Alize Johnson Basketball Camp

The Basketball Movement is proud to present a great opportunity for area ballers!

Missouri State Alumni, NBA player, and ally of The Basketball Movement, Alize Johnson is headed back to Springfield, MO to put on a camp for 3rd graders on up to 12th.

The Basketball Movement is proud to host Johnson’s “Blueprint to the Stars of the Game” camp to give community players an opportunity to learn from top-tier talent. Alize has been tearing it up in the NBA Summer League, recently earning a guaranteed contract with the Indiana Pacers. He is using his limited time off to spread a bit of knowledge on what it takes!

In his hometown in Pennsylvania, Alize is about to host a couple of these camps and they sold out quickly. Contact The Basketball Movement at basketballmovement@yahoo.com to get in while you can because spots are limited.

The camp is open to boys and girls. 3rd-6th grade is July 22nd 9:00am-3:00pm. 7th-12th grade is July 23rd 9:00am-3:00pm. You don’t want to miss this opportunity!

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We hope to see you there!

The Rob Yanders Better Vibin Sessions

The Basketball Movement’s new video series is setting out to raise the bar on coach and player relationships.

Recently, The Basketball Movement’s Founder, Robert Yanders has set out to make new improvements to his organization. The facility itself has seen so much love over the last few years, but this improvement will be different.

Yanders is striving to improve his relationships with The Basketball Movement’s athletes by getting to know them through his Better Vibin Sessions.

The sessions are simply Coach Rob sitting down with some of the facility’s most frequent attendees to get to know them as people. Rob always says “The person is the player,” so getting to know them better as people will allow for better relationships and chemistry on the court.

Another goal of Better Vibin is to have conversations that bring back the root of player’s passion for the game to re-ignite the fire that keeps them going.

The first session is already up on YouTube and can be seen below. Rob’s first guest is his own nephew, Kickapoo High and Yanders Law guard, Anton Brookshire. Anton is originally from Milwaukee, WI and has received significant collegiate interest after only his sophomore season from schools like Iowa State and Missouri State.

The video features Rob and Anton just vibin about kicks, basketball, the future, and family. Check it out!

There will of course be more of these sessions headed your way soon, so make sure you are subscribed to our Youtube channel and are following along with us on social media. Until next time!

The Basketball Movement: Tips, motivation, and guidance

We are more than just a gym to go break a sweat in! Click around and you’ll see what we are about.

At The Basketball Movement, skill development is our bread and butter. Making sure that you or your athlete improve basketball skills on the court is our most fundamental priority, and we pride ourselves on being good at what we do.

We also want to make sure that our athletes are prepared for whatever life throws at them off the court as well. Using basketball as a tool, we are always striving to enhance qualities of our players that extend beyond the sport.

Our blog is updated weekly with more than just news from around the world of basketball. It is an excellent resource for tips, motivation, and guidance for not only athletes, but parents, and fans as well. Check out a few such articles below:

Setting goals for yourself

A few tips for parents and other fans

So you didn’t get drafted

Becoming a leader with The Basketball Movement

What to do during the offseason

These are just a handful of examples pulled from the least month and a half or so. So, as you can tell, we are coming at you with this content all the time. Our blog is a great place to check in for tips and motivation centered around hoops.

As The Basketball Movement looks to step up not just the hoops community, but community as a whole, keep checking back for content like this that can motivate, guide, and inspire budding or established hoopers.

Setting goals for yourself

Setting goals is an important thing to do at any stage in life. Do not forget to set some on the court and off.

Many of basketball's brightest stars were born with a lot of natural ability. However, most of them still had to work incredibly hard to get where they are today. Hard work is best when it is directed by established plans and aimed at particular goals.

The Basketball Movement can help players to establish plans and regimens to help them along the way in achieving those goals.

It is not hard to find quotes and tips from people and players that have experienced success in their careers. Setting goals is important, but the growth and experience obtained in the pursuit of those goals is often the true victory.

It’s not about looking for outcomes, but just enjoying the process. That’s when you become in the moment.
— Steve Nash

Goals can be big or small - daily or long-term. They are important in sports like basketball, but also in many other aspects of life.

What goals will you set?

Different individuals may come up with very different goals and aspirations. As a basketball player, one player's goal may be to crack the starting five on their Junior Varsity squad. Another  may want to become a professional, overseas or in the NBA.

Skill development represents smaller, more compartmentalized goals. Your goal may be to improve your free throw percentage by a certain amount or to add two new post moves to your repertoire by the end of the Summer.

A winner is someone who recognizes his (or her) God-given talents, works his (or her) tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his (or her) goals.
— Larry Bird

Personal goals off the court are important also. Goals for school or for a career help you to stay focused on what is important. Try to make a point to be an achiever in all that you do.

For more motivation, basketball news, and Basketball Movement goodness, keep looking around our blog here!

