Around the NBA: A Playoff picture that excludes LeBron James?

We are in uncharted territory with the NBA season nearing its home stretch. An NBA Playoff picture without LeBron James is difficult to imagine.

Most team have around 20 games to go to wrap up their 2018-19 NBA seasons. 16 of 30 teams get to continue playing into the postseason, so most are fighting for seeding or just to make it in. A few of course are locked in the battle of futility, hoping for little more than improved draft odds.

In the East, there are five teams currently standing head-and-shoulders above the rest. The Bucks and Raptors appear to be all but locked into the one and two seeds. The Pacers are clinging to third, but surely the loss of star Victor Oladipo to injury will catch up to them eventually. Coach Nate McMillan and the Indiana role players still deserve a lot of credit.

One of the most talented rosters on paper, the 76ers will be a contender once the dust settles. The Boston Celtics have had a turbulent season despite maintaining about the same roster that led them near the top of the East last year.

The six seed on down currently have sub .500 records. The Brooklyn Nets have been a pleasant surprise with the Pistons, Hornets, Magic, and Heat in contention. The John Wall-less Wizards are looking like a long-shot.

Wild West as usual

As it often is, the Western Conference seeding race is a tight one. The Golden State Warriors are on top as expected, but have already dropped 19 games. That only puts them 1.5 games ahead of the talented Denver Nuggets. The Nugs have a four game lead over the OKC Thunder; that’s where it starts getting very close.

An underrated Trailblazers squad is clinging to fourth, just ahead of the Rockets, Jazz, Spurs and Clippers. Yes, the Spurs are back again after a slow start to their 2018-19 campaign. Conversely, the Clippers overachieved to start the year and initiated a rebuild despite their success. With LA being a desirable free agent destination, they are hoping they can land a star or two next year.

If the Clippers fall off, that leaves two squads that could possibly take their place. The young, surprisingly good Sacremento Kings or LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers stumbled during LeBron’s longest injury absence of his career. Now that he’s back, he says that he has activated “playoff mode”. That didn’t seem to help them much, as they have suffered some of their ugliest losses of the season since.

LeBron doesn’t just have a playoff streak on the line. LeBron James has been to eight consecutive NBA Finals. Eight. Not having him in the playoff picture at all would be incredibly unusual in this era of NBA basketball. To an extent, he knew what he was signing up for with the young Lakers that added bigger personalities than stars over the offseason. Still wild.

The kicker in all this for the Lakers is there remaining schedule, which is one of the toughest in the Association down the stretch (below, from Basketball Reference).

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There are still five weeks to hammer out the final standings. The current playoff picture is an interesting one, with surprises both inside and outside the top eight squads from each conference.

Keep up with The Basketball Movement as we continue to fill you in on happenings around the NBA.

What is your plan for getting better?

Many of you are still deep in your basketball season, be it high school, college, or the NBA. What is your plan once it’s over?

This is one of our favorite times of the year for basketball (well, if we’re being honest it’s always our favorite time of the year for basketball). Players are at their busiest because regular seasons are winding down. From high school district contests to the NBA Playoffs, seasons are plateauing.

Even though players are busy, the best-of-the-best still find time to put in extra reps. Many of the players that come through our doors this time of year are men and women that have separated themselves from the boys and girls. Shout out to those players for coming in to work after their teammates have finished practice and gone home. We see you.

We also understand that it isn’t always possible to find adequate time for these extra reps. Especially at the collegiate level on down, other factors such as school work and family take up time in the evening or sometimes early morning. Even a few sessions a month with us can make a world of difference though. Anyway - down time is coming.

It is a bit early for looking ahead to the offseason, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Whether your team is bounced in the first round or goes all the way, the season will end eventually. Once it’s over, do you have a plan to continue getting better?

Even the top athletes will lose too much ground if they wait until the next season to pick a basketball back up. Don’t lose your edge this offseason. Continue to improve so you can come back stronger, smarter, faster, and more skilled next season. The Basketball Movement wants to help.

