NBA Summer League: Deonte Burton hits game-winner

Remember when we recently discussed The Basketball Movement and Edge Sport's Deonte Burton? He has been a busy man.

Just a few weeks ago, we talked about the ascension of former Iowa State Cylcone, Deonte Burton. After college, he played overseas, where he was the most valuable player of the Korean Basketball League. This year he was invited to work out and play for the OKC Thunder's Summer League squad. Now, he is under contract for the season.

Burton has already signed a two-way contract for the 2018-19 NBA season. The two-way contract means that he will split time with the Oklahoma City Thunder and their G-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. The contract means that he can play a maximum of 45 games for the Thunder.

Each team gets just a pair of two-way contracts. Last year was the first year for them and OKC used theirs on Daniel Hamilton and PJ Dozier. They both got a lot of run in the G-League and played in six and two NBA games respectively.

Burton was signed once his workouts at the Thunder training facility were complete - so they did not even need to see him in Summer League action to know that they wanted him on the team. He still decided to show out in Summer League anyway.

The highlights are already underway for Burton

Rob Yanders has done a lot to help Deonte Burton with the mental side of the game, which is huge at every level - especially the NBA. Deonte's full game was on display this Summer League, with heady defense, eye-popping athleticism, and yes - a game-winning jumper.

Did you watch the above video? Seriously, take the two minutes to watch this guy in action. The Basketball movement is very proud of what Deonte has already accomplished, but he is clearly destined for so much more greatness.

He finished his NBA Summer League outing with averages of 11/6/3 in just 20 minutes per game. Most impressive is his 1.6 steals AND 1.6 blocks in his five games of action.

The OKC Thunder have to find a way to work The Basketball Movement's Denote Burton into what they're doing this season. We will be watching closely as his career heads in a great direction, so keep it locked right here and follow us on Twitter @BBall_Movement

All stats per NBA.com

 

 

Willingness to adjust your game

You may have a good way of doing things. Are you willing to adjust your methods to become great?

A lot of players have multiple things they are good at. Solid free throw shooting, decent assist to turnover ratio, and serviceable defense can make you a contributor for a team. A player should not settle for these things. Shooting free throws at 70 percent? You may have to take some expert advice and be willing to tweak your shot to get to 75 or 80 percent.

Especially when it comes to shooting, players are often too proud to admit that they need to adjust from their old way of doing things. There have been a few players that have made it far with unorthodox shooting motions, but few of them have been considered great shooters.

You could get away with funky shooting if you make up for it in other ways like say... Dwight Howard. But let's be honest, you likely aren't Dwight Howard.

Being able to step back and take advice from those who have played the game at a high level and closely monitored the successes and failures of other players a high levels - that is how you can improve.

To be a good or great player, you will need to be able to adapt to doing things the best way possible. Keeping a low, strong dribble will reap more rewards than dribbling loose and high. Being tall will help get rebounds, but working hard at pursuing and having a nose for angles will elevate your ability. Always be willing to improve.

We can always be average and just do what’s normal. I’m not in this to do what’s normal.
— Kobe Bryant

If you are already doing something your way or a prior mentor/coaches way at an impressive clip - that's great. A good trainer or coach can recognize that and allow you to keep doing your thing. However, if they advise you to tweak it slightly to improve consistency (like keeping your elbow in a bit more while you shoot), it can't hurt to listen and give it a legitimate try.

We may be biased, but results don't lie. The Basketball Movement is the premier training facility in this part of the country, with some of the best coaches and trainers. If you're already good, that's awesome - we love it. There is however an opportunity for you to become great and we would love to help you. Contact us here to take your game to the next level.

Anthony Tolliver - Minnesota Timberwolves

The Basketball Movement talks with Springfield, Missouri's Anthony Tolliver following his signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The gyms at The Basketball Movement have hosted a lot of terrific players over the years. One of the most successful has to be NBA player, Anthony Tolliver.

Prior to owning the facility, Rob Yanders worked out there as a player. Even before all of Rob's improvements, the space was one of the best basketball facilities in the area. Working out here during his pro days led to Rob meeting and playing against fellow pro, Tolliver.

Though he is originally from Springfield, Tolliver lives with his family in Dallas most of the year. He says that he still can see the impact of The Basketball Movement through videos and its viral presence.

He (Rob) clearly has big dreams for this community as well. Giving back through knowledge is giving back the best you can, whether you have knowledge of engineering, basketball, whatever. He does a great job, especially with kids or individuals striving for scholarships or even pro ball.
— Tolliver on Rob Yanders

That is high praise from Anthony Tolliver, who gives back to our area himself whether it's basketball camps, real estate investments, etc. Tolliver says that it is important to never forget where you come from - he hasn't.

What's next for the sharpshooting big man?

There was one word that Anthony Tolliver used to describe himself: "Worker". His summer is filled with consistent workouts, usually at gyms/high schools near his home in Texas. "As you get older, it's more important to work smarter rather than harder" Tolliver said. "The older you get, it's important to be smart about how you approach an 82 game season."

Now a 10-year veteran with almost 600 NBA games under his belt, Tolliver is no stranger to NBA free agency. We asked him about his mindest amidst the uncertainty.

