One-on-One: Indiana Pacers Alize Johnson

Having Alize Johnson in the building for his camp, we got the chance to sit down and chat with the rising NBA talent.

Originally from Williamsport, PA, we are fortunate that Alize Johnson has multiple communities that feel like home. One of the most decorated players in school history, Johnson was a force playing basketball at Missouri State during his college career. Springfield, MO must have made a positive impression on Alize as well, as he said it is very nice to be back for his camp.

“There was so much support while I was here” says Johnson. “I love coming back here because this is a place where I feel so much support and I can surround myself with people that truly want to see me succeed.”

The Basketball Movement-hosted basketball camp put on by Alize was a big success. Johnson put on a similar camp in his hometown in Pennsylvania just a few days prior. When asked about his favorite part about putting on these camps, he had plenty to say.

These camps elate me. I like to see the kids grow - see them smile. In return, it pushes me to go harder because I feel like I have them looking up to me. It gives me a voice. NBA players love doing things like this because it is building off of what we have been able to accomplish.
— Alize Johnson

Not a stranger to The Basketball Movement or working with its Founder, Rob Yanders, we were honored to play host to Alize’s camp this summer. The facility and coaches are designed around the high-intensity style that is needed for the older kids as well as fundamental and fun-oriented feel for the younger ones.

IMG_0973.jpg

Johnson commented on how far the facility had come since he first started coming here and how proud he is of his friend and mentor, Rob Yanders. “Pretty much the only thing left he could add is like, hotel rooms for the players that come out here,” Alize joked. “To see where this place is right now - it’s amazing.” (Note/Plug: The Basketball Movement does offer shuttle service for those interested in extended pro workouts!! End plug)

Rob’s a great guy. He genuinely knows what he’s doing and exactly what he’s talking about. He has been a great mentor for me because of his experience and that he doesn’t sugar coat anything; he tells it like it is. I’m really proud of what he’s doing with these kids too.
— Alize on Robert Yanders

While putting on the camp here, Alize seemed to form a bond also with Rob’s nephew and The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law standout, Anton Brookshire. Anton isn’t one to boast, so Johnson lent a hand in giving the young player some props on social media. Alize said how humble he was is part of why he was so impressed by Brookshire.

“He’s humble - not trying to be big time. He already knows who he is and operates within himself. Honestly he reminds me of myself in some ways… He has what it takes to be a pro,” Alize said of Brookshire.

Upcoming season

With a newly guarnteed contract, Alize Johnson is primed for another exciting pro season. The contract is now guaranteed because of what he was able to show the Indiana Pacers organization recently at the NBA Summer League. His scoring, and possibly more importantly, tenacious rebounding made him one of the Pacers most valuable summer players.

“(Rebounding) comes naturally to me - I love to do it. I still have the will for it too of course, it helps me keep playing and making a living,” said Johnson.

IMG_1047.jpg

Whether he spends the majority of his time with the Pacers or their G-League affiliate this season is still naturally a bit up in the air, though his summer showing is a great start. He says that all he can do is keep preparing as much as possible and be ready when his number is called. “I’ll just handle all the little things and everything should fall into place,” he said.

Now with these camps under his belt, Johnson will just be working out and hanging with friends until it’s time to get back at it. He says that he will report back August 8th. We of course wish him the very best this upcoming season and want to thank him once again for teaming up with The Basketball Movement this summer to stay involved with the community in Southwest Missouri.

Good luck, Alize and see you soon!

One-on-One: Twilah Carrasquillo

Yanders Law’s Twilah Carrasquillo continues to do big things for Verona High School and is poised to carry over her success to the collegiate level.

Another staple of The Basketball Movement and a Yanders Law veteran, Twilah Carrasquillo is continuing her basketball career in style, breaking records along the way. We got to catch up with her in the middle of a great season for Verona High, where she recently broke the women’s scoring record - held by her sister.

She eclipsed the 2,000 point mark and is continuing to build upon a Verona women’s career scoring record. Asked if her sister was upset about her record being broken, Carrasquillo said “She would have been mad if I didn’t break it.” Not surprising then, that she credited her school, friends, and family for the support that helped her achieve this goal. She acknowledged the rarity of this scoring mark in her sport, but is determined to stay focused on team wins.

As Verona advances through their season, accolades will undoubtedly pile up for the Ozarks Sports Zone Player of the Week, who has already committed to continuing her hoops career at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

For Twilah, attending Benedictine is as much about lifestyle as it is about hoops. Many athletes forget that it is okay to remain passionate about more than just the sport you play - Twilah is a shining example of staying true to yourself.