Even as a multi-sport athlete, you still must make time to hone your craft. Otherwise, the competition may catch up, eclipse you, or pull further ahead of you. Contact The Basketball Movement to make a plan. We want to work with you to take your game to the next level. Show up to your first practice next season and wow your coaches and teammates. Coaches quickly start forming starting lineups in their heads as well as schemes, plays, and pecking order; insert yourself into the front of their mind.

Shoot us an email at basketballmovement@yahoo.com and be sure to include a contact number. One of our coaches will be in contact with you or your athlete so we can discuss the ways we can help. Skill development is our bread and butter, but what sets us apart is our conditioning, strength training, basketball IQ enhancement, film study, nutrition and stretching tips, and wealth of basketball knowledge and expertise.

If you are ready to get serious about getting better, contact The Basketball Movement.

NCAA home stretch power rankings

March is closing in, meaning we have a better idea each day of which teams will make the big dance.

With NCAA hoops hitting the home stretch, many teams are undoubtedly wondering where they will stand at the end. ESPN has updated its power rankings following some big games this week. We dive into those rankings to see how things are shaping up near the top with March Madness on the horizon.

Below are ESPN’s ranks for the top 16

  1. Duke (23-3)

  2. Virginia (23-2)

  3. Tennessee (24-2)

  4. Gonzaga (26-2)

  5. Kentucky (22-4)

  6. North Caroline (22-5)

  7. Michigan (24-3)

  8. Houston (25-1)

  9. Michigan State (22-5)

  10. Kansas (20-6)

  11. Marquette (22-4)

  12. Purdue (19-7)

  13. Texas Tech (21-5)

  14. Nevada (24-2)

  15. LSU (21-5)

  16. Wisconsin (18-8)

Despite the upset of North Carolina over Duke in their highly-touted matchup, the needle did not move too far on either team. The impact of Zion Williamson getting injured in the opening minutes had a deeply felt impact on the game instantly.

As Williamson’s shoe exploded and he went down with a knee sprain (not expected to be serious), thoughts naturally turned to other players that were “unable to play due to injury” that were able to go to the NBA unscathed. Duke has seen this before in the form of Kyrie Irving. With Zion set to make millions in the NBA next year, it would be tough to blame him for playing things safe.

In a case of perfect timing, the NBA is currently considering lowering their age of eligibility from 19 to 18.

Anyway, Duke is still set to hold its number one spot on the backs of its touted freshman. Many pundits expected Kansas to be higher on this list so late in the season. They could still make for an unfortunate opponent for some teams should they garner a lower seed come tournament time. Purdue is sitting a bit lower than expected as well.

Nevada and to a greater extent, Houston, are the pleasant surprises on this list. Their strong play has demanded attention and thrust them directly into the mix of the nation’s top teams.

Women’s bracket looking familiar

If March Madness started today, we would be seeing a lot of familiar faces near the top. The 1-seeds would be: UConn, Baylor, Louisville, and Oregon. The 2-seeds would be Mississippi State (who can no longer play underdog after consecutive great seasons), NC State, Stanford, and Notre Dame.

Perhaps March Madness’ biggest individual hero last year, Arike Ogunbowale just recently set an all-time scoring record for Notre Dame.

As the regular season winds down, our thoughts are full steam ahead to March Madness. One-and-done tournaments don’t always produce the truest results in terms of the most talented teams. However, the luck factor, heat checks, and meteoric rise of teams and players make it an incredible event to witness.

Who will be this year’s Arike Ogunbowale or Donte Divincenzo? Follow along with us on social media as we dive into one of the most exciting months in basketball. We’ll see you there!

Around the NBA: All-Star Weekend 2019 recap

Another NBA All-Star Weekend is in the books. The Association packs a lot into the three day span - we have you covered if you missed any of the action.

NBA All-Star Weekend is one of the most exciting and unique events in basketball. The events are varied and entertaining, making for arguably the best All-Star event of any of the major American sports. It’s a lot to take in, so we break down the high points in case you missed anything.

We can skip over the Celebrity All-Star game. That’s not our jam. However, Friday night did end on a high note in the form of the Rising Star Challenge. First and second year players formed Team USA vs. Team World for the third consecutive season. Team USA finally pulled off a win, led by big performances from Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, and Kyle Kuzma.