A few tips for parents or other fans

Playing the game can be tough, as can coaching. Watching the games? As invested fans, that can be tough at times too.

As fans of basketball, it can be all too easy at times to get involved in everything that goes on on the court - especially for parents. You are taking your kids to camps, practices, and games as well as footing the bills for leagues, equipment, and so on. This gives a deep feeling of involvement with your player and the program.

This is a good thing! You should be active and engaged in what is going on in your son or daughter’s lives. However, this involvement can also make things a bit difficult when you see your athlete placed in tough situations or under-performing.

Just remember - it is often best to address these situations according to the time and place. On the way to or from games are terrific times for constructive discussions, as everything is fresh in the player’s head. At practices, that is the coach’s jurisdiction. Let the coaching staff handle everything on the floor.

Where things often get tough for parents is where it is toughest for all parties - during games.

There are fine lines to walk during games. On the one hand, you are encouraged to cheer on your players and team, to praise them during their successes, and to build them back up when they make mistakes. As such an invested individual though, you may sometimes make mistakes.

Encouragement is always helpful, there is no limit on that. Where things can go wrong though lies in criticism, whether it is of your player, the coach, or even referees. Shouting at the refs will build bad blood between that ref and your team, no matter where it comes from. It also sets a poor example for the players, leading them to believe referees are a scapegoat for their shortcomings.

Criticizing coaches or your player’s teammates is of course discouraged as well. It will distract all of the players and take away from the important focuses of playing the sport.

Finally, save constructive criticism of your own player for another time. Your son, daughter, or otherwise is already going to be aware when they make a mistake. Compounding that with a public disappointment of their parents is going to get in their head in a big way. During game time, just remember - encourage, encourage, encourage. Let the coaches and team handle the rest.

Being an involved parent or fan is important, just do your best to go about it in the best way possible. The Basketball Movement shares a bond with our athletes and their families, and we have faith that our parents, players, and coaches can set great examples for each other.

So you didn't get drafted

The 2019 NBA Draft has come and gone with only 60 names being called. What now?

Only a limited number of individuals in the world can be a part of the NBA or WNBA. There are professional teams all over the globe, but the top of the basketball world is known to be here in the good ol’ U.S.A. With spots at the top being so limited, what are you to do if you don’t make it in?

If being in the NBA or WNBA is your dream, if basketball is your passion, and if you are willing to work, nothing should stop you.

Here is what you do: Get in the gym. Come to The Basketball Movement. Meet with a trainer that is dedicated to helping take your game as far as it can possibly go. We saw the snippets of the NBA Draft’s top pick, Zion Williamson - when he was four, he wanted to be the top player in the nation. By nine, he was getting up hundreds of jumpers every day.

Being at the top of the basketball world doesn’t just happen; not even for freak athletes like Zion. It takes WORK. Hundreds of hours in the gym, peak physical condition and then some, and being married to the game.

If you don’t love basketball, the NBA and WNBA aren’t for you. These leagues are not for the faint of heart. The unseen hours that are required to make it to, and stay in these leagues is a barrier to entry that not many can hurdle.

So you didn’t get drafted? You aren’t working hard enough. You must have a fire to make it to the Association and there is nothing The Basketball Movement does better than stoke that fire. If you have the work ethic, we have the work. Strength and conditioning, skill development/maintenance, film study and more await you within the doors of the basketball mecca of the Midwest.

Our own Rob Yanders’ first-hand experience at multiple levels of the pro circuit mixed with the passion all our staff possesses is a recipe for elevating you to reach your potential. Reach out to us and we will make sure you won’t regret it. You may find out this road is too hard for you, or you may just let us help you all the way down the road to your ultimate destination. We’re excited to find out with you.

Rob Yanders: Playing professionally overseas

The Basketball Movement's founder, Rob Yanders dishes on his experience playing professional ball in Europe.

Rob Yanders' local impact through The Basketball Movement has been immense. He cherishes this community and is here to give back and enhance it through the sport he loves. Rob's time in Springfield and West Plains was a big part of his career, but his professional experience led him to a much different place.

For some of us, it is easy to forget that there is more to basketball than what we see in high school, the NCAA, and NBA. There are basketball teams all over the world; many are at the professional level.

The Movement is very unique in that it offers Euro Preparation to players that are looking to break into the pro scene. Rob's experience is an amazing resource for any American player considering playing basketball abroad.

I (@WilHarrington) sat down with Robert at The Basketball Movement to talk about his time in Europe.

Rob's experience playing overseas

After college, Rob Yanders headed to Sheffield, England to begin his rookie year of pro ball. He said that it was certainly a culture shock, but the team won the British Championship, easing his transition. "When you're successful and winning, everything is great." He credits the people he met and his teammate for helping to make it a great experience.