It’s always a struggle mentally, but I have been there many times. You know that you’ve done your work, so you just have to wait on the various team decisions.
— Tolliver on free agency

After agreeing to a new one-year contract, he is now set to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves for the second time in his career. He played two seasons for the Wolves previously from 2010-2012. Clearly they remember his three-point shooting, rebounding, and willingness to defend around the rim. He now comes to them as a strong veteran presence (38 percent career three-point shooting doesn't hurt either).

As for living in Minneapolis when the time comes, Tolliver says the players are on their own. He will likely find a house to rent with his wife and children and get up there a few weeks before training camp.

Asked about NBA Summer League, Tolliver gave a chuckle. "I'm definitely past that" he said. "I did that for about five seasons, but it's for the young guys. I'm glad it's over."

Advice and faith

Robert Yanders built The Basketball Movement on faith. He has explained vividly before that every piece of wood in his floors, his color scheme, everything is based around giving glory to the God that allows him to follow his dreams.

If you are familiar with Anthony Tolliver or follow him on any media outlets, you know that that same faith resides in him.

It is my foundation. I take it very seriously because it is my purpose on this Earth. I use my given skills with the knowledge of who I represent - I use my platform for His glory. It helps me stay confident and motivated - it is incredibly fulfilling to play in the NBA and use my platform in that way.
— Tolliver on his faith

We asked Tolliver for advice for current Basketball Movement players and he brought it back to working smarter not harder. "It isn't rocket science; there are no secret drills that will get you to the NBA."

Consistency - working daily on the right things was his best advice. "You could work for three hours on the wrong things. Work on what's important."

Take a page out of NBA forward Anthony Tolliver's book; come get in work at one of the Midwest's top facilities. The Movement has come a long way over the years, bringing a professional, urban basketball presence to the community. Contact us here to get started.

We wish Anthony Tolliver and the Minnesota Timberwolves the best of luck in this upcoming season!

2018 NBA Draft pick Alize Johnson - The Basketball Movement

Missouri State Alum Alize Johnson talks with The Basketball Movement after being selected in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The first Missouri State Bear selected in the NBA Draft since Winston Garland (1987), Alize Johnson is a versatile threat destined for professional basketball at the highest level. No stranger to The Basketball Movement, we had the opportunity to talk to him after the draft.

Fans of Missouri State basketball are very familiar with Alize's game. He is a capable scorer and is a 20-rebound threat despite his versatility as a stretch-big. With the size and quickness to guard multiple positions, he was coveted by several NBA teams.

Alize Johnson has had a very busy Summer, working out with 12 NBA teams all over the country. He said that it was a "Dream come true" being in all of those facilities and meeting the personnel.

Players or fans alike would recognize another versatile big man named Johnson that Alize got to meet recently. "Meeting Magic Johnson in LA was not normal" Alize said. "I had to act normal, but to meet someone on his level with his experience... it was definitely cool."

He has encountered players at all levels on his journey. He said of his fellow draftee, Dante DiVincenzo that he was not surprised in the least that he went 17th. He also mentioned De'Aaron Fox, who was drafted last season but is technically younger than Alize. "He has been great to defend this offseason. I've learned where I need to be in my lateral movement from his speed."

The Draft

Hearing your name selected in the NBA draft is an incredible accomplishment for basketball players from every corner of the world. In case he was not tired of answering the question already, we asked Alize what it felt like to get drafted:

It felt like a dream. I have worked extremely hard and been through a lot with my family. It was an emotional night, but now I’m looking forward to getting to play with the best players in the world.
— Alize Johnson

When asked what the next step is for him, Alize explained that NBA Summer League is the next big moment. "I'm learning plays and getting a feel for how they want to use me" Alize said. He aims to impress them with his ability to fill any role on the floor. He says he would be comfortable at the 3 or 4 position - whatever the team needs.

He said he is currently working on conditioning and getting back to being a knock-down three-point shooter like he was his Junior year at MSU. Speaking of putting in work...

Alize Johnson and The Basketball Movement

His time at Missouri State is what led to meeting Rob Yanders and working out at The Basketball Movement. He said that he heard this is where local guys came to get great workouts.

Rob is a great guy - very genuine. He can explain how to work out efficiently for you specifically. He’s a great trainer but an even better dude.
— Alize Johnson on Rob Yanders

As it is often goes with time spent at The Basketball Movement, it is easier to show you the work than to explain it in words. Check out the video below for some of the work Alize Johnson put in here at The Movement.

Asked to give advice to The Basketball Movement's up-and-comers on how to get your name called in the draft, he had a few simple tips.

Our personal favorite is "Use Rob." Alize explained that Rob has played as a professional and had players come through his doors from the highest level. Having such a resource here in the Midwest is a great way for players to get ahead.

Beyond that, Johnson spoke on the importance of character and leaning on whatever religion you may follow. He said to remain humble, but also to work extremely hard.

If working "extremely hard" doesn't scare you off of your path to the top, contact The Basketball Movement to get to work right away.