Kyle Kuzma of the LA Lakers took home MVP honors, scoring a game-high 35 points. Team World was led by NBA All-Star, Ben Simmons who had a 28/5/6 line.

All-Star Saturday Night

Often the most entertaining part of NBA All-Star Weekend is Saturday night, which is filled with speed, shooting, and high-flying. The Skill Competition is often underrated and was entertaining once again this year.

Before Spencer Dinwiddie won last year, the event had been surprisingly dominated by big men the last few times for an event that includes many of the finer skills of the game. This year fell somewhere in-between with the 6 foot 8 forward Jayson Tatum beating Trae Young with a halfcourt heave.

The Three Point Contest was up next with a stacked field. Unlike the Dunk Contest, this one was actually filled with most of the season’s top guys. Seth Curry went down quickly, losing the battle of the brothers. Steph Curry however didn’t quite have the juice to overcome the Brooklyn Nets red hot sniper, Joe Harris. Beating Curry (and Buddy Hield) in the final round should make for an incredible memory for Harris.

Since it used to be the most exciting, the Dunk Contest was the final event of the night. There were a lot of misses and some gimmicks that did not go over well. We still came away with some nice jams, though one by winner, Hamidou Diallo took the cake.

Diallo was the furthest contestant from being a household name, but leapfrogging Shaquille O’Neil for an elbow-in-the-rim slam was easily the most memorable dunk of the night.

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game

Team Giannis vs. Team LeBron made for an incredibly fun exhibition. Coming in, Team LeBron looked to have more talent, but Team Giannis may have had the hungrier players. The first half was all Team Giannis, led by the captain himself. They out-hustled Team LeBron and we even saw glimpses of defense throughout the night despite the high score.

Eventually, Team LeBron pulled away by simply making more shots. A three point barrage in the third led by Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, and Klay Thompson mixed with consistant greatness by Kevin Durant proved too much for the largely less-accomplished Team Giannis squad.

Durant was named MVP on a night that had many highlights. It was also great to see Dirk splashing threes and Dwyane Wade / LeBron James alley-oops flying around one last time. (Make sure to watch the above video to catch the insane Curry-to-Antetokounmpo ally-oop)

Thanks for checking in so we could catch you up! Keep an eye out here for more NBA updates as the season continues in addition to NCAA, high school, and local coverage. ‘Til next time!

Around the NBA: All-Star Weekend 2019 schedule

Friday kickstarts NBA All-Star Weekend - We let you know when the action takes place to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

For NBA fans (or basketball fans in general), NBA All-Star Weekend is one of the most interesting stretches that the sport has to offer. No-matter the participants, the dunk contest is always a good time, even if it isn’t what it once was. The skills challenge and three point contest are consistently fun while the Rising Stars game is a great time as well. The All-Star game itself is perhaps the greatest exhibition game we get all year. The whole thing is certainly worth your time.

If you are lucky enough to have a completely free weekend, you can tune in to NBA TV almost any time to catch All-Star media appearances, practices, or even an NBA legends brunch. Most of us have important things going on, such as the second installment of The League at The Basketball Movement all day Saturday. For such reasons, let’s just hit on the most important events of NBA All-Star Weekend 2019, starting with Friday (all times shown in CST).

Friday, Feb. 15th

4:00pm will have the Hall of Fame announcement on TNT. This is one that may be just as good to catch afterwards on Twitter, but is still an interesting wrinkle in the weekend. At 6:00pm on ESPN, the Celebrity All-Star Game will be shown. If watching Ray Allen and Quavo take on A’ja Wilson and Dr. Oz sounds interesting to you, then this is the place to be.

The meat and potatoes of Friday is certainly the Rising Stars game that starts at 8:00pm on TNT. Made up of first and second year players, there will be a USA vs. The World format again. Always underrated, the game offers a fun look into the future of the league. Team USA is still looking for its first win since this format was established.

Saturday, Feb 16th

Media availability by the All-Stars and Commisioner Adam Silver will be running much of the day as well as practices. All-Star Saturday Night though is where the most memorable moments will truly begin, starting at 7:00pm on TNT.

