was primarily supporting Daniel by disseminating the video and his info out to colleges. I learned a lot from seeing how that worked as well as from Sean (Daniel's Dad) who helped initially provide me with practical advice on athlete eligibility.
I am very proud of Daniel’s successes, he is a great person and athlete, with great values. Daniel actually gave us a blog on his great career to date and some lessons along the way:
Whilst we set out to help them, we also want to acknowledge and thank our featured athletes for their achievements, along with their teams and team mates. This site is about them, but also about those in the future coming through our pathways like them. In the future we hope to move this platform beyond just the players I coach. We want to build something for ALL Basketball in South Australia (still figuring out that part of the "what" with guidance and input from others). What we do started as a means to reward them for all the extra work they were doing to improve, their achievements, their families efforts to support them and how good team mates and leaders they were in teams they play in (including when I coached them).
Opening the door with college coaches is not always easy, it is a slow process, but it is great to build relationships with so many great basketball minds and great people. By doing our bit to support these athletes along the way, and thanks to THEIR success, we now have built a brand and network in the United States and supporters here locally. The fact there are 4xDiv 1 scholarships on the men's side for 2017 coming out of such a small town means there is a spotlight on South Australia (see Link: History made in South Australian Basketball - FOUR Athletes Commit to NCAA Div 1 Men's programs in the 2017 class). We identified our prospects over 2 yrs ago before anyone even knew they would be div 1 prospects. Coaches in the US that did not recruit our featured athletes early now realise that they should have a real good look at future prospects, and this means they are looking much more closely at kids here in the future. I constantly remind our featued athletes that this platform is THEIR legacy for others in the future and they take that responsibility seriously. I hope this legacy concept keeps them grounded and focussed as they launch on the next phases of their journey.
We hope that our blogs provide an international presence but also inspire the younger athletes, with their families support, to start the process to become an elite athlete and love that process day to day, and all the benefits applying yourself to striving for your goals in sport brings.
Whilst our focus is on elite athletes with Division 1 college potential (primarily those that are succeeding in our nation's pathways - Australian Junior teams, Australian Development Camps, CoE Scholarship holders out of South Australia) there are also quite a few Division 2, Junior College and NAIA coaches following athletes in South Australia, contacting us, subscribing to our newsletter now as well. We feel it is VERY important to reward and recognise the achievements and efforts of our featured athlete's team mates and we also disseminate information to coaches at all levels constantly in the background.
About the blogs
We've been lucky to be able to read so many great insights and guest bloggers over the past 12 months and it is time to look back and acknowledge those blogs on behalf of our 32,486 visitors (as at 6 June) to our site.
It is an opportune time to thank our phenomenal guest bloggers in our first 12 months of operation and provide a quick recap on ALL our guest blogs. The firsthand insights, inspirational true stories they provide has made www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com the best source of first hand written, insider blogs from Australia for the whole, global basketball community.
We do not aim to be reporters, these are not news stories per se. There are already great platforms providing great basketball news stories and articles, which we try to share via Facebook with our own little commentary. We are predominantly bloggers and our stories include a personal, first hand approach. We hope the niche type of content on our site inspires, informs and educates all in our basketball community. We also hope that it gives US College coaches a point of reference with who we are, what we are about and what kind of talent we hope we can produce from South Australia.
The blogs and high standard of the guest bloggers and their content has been a phenomenal development, that I did not originally envisage would be to this scale when I launched the site. In the coming 12 months I’d love to launch at least one more innovation for the good of basketball. We (including my helpers running this site) have begun to look at some ideas.
Anyway I wanted to provide a quick acknowledgement and refresher on all our guest blogs to date. Highly recommend new followers and readers catch-up on some of the past guest blogs.
Thanks ALL, we value your ongoing feedback, support and insights. Your support has made OUR site Australia's NUMBER 1 source for insider blogs, information and true stories. Written by athletes, and coaches that support elite athlete development. Educational, inspirational and informative for the whole, global basketball community.
ALWAYS remember, this platform is a network working together for the good of OUR great sport.
May 31, 2017 | Kelvin Taylor
In our latest blog Kelvin Taylor attempts to answer some questions on college basketball like: So what the best pathway for players to get to the highest level?
