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!

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.

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.

One-on-One: Writer Wil Harrington

As blogger, reporter, and social media manager, Wil Harrington’s role is expanding with The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law.

A little over a year ago, I (@WilHarrington) started writing blog posts for The Basketball Movement. Robert Yanders had been a family friend for many years, so our connection went back to when I was in grade school. I remember meeting Robert when he was playing for Barry Hinson’s Missouri State Bears - He gave me a practice jersey and took my parents and I on a tour of the locker room and facilities.

From late grade school through jr. high, I worked out with Robert at the facility that would later become The Basketball Movement. I didn’t know then what visions Robert had for that facility or his own post-playing career. If the gym would have been what it is today, perhaps I would have been inspired to go all the way to the NBA… Being more than 5 foot 8 with better handles may have helped too.

Rob’s passion for the game was intense then, but may be even more so now. I remember those workouts and pretending I needed to use the restroom as an excuse to go dry heave in privacy. I wouldn’t go on to do big things playing the game; it wasn’t in the cards.

However, those workouts did allow me to be a solid contributor for a small, but good high school team. I also applied the work ethic to become a two-time all-state baseball player and honor student. I had the confidence to ask out the prettiest girl in school at 15, which worked out, because at 27 she is my wife and mother of my son. Robert was at my wedding - a no-brainer for someone who helped shape my life more than he knew.

I am incredibly grateful and excited to have the opportunity to help Rob in his business as he impacts the lives of so many young men and women.

Working with The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law

You would be hard-pressed to find an independent contractor that is more vested in the well-being of a client than I am for Robert and his businesses. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share in their successes and help to rally after potential missteps. Even on such a part-time basis, getting to see what is happening at The Basketball Movement is special.

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Robert said he was impressed by my work at Thunderous Intentions writing about the Oklahoma City Thunder. He invited me to come to The Basketball Movement and we discussed the work I could do with his blog. Next, I took over the blog for Yanders Law as well. Now, I’m managing his Facebook and Twitter pages, interviewing his athletes and prospects, writing proposals, doing email campaigns, and yes, still blogging.

In Rob’s words, we have a connection that comes very easily because I fully understand his mindset. He is passionate and determined, which are words that he chose to describe me as well.

I’ve known Wil all the way back to skill workouts we did when he was a kid. I could tell that he could do anything he set his mind to. I know that his parents brought him up with possibilities to have so much, but he absolutely works for everything he has and everything he wants going forward. He is a man among boys in basketball writing.
— Rob Yanders

Rob says that he is thrilled with the direction The Basketball Movement is heading in. With big moves in 2019 such as partnering with Coach Craig Smith, promoting Sly Yanders, expanding my role, and fully utilizing his media team, there is plenty of reason for excitement.

Thanks for reading my stuff for The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law - it is excellent to have this content for Rob, but it also means a lot to me, personally as I take great pride in my work. I am thrilled to be dedicating time to working in a more creative space.

Keep clicking around here to discover more of what The Basketball Movement has to offer and be sure to follow us across all social media platforms to ensure that you don’t miss a thing. Thanks for reading, and here is to another big year at The Basketball Movement!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day - The Basketball Movement

Today is an excellent day to take time to appreciate what we have and reflect on how far we have come. The Basketball Movement wants to remind everyone to be thankful.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a titan of his time, albeit soft-spoken and humble. Our country sets this holiday aside as a reminder of his bravery and sacrifice that helped countless generations. He was not alone, as there are many civil rights heroes that deserve our remembrance on this and all days.

All industries, academic institutions, sports, organizations of every kind, and more have deeply felt the impact of the civil rights movement over the years. As a basketball organization, we clearly see the impact of ends to segregation and discrimination based on race.

The game has had many pioneers and is still seeing more all the time - even today. These pioneers are not always players - we see female coaches and officials making incredible strides at all levels of the game as well as global growth and inclusion for individuals of all colors and creeds.

The Basketball Movement’s Founder, Rob Yanders is thrilled to be a face of change for his community as well. Through sports, he is striving for growth, inclusion, and encouragement for all.

MLK and the NBA

Every year, the NBA does a fantastic job of covering MLK Day around the league. There are games running all day, televised starting this morning.