We wish our friend, Alize Johnson the best of luck in the NBA! Summer League in Vegas starts tonight with all games televised on either NBA TV, ESPN, or ESPN U, so don't forget to tune in!

Happy 4th from The Basketball Movement!

As you safely celebrate Independence Day, we thought we would bring you some highlights from Team USA.

The world may slowly be catching up, but USA basketball has been the undisputed kings of the worldwide basketball scene. From the Dream Team to LeBron James and Kobe Bryant teaming up, there have been a lot of fun moments.

The Dream Team got its name for a reason. To assemble Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Stockton & Malone, and the rest was a dream come true. Here are a few of their highlights from the '92 trip to Barcelona where they took home the gold:

They may not have gotten a cool nickname, but the 2012 team that took gold in London was pretty solid also. LeBron, Kobe, Melo, Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Paul, Love, a young Anthony Davis... gimme a break.

Here are a few of their highlights:

There are of course many other Men's Team USA players worth mentioning. We know however that you have family and fireworks to get to, so we'll leave you with this.

Men's USA basketball is certainly not the only dominant basketball team repping the United States on the global level. Below are highlights from the 2016 women's national team that took gold under Maya Moore, Britney Griner, Elena Della Donne, Tamika Catchings, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and more.

The next Olympic Summer games aren't until 2020. We will have some FIBA championships in the meantime as well as Olympic training camps.

We at The Basketball Movement hope that you have a safe and fun Fouth of July with loved ones. Take a day off if you have to, but remember to get some shots up tomorrow! USA! USA! USA!

NBA free agency season

Basketball never sleeps - especially at the pro level. The Finals are over, the draft is done, but the business is still in full swing.

You may have heard that LeBron James has a new home. Well, technically he already had a home in L.A., but you know what I mean. The biggest deal of the Summer came and went with James signing a 4-year, $154M deal with the Lakers.

This is not the first time we have seen LeBron jump ship from Cleveland, though the circumstances are much different. Instead of leaving his hometown via hour-long TV special to create a super team, he quietly joined a young squad. He has also accomplished his goal of brining a championship to the city of Cleveland.

The pieces have likely yet to all fall into place in L.A. Look for DeMarcus Cousins or even Kawhi Leonard to head there to join James. Hilariously, Javale McGee and Lance Stephenson are headed to the Lakeshow as well, already being called the "Meme Team".

All-NBA center Deandre Jordan is headed for a new destination too. He has signed with his hometown Dallas Mavericks after verbally committing a few years back, only to stay put with the Clippers. No hard feelings, apparently.

The next biggest name to move on is Trevor Ariza taking a one-year deal with the Suns, leaving the contending Rockets. Beyond that, most of the other big names are staying put for now.

Players staying put

LeBron is on the move and Kawhi Leonard and DeMarcus Cousins are undecided. Likely the biggest star that is staying put so far is Paul George. Apparently all-in on OKC and Russell Westbrook, George somewhat surprisingly has turned down a chance to move to his hometown of L.A. to play with Bron.

Paul George made the announcement himself at Westbrook's party. (via @GabeIkard) pic.twitter.com/2sxXOK3epA

— SportsCenter(@SportsCenter) July 1, 2018

Kevin Durant and Chris Paul both signed deals to remain with their teams, though it was expected. Nikola Jokic will return to the Nuggets on a five-year, $146M contract.

Enes Kanter, Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, J.J. Redick, Jerami Grant, and others have already opted to stay put also.

The landscape of the NBA has changed dramatically already with more excitement coming. With top-five-player potential, Kawhi Leonard would elevate any squad instantly, as would Cousins. Better check in again soon to stay on top of the basketball movement!

Jahad Thomas - The Basketball Movement

Jahad Thomas works out with The Basketball Movement following a successful collegiate career. His goal? The NBA.

From Williamsport, Pennsylvania originally, Jahad Thomas has worked and worked to become the player he is today. A red-shirt freshman at UMass Lowell, Thomas was clearly patient, as he exploded onto the scene his official freshman season averaging 14 points and 1.3 steals.

Thomas' numbers climbed each season, culminating in senior-year averages of 21/8/4 and 1.8 steals per contest. Averaging 8.7 boards his final two seasons is a very telling figure for the 6'2" guard. He is clearly a high-motor player that is not afraid to get in the paint.

The greatest strides that Jahad has taken as a player are intangibles according to him. Leadership and positivity are things that he has had to work at, but they have played great dividends. For the ultimate in leadership and positivity, Jahad found himself in front of the perfect trainer - Rob Yanders.

Enter The Basketball Movement

Jahad Thomas says that he heard about Rob Yanders and The Basketball Movement through his friend, Alize Johnson. Now drafted by the Indiana Pacers, Johnson has been an ally of The Movement for a while. Upon being introduced to Rob, Jahad said that he was blown away by the way Robert treated him like he'd known him for years.

Side note: Watch the video below. Some things are easy to show than to put into words. Watch this man get in his work with The Basketball Movement in one of the best examples of intensity we have, especially from about 3:45-on.

Having seen the impact of positivity and leadership, Thomas said that when he is around Robert, he does his best to be a "human sponge" to soak up as much as he can.

