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By Andrew Jantke | Top 10 Blog Posts for 2018, thankyous and Happy New Year Message

What a phenomenal year of growth and development it has been for our featured athletes, colleagues working with me on developing this platform and our partners and friends.

We are proud of the 7 male featured athletes (plus also Uche Dibiamaka) playing division 1 college basketball this year. 1 more has committed for the 2019 season and we are confident our 9th will commit to a VERY BIG high major program sometime next year (watch this space!).

We wrote this article on the new commits for the 2018 season, "2018/19 season will be the most men in history at the Division 1 NCAA level, out of South Australia". You can find out about their stories and journey in this article from our unique personal perspective and insights.

VIDEO | Featuring our featured athletes.

On the girl’s side Luke Allen has done a stellar job. He has assisted 4 outstanding female athletes in their Division 1 recruitment and commitments this year with a bunch of new girls currently being evaluated too, in order to become Featured Athletes. The jump between Aussie female talent in Australia and Division 1 collegiate basketball is less than the boys and there are more females committing to division 1 programs from South Australia that we are able to work with. We also want to congratulate all girls from South Australia playing and committing to division 1 programs.

We wish all of you a very merry Festive Season. To our colleagues in the organisations we have been associated with this year be it the Sturt Sabres, Forestville Eagles, Adelaide 36ers and Basketball SA. Those we consult and communicate throughout all the levels of the Australian pathways. To all the South Australian clubs particularly those our featured athletes played for at Forestville, Norwood, South Adelaide, Sturt, Central Districts Lions. The many college coaches we’ve interacted with throughout the year and built strong relationships with. You all know who you are. Thankyou. We wish you all success, growth and experiences this year.

To our featured athletes, whose journey we’ve been blessed to take part in, as their coaches, friends, many of whom we consider family. Continue to fall in love with the process, develop great relationships and epitomise the strong values we collectively espouse.

VIDEO | Joey Wright, head coach of the Adelaide 36ers, speaks of some of the types of values we espouse to (resilience, never giving up, fighting for what you believe in, no matter your size, having the biggest heart) These are the kinds of values that go to the heart and culture of the athletes we identify and want to work with that we hope will be the brand of all featured athletes.

We have not blogged as much as we’d like to this year but there have been some phenomenal guest bloggers and content as read by 1000s and 1000s in Australia and all over the world. Thankyou to our many guest bloggers who have amazing stories to tell and learn and grow from. Thanks to the collective experiences and knowledge, of our article contributors, our depth and firsthand insights and knowledge on basketball sets us apart from every other content provider in the country, when it comes to first hand information and insights.

Speaking of values of athletes and guest bloggers we were very fortunate to have Todd Matthews deliver an article titled, “Capturing the winning qualities of South Australian basketball”. Todd talks about the values he has developed throughout his journey and the values of his most successful team mates. As a former Norwood player and coach of many, many years it is exciting to see the stellar growth of the club again. We’ve managed to meet with officials from the club throughout the year on various issues and the club’s business model is something that is impressive indeed. We are seeing similar ongoing development, improvement and success in many other clubs in South Australia.

We can only hope that our district competition structures, BSA High Performance programs can really capitalise on the phenomenal opportunities and strategic advantages in the external environment that exist now, more than ever before. Time will tell.

Before we get into the top 10 you can check out similar articles on past blogs we did in past years:

It is interesting that one of the more popular articles that continues to have had well over 1000 reads this year, since the 1000s of visits in 2017, and quite a lot of email queries from coaches in Europe and United States is the article we wrote in 2017 called “3 side actions in the Australian (.... And Lithuania.... umm Duke too) flow offense”. Because of the popularity of this article we’ve started planning at least one more x’s and o’s article for 2019.

Before we get to the top 10 most visited articles there was some fantastic content that did not make the list this year that is well worth a read. We highly suggest young athletes, their families, coaches get up to speed with these fantastic insights, generally provided by some of the top basketball people in the country.

This year we've also had great first hand insights from athletes with long and successful NBL careers:

In January, Damian Arsenis, the founder of major basketball media platform, The Pick and Roll, provided us with the story of how the platform came to be; The Story Behind The Pick and Roll’s #AussieHoops success.

With a bit of a focus on July recruiting period I wrote an article in July on the Basketball Australia Elite Prospects Camp. This article looked at progress of the athletes from the last camp and tracked where they are now. Also provides a discourse on the event this year; Basketball Australia Prospects Camp. About this camp and the first one; Where are they now?