Besides the games, they include stories of the league’s early pioneers all the way up to current players. All-day basketball broken up by positive messages and reverence makes for some great TV, especially if you are off for the day. Below is the day’s TV schedule:
(All times shown in Central)

11:30AM OKC @ NYK -NBA TV

2:00PM ORL @ ATL - NBA TV

4:30PM NOL @ MEM - TNT

7:00PM HOU @ PHI - TNT

9:30PM GSW @ LAL - TNT

Enjoy the basketball and remember what it took to bring it to you. This country has many figures to look back at and appreciate, but today belongs to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!

2019 Tournament of Champions and Robert Yanders' Fab Five

Great news - It is time again for the annual Bass Pro Tournament of Champions taking place at JQH Arena at Missouri State University!

Year after year, Southwest Missouri is treated to the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions - the premier high school basketball tourney in this part of Missouri. Recognizable schools such as Oak Hill and Memphis travel to Springfield to take each other on as well as some of the best area schools such as Springfield Catholic.

The last couple of years, The Basketball Movement has incredible coverage of the tourney. Game highlights, interviews, and more made us the leader in covering this tournament. This year will be no different.

The Basketball Movement will be back again this year, coming at you with all the Tournament coverage we can squeeze in. The lineup for this year’s tournament is an impressive one, with multiple D-1 players and touted NBA prospects. The tourney runs from Jan. 17-19.

Last year, we highlighted some of the tournament’s top competitors in the form of Robert Yanders’ Fab Five. The Basketball Movement’s Founder, Rob Yanders selected and covered the top five participants in the tournament. We not only highlighted their play, but interviewed them to give the players a voice.

We will be doing the same this year. To keep track of the top performers, be sure to follow Robert Yanders’ Instagram account here. He will be blasting out the most noteworthy individual performances and you won’t want to miss it.'

Ahead of the big weekend, let’s highlight last year’s Fab Five to get us pumped for another big tournament!

Keyontae Johnson

If you were at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions last year, you likely would have already known Keyontae Johnson would be on Rob’s list. Leading the tournament-winning Oak Hill team, Johnson was the MVP of the whole thing. The 6’5” forward is now a Florida Gator and is currently playing his way into heavier and heavier minutes as a freshman.

Darius Garland

Another All-Tournament player was Brentwood Academy’s Darius Garland. The Garland family is quite familiar with Missouri State, as Darius’ Father, Winston Garland was a Bear back in the day (when it was Southwest Missouri State). Winston Garland was an NBA draft selection and his son could certainly get to that point as well. Though currently injured, Darius is part of the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Isaiah Stewart

We won’t get a chance to see Isaiah Stewart at JQH Arena this year, but he is still doing big things for La Lumiere. Stewart is part of the 18u USA team and is a five-star recruit at 6’9” 245lbs. He was a force in last year’s tournament. He is currently uncommitted, but has been linked to Duke recently. That should be all you need to know about the budding star.

Tyger Campbell

A standout in last year’s tournament for his legit mop of hair alone, Tyger Campbell helped above teammate Isaiah Stewart to lead the talented La Lumiere squad. Listed at a generous 5’11”, Campbell is a magician with the basketball and has taken his talents to UCLA.

Courtney Ramey

A Missouri native, Courtney Ramey went to high school at Webster Groves and was silky-smooth at last year’s Tournament of Champions. He has put on a little size and is now 6’4”, but even before, he could get to the rim and absorb contact while getting buckets. He is now a Texas Longhorn.

Honorable mention: Monty Johal

Have to give a shoutout to our guy, Monty Johal. Glendale’s star last year helped his team hold its own against some of the top talent in the nation. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Monty, who is now playing at Tennessee State.

Who is next?

Another year, another stacked field at the most heavily attended basketball tournament in the nation per sps.org. Who will be Robert Yanders’ Fab Five for 2019?

If you were putting money on it… a smart bet would be James Wiseman of Memphis East. Already committed to Memphis University to play for Penny Hardaway, Wiseman is the number one recruit in the country. He is joined by fellow Memphis commit - teammate Malcolm Dandridge.