“The coaching staff and girls were very welcoming” said Carrasquillo. “Benedictine is strongly Christian as a historic Catholic school. I knew it was the place to be because I could fit in as a teammate and also as a person.”

We have seen Twilah in action enough to know that she will be one of the team’s hardest workers right away. Her character and convictions will carry her through no-matter what.

Twilah Carrasquillo with Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement

Asked how she originally fell in with Robert Yanders and Yanders Law, Twilah recalled playing against his team. Her Dad was coaching against Rob in Springfield and was approached by Rob and Sly Yanders to discuss a change of scenery. The instincts of Rob to invite the Carraquillo’s into his organization were spot-on, as they have all been shining examples of basketball the Rob Yanders way.

Aside from playing for Yanders Law, Twilah has put in many hours at The Basketball Movement, honing her craft. She is a gifted scorer inside and out and is continuing to expand her range, shore up her handles, and round into a fantastic all-around player.

My biggest takeaways from working with Rob have a lot to do with having a better and deeper knowledge of the game. Knowing so many circumstances helps you see plays before they happen.
— Twilah Carrasquillo

After a successful Yanders Law tenure and as she winds down a fantastic high school career, we asked Twilah what advice she would give other players as they go through the process of picking a college. “Don’t get overwhelmed with what division school it is, just pick whatever is the best decision for you” Carrasquillo said. “Choose what fits with your life. You can’t play ball forever, so always pick something you love.”

With priorities in order, determination, and basketball skills for days, Twilah Carrasquillo is blazing into the next chapter of life armed to the teeth. Her time with us has been a pleasure, hopefully on both ends. We hope that when she makes trips back to see her family and friends that we can still put in some work together when possible.

We thrive on helping outstanding young players like Twilah along their journey. We wish her the absolute best and can’t wait to see what she’ll do next!

One-on-One: Isaac Haney

Yanders Law sophomore, Isaac Haney has been doing big things for Dora and is looking like a strong D-1 talent.

Fresh off of a 48 point scoring blitz with nine assists against Lutie (Theodosia, MO) and helping Dora win the Cabool Holiday tournament, Isaac Haney just can’t help but get back in the gym. Luckily for the both of us, that gym is located in the heart of The Basketball Movement.

For a long time, Haney has been putting in crazy work at The Basketball Movement and for Yanders Law teams. His relationship with our coaches has come easily; he has the hard-working, nose to the grindstone mentality that we thrive on.

In only his second year of high school at a smaller school in Dora, Isaac “Ice” Haney has been getting plenty of collegiate attention. He has outstanding offers from Clevelend State and Grambling while receiving interest from Missouri State and Nebraska Omaha.

In speaking with The Basketball Movement, Haney says that he has been focusing on multiple areas of his game. “I’ve been refining all my skills - getting better at finding holes in the defense, improving my mid-range game, and getting more athletic and stronger.” Not only has Isaac added a few inches of height just recently, but his efforts to get stronger are clearly paying off as well.

We asked Isaac if there were any players he is modeling his game after. His initial response was “Steve Nash” because he likes to be in control, distribute, and still get his (though Nash never dropped 48). He did also mention that he has a JJ Redick mentality, highlighting his quick-trigger. The nod to Redick actually makes a lot of sense when watching Haney in action.

Isaac Haney at The Basketball Movement

From the press box at The Basketball Movement, you can take in every bit of action in the facility. Coach Rob was working with Isaac recently (while his media crew filmed with a drone by the way... this place is next-level) and getting up jumpers. Haney’s jumper actually looked like JJ Redick’s shooting form. If you know hoops, you know that spells perfection. His follow through just screams shooter.

Coach Rob gushed about getting to help Haney grow over the years.

This kid is a great player. He has a savage mentality that always makes you feel like he can win you the game. He is making a case to be the best sophomore in Missouri right now.
— Rob Yanders

Normally when you see Rob throw an hour on the clock, you know you are about to see someone get their butt kicked. Watching Haney, you get the sense that he loves the pain. The tired forearms, the mental strain to lock into a Rob workout, and the jelly legs are things that most players dread. Haney knows that means he is improving. That is why he keeps coming back.

The Basketball Movement is easily the best place to come. Rob is one hundred percent the best in the business. In my time here I have improved by leaps and bounds in all ways.
— Isaac Haney

Isaac Haney is not going to stop improving, which means he won’t stop coming to The Basketball Movement. Haney knows where to go for the best of the best. We are simply thrilled to have gotten to know and watch as another young man betters himself everyday.

For more player profiles and inside looks at everything we have going on, make sure you are following The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law across all platforms.