Kelvin helps wade through the considerations, the levels, choosing a school, how to know if a school serious about offering you or not and lots of other info. All reinforced with some great examples and personal insights.
Kelvin: "Plenty of people (players, coaches and parents) ask me and most expect me to say head to the US and play college ball --- as that is what I have helped players do for over a decade. What time has told me is there is no right answer, it is different for everyone."
A great read for players and their families interested in looking at heading to the United States to play College basketball.
May 21, 2017 | Brett Maher
Brett Maher | In this article the former Adelaide 36ers captain, Sturt Sabres Basketball Club junior, and South Australian great, posts on his Olympic experience with the Australian Boomers - Olympic Basketball team.
A great read for young athletes aspiring to move through pathways to represent Australia and play for the Boomers or Opals, their family, coaches and supporters too.
Also a great read for US College Coaches wanting to get insights into the Aussie mantra of “country first”. Understanding the Aussie mindset can help with your recruiting.
Infact we hope that anyone that follows the game, and/or Brett, internationally will enjoy this blog as much as we did.
May 20, 2017 | Paul Mesecke
Paul Mesecke ranks top 20 players in the men’s comp at the recent Australian National U18 Championships tournament held in Townsville. The rankings are based purely on a statistical model developed by Paul.
All those interested in the championships, be it locally or overseas , will find this article interesting. Including the discussion on Paul’s model, also where the various top players have been ranked.
April 23, 2017 | James Woite
Many within our state may not realise it but the global brand of South Australian basketball as a proving ground for elite talent is at an all time high. For elite, young athletes coming through the ranks this represents opportunities to be recruited at levels never seen before.
This blog, by James Woite, highlights the strength of Basketball SA's Premier League - Basketball SA
Whilst anyone inerested in South Australia's Premier League will enjoy this blog we are targeting two main audiences:
- SA Junior players and their families - US College Coaches
For SA Junior players and their families:
We hope for reading this blog will give you an appreciation for our Premier League as a very good pathway, compared to US High School, into higher level programs; be it college basketball, the NBL, SEABL or any other higher leagues. To compete against men as a 17-19 year old, including D1 and D2 NCAA graduates, as well as NBL players, week in week out is a much higher level of competition than playing US High School basketball.
For US College Coaches:
In reading this blog we encourage you to consider Adelaide as a key recruiting destination, recruit talent out of Adelaide, the talent here is burgeoning. Our college prospects, from 17-19 years of age are developing under phenomenal coaches, playing with men who have played professional hoops, as well D1/D2 NCAA graduates in their mid-20s. This is high level, MEN'S basketball, much higher levels than US High School basketball or AAU basketball in the USA. College coaches can watch Premier League games online and see prospects from the ages of 17 going against Div 1 and Div 2 NCAA graduates every week.
April 12, 2017 | Brent Hank
Brent Hank, as a regional athlete out of Port Lincoln Basketball Association (800 kms from our home of Adelaide), and his family, made a major commitment to his basketball development at a very young age. His journey has been one he has greatly appreciated. He recently committed to the next phase, with a commitment to Albany Great Danes men's basketball, in the America East.
Brent provides his story which we hope will provide inspiration for all regional athletes about the opportunities that can be achieved in the game both and off the court. Brent attributes some of his success to the support networks and community at Central District Basketball Club and Trinity College, Gawler a potential model of school/clubs working together.
This is a great read for regional based athletes Australia wide, their support networks, families and anyone interested following the progress of kids like Brent making a great commitment to their journey to eventually be rewarded.
April 2, 2017 | Mandy Glover
As well as supporting our featured athletes with their college aspirations, we post great, educational, informative and motivating blogs for EVERYONE, anywhere in the world. We will go anywhere to find this content and engage guest bloggers to help us with firsthand knowledge and experiences.
This week we have 2 great bloggers with phenomenal insights. Brent Reilly from the Adelaide Crows in the AFL has blogged with Coach Janx on resilience for elite athletes, anyone from any walk of life for that matter, earlier in the week.