There are a few guys this year that a part of an NBA bloodline. Shadow Mountain’s Jalen House is the son of Eddie House and Ranier Beach has Jamon Kemp, son of legendary dunker Shawn Kemp. House is one of the top guards in the country and has a potential matchup with another one in Sharife Cooper of McEachern in the second round. If you are a fan of guard play - root for that matchup.

Belleville Illinois West has Ohio State commit, E.J. Liddell, who is a Missouri native out of St. Louis. Sunrise Christian boasts a host of impressive players in Grant Sherfield, Elijah Wood, and N’Faly Dante.

This weekend is a great opportunity to root for the local guys (shoutout to Catholic’s Zach Howell of Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement!), marvel at the nation’s top players, and see some incredible raw talent and athleticism. For the best coverage you can get, follow along with us here at The Basketball Movement. Again, be sure to follow Robert Yanders on Instagram to see his Fab Five picks for 2019. Let’s get it!

The League is underway at The Basketball Movement

The League tips off with a pair of games between 5th and 6th grade boys and girls teams. The energy is electric in one of the area’s top basketball facilities.

Both gyms are filled with the sounds of balls bouncing, shoes squeaking, and coaches already working hard to fire up their teams. The Basketball Movement is the perfect location for this jamboree-style monthly tourney. We are off to a hot start, but Rob Yanders’ wheels are already turning on how to grow The League.

Today’s games will be running all day between 5th and 6th grade boys and girls. We will be incorporating broader age groups in future events in The League.

The opening games feature Yanders Law vs. MO Aces in the east gym and Fair Grove vs. SW Kings in the west gym. The SW Kings are bringing it early, showing out with length, athleticism and grit. We are keeping stats and will be giving shoutouts to teams and players that came to play.

Make sure you are following us on Twitter and Instagram and give us a “Like” on Facebook to make sure you are keeping up with all the action.

The Basketball Movement coaches and staff are all sporting The League gear, with more and more players rocking the new t-shirts and other swag as well. Though the teams are here to compete, there is great rapport between the parents, players, and coaches. We say it quite a bit, but the sense of community and teamwork is alive and well here at The Basketball Movement.

Talent is certainly on display between these young players - we are thrilled to have such great teams here showing out. If you have a team that you think is deserving of a spot in one of our upcoming events - Give us a shout at basketballmovement@yahoo.com and we will be happy to hear you out.

Stay tuned for more!

Coach Sly Yanders becomes The Basketball Movement Project Manager

2019 is going to be a big year for The Basketball Movement. One important step is promoting Sly Yanders to Project Manager.

Anyone that has stepped foot through the doors of The Basketball Movement has likely seen Sly Yanders hard at work. Founder Rob Yanders’ brother, Sly has been there every step of the way as The Basketball Movement has grown from a couple of empty gyms into the premier basketball training facility in this part of the country.

One of the greatest gifts you can give is time. Sly has dedicated massive amounts of time to our organization. From painting, scrubbing the floor, and other behind-the-scenes work to coaching and training every day, Sly Yanders’ commitment to The Basketball Movement cannot be overstated. Rob says that being there through the lows has helped Sly to learn so much along his path, which has fully prepared him for his new role as Project Manager.

Time alone is not the reason that Sly is coming into this new role with the business. He is the ultimate candidate for a role in which he occasionally needs to reign in or help direct his brother, Rob.

I’m not sure anyone knows me quite like Sly. Him being a part of my business has been a gift and a curse, because things can occasionally get personal when trying to balance business and blood. We are in a great place right now, and the time is right to give him this title.
— Rob Yanders

The key to managing a family relationship in business is to allow it to bend, but not break. Despite adversity, Rob and Sly have remained allies at all times.

“I’m not going to be able to roll with every one of his ideas just because we are brothers” Rob said. “That said, no one knows my vision and what I want for The Basketball Movement like Sly does.” Sly has already been unofficially helping to manage Rob and his operations for a long time. The trust and track record of demonstrated excellence makes the timing of this move perfect.

Sly will take some things of off Rob’s plate by handling many of the day-to-day operations of The Basketball Movement. He will continue to operate as part of Rob’s braintrust, providing ideas and challenging the status quo. Naturally as Project Manager, he will play a major role in all events conducted by The Basketball Movement.