The Taco Bell Skills Challenge kicks things off with players of every position competing to see who can combine speed, ball-handling, passing, and shooting accuracy to the fullest effect. Big men have had a surprising hold on this event over the years.

Contestants this year are: Mike Conley, Luka Doncic, De'Aaron Fox, Nikola Jokic, Kyle Kuzma, Jayson Tatum, Nikola Vucevic, and Trae Young.

Following the skills competition is the Three Point Contest, which is one of the most pure contests in basketball year after year. Whether Seth should be in or not, it is still interesting that the contest will feature brothers - Steph and Seth Curry. The rest of the field is a pretty solid representation of many of the season’s top snipers:

The final event of All-Star Saturday Night is the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest. Despite a resurgence in 2016 that saw an epic showdown between Aaron Gordon and Zach Lavine, this contest has been largely on a downhill slide over the years.

The game’s big stars are mysteriously reluctant to participate, so we get athletic up-and-comers that may have some decent dunks, but no star power. Maybe this year will yield some surprises.

Sunday, Feb 17th

The main event! Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis marks the 68th annual NBA All-Star game. The game tips of at 7:00pm with coverage starting at 6:00pm on TNT (also available on TBS).

NBA haters love to harp on the lack of defense in this one, but perhaps they don’t understand the purpose of an exhibition game. Also, Joel Embiid went you-know-what to the walls last year, forcing everyone else to step it up. He is on team Giannis and we have seen Antetokounmpo take the game very seriously before too. Anticipate plenty of effort and competitiveness sprinkled in between alley oops.

That does it for the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend schedule! We will be dropping some opinions and analysis over the weekend in addition to our coverage of The League. Be sure you are following us across all platforms so you don’t miss a thing.

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: Emily Edwards

Nixa High’s junior point guard is scoring in bunches and applying the lessons she learned working with The Basketball Movement.

As a 2020 graduate, Emily Edwards has already given her verbal commitment to play basketball at the collegiate level. Though she is already primed for the next level, her drive to improve is constant. We had a chance to talk with Emily following a workout; she dished about her time at The Basketball Movement, balancing sports and school, and her future.

You can still count the Nixa lady’s losses on just one hand at this point in the season. A lot of that is due to stellar play at the point guard position from Edwards. She says that the team has all the right pieces and should go far.

Edwards describes herself as a scoring point guard because she is excellent shooting off the dribble and drilling open triples. She still loves to distribute and has rounded into an offensive threat on-and-off the ball. When asked what she was doing to take her game to the next level, she explained that she is “always working on D“ and “getting better off the ball by using screen and cuts.” Her game is getting love inside-and-out as she strives to improve her range as well as finishing around the rim.

Emily Edwards at The Basketball Movement

Asked how she originally hooked up with Rob Yanders and The Basketball Movement, Emily recalled three or four years back hearing several local players talking about their time here. Once she tried out The Basketball Movement for herself, she kept coming back. Emily is the kind of driven athlete that we at The Basketball Movement love to have coming through our doors.

We asked her what her biggest takeaways have been in her time with Rob and The Basketball Movement. The answer was not far off from what we have heard from other athletes, but it is always music to our ears:

It’s shown me how hard you have to work to get better - which has been paying off. Everything there has to be done right every time, which can be applied to all other practices and everything else.
— Emily Edwards

Boys and girls, men and women, Rob has worked with athletes of all ages, but the messages are consistent. Working hard is incredibly important, but working the right way is just as important. The athletes like Emily Edwards that truly understand this concept and put in the time are the ones that can continue to take their game to the next level - which Emily is.

What’s next

Edwards has verbally committed to Rockhurst University in Kansas City. She said that she visted the campus and loved it, the coaches, and the program. She was also impressed with the quality of the pre-med program, signalling her drive to succeed in multiple facets of life.

To even think about a pre-med path, you have to be a driven, confident student. It is not surprising that Edwards fits this bill. We asked her for any advice for our other athletes as they strive to balance school, basketball, and anything else like deciding on a college, major, and so-forth.