My experience in Europe helped mold me into the person I am today - my experiences getting away and getting cultured through these different walks of life. Sheffield, France, Scotland, Treviso, Norway, Zurich, Germany, Israel - because of basketball. Because of that round, orange thing, I’ve been to some amazing places.

In his pro career, he went on to win three European Championships, two regular season Championships, a National Cup, and Finals MVP. In France, Rob was also voted team MVP with both VCB and KABCA teams and earned All-Star Team honors in 2012. His time as a pro in Europe was certainly a success.

How Rob applies what he learned to The Basketball Movement

As a pro, Robert told me that you are always thinking about what comes next. Players are rarely guaranteed a safety net in their brief careers. When Rob thought about what he wanted to do, he leaned on what made him happy: basketball.

Enjoying and being around the sport of basketball does not have to end when playing days are over. Robert was a Community Recreation major in college and knew that he wanted to build or run a sports facility.

I grew up in Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YMCA’s. Those were places that gave me shelter to play the game and keep me safe from the streets.

He talked about the alone time you experience playing in a foreign country and the amount of time it allowed him to reflect on the future. He also got to participate in many camps, clinics, speaking opportunities, and mentorships. His leadership grew even more and allowed him to confidently assume his role within The Movement as founder and owner.

Advice for players considering college or the pro game

The advice that Robert shared on this topic centered around personal circumstances - situations vary greatly from player to player.

Do what’s best for your family. Invest in you and invest in your family - your time is valuable. Make sure you get the right council and information.

Rob also warned that the pro game will be a stark contrast for any players that are talented enough to play professionally straight out of high school. Playing with grown men that are playing for paychecks is a whole new world.

If the opportunity for a "one-and-done" type of player to play professionally presented itself, and they needed money, he may recommend going if the player is confident in professional ball as a career. For most though, an education is always a great idea. It will pay off more than fizzling out after a few pro seasons.

As Rob mentioned, receiving the right council and information is very important when considering playing in Europe or anywhere else. Coach Rob, Coach Anthony Shavies, and more can help players with this preparation right here at The Basketball Movement.

If you are interested in any capacity in playing overseas, please contact us and let us help you navigate the intimidating options that follow.

Becoming a leader with The Basketball Movement

In basketball and in life, leadership is highly valuable. It is the goal of The Basketball Movement to turn out as many leaders as possible.

Every individual is made up of unique skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Society and teams are at their best though when leaders are able to step up and guide groups in ways that benefit everyone. The Basketball Movement wants to make sure to do our part in creating as many leaders as possible.

On the basketball court, it is easy to point to a team’s leading scorer or point guard when picking out the leader. This of course does not have to be true. Leadership is possible at all positions.

A player that always makes sure to be a positive presence on the bench is a leader. Players that work to foster off-court relationships with their teammates are leaders. Players that outrun everyone else during practice are leaders. Players that hold teammates accountable in the classroom are leaders.

You can still have the classic leaders as well; The most vocal defender, the offense initiator, or others that lead by example.

Leadership can be a difficult aspect of life to hone. To be a leader means to be one step ahead of others by taking initiative. That can be a bit scary sometimes, and it may occasionally strike a nerve with those around you. The key is to be confident and understanding of the sacrifices it takes to help a team succeed.

If you’re going to be a leader, you’re not going to please everybody. You gotta hold people accountable, even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable.
— Kobe Bryant

The Basketball Movement understands that leadership can come from anywhere, so we make sure to empower all of our players to step up as leaders in their own way. Leadership in basketball is just one of many lessons that we want our athletes to take away from their time with us.

Those of you that are leaders already - Go forth! Spread your gift in any way you can that helps others, on the court or off. As our players apply their lessons to their respective teams and other aspects of life such as work or school, we wish them the best and hope they continue to hold themselves to our high standards.

For more on The Basketball Movement, you are in the right place, but can also follow along with us on Twitter @BBall_Movement

Media and exposure for our athletes

The Basketball Movement caters to numerous age and skill groups. For many upper-tier athletes, we offer media exposure to help in their career.

There are plenty of reasons for The Basketball Movement to try as hard as we do on videos, photography, interviews, and more. The bread and butter of the facility and its coaches is skill development. Individual and team workouts are our primary tools to facilitate the growth of our athletes. There is more to basketball than skill development, however.

As players improve, it will show on the court - many fans, coaches, and recruits will see this. However, not everyone is going to be around to travel to your games. The more media you have, the more visible you will become. The more visible you are, the more likely you are to get noticed by people that can aid you in your career as a player.

Aside from being more visible as an athlete, the media can also help with confidence. If we throw up a cool video of players putting in work at our facility, that is going to make that player feel good and want to build upon what others are now getting to see. The importance of confidence on the floor cannot be understated. When you look good, you feel good, so we hope that our media clips can help athletes maintain the swagger required to stand out.