When asked about why he has chosen to dedicate everything to The Basketball Movement, Sly focused on two things: Brotherhood and faith.

“There is no one I would rather have spent all of this time with” Sly said. “Getting to work alongside my brother while we help kids and use what we love to build a better world for future generations… that is why I do it.”

Brother or not, Sly says that it is easy to follow a leader like Rob Yanders.

I have faith in Rob and the direction he is taking his business. It is easy to believe in The Basketball Movement and where it is going because I have already seen where it has been and where it is now. Watching Rob over the years, has given me plenty of proof that he will do everything he sets out to do.
— Sly Yanders

Sly is a man of faith and was quick to point out that men were not intended to be alone. A partnership is strongest when both parties completely believe in the relationship. Sly is honored to have the opportunity to grow in his brother’s business. The business is likewise very fortunate to have a Project Manager like Sly Yanders.

In his time working with his brother, Sly says that he has learned a lot from Rob’s commitment, dedication, grit, and desire to serve others. These infectious traits are helping to form a team that is one of the best in the business on and off the court. The Basketball Movement’s new Project Manager embodies all of these things as well. Congratulations, Sly!

The Basketball Movement's first partnership - Craig Smith

The Basketball Movement is adding even more strength, this time through its partnership with the one-and-only Craig Smith.

Sharing is not always easy. It is a lesson that we have all struggled with at times. It is a lesson that The Basketball Movement’s Founder, Rob Yanders is teaching at home and in the gym. It is also something that he is learning to do himself with a business he started and built into a success.

Letting someone in on an organization you started solo is more than a business decision. To Rob, The Basketball Movement is his baby - not on the level of his actual family of course, but something that he has dedicated blood, sweat, tears, and countless hours to build. That tells you how he must feel about his new partner, Craig Smith.

Yanders has said that The Basketball Movement is a character-based organization. Coach Craig and his family have made it abundantly evident to Rob over the years that they hold the same values not only in basketball, but in life. Rob described Craig as a family man that is all about sacrificing for others. You can tell a lot by how a man treats his family, which greatly helped Rob in this decision.

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Rob and Craig established a friendship around seven years ago. From coaching against each other to just talking basketball, it was quickly evident that they had a shared passion for the game. Rob invited Craig to his facility to just watch his players and soak in his brand of basketball. Coach Craig recalls feeling very at home in The Basketball Movement environment. “We had a similar vision - I knew it would be easy to grow together”, Smith recalled.

In talking to Craig Smith, he gave two strong reasons that he decided to become involved with The Basketball Movement:

Number one: I’ve always felt a need to help kids feel welcome and have the ability to pursue their goals. I love the game and like when it is played the right way; there is no better place for that than The Basketball Movement.

Number two: I grew up in a house that was completely open to the community. I desire to be in a position to spread love to others in the same way.
— Craig Smith

For Craig, this partnership is a dream come true, as he says he was destined to coach and be around basketball in any way possible. He recalled being five years old, watching teams play at the local high school. His Dad would play “What are they running?” with him, so he has been dissecting offenses nearly his whole life.

After playing in high school, Craig was more academically driven in college, though he never left the sport of basketball. He recalls working camps like crazy and getting close to and picking the brain of every basketball mind he could (a list including names like Norm Stewart and John Calipari).

His desire to surround himself with great basketball minds and dive completely into the sport is what makes a pairing with Rob Yanders perfect.

This partnership has been a while in the making. Rob says that they have really been testing the waters over the last year with Craig coaching Yanders Law teams, facilitating workouts, and much more. “For 365 days straight, Coach’s passion and commitment to the game has been clear. He brings a lot to the game on and off the court. Craig is all-in, so I am too”, said Rob.

Craig Smith is a fantastic coach, mentor, family man, and friend (he is also a pretty good follow on Twitter @CoachCraigYL). Rob is confident that he will make for a top-notch partner as well. Bringing in such a wealth of basketball knowledge into an already thriving business is a recipe for success.