Keep working hard in all areas. If you love it, do it. Make sure to remain efficient with your time - stuff like doing as much homework as you can before practice. Of course also enjoy everything you do and just have fun.
— Edwards on school/sports balance

As she continues to be a catalyst for the Nixa Eagles offense, Emily will undoubtedly remain strong in character and drive. We are thrilled to have been a part of her journey to this point and hope to remain a part for years to come. She is an excellent example of where The Basketball Movement can take you.

To step up you or your athlete’s game on and off the court, contact The Basketball Movement at basketballmovement@hotmail.com and we can help take you to the next level!

Around the NBA: Anthony Davis, James Harden, and All-Star Weekend

Anthony Davis is the big news this week, but there is plenty going on around the National Basketball Association.

The New Orleans Pelicans star, Anthony Davis has been fined $50,000 this week by the NBA. His agent, Rich Paul let it be known that Davis wishes to be traded, which is a no-no. The agent said that Davis wishes to play for a team that allows him to “win consistently and compete for a championship.” This means that Davis does not believe he is capable of leading the Pelicans to be a team that can win consistently - a disappointing admission from the superstar power forward.

The fine is a drop in the bucket for Anthony “The Brow” Davis, who makes over $25 million per season. He and his agent likely decided being open and honest was worth the trouble. Davis must have his sights set somewhere big, as he leaves behind up-and-comers Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic, and Elfrid Payton as well as All-Star-caliber talent, Jrue Holiday. The Lakers are the most buzzed about team as well as the Celtics, though Boston is incapable of making a deal this season.

You do not have to be fantasy basketball savvy to know that Davis is a machine on the basketball court. He is elite on both ends, meaning his eventual departure from NOLA will be a seismic shift in the NBA landscape. Currently injured, it seems likely The Brow has played his last game in a Pelicans uniform. The trade deadline is February 7th.

James Harden’s historic heater

Through the end of 2018, the NBA MVP race was a close one. Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard were all looking like fine choices with the Rockets off to a disappointing start. About halfway through December however, the Rockets turned it on. With Chris Paul sidelined with injury, it has been the James Harden show - and what a show it has been.

In January, Harden has averaged 43.6 points to go along with 8.7 boards, 7.6 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.2 blocks.

That scoring total is the highest single-month average since Wilt Chamberlain’s 45.8 in March of 1963 via the Elias Sports Bureau. Any time you see a modern day player’s stats compared to Wilt Chamberlain, you know they are doing something crazy.

The Rockets are currently up to third in the West and Harden would be a lock for his second MVP award if the season ended today. However, there is still a lot of basketball to be played!

2019 All-Star starters and Rising Stars announced

Fan-voting for the NBA All-Star games has concluded. Those votes are weighed in alongside player and media voting, resulting in the five starters for each conference. Below are the results:

Western conference: LeBron James, Steph Curry, James Harden, Paul George, and Kevin Durant.

Eastern Conference: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker

Once again, the conferences will be jumbled together, with a captain from each conference drafting their players. The top vote-getters, Antetokounmpo and James will be selecting the squads. The fun part is that the draft will be televised this year on Feb. 7th at 6:00pm Central on TNT.

The Rising Stars challenge will feature first and second year players and will be in Team USA vs The World format again this year. The World team has won each year since this format has started, but the rosters this year may lend confidence to team USA.

NBA All-Star weekend is February 15-17th. We will do our best to cover the festivities in addition to our coverage of The League by The Basketball Movement, which has its second installment Saturday, Feb. 16th. Keep your eye out for more NBA coverage and follow us on Twitter to stay on top of everything.

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!

Robert Yanders' All-Star Five - 2019 Tournament of Champions

The 2019 Tournament of Champions is in the books. The Basketball Movement’s Robert Yanders has selected his All-Star Five!

2019 brought another thrilling Tournament of Champions with high-flying stars, some of the nation’s best, and solid local talent. The weekend culminated in a championship game that needed overtime to determine a champ. McEachern took the title over Sunrise Christian in a thrilling match; several of the game’s stars show up below.