Being a sponge around experienced guys like Rob, working hard to learn as much as possible, and taking care of his body are the big keys for Jahad right now.

Robert has helped me tremendously. He has taught me how to be a professional on and off the court. I’ve learned a lot from him about communication and the importance of making connections.
— Jahad Thomas

Asked about his ceiling as a basketball player, Thomas first answered "Very high", but then corrected himself; "No ceiling." He says that consistent work with Rob and continuing to work out in other ways has built his confidence to continue to elevate his game.

Next steps for Jahad Thomas

Already an established scorer at the collegiate level, Jahad says that he wants to continue to round his skill-set so that he can play the game as it comes to him, no-matter the situation.

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Continuing to improve will help him reach his goal of making it to the NBA, no matter how long it takes.

Rob explained to me that with my goals (the NBA), it’s alright even if it doesn’t go exactly the way you want.
— Jahad Thomas

He went on to explain that Robert has taught him a lot about the importance of great routines and consistent workouts. Things like knowing when to go hard and when to slow down are important skills that you do not always get to hone without concentrated training such as what is offered at The Basketball Movement.

Jahad comes across as being laid-back, but is a gym rat through and through. This is a guy to keep an eye on as he continues to elevate his game.

It also says a lot that he spoke so highly of Rob Yanders in such a short period of time. If you are serious about taking your game to the next level, contact The Basketball Movement here.

Payton Henson - The Basketball Movement

Payton Henson is working hard with The Basketball Movement as he eyes a professional hoops career.

Originally from Arkansas, Payton Henson has been spending his summer right here at The Basketball Movement. In speaking to Henson, he seems humble yet hungry - realistic yet confident. This is a guy that is willing to put in the work to take his game to the next level.

He recalls growing up with/playing against DaShaun Stark, who has been working feverishly with Rob Yanders and The Movement this summer also. Henson says that his time at The Basketball Movement largely began as seeking a place to work out - a search that ended in a premier destination here in the Midwest.

Payton says that the professionalism he has experienced at The Movement is evident from the get-go. It has taught him a lot about playing the game at the next level.

Rob has been around and has seen a lot. Working out is one thing, but he has shown me how to take all of that a step farther.
— Payton Henson

Taking Henson's game a step farther with The Basketball Movement

When asked how The Movement is helping in his training and preparation, Henson had several answers. "Eating right, recovery, and continual improvement." With Rob's focused and tailor-made workouts, players are able to get in and get better every single day.

Henson says that he has learned to "take treatment and dieting seriously" as he has gotten a bit older. Eating healthier and taking the time to stretch/focus on recovery have been some big eye-openers that he's taken away from his time here.

Payton Henson played his first two years of college ball at Tulane and finished up his collegiate career strong at the University of Vermont. Henson shot an impressive 81 percent at the line in his final two seasons, averaged double-digit scoring figures, and was hitting threes at a 40 percent clip by his senior year. Good stuff from the 6'8" Henson.

In talking about how he is striving to improve as a player, Payton spoke about transitioning his college game to the pro level:

I played the 4 in college, but I’m trying to transition to more of a 3. I’m working to get better off the bounce and working on pull-up shooting from mid-range on out.

What's next for Payton Henson?

"Playing at the highest level", Henson responded when asked about his aspirations as a player. "I will take it one step at a time until I secure my first contract."

He says that it is a bit of a waiting game right now. He can try to get in front of the right people to carve out a place in the NBA G-League, or play overseas where he has already garnered interest. Payton could potentially head from one of those squads in Germany, Spain, or France.

Asked about some of the top basketball experiences he is drawing from, he had a pretty cool answer. His Junior year, they were 16-0 in the conference, but had to come back from behind in the championship game. Payton hit the go-ahead and-one with 30 seconds left to secure the victory and a NCAA Tournament berth.

Henson is experienced, articulate, and driven to power his game to the next stage. The help from The Basketball Movement will be evident for whoever is smart enough to give him his next shot.

All statistics from ESPN.

Edge Sports International, Inc. sends players to The Basketball Movement

The Basketball Movement just keeps growing with help from our friends at Edge Sports.

Edge Sports International, Inc. is a sports marketing and management firm out of Chicago, Illinois. They represent professional athletes at home and abroad and are sending some of their talent to Southwest Missouri and The Basketball Movement.

According to Edge Sports' website, "Edge Sports International is an elite sports management and marketing group representing top professional athletes worldwide." They offer multiple services such as: contract negotiation, business advisory services, marketing, media relations, and more.

Edge Sports represented five players in the NBA last season and many more in the NBA G-League and all the top international leagues.

Sam Cipriano

I spoke with Sam Cipriano, Senior Vice President with Edge Sports ahead of the arrival of the Edge Sports players. He gave us the scoop as far as what Edge Sports is all about and which players they would be sending to The Basketball Movement.

Roughly the same age, Cipriano says he and our Founder Rob Yanders grew up in Wisconsin, where Sam followed Rob's basketball career closely from high school on up. Sam and Rob reconnected at the NBA Summer League a few years back.

The Basketball Movement and The Edge Sports, Int. have a mutual client in professional player, Deonte Burton. As we have touched on before, Burton had an extremely successful first season playing in South Korea and is poised to continue his ascension.