Now Angus Glover's parents (moreso Mandy Glover with Allan's good vibes included - ha) have been kind enough to blog on their son Angus' journey. Angus is one of our nation's top young players, currently based at Basketball Australia's Centre of Excellence, originally he was from Basketball NSW.
He is about to embark on his professional journey and suited up with the Illawarra Hawks last NBL season. An absolutely phenomenal person off the floor and tough competitor on.
We think his parent's unique insights on Angus' journey will be valuable for ANYONE but also wanted to particularly focus on positive parenting of elite, young athletes whilst hearing about his journey.
Like all the Featured Athletes on our site Angus had great parents and/or support networks to help them get to where they are today.
March 29, 2017 | Brent Reilly
At highperformancehoopsnetwork.com we believe that positive character, values and the traits that grow from these characteristics, and not merely inherent physical gifts, is what makes a success in sport.
One key value is resilience to overcome adversity, by embracing it and defeating it head on. The following blog was written by Coach Janx with a lot of great input and guidance from former Adelaide Crows player Brent Reilly. Brent is an expert on resilience from the school of life, his pro-sport career and now career post pro-sports at the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre. Brent breaks down his career, spanning over 200+ AFL games, challenges he had along the way which can be related to by anyone striving to be an elite athlete.
We are proud that our Featured Athletes are often recognised interstate and internationally for these traits.
This is a great read for all athletes, support networks (EG: parents), coaches and anyone striving to succeed in any endeavour for that matter.
March 12, 2017 | Scott Whitmore
In our back to back weekend of blogs about the recent Australian U20 National Championships, we are extremely lucky to hear from the Gold Medal winning head coach of the Basketball SA Men, Scott Whitmore. Scott breaks down the team make up, tournament preparation, during the tournament and post tournament.
A great read for all involved, supporters, families included, club team mates and friends, and any coaches or players in Australia that want to learn and get inspired by this amazing team. College Coaches wanting to get an understanding of this talented and successful team, as well as Aussie pathways and coaching, should also check it out.
March 11, 2017 | Paul Mesecke
A blog by Paul Mesecke that attempts to rank the top 20 players in the men’s comp at the recent Australian National U20 Championships tournament, based purely on a statistical model developed by Paul himself.
I am sure that all those interested in the championships, our nation's top prospects, will find this article interesting whether they are reading from Australia or as a US College Coach.
February 26, 2017| Luke Schenscher
Luke Schenscher takes timeout from his current stint, playing with Singapore Slingers, to blog on his time with Georgia Tech Men's Basketball. The former Adelaide 36ers and Chicago Bulls (to name a few) player, and homegrown Adelaide hero out of Southern Tigers and Basketball SA gives some great insights on playing in a "high major" NCAA College program. Having an amazing career with Georgia Tech, even starting in the NCAA Championship game would would arguably make Luke our most successful college player out of South Australia in history.
We hope and dream that our featured athletes that also recently committed to Power 5 conference schools achieve the same lofty heights Luke did and we are sure Isaac White (Stanford commit in the Pac-12) and Lat Mayen (TCU commit in the Big12) will enjoy Luke's story. As I told these guys all along "anything IS possible" and Luke showed us all that.
We hope you ALL enjoy the article as much as we did. A great read for all aspiring to play at this level, US College Coaches interested in Luke's journey, college hoops followers will love the insights, fans that have followed Luke's career and Georgia Tech Basketball and college fans back in the states.
February 20, 2017| Nicole Seekamp
Nicole Seekamp was a junior with Sturt Sabres Basketball Club, representing SA Country Basketball and Basketball SA before heading to chase her dream of D1 College Hoops with South Dakota Coyotes.
From winning a conference championship, the nervousness of selection Monday, to being selected for the NCAA tournament, to the ups and downs of playing in the NCAA tournament, through to winning the NIT the year after, one of the greatest Women College players out of South Australia gives a FIRST hand account of college tournament hoops!!!
Reading this will give you a rare first hand, inspirational insight as to what most say college hoops are all about - post season play! Likewise, top junior hoops in Australia, where tournament play is so important to success.
A must read for all college hoops lovers, especially if this is a path you hope to take as an athlete, or you want to support your kids to take as a coach or a parent.