There was no shortage of talent in this year’s tourney. However, only five can be named to Robert Yanders’ All-Star Five. Rob Yanders is the founder of The Basketball Movement - the most expolosive training facility in the Midwest. He was an impressive high school player himself, and went on to play professional basketball. He is a local basketball authority and staple at the Bass Prop Shops Tournament of Champions.

The Basketball Movement brought game and player coverage this year and had eyes out for tournament standouts from the jump. Below are Robert Yanders’ picks for his 2019 Tournament of Champions All-Star Five:

Sharife Cooper - McEachern

Scoring, leadership, and star-power. Sharife Cooper was the tournament MVP after leading McEachern to the title. The nation’s #2 PG stepped up when the lights were bright and his future is only getting brighter.

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Isaac Okoro - McEachern

As good as Sharife Cooper was, he could not do it all on his own. Isaac Okoro had a great tournament, stepping up on both sides of the floor to help McEachern take the title.

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James Wiseman - Memphis East

Memphis East did not make as much noise in the tournament as they may have liked, but the ESPN #1 ranked player, James Wiseman looked every bit up to the hype.

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N’Faly Dante - Sunrise Christian

Sunrise Christian had a great tournament and just came up short. A few more overtime points and N’Faly Dante may have been the MVP. The seven-footer was a force inside all weekend.

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Jaelen House - Shadow Mountain

They came up short in the third place game, but we saw plenty of great basketball on both sides from Shadow Mountain. Leading that charge was Jaelen House, whose most memorable moment was going toe-to-toe with one of the nations best in Sharife Cooper on night two.

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That does it for Robert Yander’s All-Star Five! His Instagram saw it first, so make sure to drop a follow over there. We had a blast covering some of the country’s top talent this year at the tournament and you know we'll be back again next year.

Our grind doesn’t stop though, so be sure to keep coming back for basketball goodness from local high school action all the way through the pros.

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.!

Robert Yanders' stock raisers at the Tournament of Champions

The 2019 Tournament of Champions has multiple nationally ranked prospects. There is always room to grow, and Robert Yanders has noted a few players that have raised their stock.

With two days down and one to go, Southwest Missouri has seen some of the best basketball teams and players the country has to offer. Some of these guys are already ranked pretty highly - including the nation’s top prospect - James Wiseman.

If you are number one, your stock can’t go up. For every single other player however, there is always at least one more step you can take to raise stock.

With such an impressive array of talent, the Tournament of Champions is an ideal spot for iron to sharpen iron. There is no better time to outwork and outpace your competitors than when going head-to-head. The Basketball Movement’s Founder, Robert Yanders has selected a few guys from the first two nights of action that have raised there stock.

Jared Jones - McEachern

In the McEachern vs. Shadow Mountain game last night, all eyes were on Jaelen House vs. Sharife Cooper. McEachern came out on top to advance to the Chamiponship tonight, but it was a bumpy ride. Jared Jones was a steady presence for the team, blocking multiple shots and putting in 12 points with big plays at the right time.

The Northwestern commit was quiet night one, but his play in game two against an even better squad was noteworthy. His athleticism, strong defense, and knack for a big stage earn him a spot among Rob’s stock raisers.

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Alyn Breed - McEachern

Joining Jones on the way to the championship tonight is his teammate - SG Alyn Breed. Has done an excellent job of taking pressure off of his fellow backcourt players. He has 20 total points through the first couple of games, but has done an excellent job on the perimeter and is playing good defense.

His athleticism allows him to play bigger than his 6’3” frame, and he is not afraid to scrap for boards. He has heard from some smaller schools in the Northeast, but has the looks of an underrated prospect.

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Noel Coleman - Sunrise Christian

Meeting McEachern in the championship with be Sunrise Christian Academy. Sunrise has some big names, but the offense starts with PG Noel Coleman.

Coleman is listed at 6’1” but has relatively nice length and explosiveness. He is a solid distributor on a deep and talented team - he deserves to be getting more attention at the collegiate level.

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Jovan Blacksher - Shadow Mountain

Grand Canyon commit, Jovan Blacksher has been in his bag all weekend. When he isn’t keeping the ball on a string, he is unleashing a barrage of threes like he did last night. His three triples in a row kept Shadow Mountain hanging tough, though they eventually fell to McEachern.