Simply put, all the pictures and videos are fun too. Having professionally created videos and images is a blast for players and guardians, and we have a good time putting it together as well. At our clinics, The League, invitational camps, what have you, the players have a blast lining up to get headshots at The Basketball Movement. The younger players in particular eat it up.

So, don’t have any delusions about the reasoning behind our media. Understand that everything we do, we do it for the benefit of our guys and girls.

Exposure is important as players near the collegiate level of the sport. Confidence is a key to hoops, and this can help with that. Also, remember that it is all in great fun as we continue to highlight many of our hardest workers.

Most of our full-length clips are over on our Instagram, but all media is distributed across our Facebook and Twitter as well. Thanks as always for tuning in to what is happening here at The Basketball Movement!

What to do during the offseason

You probably aren’t playing in the NBA Finals and may not even be on Spring or Summer teams. What should you do?

We are going to hit on the basics, but of course our biggest offseason recommendation is checking out everything offered at The Basketball Movement. The Movement provides training in every aspect of the game for every level of player.

That is the obvious answer, so we will break it down more in a bit. Here are the basics for how to use your time in the offseason.

#1 - Work on your skills

During the season, you probably work plenty on situations, plays, and team drills. During the offseason is the best time to improve as an individual. Particularly, this is a great time to work on your shot and your ball handling.

Individual ball handling can be practiced in the gym or driveway. You can work on your shot anywhere you can find a goal to achieve a quicker release or smoother stroke. Have a coach to guide you through? Even better. Where do you find such a person? I think you know.

#2 - Work on your body

For players that or old enough (consult parents, coaches, or even a doctor), the offseason is the best time to hit the weight room. You do not need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger on the court, just achieve your body's balance to be as strong as necessary.

It has been said that you cannot teach speed, but even if you have a limit, you likely have not hit it yet. Speed and agility training are too real (ask The Basketball Movement for details). Agility as well on conditioning are very important and there is always more time for a run during the offseason.

#3 - Refresh your mind

The offseason is also a great time to reflect on what you accomplished or consider the goals you were not able to obtain. Take note of areas where you would like to have been better, making sure you focus on those during the offseason as well as your strengths.

Also, have fun! After a long season it is important to take a little time off as well to clear your mind. Get involved with a basketball program, play another sport to remain active, or even rest to nurse any nagging injuries or give your body some time to relax. Then once you are ready to get back, get in touch with The Basketball Movement of course!

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.
— Muhhamad Ali

In case you had not noticed, a solution to a lot of these fixes has been sprinkled in a few times. At The Basketball Movement, you will find top-of-the-line equipment to help you build muscle and stay in shape. Not to mention staff dedicated to improving your agility, skills, and mind.

To become the best player you can be and make the most out of your offseason this year, make your way to the basketball mecca of the Midwest - The Basketball Movement.

Establishing a support system

In basketball and in life, you are going to need a support system. The further you want to go, the more important it becomes.

Whether it is 100 people or just one person, you are going to need a support system of some kind as you advance in your basketball career. You may have a circle already, but is it filled with individuals that truly support and want the best for you?

Yes, your mama can be your support system. Yes, a teacher, friend, or coach can be your support system. It doesn’t matter who it is as long as they are honest, supportive, and willing to have your back as you fight to achieve your dreams. Taking any path in life by yourself is going to be exponentially more difficult than doing it with the support of others. Even more difficult is going through life surrounded by the wrong people.

Individuals can unfortunately be toxic in many different ways. There are those that scheme and undermine you intentionally, though it may not always be immediately apparent. Sometimes people just don’t want you to succeed and will work behind the scenes to hold you back. It is a tough reality to face when this happens, especially when it comes from a source that you believed was in your corner.

Often, there is an even more difficult obstacle to detect. Some people in your corner may be unintentionally toxic. They think they help, they think they build you up, but really they are unaware that they do more harm than good. These situations are tough to deal with.

Cutting ties with someone you’re close to is going to be hard. However, it is imperative that you only surround yourself with those that will build you up and help you be the best person and player you can be.

The further you get in your basketball career, the more important this lesson will become. A negative influence is going to impact you at any level. That said, seriousness turns up as you select a college to play for. The more positive voices in your ear, the better. The more negative influences, the greater the consequences.

After college, if you are trying to play pro ball, you will need to work harder than you ever had in your life. You need everything to be as streamlined and beneficial as possible. At this stage, a negative influence can cost you everything. Make sure that your support system is filled with those that want to lift you up - not those that are looking for a meal ticket.

Knowing exactly who has your back can be more difficult than it sounds. Trust your instincts and listen to any nagging inclinations that someone may not have your best interest in mind. What is easy is stringing these people along for far too long. Don’t make that mistake; you will need to pull the weeds as soon as you can if you are going to grow and flourish to reach your potential (congratulations on reading the first and last gardening/basketball tie-in ever).