Congratulations to Craig Smith on becoming a partner with The Basketball Movement. Congrats also to Rob and his business for landing a great man and basketball guru. Keep an eye out for even more good things to come from The Basketball Movement, which is stronger than ever.

Community - The Basketball Movement

Following the conclusion of the Angels of the Hardwood event, we examine the importance of community.

Community may have different meanings depending on who you ask. Communities can be big or small. They can consist of families, neighbors, peers, cities, or regions. Whatever you consider to be your community, understand that you and everyone else in it has a responsibility to make it better.

Not everyone will contribute in strengthening a community; not everyone can. That is why it is imperative that individuals such as yourself step up to the plate. Take pride in where you are from.

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Any community that you have been a part of has helped to shape you into the person you are today. However, you aren’t the only one. Other individuals in your community have also been shaped by some common factors. Most importantly, others such as children are still being shaped while growing in those communities.

Widespread aid - helping on a large scale is fantastic, but not always easy. Giving back to the communities that helped shape you is an excellent way to make an immediate impact. The more you care about the people and places you are giving back to, the greater impact you will likely have.

At the Angels of the Hardwood event, The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law gave back to the local community in the form of Nike Elite basketballs, Nike shoes, free lessons, motivation, and camaraderie. We were able to turn something we are passionate about into a positive for our community and the results were amazing.

You are likely big into basketball yourself, but there are so many other ways to give back. If your talents are in music, use that to lift spirits at a local veteran’s home. If you are great with kids, get involved with after school programs. Not sure what to do? Find a great organization such as Convoy of Hope - they can always use help packing food and hygiene kits that help families all over.

However you do it, keep your community’s needs in your thoughts and allow those thoughts to become action whenever possible.

Check out more on Angels of the Hardwood here and keep following along as we use basketball to unite people and bring about positive change.

Playing time - A basketball balancing act

Year after year, playing time is one of the top issues on the minds of players (and their families).

Whether it is justified or not, many players find themselves not getting the time on the court they desire. There are situations in which it comes down to coach oversights, preferences, or bias. Almost always though, a player can increase their playing time by stepping up their game.

I don’t complain about playing time. My job is to play so well the coach can’t sit me.
— Shane Battier

All of the practice and effort that goes into basketball comes together in games, so that is why it can be so frustrating to not get many minutes - if any at all. No-matter the reason for limited minutes, the frustration is understandable.

That being said, many of your minutes are truly up to you. A coach controls substitutions, but you control your abilities. In a game situation, a coach’s mind is going 100 miles per hour. Many of their decisions are based on split-second instinct. They go to players and schemes that they are comfortable with and make sense in specific situations.

During your time on the court, time in practice, and even time off the court, present your best self to your coach. Get noticed by your play and demeanor - this will place you more prominently in your coach’s mind. Naturally, this will pay off when those split-second decisions happen in games.

The best thing you can do to increase playing time is simple - step up your game. Just practicing with your team is not going to separate you from the pack. The most improvement often happens in the offseason.

Not only getting up shots, but going through basketball specific workouts like those offered by The Basketball Movement are the kind of thing that separates a team’s best players from the rest.

It can be tough to dig yourself out of the hole that is the bench, so it will take patience and determination. Overcoming adversity is something else that helps to separate the strongest from the pack, however. It is a challenge worth taking on if you are serious about getting more minutes.

Parents - It can be tough to accept sometimes, but this isn’t your battle. Coaching decisions are not yours to make and you must understand that you have blind spots when it comes to your own boys and girls. If coaching actions seem abusive in any way, it is of course time to step up. With issues such as playing time however, just support your children and be willing to help them in any way possible.

As mentioned, The Basketball Movement is a tremendous resource in the Midwest for scenarios just like these. If a player is serious about improving in a hurry, The Basketball Movement is the perfect place to start at any level of the game.

Remember you can contact us anytime here!

Big season coming for Anton Brookshire

Expectations are high for Kickapoo High’s Anton Brookshire, but the hype is well-founded.

The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law are both thrilled to have had the opportunity to grow alongside budding star, Anton Brookshire. Anton embodies everything that The Basketball Movement is all about. His character, focus, and of course basketball skills add up to one of the most impressive prep athletes that has walked through our doors.