February 14, 2017| Jaime Drumm
Maybe one of the most researched, well linked blogs we have had in which former basketball coach, now sleep expert, Jaime Drumm posts on sleep and how athletes, coaches and anyone for that matter can establish some simple patterns and practices to improve their sleep. He also discusses the impact good, or bad, sleep can have on basketballers and provides links to his YouTube page Relaxing Sleep Station”. I have really enjoyed reading this blog and found it really helpful.
February 4 | by Uche Dibiamaka
Uche Dibiamaka is a rare talent. His unique mix of skills, physical strength and athleticism is something I have not seen often, if at all, in a guard, in Australian junior basketball. It is no surprise to me that he has began to burst onto national US rankings since moving over there for High School.
Uche's blog on his journey to the US High School system. College coaches checkout his footage on this blog!!!!
October 22, 2016 | Liam Flynn
Recently Liam spent some time back in Adelaide where he lived before moving overseas to coach in the professional leagues in Australia (NBL) Germany (BBL and ProA) and New Zealand (NZNBL). He also runs a business consulting with all levels of basketball - from NBA teams in international scouting, all the way down to local clubs in coach education and program development.
Liam, I feel, can offer some very unique insights on his recent coaching experience. He has just spent a few months coaching juniors back at the club he had spent many years at previously, and is a Life Member at, the Sturt Sabres. This season his team succeeded at both the national level, making the Grand Final of the prestigious National Junior Classics in Melbourne, winning the state of South Australia Winter Season U18 Championship.
In this Q&A he gives some extremely interesting insights as he has so much experience with high level, pro teams and programs and how he applied his knowledge and skills at the elite junior level.
October 16, 2016 | Toby Lockwood
There are some great stories going on in SA Basketball at the moment and one of those was the recent rise of the Central Districts Lions boy's program. Part of the purpose of these blogs is to continue to strengthen the talent and development in South Australia, using the current wave of player development to build a bigger wave. In this blog Toby Lockwood offers some fantastic insights for Coaches, Coaching Directors, Club Administrators, players and parents alike. I feel that adopting these ideas will build some fantastic development and talent from the younger age groups.
Success at u14 level is immensely important for future success of clubs in the Australian system and often pre-empts windows of elite talent development in a program. All of South Australia’s clubs; officials, coaches, players and families, should value the U14 window of development. This is the only window when true national championships take place for club teams and sets up future success.
October 13, 2016 | Taylor Renshaw
I have asked Taylor to talk about all aspects of athlete development for elite basketballers be it nutrition, strength and conditioning, motivating elite juniors to work hard, long hours on their development.
I met Taylor Renshaw when he was coaching with me at Sturt with the U18 men's program. He was commencing his journey in coaching whilst he was also establishing a personal training business. We would have Taylor lead rigorous warmups which included ladder work and post training strength and conditioning. His enthusiasm, work ethic and ability to build strong working relationships with the athletes he works with meant he was able to entice a number of the young men in my team to join his personal training service too. He took to helping the guys in areas such as supplements, training sessions and personal programs.
Guys like Alex Mudronja class of 2018 and Isaac White class of 2017, arguably the 2 best combo guards in Australia in their respective class, were amongst the most regular of patrons to Taylor’s business, TPT Elite Athlete Services. This key component of their development was well taken care of by Taylor.
He continues to invest in his coaching development, as well as his athlete development knowledge, having just taken on a support role on the Adelaide 36ers coaching staff, as well recently taking on a player development role with the Sturt Sabres.
The advice and tips he offers in this blog would appeal to many readers from coaches, strength and conditioning staff, players, parents to help develop elite kids, as well as US Coaches to see the journey of some of our featured athletes.
September 25, 2016 | Paul Mesecke
Paul Mesecke has agreed to be the highperformancehoopsnetwork.com first "partner". Those that closely know the evolution of this highperformancehoopsnetwork.com would not be surprised of Paul's involvement in this capacity, he has been involved throughout the whole process as the idea evolved continuously into the platform it has become today.
I'm honored and humbled to have Paul involved, Paul may well be one of the very top junior coaches in the country in terms of depth of experience, success and background. He has provided great support for many coaches and players throughout Australia, including some of the players featured on this site.