We used the words “difficult” and “tough” quite a bit in here. Establishing a support system is not always difficult, but maintaining it can be. Do your best, and really lean on those that you can trust completely. A strong support system will carry you far in all aspects of life!

Alize Johnson gives back to his community

Ally of The Basketball Movement, Missouri State Alum, and NBA forward, Alize Johnson is using his platform to improve his community and change lives.

At The Basketball Movement, we talk about using basketball to give back to the community quite a bit and we are thrilled to see that our friend, Alize Johnson is doing just that. When he was coming into our facility to get work while he was attending Missouri State, Alize was a bad man on the floor and a good one off of it. Things don’t appear to have changed, which is awesome to see.

The Indiana Pacers signed Johnson to a two-way contract in his rookie season, which means that he played plenty of G-League ball, but was also available to play minutes with the Pacers. Never the biggest player on the court, he still did an excellent job of crashing the glass all season and turned in a nice rookie campaign.

Despite staying plenty busy all season, Alize has still found time to do big things through the Alize Johnson Foundation.

Originally from WIlliamsport, Pennsylvania, Johnson is clearly remembering his roots, as this will be the site of his foundation’s big project. He will be putting in three NBA regulation outdoor courts. The project includes adjustable hoops, lights, fencing, and new bleachers. The courts will have a security guard stationed from 4-8pm to aid in making this a safe space for the youth of Williamsport.

The project is titled WtaWtaW (Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way). The project is also sponsored by PRN Home Health Services and the Pepsi Bottling Group in Williamsport. Their donation page can be found here: https://fundrazr.com/41ShQ7?ref=sh_c7ssh2_ab_319MbZF7yHP319MbZF7yHP

We are proud of Alize for supporting his community in this way. Basketball is obviously his bread and butter, so finding a way to channel that into something bigger is incredible to see.

The Basketball Movement is focused daily on helping players on the court. However, there is nothing better than seeing athletes (especially one’s we’ve had the pleasure of working with) use basketball for an even greater purpose.

Props to Alize for making big moves that will positively affect lives in his community. No doubt he continues the good work through his career and beyond.

Pursue your passion at The Basketball Movement

We encourage everyone to pursue their passion. If yours is basketball: you couldn’t be in a better place.

Each individual is gifted with a unique array of preferences, strengths, and interests. To maximize strengths, cater to preferences, and pursue interests is to seek a happy and successful experience in life. Woah… got deep for a second there. All that is to say that you need to do what makes you happy.

If you are reading this, you likely have some sort of tie to the game of basketball. Noting that it is a game is often important, but at the same time, it is a true passion for many people.

Whether you play the game, watch it, coach, ref, or just like a little 2K action, the game has something for everyone. The back-and-forth action is perfect to get adrenaline pumping. The mix of speed and strength, brute force and finesse, or offensive versus defensive prowess means that no game will be exactly the same. The constant is two teams that want to win and maybe even more so: don’t want to lose.

The Basketball Movement keeps its doors open for all kinds of players. Multi-sport athletes looking to get in shape can certainly come in and get in intense workouts. Players that just need to stay sharp with occasional drills or with our shooting gun are always welcome. Though the facility accommodates so many types of players, it was clearly built for those that are passionate about the game.

Rob Yanders, Founder of The Basketball Movement, is one of those individuals that is passionate about the sport of basketball. It is evident all over the facility. The off-court amenities such as the Chop Shop upstairs, the smart screen in the film room, the embroidered leather seats, everything is all detailed in ways that show Rob’s passion for the full breadth of the sport. Still, the true fire for the game blazes on the courts.

The Basketball Movement, Rob Yanders, and the other coaches are all at their absolute best when they are mixed with other individuals that have a true passion for the game.

A desire to improve is great, but a desire to be one of the best is the kind of all-in mentality that it takes to be an elite player. This facility is built so that you get out exactly what you put in. If you leave it all on our courts during workouts, you will improve without a doubt. The change could be subtle or drastic, but rest assured that the passionate will come away better.

Want to make varsity? Play at the D1 level? Get paid to play professional hoops? We can get you there; you will just have to be willing to put in the time and effort.

If basketball really is your passion, you have to reach out to us at The Basketball Movement. It is a business, but it is one ran by passionate hoop-heads that want little more than to bring others into the fold and maximize their potential on the court or even off of it. You will not regret pursuing your passion for basketball right here at The Basketball Movement.

What team chemistry really means

Coaches, fans, and basketball pundits all love to talk about team chemistry. What does it really mean?

At the risk of starting this off like a middle school essay, let’s just go ahead and state the literal definition of the word “chemistry”. The definition is not as clean and simple as we may like. However, you can see how when broken down, it can be simply applied to the sport of basketball.

Google defines chemistry as “the branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed; the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change; and the use of these processes to form new substances.”