Kickapoo’s season begins today with the Parkview Tournament. Talking with Brookshire, he is ready to get the season started and thinks the team is looking good. Kickapoo High School Basketball is in good hands; Anton says he is 100% to start the season.

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Anton says that the Kickapoo team is looking good and should have a great season if they continue to play together. A district title is the current goal, but the potential for a push after is driving the team as well.

Personally, his goals center around being a leader on the floor for his team and just being the best he can be. He admitted that making the all-district team wouldn’t be so bad either.

Scoring helps a lot in getting recognized at the district level and beyond. Anton is a proven scorer, but is also more than capable of distributing once defenses collapse on him. Sounds a lot like a few of the players he loves to watch - Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. Brookshire is going to be a fun player to watch this year.

Anton Brookshire at The Basketball Movement

A staple of The Basketball Movement, Brookshire is a gym rat that is always looking to improve his game. He says that he has been working on a bit of everything to take his game to the next level with an emphasis on finishing at the basket, defense, and getting stronger.

As the nephew of The Basketball Movement’s Founder Rob Yanders, Anton has been around to see all of the changes The Movement has undergone over the years.

It’s a great facility; I love the gym. It’s crazy how much he has put into it, but also how much is still coming.
— Anton Brookshire on The Basketball Movement

He of course had great things to say about Yanders, who he believes is the best trainer in the world. “He’s just a good guy to be around - a great motivator.” The respect goes both ways, as it isn’t difficult to get Rob to gush about Anton.

You don’t have to be related to Anton Brookshire to have a reason to marvel at his game. Even though he is coming off a season in which he missed several games and is just beginning his Junior year, he has offers on the table from Missouri State, UWM, UNLV, and Tennessee State. He has also received interest from OSU, Tulsa, Creighton, and Missouri.

He tells us that he is not leaning towards a particular school just yet, but may before his senior year.

Whatever the future hold for Anton, it is bright. He has a full endorsement from The Basketball Movement as one of the most impressive prospects we’ve had at the high school level. Good luck to he and his team this year as they start what should be a fun ride!

Dunking - Too flashy? Energizing? Worth it?

NBA players dunk all the time, college players dunk a lot, and high schoolers dunk occasionally. Is it worth it at every level?

Dunking has long been one of the most interesting aspects of basketball. Not everyone can fully appreciate the execution of a perfectly set screen, but even a non-basketball fan recognizes the spectacle of a player rising above all others to punch the ball through the opponent’s goal.

To be able to slam a basketball through a ten-foot-tall goal that is guarded by five opposing players is one of the most enviable feats in sports. It takes athleticism, timing, and yes - height helps too. So if you can dunk, should you?

The general reasons for dunking are similar across the board, but can vary slightly from level to level. NBA players typically dunk because not only is it relatively easy for most of them, it is the highest percentage shot they can take. When you are taking the ball to the hole with seven-footers looming, you need to make sure you are putting it through with authority.

NCAA hoops bridge the gap somewhat here, but in most other levels of the game, dunking isn’t always necessary. A fundamental, energy-saving layup will do fine in most circumstances. However, there are other benefits of a dunk that we haven’t discussed.

Pumping up your team and your crowd

As I mentioned, there is something unique and mesmerizing about a player rising up and hammering down a dunk. Instead of gently placing the ball in your opponent’s goal, you are slamming it in a display of dominance. It is a way of showing your opponents that they were soundly defeated on the particular possession.

(Talking about dunking make you want to watch some dunks? Good, me too. Here is a video of one of my personal favorite dunkers - fresh knees Blake Griffin)

Such an act gets your adrenaline flowing as well as your teammates and your fans. The more into the game the fans are, the more they will go wild and do their best to cheer you on. From routine slams to 360 windmills, everyone loves a good dunk.

Just make sure you’re ready

As much as you and everyone else can get out of a made dunk, it can also have the opposite effect to miss one. Missing a dunk is like fumbling on the goal line. It’s like doing your homework and forgetting to turn it in. It’s like saving the best looking piece of bacon for last and then being too full to eat it. Okay, that one’s a stretch. There is always room for bacon.

