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The Game - Victory 1/9/10 *50-24*

We won!. The key to us winning is we stayed happy and we had fun. Everyone did amazing.

  • Michael had some great steals.
  • Nick ran circles around the other team’s players.
  • Andrew he had amazing shots.
  • Tyson had great passes and lay ups.
  • Joseph did a good job on getting rebounds.
  • Nathan had a great steal and got some awesome rebounds.
  • Jesse did a good job being point guard and dribbling.
  • Brayden was awesome with getting rebounds and throwing it to someone down court (me) for them to score.
  • Brady did a great job staying with his man.

I thought everyone did great in there own way that was way fun!

Aaron Leavitt



Saturday January 9, 2010 - 4 PM - Wow! That sure was a lot of fun. All of the practices since November really paid off. To say that we jumped on the other team right off the bat would be an understatement.

At the end of the first quarter it was 16 to 2. I pulled the team together and praised them while reminding them to not get too upset if the other team started to score points. Brady Stoker looked up at me and said “So you want us to go easy on them Coach?” “No way,” I said. “ I just want you guys to be careful with their feelings because we want them to have a good time too. So when they start scoring, don’t get too upset. You guys are playing really well. So play hard and run hard.”

PLAYING LINE-UP - In order to comply with the rules of the league that requires each player to play half the game, I tried to effectively come up with a fair, equitable, and exciting way to make the line-up. I took all four quarters and divided them in halves. Then I made two teams out of our ten players for each quarter. I repeated this for all 4 quarters with 8 completely separate teams. The goal was to get each of our players playing with everybody else on the team. I took our two big men (Brayden and Andrew) and tried to keep them on separate teams most of the time. Then I made sure that we had people who could dribble and shoot on each team. Some of the line-ups worked, and others not so much.

Making the eight teams eliminated many of the laborious chores of coaching this age group of boys.The players knew I had a game plan and knew that they did not have to try to stand near me trying to capture my attention to get into the game. It also allowed them to just go and play without worrying that they were going to be pulled out of the game because they made a mistake. At this point they all make mistakes, but we made a lot less mistakes than the other team. Everybody got their fair share of time today and I think they all had a great experience.

TALENT - It is very evident which boys have played before and which are new to the game. It is my hope that every player will improve throughout the season. I want every boy to be able to dribble better, make better passes, shoot more accurately, and hustle all the time on the court. This will require that they practice on their own time at home and with their friends. By the end of the short season I hope that each will love the game and want to continue playing for years to come.

I was really impressed with the boys who have been practicing. At the same time I felt bad today for our newest player Nick Wang. Nick has been unable to attend our practices and he has never played organized basketball before. He thought he was coming to a training today, yet we handed him his jersey and before he knew it he was out on the court playing in his first real organized basketball game. You have to give a lot of credit to Joseph, Andrew, Tyson, and Brady because they were out on the court with Nick in the second half of the first quarter trying to teach him where to go and what to do. While our first team was out on the court to start the game these four boys were trying to explain to Nick before he got out there what he should do. 5 minutes later he was on the court. That takes a lot of innocent confidence and I was proud of him for giving it his best effort.

I am not one for trying to yell out coaching commands at players from the sidelines during the game. I feel that the real learning takes place at practice and that the game is meant for the players to do what we have practiced. Therefore, I was unable to offer Nick a lot of help. With each passing quarter Nick did more and more and he even came up with a great steal in the fourth quarter and dribbled the ball out of the crowded key and passed it to he teammate. At-A-Boy Nick!!!

SWIRLING CONFUSION - Two practices ago our players came up with a great unexpected offensive strategy. Since we are forced to play zone defense in this league, Joseph and Nathan started running around in big circles all over the court when their team had the ball. This caused confusion for the guys guarding them to the point that the other three players on their team could easily get to the basket and score. I watched this in practice and told them that there were certain times in the season where they may want to do that during the real games. Today, they pulled Nick aside at half time and told him that he ought to try it out. I was unaware of their coaching him on this point and in the third quarter I started watching Nick running in big circles all over the court while on offense. I immediately picked up on what he was doing and all I could do was smile. I think that Brady and Joseph deserve great kudos for this great player to player coaching. By the end of the game Nick was having a great time on the court.