Giving players "The Edge"

Naturally, the firm is all about giving their athletes an edge over the competition. They go above and beyond in their marketing and are very experienced in contract negotiation. Their involvement with The Basketball Movement confirms that they are also very thorough in making sure their players are constantly improving.

We asked Cipriano about the importance of monitoring the continual improvement of the players they represent:

Extremely important... Players at every position on the floor must be so skilled in today’s game. Every player must be able to stretch the floor, defend multiple positions, attack close-outs, and keep the ball moving. We help our clients add something new to their game each and every off-season.
— Sam Cipriano

When asked about how the agency gives its players that coveted "edge", Sam described that Edge Sports is a family-oriented boutique agency that has been representing players in the NBA and worldwide for over 25 years. He explained that their clients feel like "our brothers" that get their full focus on and off the court.

Involvement with The Basketball Movement

Deonte Burton of Edge Sports has of course been working out with The Basketball Movement for a while and will continue to do so. There are more players inbound that Edge Sports would like to see hone their skills with the unique, professional quality workouts of The Movement.

Cipriano says that they currently have about 13 guys that will be playing in the NBA Summer League that he would like to get in front of Rob Yanders and TBM's other trainers. Rob will make sure that the players get his trademark efficient, customized workouts to take their game to the next level.

The backgrounds of each of these players are varied. There will be guys like Deonte Burton that are Americans with overseas experience, several NBA rookies, foreign players, you name it.

We will keep you up to date as The Basketball Movement continues this exciting collaboration with Edge Sports International. For more on what the guys over at Edge Sports are all about, check out their Twitter @Edge_Sports. For more on The Basketball Movement, you are already in the right place.

For inquiries, you can contact Sam by email at scipriano@edgesportsintl.com

The 2018 NBA Award winners

The 2nd annual NBA Awards show was last night. Who took home the big honors?

Two years in a row now, the NBA has had an awards show well after the Playoffs have ended. It is a bit of a strange tradition, but also fun for basketball enthusiasts to tune in to. Let's dive in to some of these awards.

Coach of the Year - A bit less exciting than some of the other awards depending on who you ask. The coach of the year for the 2017-18 season was Dwane Casey of the Toronto Raptors. As we'd talked about here, Casey was fired for his trouble after the season, but has already found work again in Detroit.

KIA NBA Most Improved Player - Spencer Dinwiddie, Clint Capela, and Victor Oladipo all took big steps forward this season. The winner was Victor Oladipo, who's big step forward turned him from a sidekick with potential into a full-blown NBA All-Star.

KIA NBA Defensive Player of the Year - Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis were imposing rim-protectors this season, but neither were on the level of this year's winner. Rudy Gobert was the defensive anchor of a surprisingly good Utah Jazz squad this season.

KIA NBA Sixth Man - There were many solid contributors off of the bench in the NBA this year, including runners up, Fred VanVleet and Eric Gordon. As we have discussed here before though, Lou Williams was head and shoulders above the rest, nearly being selected as an All-Star in the West despite his bench role.

KIA NBA Rookie of the Year - This one was probably the tightest race of the awards. Even for Jayson Tatum and the rest of the impressive rookie class, this was between Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell. "Spida" Mitchell looked great in the Playoffs, but this is a regular season honor - one taken home by Simmons.

KIA NBA Most Valuable Player - Anthony Davis was a beast this season and LeBron James carried his team all the way to the NBA Finals. Again, this is a regular season award however. The NBA's best regular season team was the Houston Rockets, led by the 2017-18 MVP - James Harden. Makes the OKC Thunder days of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden seem surreal.

Other awards - Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets was Executive of the Year, Kemba Walker won the Sportsmanship Award, Jamal Crawford won the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, and Oscar Robertson won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

2018 NBA Draft recap

The 2018 NBA Draft is done and a fresh crop of talent has entered the world's best basketball league.

Last season's rookie class is already looking like one of the best NBA draft classes ever. Many might have assumed that this following draft may be a bit on the weaker side, but talent was not in short supply once more.

Much of the draft played out as expected, though there were a few surprises. Deandre Ayton out of Arizona went number one overall to the Phoenix Suns as expected. The Sacramento Kings had seemed unsure about who to take at two, but went for Marvin Bagley out of Duke.

Euro superstar Luka Doncic was selected third by the Atlanta Hawks, but was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young (selected fifth) and a future first round pick. Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State went fourth to Memphis.

Texas standout Mohamed "Mo" Bamba went to Orlando with the sixth pick and Wendell Carter of Duke went seventh to the Bulls.

Villanova star Mikal Bridges went tenth to Philly. He and his family were gushing about staying home, only to be traded a short while later to the Charlotte Hornets. So goes the business of the NBA. Mikal's Villanova teammate and NCAA Tournament MVP Donte DiVencenzo went 17th to the Milwaukee Bucks.

One surprise was the draft-day slide of Mizzou's Michael Porter Jr. to Denver with the 14th pick. Injuries might have scared off other teams, but he could be a real value at 14.