Anyway - Only attempt a dunk if you are sure you can finish. Coaches are not happy by blown possessions, which is exactly what you will have on your hands if you get all the way to the basket and don’t finish. I have heard of high school coaches that forbid their players from dunking. That is a tad extreme if you have confident dunkers in your lineup, though you can see where a high school coach may have been negatively impacted by missed dunks in the past.

If you are just coming around as a dunker, just keep working. Adrenaline may help, but don’t do your early dunk attempts in-game. Make sure that you can routinely put them down uncontested before you even think about trying one during live action.

Missed dunks can be a bit embarrassing, so like anything else in basketball, constantly hone this skill. Get comfortable dunking from straight on, the baseline, and wings. Once you can do one-hand slams, move to two-hand so that you can get those high percentage looks that make dunking so important.

To get in a gym and work on not only your skills, but your conditioning and physical ability as well, reach out to us at The Basketball Movement. We can help you get the most out of your abilities on your journey to the top.

Appreciation - The Basketball Movement

At The Basketball Movement, there is an emphasis on producing not only better players, but better people as well.

Too often in today’s game, players struggle to appreciate everything that is done for them. Players tend to see coaches, teachers, and guardians as little more than tools in place to help them improve. While coaches certainly do their best to help players improve, the good ones go out of their way to make sure that they are enriching the player’s lives beyond just the sport of basketball.

The amount of time that goes into being a successful coach is often dismissed because it revolves around a sport/game. People and players do not always stop and consider that coaches are putting in the time because they want to help young people grow in many ways using the sport they are coaching.

(Click here for more on Rob Yanders and how The Basketball Movement strives to set excellent examples for its players)

It is true that basketball coaches do what they do because they love it. Even so, good coaches are deserving of your gratitude. If a coach, assistant, ball boy, bus driver, or anyone in between has taken the time to help you get where you are - thank them.

The occasional “Thank you” can go a long way. Not only do coaches or anyone else truly love to hear it, but it can help to further connections that you have with these people. A coach-player relationship is symbiotic. That means that it is mutually beneficial for both parties. If the coach does improve not only your game, but your future, they deserve your thanks. Likewise, player successes are also coach successes. Take the time to appreciate each other.

Speaking of thankless jobs, don’t forget to stop and appreciate parents/guardians as well. The hours, days, and years that they put in working, raising you, feeding you, covering your teams dues, buying equipment, and driving around deserve so much thanks. It is true that as parents or guardians, they have certain responsibilities. That does not mean that their hard work should go unnoticed. Players, these individuals in your lives deserve appreciation. Remember to thank them as often as you can.

Parents and guardians - remember that the grind doesn’t stop for you either. You have already put in so much time and effort, but you know well that those responsibilities don’t take days off. You are so lucky to have these players in your life. Soak up all of the good times and stay strong through the bad - your kids don’t stop needing you.

In speaking with The Basketball Movement’s founder, Rob Yanders, he describes that parent’s roles with their player are almost always bigger than either of them even realize.

In helping get these kids through the recruiting phase, many people don’t realize that the guardians are being recruited and interviewed too. Parents often serve as a window into the player’s background and personal life. Recruiters don’t underestimate these roles and neither should the families.
— Rob Yanders

You will have many relationships in your life. Some will be personal, some will be professional, and all of them should be handled with care. Take time to appreciate everyone that has been a part of your journey. Aside from personally reflecting on these relationships, go out of your way to thank the individuals involved.

In a time in which some players may feel entitled, stand out as someone that coaches and other individuals want to help because you are so grateful. Never stop grinding - on the court or in life!

Fantasy basketball - Taking fandom to the next level

The Basketball Movement is all about basketball in reality, but fantasy basketball is too big to ignore.

Within the doors of The Basketball Movement, players of all kinds have trained to improve. From grade school girls to the men of the NBA, The Movement has been dedicated to enriching basketball experiences, taking skill development to the next level, and promoting players and the sport of basketball in as many ways as possible.

While real, physical development is what TBM is all about, there is an intangible aspect of basketball that is growing all the time. Let’s talk about fantasy hoops.

Stats have been a big part of sports for a long time. Points per game as well as rebounds and assists have long been obvious indicators of success on the floor. It is not surprising that as time has gone on, more statistical categories have been scrutinized and compared, especially at the pro level.