MAKE BASKETS - The glory seems to always be directed to those that make the baskets, yet I want to remind everybody that it takes a team to make a basket. And even if you did not score while on the court, you did some things to help the ball go in the basket. You may have made the great pass.You may have set a great pick.You may have made the rebound, Or better yet, you may have gotten your defender out of the way allowing an easy path for another player to get to the basket. Our goal is not to get any particular person to make a basket. Instead, our goal is to get the ball in the hoop every time we run down the court. We achieved that goal today much of the time. And even when we didn’t score, our players were in the right position to make good shots. We could have easily scored 10 to 20 more points if some of the close shots had fallen, but it is hard to be frustrated when you outscore your opponents in each quarter We have so much to be proud of in today’s game.We did so many good things on the court.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th TOTAL
Aaron 6 6 7 2
Andrew 4 - - -
Brady - - - -
Brayden - - - 2
Jesse - 2 - -
Joseph 2 - - -
Michael 2 2 6 -
Nathan - - - -
Nick - - - -
Tyson 2 2 6 -
SPARTANS 16 12 14 7
OTHER TEAM 2 8 10 4
PlayerBRAYDEN #00 - It does not show up in the scorecard, but Brayden was responsible for at least 10 of our points by grabbing the rebound and throwing it down the court to an open player on the run for a basket. Brayden is a big player and he is going to score lots of points this season by rebounding and putting back up the shot.
PlayerBRADY #11 - Brady hustled and got a lot of steals today. He put up some great shots, but they did not fall. He also showed good court leadership when dribbling the ball up the court. Look for him to be a scorer in the upcoming games as he loves to dribble to the right position and shoot. I hope that he doesn’t ever forget making the game ending block on the guy he was defending and the referee counted down the final seconds of the game.
PlayerNATHAN #10 - Nathan played his heart out today. I was so impressed with his steals. There were at least two times that he even dribbled the ball. For those that don’t know Nathan, he does not like to dribble the ball. He quickly gets the ball and prefers to pass it to a dribble happy teammate. I was impressed with his positioning on the court and ability to frustrate the person he was covering.
PlayerJOSEPH #5 - In the first quarter he shot from out by the free throw line and he buried it for two points. In the second quarter Joseph and Andrew kept getting the rebounds until we would finally score. I feel sorry for the guy Joseph defended because Joseph played good defense and he completely shut him down. Joseph made lots of good shots that are going to fall in future games.
PlayerNICK #20 - See my thoughts above.
PlayerTYSON #13 - Tyson played a very consistent game. He scored in the first three quarters and he had several steals. I will not soon forget the bullet pass he made to a teammate from just before the half court line across the court near the bucket. It was a bullet pass. I also vividly remember him standing at the half court line in the second half waiting for his opponent to come across the line. Just as the other player started to come across Tyson reached down low and stole the ball while moving forward and he was off the to bucket for a lay-up. It was a play that memories are made from and he stole the ball just the way we have been rehearsing in practice.
PlayerJESSE #4 - Jesse is our most natural point guard. He is so small and quick that defenders have a hard time covering him. But what I like most is his ability to see what is happening on the court. It is a gift that most players do not possess. More often than not he dribbles until it is time to make the perfect pass, but I watched him dribble out of a crowd today and turn the corner for great drives to the basket. They didn’t always fall for him today, but he had a great game.

PlayerMICHAEL #3 - That young man is fast. We watched in amazement as he would dribble off a pick on the far right side just passed the half court line and roll around for a speeding lay-up. His defender could not keep up with his initial burst of speed. In almost every case he would be driving in for a lay-up being chased by a much bigger player when he would put on the brakes as the opponent would jump for what they thought was a lay-up and they would fly by while Michael would wait patiently until they passed him, then he would shoot one of his favorite shots... The flat footed shot from just under the side of the basket... MICHAEL’S MONEY SHOT! I finally looked over at Tyson’s dad, Ron Agla, and said, “I wonder if he can even shoot a lay-up?” Within moments Michael was off to the races again and laid it up perfectly for two more points.

One more humorous thing about Michael. Michael does not always listen to me as the Coach. Half way through the third quarter we needed a dead ball to change out the team, yet every time we would get the ball Michael would drive for a score. Finally I yelled to Michael that he needed to foul the other team’s player to stop the game so that we could change the team. So what do you think Michael did? He promptly stole the ball again and took it in for a lay-up.

PlayerANDREW #12 - Driving home Aaron said, “Andrew really has a nice shot!” It is true. Andrew is a very consistent player and he has been great at practices.He listens and takes direction very well.If you tell him once, he immediately goes out and does what you showed him. Andrew pulled down several good rebounds and played the part of a big man very well.Not only did he have good shots, but he was in the right position on the court. It doesn’t matter what players he is on the court with, he just somehow figures out where he fits into the puzzle the best.

PlayerAARON #14 - Aaron shared after the game, “My favorite part was when the other player got mad. He was so frustrated with my scoring on offense and covering him on defense. My guy, (#5) came down the court shooting from near the free throw line and I jumped up and stuffed him. Our team got the loose ball and we came running down the court. They passed me the ball and as I was laying it up my guy came up and hacked me right after I shot the ball. I went flying through the air spinning from being hit by him. I landed hard and got up and everyone was cheering. “Wait, did I make that?” I don’t know how, but I did make the shot. And then I got to shoot a free throw to try to make the three point play. I missed it, but I still got two points. That was my favorite part of the game.”

As Aaron’s father, I couldn’t have been prouder today. Aaron has been practicing and playing a lot of ball the last year. Today, Aaron ran hard, defended well, and tried real hard to be a good team player. I smiled as I watched the guy defending Aaron start to lose his cool in the second quarter while grabbing Aaron’s jersey trying to slow him down, and hitting and shoving him when Aaron would box him out for rebounds. By the end of the game Aaron just ran around the court and made the player chase after him without giving the guy the opportunity to inflict any more bodily injury to Aaron. Ron Agla commented that last year when the team played this player there were three bloody noses as a result. I was proud of our team that we played hard and kept our cool.

Those watching Aaron play today quickly learned that he loves to take off running when our team gets a defensive rebound. Those that rebound on our team are also learning that when they get the rebound that they should immediately be looking to huck the ball down court where Aaron is always running full stride towards the bucket. This is a great team offensive strategy that quickly gets points for our team. Don’t be surprised if you start to see players like Jesse, Joseph, and Michael start to do similar things when we are defensively rebounding. This will allow Brayden, Andrew, Nathan, and Nick (our big men), targets to throw for an easy score. And if the runners aren’t open, then Tyson and Brady can get the outlet pass from our big men and push the ball quickly up the court.

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