To start, we can fill in a few of the terms with basketball jargon: Identification of the players of which a team is composed. Identifying for our purposes isn’t just knowing your teammate’s names. To achieve ideal chemistry, you must know their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies.

“…the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change…” Once you know them as mentioned above, you can begin to anticipate their actions, while also watching them grow as players and teammates.

Finally, “form new substances” is the resulting team. Players that know each other inside and out, on and off the court form the teams that will have what is referred to as great team chemistry.

Chemistry can be difficult for teams that introduce or bid farewell to players frequently. Still, stressing the importance of chemistry allows our coaches and teams to have a working understanding of what is necessary at all times.

We create a standard for how we want to do things and everyone’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry. Mediocre people don’t like high-achievers and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people.
— Nick Saban

When a team has good chemistry, it shows. Chemistry happens in the trenches, such as during practices. It also happens off the court, when teams are able to bond on more personal levels.

This is an important area for teams and we encourage our players to always stick together. Help your teammates up, give them affirmation in real life or on social media, just… be a friend.

For more on teamwork, motivation, and everything else basketball, keep it locked right here!

WNBA update: Breanna Stewart, 2019 draft

Despite being the offseason, it has been an eventful few weeks for the WNBA, with the future of the league drawing many questions.

First: the good news around the WNBA. The 2019 WNBA Draft is in the books, bringing many exciting new players into the fold. The Las Vegas Aces had the first overall pick and selected Jackie Young of Notre Dame. Interestingly, five Notre Dame players were taken within the first 20 picks. 2018 NCAA Tournament standout, Arike Ogunbowale of Notre Dame was selected fifth by the Dallas Wings.

For more local players, Missouri guard Sophie Cunningham went 13th to the Phoenix Mercury. Missouri State’s tournament opponent, Stanford’s Alana Smith went eighth, also to Phoenix.

Below are the full results of the three rounds of lottery picks as reported by slamonline.com/wnba:

ROUND 1

1. Las Vegas Aces: Jackie Young — Notre Dame

2. New York Liberty: Asia Durr — Louisville

3. Indiana Fever: Teaira McCowan — Mississippi State

4. Chicago Sky: Katie Lou Samuelson — UConn

5. Dallas Wings: Arike Ogunbowale — Notre Dame

6. Minnesota Lynx: Napheesa Collier — UConn

7. L.A. Sparks: Kalani Brown — Baylor

8. Phoenix Mercury: Alanna Smith — Stanford

9. Connecticut Sun: Kristine Anigwe — California

10. Washington Mystics: Kiara Leslie — NC State

11. Phoenix Mercury (from Atlanta): Brianna Turner — Notre Dame

12. Seattle Storm: Ezi Magbegor — Australia

ROUND 2

13. Phoenix Mercury: Sophie Cunningham — Missouri

14. New York Liberty: Han Xu — China

15. Chicago Sky: Chloe Jackson — Baylor

16. Minnesota Lynx: Jessica Shepard — Notre Dame

17. Dallas Wings: Megan Gustafson — Iowa

18. Connecticut Sun (from Minnesota): Natisha Hiedeman — Marquette

19. L.A. Sparks: Marina Mabrey —Notre Dame

20. Minnesota Lynx: Cierra Dillard — Buffalo

21. Connecticut Sun: Bridget Carleton — Iowa State

22. Dallas Wings: Kennedy Burke — UCLA

23. Atlanta Dream: Maite Cazorla — Oregon

24. Seattle Storm: Anriel Howard — Mississippi St

ROUND 3

25. Indiana Fever: Paris Kea — UNC

26. New York Liberty: Megan Huff — Utah

27. Chicago Sky: Maria Conde — Spain

28. Indiana Fever: Caliya Robinson — Georgia

29. Dallas Wings: Morgan Bertsch — UC-Davis

30. Minnesota Lynx: Kenisha Bell — Minnesota

31. L.A. Sparks: Angela Salvadores — Spain

32. Phoenix Mercury: Arica Carter — Louisville

33. Connecticut Sun: Regan Magarity — Virginia Tech

34. Mystics: Sam Fuehring — Louisville

35. Dream: Li Yueru — China

36. Storm: Macy Miller — South Dakota State

Plenty of familiar names here from the NCAA in addition to some intriguing overseas talent. We of course look forward to seeing these rookies in action with their new squads!

Breanna Stewart Injury

Unfortunately, the biggest news from the world of women’s hoops was an injury. Reigning MVP, Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm has suffered an achilles injury while playing in the Euroleague. It is looking like Stewart will not be able to help her Seattle team defend their title next season.

While the injury itself is the real news, the implications also raise some questions that have already been asked for years now. Why is the MVP playing overseas anyway? Simple: she makes more money playing for the Russian team, Dynamo Kursk than she does for the reigning WNBA championship team.

While WNBA health insurance does cover the injury, it clearly highlights an ongoing issue with professional women’s hoops.