With the ever-growing emphasis on statistics, fantasy basketball was always an inevitability. The premise was quickly rounded into the game-within-a-game that we now see today. Family, friends, and even complete strangers can use fantasy drafts to assemble a team of ballers that they believe is better than everyone else’s. Arguing about which players are better, worse, or primed for a breakout has never had a better platform.

Fantasy hoops is a great way for fans to show off what they believe to be superior sports knowledge. It also just makes for some good conversation. For those that play, it makes sure that you always have something to talk about with fellow sports enthusiasts. (Personal plug: I have written more about fantasy being the “Rosetta Stone” of sports here on my personal site).

2018-19 NBA fantasy players

With the 2018-19 NBA season underway, the fantasy season has also begun. It is still not too late to join drafts on sites such as Yahoo or ESPN. Player rankings often depend on the type of scoring in the league. The below list from ESPN.com for example suggests Russell Westbrook going very high in drafts. That means it is projecting for a league that discounts the negative effects of field goal percentage and turnovers.

(Second personal plug: Speaking of Westbrook and fantasy, I will be writing a weekly fantasy column on the OKC Thunder players and their opponents. Check out the week 1 article at Thunderous Intentions)

No list like the one below is guaranteed to bring success. That is the fun part: making your own picks and bragging about it later (or feeling great shame).

As the title mentions, this list displays the top 150, but that gets a bit lengthy for our purposes. To see all picks, use the ESPN link posted above.

As the title mentions, this list displays the top 150, but that gets a bit lengthy for our purposes. To see all picks, use the ESPN link posted above.

Alright, alright, enough about fantasy. Keep scrolling through The Basketball Movement’s blog for not only more NBA content, but more stuff on all things basketball.

Altercations on the court

In a competitive environment, altercations are going to occur. Learn how to deal with them with TBM.

Thanks to our friend, the internet, we are constantly seeing fights at all levels of the game of basketball. Much of them involve trash talking gone wrong, embarrassed players acting out, or players determined to show others up or act tough. Even at the highest level - the NBA has already had some on-court altercations between players despite only being in the preseason.

Basketball is a game, and therefore built around competition. Two teams try their best to outplay each other, so naturally emotion and competitive nature sometimes overflow.

Of course, our best advice is to avoid confrontation completely. If you or your team are rolling, get pumped up and let your swagger infect your squad. However, remember to not taunt opposing players. Also be gracious in defeat, and take out your frustrations by playing hard, not dishing out verbal jabs or frustration fouls.

Basketball is a team sport, so acting out on the court is when something gets under your skin is a selfish action. Even if you keep yourself in check, your teammates or opponents may not be so even-keeled at all times. Know what to do if an altercation boils over on the floor.

When things have gone too far

At all levels of the game (perhaps even more so in the pros), we see players getting in each other’s faces. Shouting matches accomplish nothing positive for your squad. If you see players starting into each other, place yourself between your teammate and the opponent. Do your best to talk them down by reminding him or her that the team needs them to remain cool. A technical free throw can decide a close game and an ejected player can really hurt your team.

If talking your teammate down is not accomplishing anything, attempt to act as a wall and keep your teammate from getting involved with the opposing player physically. Gradually do what you can to get the players moving apart from each other. Once your teammate’s attention gets diverted, the coach can step in and remind them where their priorities lie.

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
— Michael Jordan

In the event that things do turn physical, keeping the players apart becomes even more important. You can take a bit of a more “hands-on” approach to holding your teammate back, just make sure to not be too aggressive in any of your actions, or they may be misinterpreted.

Wrestling around acting tough is one thing, but if someone starts throwing punches, you have a problem. Not only can players get hurt, even those not involved, but ejections also may turn into lengthy suspensions. Letting your emotions get the best of you in situations like these is one of the most selfish things you can do as a player.

Remember, these things do not apply to bench players. If you are on the bench while an altercation is taking place, stay on the bench. Stand and deliver advice to the players on the court if you must, but if you step onto the court, you are just going to hurt your team.

For more basketball tips, news, and info, keep checking back here at The Basketball Movement.