Keeping with our recruiting period theme. Just after the July recruiting period we were lucky to have Will Smith write an article on AAU, prep school and High School basketball in the United States from his perspective. Will is a coach formerly from South Australia who has been coaching prep school basketball in one of the toughest divisions in the United States for a couple years; The US Prep School System. What it's like, things to look out for and look for.

Each year we have been fortunate to have obtained a guest blogger from the NBA Summer league. Each of these bloggers has provided a unique perspective, of course. This year it was Rob Mason who wrote an article on Summer League. Rob is a renowned "Learning Scientist" focused on sport, doing work in the Australian Pro Football League (the AFL) and the National Basketball League. This was a fascinating read, especially in the day where messaging, language is a very real part of the planning and discussion of coaching at all levels, as we find out in Rob's article; "My time at NBA Summer League. From the perspective of a Learning Scientist".

Anyways, without further ado, on to the top 10 articles published for 2018.

Drum roll please.....


No matter how you look at it in Australia, basketball is in a BOOM phase. It is booming from all angles the W/ NBL, Australian national teams in FIBA Competitions, the NBA, College basketball. Opportunities abound for athletes and it is a matter of time before cashed up educational institutions truly figure out how to capitalise on all this opportunity in Australia.

In amongst this changing landscape, it is a time to think big at all levels to reclassify and rethink the sport here at the grassroots, the development of talent and the resourcing of the sport. We do not propose to have ALL the answers here and now, what we do have is some items that will generate conversation and debate.

The level of talent development we do in this country with limited resources and facility access compared to the United States is amazing. South Australia is a good example of this.

In this blog Coach Janx hopes to generate change by starting the conversation. He highlights the benefits to student-athletes in America get, likewise the Unis that run major sporting programs. He articulates how educational institutions (secondary and tertiary) becoming an integral part of our high-performance pathways in Australia could benefit athletes here too. He takes specific aspects of the American model to explain ALL the benefits student-athletes receive in that system that our youth athletes cannot tap into in Australia within the current framework.

This is a great read for those working in educational institutions, any coach or administrator at any level of our high-performance pathway in Australia.

Also for youth athletes and parents wanting to learn more about the US College pathway;

Coach Janx also goes into great detail on the great opportunities for athletes going to top US Colleges in the US. So, parents and athletes wanting to understand the benefits of playing top-level College basketball, as a student-athlete, will get a lot of value from this article too.


In this blog article current Sydney Kings player Brad gives us insights on his stellar career which took him from Forestville Eagles to Basketball SA state teams, into the Basketball Australia's Centre of Excellence, before heading straight to the pros; going to the NBL, then European path. This path, straight to pro ranks from High School, is a rarer one these days for Australia's top athletes, with the vast majority spending time in the US College system before going to the pros.

Brad's journey is a great read for all athletes, their families, coaches, supporters of the game and even Brad's fans and friends can learn from. We all hope you enjoy this month's article. Thanks Brad!


This article is one of our favorites. Roosevelt comes on board with and will be using our "machinery" to provide assistance to Western Australian athletes.

His unique experiences, insights, knowledge and expertise are going to provide great value to all our readers globally, featured athletes and platform and we feel very fortunate he is going to be working with us as part of the team.

There are strong synergies between his values and the values we have developed in identifying youth talent and potential Featured Athletes. In this article, he talks about 3 key characteristics of Humility, Grit, Growth Mindset and uses examples from athletes he has first insights on as examples of these characteristics. He also gives some great insights for coaches who see the big picture, looking to help instill these qualities into their athletes. His own personal story is also a great example of these characteristics.

This is a great read for all. If you want to be an elite performer in basketball or any endeavor for that matter, athletes, coaches, parents included.



Top former Norwood Basketball Club Inc Premier League player and Oregon Tech NAIA National Title winner Todd Matthews talks about making his first SA Metro State team, his structured training regime as a player, a winner's mindset, players he played with at Premier League level, and trained with at the 36ers, that shared similar traits.

Today Todd is Director of Sport at St Peter's College, Adelaide, including a program that has had some basketball success in recent years under his leadership.

A great read for athletes, coaches, parents and all who want to read a great story from someone that is a winner on the court and off.

👉Article here:

Anyang Garang tells his story on his amazing 12 month journey. Beginning with U18 National Championships for Basketball SA. Then joining the first class of the NBA Global Academy at Basketball Australia's Centre of Excellence, to taking part in Basketball Without Borders at the NBA All Star Weekend and more recently Next Generation Sunday at the NCAA Final 4.