Friend of The Basketball Movement, Missouri State's Alize Johnson was selected in the second round by the Indiana Pacers at 50. Johnson is the first MSU player selected in the NBA draft since Winston Garland in 1987. Congrats, Alize!

A few other noteworthy picks were Grayson Allen at 21, Mortiz Wagner at 25, and Kostas Antetokounmpo (Giannis' little brother) at 60 - the last pick.

There is a lot of promise in these young guys - it will be another fun Summer and season ahead. Keep an eye out here soon, as we talk with Alize about his experiences and expectations going forward.

Congratulations to all those drafted. For those who weren't, you've got next. We'd love to help.

 

Pro baller Deonte Burton - The Basketball Movement

With a year of pro ball under his belt, Deonte Burton is poised to make a splash at the NBA Summer League this year.

The Basketball Movement's Deonte Burton is already working out at the OKC Thunder training facilities preparing for Summer League. Playing for the Thunder's team will get him plenty of exposure as he looks to advance his professional basketball career. 

Burton played his college ball at Marquette and Iowa State. He played last year for Wonju DB Promy of the Korean Basketball League, where he was the league MVP.

Burton was the Big 12 newcomer of the year in 2016 when he tranferred to Iowa State, despite having to wait out multiple games per NCAA policy. By his senior season, he was second-team all big 12, and clearly ready for the next level.

Honestly this whole article could be highlight videos. From high school to Korea - the big shots, blocks, and dunks haven't stopped coming. Burton is going to make sure that they do not stop any time soon either.

Playing professional basketball

When asked to compare the Big 12 to playing overseas in Korea, Burton said "It's really apples and oranges". The style of basketball may be very different, but he notes that the discipline and competitive style from college helped translate to any variant of pro basketball.

I went from playing 30 games to playing 60. You have to really take care of your body and work on the little things. Things like stretching everyday that you didn’t really worry about in college.
— Deonte Burton on his pro experience

Burton explained that though he was playing more games, conditioning was similar because it's a two way street. "The more games you play, the better shape you'll be in" Deonte said.

Deonte said that this has been his first time overseas for more than a year. He says that it has been a fantastic experience and he has learned a lot about Korean culture and about himself. Wonju is a very traditional South Korean town that has allowed him to learn a lot about Eastern culture.

Deonte Burton and Rob Yanders - Milwaukee guys

When asked how Deonte got hooked up with Robert and The Basketball Movement, he threw it way back. He said his older brother and Robert were great friends growing up in Milwaukee. The connection remained and Rob remained great example for Burton on and off the court.

 He discussed how Robert has been helping him with the mental side of the game.

That part of the game is really big. I’m physically gifted, but so are other people at this level. Discipline and hard work separates everyone.
— Deonte Burton

Shooting has been the biggest focus for Deonte this Summer. He is already a solid shooter, but he said that you must constantly improve because every league requires you to be able to shoot the ball.

Focusing on a well-rounded offensive game is what he would like to demonstrate in the Summer League; defense, his improved shooting, and whole offensive repertoire.

His workouts with OKC this offseason he calls well-balanced, but overall similar to what he's been through many times before. The NBA Summer League tips of in early July, so Deonte Burton is ready to show the world what he can do. His goal?

"Dominate Summer League"

We believe he can. The games will be televised between ESPN and NBA TV, so remember to tune in!

DaShaun Stark - The Basketball Movement

An athletic 6'5", DaShaun Stark is working with The Basketball Movement to prepare for the pro-scene.

Friendly and articulate with a humble confidence, DeShaun Stark is poised for basketball at the professional level.

Originally from the area, DaShaun Stark moved to Arkansas around age 10, where he went on to play high school ball. Many from Southwest Missouri may recognize DaShaun Stark from his freshman and sophomore seasons as a Drury Panther (2013-2015).

After red-shirting a year back down south for the Arkansas Razorbacks, Stark got much more run his senior year for William Woods University. Stark shot nearly 50 percent from the field that year, also using his length to grab boards, disrupt opposing players, and now - draw attention on the pro-scene.

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Asked what us next for him in his career - Stark says that improving is his number one priority. 

I have to keep improving and just get in front of some teams in the G-League. From there I can keep rising.

One of the experiences that Strark draws on the most is his time at Arkansas. He says that his eyes were opened to the level of basketball he was capable of playing. He also cites his first collegiate game - an exhibition at Duke - for igniting his passion for continuing to play the game.

Stark's time with The Basketball Movement

Playing on his Step-Father's team back in 8th grade, DaShaun recalls going up against a Robert Yanders-led squad. He said the Rob liked his game, approached him, and made the connection.

DaShaun said that he has become a much better player mentally since putting in work with The Basketball Movement. Rob's experiences have been really applicable to his circumstances and mindset. He is also striving to transition into more of a point guard role, so Rob is working with him to improve his handles and shot from deep.

The further you go in a basketball career, the harder it is on your body. Stark had a standout point that he has been learning about: water.

I’ve never been big on water or just hydration in general, so that’s been a big change. The little things day-to-day have become more important - what to eat and especially what not to eat.