The league’s players are not delusional about their monetary opportunities compared to their male counterparts in the NBA. The NBA commands substantially more revenue than the WNBA. However, steps should probably be taken if the league can’t even afford to monopolize what is likely it’s top player.

Everyone accepts that in basketball women will not get paid what the men get paid, at least for the foreseeable future. What the players do want is a piece of the pie that is comparable. Men draw a larger percentage of the league’s revenue than the women do. Whether or not the WNBA can afford to give their players a similar opportunity depends on their overhead but also their willingness to increase player salaries.

Breanna Stewart’s injury will likely become a rallying call for a new collective bargaining agreement between the players and the league. This could be an interesting offseason.

That’s it for now! Keep checking back for basketball news from all levels, tips, and training opportunities here at The Basketball Movement.

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Thriving in the underdog role

With the NBA Playoffs underway, we have had the opportunity to see multiple teams embrace the underdog role and surprise the big dogs.

No-matter your record, seeding, reputation, anything, you can still beat the odds and be the best team for a game. Once you start rolling, you may gain momentum that can help you sustain that success. We have seen it many times before, especially in the NCAA Tournament as we did again recently. In the first round of the NBA playoffs, we have already gotten to see it multiple times.

Despite long odds, the Nets, Clippers, Magic, and Spurs have already pulled off upsets on the road. The biggest one came last night, as the Los Angeles Clippers deafeated the Golden State Warriors in game two of the series.

The Clippers were down by 31 in the third quarter before storming back to defeat the back-to-back NBA champs. Rookie Landry Shamet (formerly of Witchita State) hit a go-ahead three to seal it. Patrick Beverly continued to lock-down Kevin Durant and Lou Williams went on one of his scoring tears to climb back into it. The 31 point comeback marked the biggest comeback in NBA Playoff history.

This seems like a good time to remind you that no team is invincible. There are still plenty of games left in each of the NBA series’ involved in these upsets. That said, the landscape has significantly shifted, stealing confidence from one side and feeding it to the other. Confidence is big in the sport of basketball.

Everything negative - pressure, challenges - are all an opportunity for me to rise.
— Kobe Bryant

For that reason, it is important to approach every game and every moment with confidence. Believe that your shot will go in. Believe that your team can win the game. Believing is clearly not everything, but if you have put in the work, there is no reason that you can’t give it your all and compete. If you do that, then you can shift the odds at any time.

Being the underdog in a game or being overlooked as a player or team often means that you may be underestimated. Use that as fuel. Harness the chip on your shoulder. No one knows what you can do better than yourself. There isn’t much that is more satisfying than defying odds and proving nay-sayers wrong.

So be that team! Be that player! Don’t sweat rankings or records, just control what you can by working as hard as possible, being confident, and not backing down from a challenge.

Remember, to help you work as hard as possible, stay at the peak of your game, and keep raising that peak, contact The Basketball Movement. We believe in you and we can help you be ready for the big moments.

One-on-One: Chris Ward, new Trainer and Coach

The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law are excited to announce the hiring of Yanders Law alum, Chris Ward as a Trainer and Coach.

The Basketball Movement is selective in it’s hires, and we know exactly what we are getting in Chris Ward. Chris has been coming around the gym and working with Robert Yanders long before Rob bought the facility and turned it into The Basketball Movement. Ward was among the first to play under the Yanders Law banner and has been involved with what Rob has been doing ever since.

“Being on Rob’s first Yanders Law team, it’s great to come back and get to be around the other generations” said Ward. He is not only a Yanders Law alumni, but a familiar face for many area hoops fans as well. Ward’s jersey is retired at Kickapoo High School where he was an All-District and All-State player.

Chris went on to play at Philander Smith College in Little Rock and even played professionally in the Republic of Georgia for a while. He knew that his passion for basketball was well-suited for training and coaching, so he came home and is now back where it all began.

Knowing Rob since he was 10 and playing with him since he was 14, Chris says that it is incredible to see what Rob has built since then. He recalls winning a lot of games with Yanders Law in high school. Those are times you don’t forget - especially with so many takeaways that come from working with Yanders.

Playing for Rob was and is worth it. He teaches you consistency and that hard work can take you lots of places. Summer workouts, everything, it all sticks with you. Rob is all about character and using basketball as a tool to give you a better life. It all stems from hard work.
— Chris Ward

Ward says that he is going to be giving lessons, doing strengths and conditioning, and helping to run clinics in addition to becoming a Yanders Law Coach. “It’s a job, but I get to be working every day with people that want to be better” says Ward. “Basketball is everything to me; it makes it easy to get up in the morning. So yeah, it’s a job, but it doesn’t feel like it to me.”

