Preface by Janx…..
When one of your top NBA contacts contact you and tell you need to meet someone from Perth visiting here (Adelaide, South Australia) to talk Hoops you naturally take that very seriously.
That is what happened recently and I was able to catch up with Roosevelt Williams whilst he was visiting. What a great meeting it was and as always I am thankful to the guy mentioned above (you know who you are – was great to catch-up at the PK80 btw!) for this introduction.
Meeting Roosevelt was an honour and a privilege for me and as we delved deeper I discovered he was the Co-Owner of RAW Hoops basketball (www.rawhoops.com.au) and when I told him I was the Founder and Principal of www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com his reaction straight of the bat was “oh! You’re that guy”.
It also turns out I had coached against Roosevelt in the Dandenong Australia Day long weekend tournament last year. I recalled being thoroughly impressed by the sheer talent of his team and the passion they played with. Of course I have to mention (sorry Roosevelt – ha) we won that game, the Semi-Final of the tournament, but that is by no means a negative to his program as the team I was lucky to be coaching, with Jason Williams and Isaac White, went on to be the most dominant U16 team out of South Australia in many decades at the prestigious Melbourne Classics (an invitational tournament for the best teams in South Australia). Our team was a club based team playing together for a number of years and RAW Hoops Basketball was an Academy based team put together from across various clubs within Perth. The RAW Hoops basketball team pushed us hard and the excitement of this game was one of the best games we played that whole year, including many finals in tournaments and competitions.
PICTURED: Australian Development at the Centre of Excellence in October 2017 where Coach Janx was fortunate to be invited along, working with great athletes including Roosevelt's son (Roosevelt Williams Jnr) and Kane Waters, also mentioned in this article.
Immediately after finding that out my thought processes started ticking over about how talented the kids from RAW Hoops Basketball were, their passion for the game and their great style of play and whilst talking to Roosevelt my intrigue in what he does, how he came to be in Perth and his program began ticking into overdrive. He is very humble but of course I kept pressing him for his story. He was originally from the United States and played Division 1 College basketball “back in the day” for the University of South Alabama, arriving in Perth as US Import competing at SBL level. His junior coaching experience at SBL* level is very extensive indeed and he has also assisted WA Metro and SBL clubs team in their mental preparation for competition.
One of the other things that impressed me with Roosevelt was his values and principles driven approach to what he does. Our platform is essentially a network of people with common values, principles and goals and Roosevelt struck a chord with those aspects. Roosevelt has told me that wants RAW Hoops to be the best agent for social change/imparting life skills using high basketball standards as the vehicle for those endeavours. Whilst our network is primarily focussed on elite youth talent we feel that offering this platform to kids gives them something to aspire and in turn creates a vision within athletes to help implement the social change/life skills endeavours Roosevelt hopes to achieve in his program.
Whilst he runs an independent Academy in WA he is also very supportive of formal, traditional Australian pathways. In fact his own Son has competed for WA Metro and also took part in an Australian Development Camp I also coached in, and remembered well. The insights he can also add as a parent of an elite, youth athlete is of interest. Support of Australian pathways and working within those pathways is something that is very important within our platform, it is one of the reasons we started doing what we do, when external parties, not supportive of these pathways were working to the detriment of the athletes we had invested significant time and effort into.
PICTURED: Roosevelt with his family and also including upcoming Western Australian State Coach Tyrone Thwaites with Roosevelt Jnr (bottom left). We love having Roosevelt on board who can offer us valued knowledge and insights, which includes first hand knowledge and experience as a parent of a High Performance athlete. Roosevelt Jnr being one of the best players at U16 National Championships in 2017.