DaShaun is very appreciative of his time with Robert Yanders. He says that The Basketball Movement has helped his game "tremendously". Professionalism, routine, and specifically catered curriculum are a few of the highlights that Stark pointed out to us.

Rob has been a great basketball influence for many years.

When asked about his ceiling, Stark said that his mindframe is that he has no ceiling. "Sky's the limit." After seeing his game and committment, we believe him.

Happy Father's Day from The Basketball Movement!

At the core of The Basketball Movement, family (blood or not) drives everyone to be their best.

Your Father may have put up your first goal, driven you to practice, or even coached you. Today is a great reminder to thank your dad - or whoever filled that role in your life.

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In my a sit-down interview with The Movement's Founder, Rob Yanders, I learned that fatherhood played a big role in his business. The desire to be the best for his own son propels Robert and his team of trainers to be the best they can for the boys, girls, men, and women that walk through the doors of The Basketball Movement.

I have a son. I selfishly also want my son to grow up around other leaders and be led in the right direction in this community.
— Rob Yanders

Not everyone has a desirable father-son or father-daughter relationship. For almost everyone though, there are people in their life that have stepped up and been a great example. Today is certainly for those individuals as well.

I (@WilHarrington) am set to become a dad in seven or so weeks. I am excited at the opportunity to draw on the experiences I've had with my Father, who was also my basketball and baseball coach. I intend to also draw on examples set by Robert and other strong father figures I've been able to be around in my life.

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The Basketball Movement is a fraternity for basketball lovers and its doors are open to you and yours. Mentorship and excellent role models abound here and we invite you to become a part of it.

Happy Father's Day from The Basketball Movement!

Using size to your advantage

Basketball players come in many shapes and sizes. Each of these various sizes can be used to a player's advantage.

For a long time, basketball was closed off to only the biggest individuals at its highest levels. Throwing it into the post to let your bruiser back his/her way to the cup was the most effective form of offense. Times have changed.

The game itself has evolved, as has our understanding of what it takes to win. Foul-calling and the three pointer have been a pair of equalizers in addition to the knowledge of what it takes to succeed at smaller sizes.

It still certainly helps to be big, but now more than ever, smaller players have opportunities to compete as well.

Guards can use skill and speed

Perimeter players can be light and/or on the shorter side, while still achieving success. A great shot can go a long way in the sport of basketball. Ball-handling and passing as well. A taller player may be able to get a better view of the floor, but being lower to the ground often means improved ball-handling prowess and bounce pass options.

There are numerous examples of shorter players experiencing great success at all levels of the game. The Basketball Movement's Rob Yanders played professionally with grit and savvy rather than overpowering opponents with strength and size - though quickness and toughness helped too.

Post players aren't going anywhere

Just because it is easier to be an undersized baller does not mean that post-play is out the door. A surplus of height, or even extra (managed) weight/muscle are always an intimidating factor on the court.

The taller you are, the closer you are to the rim. Offense and defense both become a bit easier with height. The top rim-protectors have always been tall with an above-everage wingspan.

Even if you are on the bigger side, but height isn't part of the equation, there are ways to succeed. The bigger you are, the more you will be able to impose your will on smaller players.

Not too big, but not too small?

You can definitely work with this too. Being somewhere in between means that you may be able to matchup with multiple positions.

A well-rounded skill set will help you to use your size on the perimeter or hang with the bigs down low.

The Basketball Movement is the ideal place to maximize your potential and learn to take advantage of your stature - no matter what that may be. Contact us to schedule some time into your Summer to step up your game with our great coaches and facility!

Golden State Warriors: 2018 NBA Champions

The Golden State Warriors are back-to-back NBA Champions, with Kevin Durant winning his second Finals MVP award.

There was little doubt coming into these Finals that the Golden State Warriors were a better team than the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Dubs swept the Cavs, celebrating their victory after game four in Cleveland last night.

Kevin Durant was a monster in the Finals averaging 29 points, 11 boards, 7.5 assists, and 2.3 blocks while shooting 53 percent from the field. His game three propelled his selection for the award, as he shouldered the load in the victory with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggling with their shots.

Former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala provided a spark off the bench in his two games back from injury. For the Playoffs, Steph Curry average 25 per game, Thompson about 20, and Durant 29. Draymond Green nearly average a Playoff triple-double with (approximately) a 11/11/8 line to go with 2 steals and 1.5 blocks.

The is Head Coach Steve Kerr's third championship coaching after winning five as a player.

The Cavaliers' side of things

In this series, LeBron James averaged 34/8.5/10 to go with a steal and a block while shooting 53 percent from the field and 84 percent from the stripe.

Interestingly, LeBron had a brace on his shooting hand in his last interview. Reports say that he injured it punching something after the frustrating game one loss. If true, this is a very disappointing move by James. Emotion cannot come before team success.

The extent of the injury is unknown, but it is tough to deny how banged up he was. The apparent hand injury, a few pokes in the eye, an ankle tweak, and the most minutes played in the NBA this season takes their toll.

Kevin Love was the only other Cavalier to average double-digit points in the series, averaging 19 and 11. The rest of the Cavs either were not used properly or just, well, stunk.