He came from humble beginnings, is humble, and acutely aware of the work he wants to do to achieve his potential on and off the floor.

This is a great read for any aspiring athlete, their family, coaches or anyone interested in first hand insights on these programs. It is also a great opportunity for us to learn some more of Anyang's story, so far it is a great one indeed which we think is inspiring for all of us.

Looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this great, young man.



When college coaches begin to get serious about a featured athlete the next questions they ask are; "is he/she a qualifier", "has he/she sat their SATs", "can I have a copy of their academic transcripts".

Ensuring you are eligible academically is not complicated if you take some simple steps early in your High School years. This article outlines academic requirements for the NCAA Division 1 level, considerations for athletes in managing time and workload compared to past years, options if you are not going to be a qualifier and checks to ascertain the relevance of your US Degree in Australia. We have also developed a simple working sheet, using an Excel model, to work out eligibility that we hope families might find useful to use as a rough guide.

A great read for young athletes hoping to play NCAA Division 1 college basketball, their parents, supporters and any coaches that go the extra mile to support their athlete's dreams and aspirations too.

👉Blog here:

Pero would be up with the best male players to come out of South Australia in recent decades. He had an incredibly diverse career and many ups and downs as you'd expect of such a long career, so traveled and at so many levels. There are many good stories, lessons and interesting tidbits.

This journey is a truly a remarkable one and by his own admission, he was a journeyman, using the game to experience all the basketball world has to offer at all levels. His story makes for a fascinating read but also opens our eyes to the amazing world of our great, global sport.

This is a great read for athletes to learn about the various levels of basketball in Europe, lessons about playing overseas and adapting through a long professional career. We hope you enjoy reading this story as much as we enjoyed hearing about it from Pero and writing about it.



Nathan Sobey is one of the best Aussie guards in the booming NBL. We think this puts him in the "world class" player category and he has developed significantly whilst playing with the Adelaide 36ers.

We explore how he developed his supreme athleticism. Looking at his journey, and his and determination and drive to help him get there. We catch up with 36ers Strength and Conditioning Coach Adam Murphy for some insights on this too, as well as a few others involved in Nathan's journey.

This is a great read for anyone interested in Nathan's career, the challenges all elite athletes go through in order to achieve their goals, insights and tips on developing supreme athleticism like Nathan has done.



An article that we are sure will be of great interest to US College Coaches, athletes in the tournament, high-performance managers, coaches and the athlete's families, friends and supporters.

Also, this will help prospective athletes to understand success is not merely about scoring points.

Mesecke again breaks down his unbiased, balanced (looking at FG%, rebounds, assists, steals, turnovers, the pace of the game, minutes played etc, not just points), advanced statistical analysis of individual performers at the recent U20 National Championships. He also looks at how these individual performances impact team success.

Then Mesecke takes us into where are they are now. Using last years analysis he looks at where the top 20 have gone, showing a great rate of success for those players moving into Div 1 college and in one case already - pro ranks. This is further demonstrating the importance of great performances at national championships and how the championships are the ideal proving ground for our nation's next crop of elite youth talent. This is also proving the power of these lists and analysis as a tool (one of a few tools to be used - EG: talking to state High-Performance Managers is always also a good idea) that coaches should be looking at when recruiting from Australia.

Of course, we look at the performance of Alex Mudronja from Sturt Sabres Basketball Club in South Australia, now based at Basketball Australia's Centre of Excellence, who led the tournament in many facets.

A great read, last years article has been one of our most popular articles for the year.

👉 Blog here

This time it is the U20 Women's turn. We have analysed, processed and compiled information from the Basketball Australia U20 National Championships. We have used that analysis to formulate the top 20 PER Rankings from the championships, on the Women's side of the competition.

Paul also provides insights on how these rankings are compiled.

We even managed to catch up with star player, Jasmine Simmons, also the leader in the rankings, to get her thoughts on the championships and her bronze medal-winning Basketball NSW (New South Wales) team.

A great read for athletes, families and supporters of the championships. Coaches around Australia involved throughout our sporting pathways may also like to see how athletes they coached, coached against have fared. For college and professional coaches it gives some better clarity and comparisons than standard statistics. Throughout these articles we also hope to educate younger athletes and families, throughout Australia, on the importance of striving for these championships. We also provide useful insights from the top players taking part on how much they value their teammates, their team success, and hard work.


Thanks again all involved, including those that read and share our content, upcoming athletes out there, their supporters (families, team mates and coaches). Here's to an even bigger and better 2019!!!!

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