Paul has just completed a role during a period of unprecedented success in South Australia where he was Operations Manager at Sturt from 2000 to 2016, with the exception of 2003, when he was based at the Australian Institute of Sport as a coach, during his time at Sturt the club was the number 1 ranked club in the state every single year, except 2012. He has also coached SA Metro sides, winning medals at National Championships, a rare feat indeed given our state’s small population base.
Paul will be taking care of the Elite Women's side of the site for girls playing in the state of South Australia. He has a lot of experience in working with elite players that have gone onto play college basketball and maintaining positive, successful, working relationships with those players once they are in the college system and supporting and guiding them in their journey to get there.
As an introduction to this new stream for highperformancehoopsnetwork.com I have asked him to blog on the elite girls that have come through South Australian Hoops in recent years and how they got there. The athletes mention were more than happy to have their stories and lessons learned to help other athletes (the same ideas generally apply to male and female athletes).
I am looking forward to Paul's contribution and am currently open to hear from "partners" interstate in Elite Male, Elite Female or Emerging Talent categories.
September 21, 2016 | By Ben Carter
Ben Carter is a 2018 featured athlete, Sturt Sabres and SA Metro Junior, that recently competed in the Adidas Uprising tournament and then was selected to take part in the very prestigious Adidas Nations Tournament a week after. Knowing Ben and his capabilities it is no surprise he was selected to take part in Adidas Nations, and has recently taken part in National Selection Camps for our U19 National team.
Subsequent to that he has allowed me to assist him through the www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com platform and it is a privilege to continue to work Ben and his family. He is a formidable big man with a unique mix of power, versatile skills, size and IQ that I have never seen in an SA Junior player.
September 1, 2016 | By Daniel Carlin
Isaac White’s blog had an impact on many people that read it. After reading Daniel’s blog below I feel this blog can impact many too. I can vouch that Daniel lives the values he speaks of. Daniel is a great man and I think he has so many experiences in the sport already we can learn from. His blog highlights 3x“take-aways”:
1. Build a support network of the right people 2. Control the controllables 3. It’s more than just about you
He relays these take-aways with some great, practical examples and stories to help us understand why these values are important.
August 29, 2016 | By Dylan Hicks
I’ve asked local running identity and former State League and South Australian State basketballer, Dylan Hicks, to provide a guest blog this month. I’ve known Dylan for years and he is super motivated about all he commits to in his life.
With a Degree in Physical Education, Masters of Exercise Science, qualifications in strength and conditioning, as well as coaching he as the theoretical knowledge. He is a high level competitor himself in the fields of track and field, and basketball, his skills and qualifications are unique and provides him a very significant breadth of theoretical and practical knowledge. In short when Dylan blogs, coaches MUST read.
AUGUST 19, 2016 | JYE WATSON
Report on the South Sudanese National Basketball Association National Tournament held in July. A brief discource on how the Sudanese basketball community is developing and how many of the great players have gotten to where they are today.
JULY 28, 2016 | TONY CASELLA
Tony Casella delivers great insights from his time spent with NBA and College Coaches, player development personnel, agents and many more he met at the NBA Summer League last month.
July 1, 2016 | Isaac White
Get insights on featured athlete, Isaac White. Very motivational for other young athletes coming through. Whilst Isaac is still very early in his journey, his journey is one that we hope will motivate and excite other young athletes coming through. He is just a phenomenal young man, whose work ethic, competitiveness and coachability is contagious. That is why teams he plays in tend to succeed.
June 27, 2016 | Owen Hulland
Second guest blogger Owen Hulland does a brief Q & A on the first ever NBA Basketball Without Borders Camp held in Australia. 3xSouth Australian athletes took part including Owen Hulland, Alex Mudronja and Biar Garang.
June 15, 2016 | Jon Dyer
Targetted towards parents. First guest blog. By a Dad of one of the best young shooters in Australia, who led 3 pt shooting in the U14 National Championships in 2015.
I wanted to get a blog up for parents and coaches alike who are looking to support their athletes/children become better shooters and I could think of no one better to do this than Jon Dyer. Even if you are a coach, with your own children, that you want to help, then Jon will provide some great insights for sure.