End of an interesting NBA season

It was assumed by most that the winner from the Western Conference would handle any team out of the East. The Warriors and Houston Rockets were on a different level than any other teams this year.

A fourth installment of Warriors vs. Cavaliers was not what many fans might have wished for. Really though, that just shows how spoiled we are by today's stars. The Finals gave us one of the best teams of all-time facing off against one of the best players of all-time.

This season was filled with interesting new squad compilations and a new crop of future stars. The NBA is still going very, very strong.

Now begins the offseason. The draft, free agency (that includes LeBron James), Olympics prep, and then Summer League await. Stay tuned to The Basketball Movement for all of the continued coverage!

All stats from BasketballReference.com

Leadership from all positions

When we think of leaders in basketball we often think of point guards or top-scorers. Leaders can actually come from any position.

Inspiration can come from a lot of places. When your team is tired, a fiery speech from a coach or a commanding shout from a teammate can ignite a flame that helps everyone push through. Leaders keep heads from hanging when you're down and egos humble when you're up.

There are a lot of great examples of leaders in today's game from Gregg Popovich and Mike Krzyzewski to Chris Paul and Al Horford.

The Basketball Movement has its own great leader in Founder and Coach, Rob Yanders.

Leadership can be vocal or even just by example. Not every player has the personality to be a vocal leader for their team, even if they're the best players (example: Kawhi Leonard).

Leadership does not always come from the top

If the top player for a team is not up for being vocal, that role needs to fall to someone else. Communication is a very important part of basketball - on fastbreaks, offense, and especially on defense.

The top vocal leader on your team may even come off of the bench. Players that are engaged and helpful from the bench are much better for a team than players who quietly wait to enter the game.

The best way to be a leader - no-matter your role the team - is to lead by example. If you are a player that does not give up on plays, is always pushing the pace, and defends tenaciously, you are constantly setting a good example for your teammates. That is called leadership.

Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players.
— Larry Bird

You may be the last player to come off the bench at the end of the game. If you play hard and scrape your way back into the game, you can inspire others to follow.

Leadership is incredibly important in basketball as well as other aspects of life. Remember that you can be a leader by working as hard as possible and setting an example for others to follow, no-matter your position or role.

 

The NBA 2K19 cover athlete has been announced

As an athlete, there are opportunities to earn numerous awards. One unofficial accolade is making it on the cover of a video game.

Over the years, it has become difficult to deny that NBA 2K games have lapped the NBA Live series. 2K is the ultimate video game basketball experience, especially with the lack of a NCAA title, NBA Street, or NBA Jam in recent years.

Congratulations to LeBron James for being selected to grace to cover of the next game, NBA 2K19.

James has been on the cover once before - on NBA 2K14 when he was with the Miami Heat. Kevin Durant has also been on twice (2013, 2015), along with Michael Jordan (2011-2012). Allen Iverson was on the first four covers from 2000-2004.

LeBron's age 33 seasons has already proved to be one of his personal best, though his team is currently on the ropes in the NBA Finals.

The cover is different than usual, taking a lot from LeBron's personal brand and the material he often writes on his shoes before games.

When you aren't getting work in with The Basketball Movement, the 2K series is a fun distraction and way to learn about some of the best players in the world. They even have plenty of throwback teams so you can play as some of the greats.

To see the real deal, LeBron and Co. will be back in action Wednesday (6/5/18) for game 3 of the NBA Finals. The game starts at 8:00 PM (CT) on ABC.

NBA Finals game two tonight - Can the Cavaliers rally?

After an extremely tough loss in game one, Cleveland will have to dig deep to get back in these Finals.

Few individuals believed at any point that the Cleveland Cavaliers could win these NBA Finals. An electric 51/8/8 performance by LeBron James had every appearance of being enough to pull off a game one upset. It was not meant to be.

The final sequence of regulation could not have gone much worse than it did for Cleveland. They got a good free throw shooter to the line, but he missed the second attempt. An offensive rebound by JR Smith was wasted as well as he dribbled away pointlessly, unaware of the score.

Understandably deflated, the Cavs got drubbed in overtime by the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

Already underdogs, a game one victory on the road could have turned the tables in this series. Instead, the Warriors get another home game tonight, up 1-0 in the series.

Mentality will be paramount for both teams in game two

For the Warriors, it may be easy to relax a bit after stealing back the game one victory. They need to maintain a "killer" mentality and keep their feet on the gas to try and put away the Finals as quickly as possible.

They had better, because they are still playing LeBron after all.

Cleveland probably hung their heads for a while after the tough loss. If that is still going on, they had better snap out of it. A lot of that starts with their leader, LeBron James. He said that game one was one of the toughest losses of his career.

It’s one of the toughest losses I’ve had in my career as well because of everything that kind of went on with the game and the way we played. It was a tough 24 hours not only for Hill and for myself but for our whole ballclub because we put ourselves in a great position to be successful.
— LeBron James

James is one of the most scrutinized players of our generation, constantly being compared to the greats. For the sake of his legacy, he must rally his troops and get them into the same position they were in in game one. Maybe this time, there will be a different outcome.

The game will be nationally televised tonight at 7:00 PM (CT) on ABC. Tune in for more great basketball.