Asked about his training/coaching style, Chris says that he will naturally emulate Yanders. “I mean, I’m just going to do what I’ve learned from Rob over so many years.” He says that he is loud, energetic, and quick to relate to the players because he has been in their shoes. “As a coach, I like fast pace. I want to really see my players getting up and down the floor.”

Having played for Robert Yanders, Ward knows the meaning of “hard work” and it is probably not a term he would use lightly. Players that get to work with Ward will experience second-hand Yanders intensity, so they will need to come ready.

The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law are thrilled to help Chris Ward bring his basketball journey full circle. Watching players pursue their passion (basketball or otherwise) is one of the greatest feelings for coaches, trainers, and anyone else that is a part of our organizations. He will be another tremendous asset to our team.

Welcome aboard, Chris!

It isn't the shoes - The triviality of "drip"

In the world of hoops, shoes are huge. From Converse, to Air Force 1s, to LeBrons, kicks are a part of the culture. Does that mean they are important?

Around The Basketball Movement, you are going to see some shoe game. Many of the players that come through our doors are rocking the latest gear, Owner Robert Yanders has many of his staff in new LeBrons, and Rob himself is always on point. A deal with Nike makes sure of that. Looking the part builds confidence, establishes basketball credibility, and frankly looks good. So, these things are all important right?

Somewhat yes.

The look often comes down to personal preference and the performance of the shoes, shorts, and shirts is what is most important. Are the shoes light enough for hooping? Good grip? Do they fit your unique foot correctly? Are they within your means?

As mentioned, shoes are part of the culture. Having shoe game is nice, but at the end of the day, it is what you do while you are wearing them that matters most. PJ Tucker of the Houston Rockets is one of the NBA’s most impressive connoisseurs of kicks. That doesn’t mean is out there out-performing young players wearing the same plain sneakers each night. Tucker just has an impressive collection. That’s it.

Many of us have played against teams that have impressive warmup gear, expensive shoes, and matching bags. Sometimes those teams are really good. Sometimes they aren’t. Don’t sweat the gear - just play the game.

Don’t feel like you have to have the nicest stuff to be the most impressive on the floor. A player keeping uo with the new wave has nothing to do with their shooting range, handles, court vision… you get it. Respect the culture but make no mistake, drip is trivial next to your basketball ability.

If you are one of those individuals who takes style seriously, it is okay to be confident, but you must remain humble as well. The last thing you want to do is lord your gear over other players are comment negatively about others. Many of those players would love to be rocking Jordans like you, but the price tag is not for everyone. Anything like that costs money, and the situations of others is not for you to judge. Be respectful.

At The Basketball Movement, we don’t only embrace individuals from all walks of life, we encourage that participation. We have well-to-do athletes that may never break varsity as well as low income athletes that have NBA aspirations (and everything in-between). We like to look good, but that doesn’t mean we would ever turn our nose up at anyone. If you walk in with torn up sneakers, Rob is probably already on his way upstairs to grab you something that will hold up for a patented intense workout.

As with many things in basketball or life, just do your best. If style or prestige isn’t important to you, don’t sweat it. If you value your swag, wear it like a champ. We are going to kick your butt in our workouts anyway. Wear what you want and play your heart out.

Don't be like Mike - The beauty of knowing your limits

Most players and fans grow up idolizing players on TV. The superstars carry a lot of appeal, but not everyone can be Michael Jordan.

We saw Kobe Bryant, who clearly modeled his game after Michael Jordan, grow into one of the greatest basketball players ever. Young players everywhere are honing their skills hoping to be just like LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, almost none of them will be. Don't worry! That is perfectly okay.

Everyone is made differently. You can hit the weight room every day,  but you are most likely not going to be able to bang in the paint with Dwight Howard or Shaq. Does that mean you should give up? Does not being Michael Jordan mean you should quit reaching? Heck no.

MJ could jump, handle, guard like crazy, and make defenders looks silly in almost every way. There aren't a lot of people who can be so extraordinary at so many aspects of the game.

So what do you do?

Find your personal strengths and work on them until it hurts. Shore up any weaknesses, but focus even more on what makes you a special player.

Just because you do have limits, doesn't mean you can't raise them. Have a decent jumper? Become a reliable jump shooter. Then, become a dangerous shooter. Always elevate each aspect of your game as much as possible, just don't get frustrated when you aren't the best there is.

If the Bulls had five fantastic shooting guards, would they start five shooting guards?

Every team needs bigs to crash the glass. Every team needs willing defenders who are content being the glue that doesn't stand out on the stat sheet. There are a lot of champions at every level of the game who are there because they put their ego aside and did what made them great for their team.

Don't be defined by your physical limits, but don't be afraid to embrace them either. There is a reason that Kyrie Irving doesn't care about dunking and Tim Duncan never worried about the three point line.

You can be great. Adapt and conquer the game in every way that is available to you. Don't be like Mike, be the best version of you that you can create.

Start by jumping aboard The Basketball Movement.