His well-rounded, yet scoring-oriented game actually reminds a bit of his coach, former NBA player, Mike Bibby.

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Zach Howell - Springfield Catholic

The Basketball Movement gym rat, Zach Howell looked good last night and has been showing that with minutes, he can be a great contributor, even on an already good team. Catholic played a great game last night despite the outcome. Part of that renewed vigor coming off a big night one loss was provided by Howell, whose outside shooting and competitive fire were big for the Irish.

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That’s it for Robert Yanders’ stock raisers from the first two nights of action. Ahead of tonight’s big games, dunk contest, and more, be sure to follow Rob Yanders on Instagram to be the first to see his picks for the Tournament of Champions fab five. See you tonight.

Robert Yanders' standouts from night one of the ToC

With night one in the books, The Basketball Movement’s Founder, Robert Yanders gives us his early standouts ahead of selecting his Tournament of Champions Fab Five.

As we have already mentioned, The Basketball Movement’s main man, Rob Yanders selected a Fab Five from the Tournament of Champions last year. He is doing it again and is planning to post the results on his Instagram page here.

With only one night done out of three, he is releasing his list of early standouts. We have already witnessed some great basketball at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, not only from the guys below, but many more that are certainly knocking on the door.

Subject to change by the end, but currently ahead of the pack; here are Robert Yanders’ top five picks that are standing out early:

Jaelen House - Shadow Mountain

It takes more than just scoring to impress Robert Yanders, but 31 big ones in a statement win doesn’t hurt. Son of former NBA player, Eddie House, Jaelen clearly has great basketball blood coursing through his veins.

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James Wiseman - Memphis East

James Wiseman is the consensus number one player in the nation - and it showed. 21 points and 19 boards in a victory over Parkview was all he needed to display his complete dominance on the court.

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Sharife Cooper - McEachern

With 28 points, Sharife Cooper paced the McEachern Indians in a win over Springfield Catholic. This game was over quickly, with a barrage out of the gate led by one of the top guards of the nation in Cooper.

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Isaac Okoro - McEahern

Sharife Cooper was not alone in dominating Springfield Catholic last night, as high-flying Isaac Okoro made things just as difficult. The Auburn commit had 16 points and played a big part in shutting down the Catholic offense that was off to its best start in school history.

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Austin Crowley - Sunrise Christian

In a convincing win over Rainier Beach, Austin Crowley put on a show. His 15 points were big ones, coming from outside shots, silky-smooth drives, and thunderous dunks. All eyes were on seven-footer N’Faly Dante, and Crowley used that to his advantage with crafty offense.

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The tournament continues in just a few hours, so remember to follow us on social media for pictures, videos, and more. Remember also to follow Robert Yanders to get his final verdict for his Fab Five! See you there!

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!

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.

NBA All-Star voting is underway

The first wave of results are back from fan-voting for NBA All-Star starters. Some of the results have been raising questions.

Should fans be the ones that vote for starters in the NBA All-Star game? An argument can certainly be made on both sides. Players get plenty of official accolades for their strong play, such as making All-NBA Teams, All-Defense, MVP, etc.

Do they really need one more official pat on the back, or can fans just select whoever the heck they want? It is just an exhibition game after all. Player pride may be on the line, but fans are the main reason the players have such a lofty platform. As I said, either side can be argued.

The reason it is being argued is below, in the first voting return:

There are many names that everyone expects to see. LeBron and half of the Warriors show up out West, while new kings of the East, Giannis, Embiid, and Kawhi take deserved spots on the other side. Three frontcourt players and two backcourt players start per conference. The issue lies in a few of the would-be starters as of now.

Luka Doncic is the likely rookie of the year, but All-Star starter over Durant, PG-13, or the Brow? The fans are making a questionable pick here.

Nostalgia is one of the true leading vote-getters this year. Derrick Rose, though he is having a nice bounce-back season, would currently be a starter over Harden and Westbrook. C’mon now. Out East, Dwyane Wade is in his final season. That makes this pick a bit more understandable, but it would still be a bit of a shame if the deserving Kemba Walker didn’t get that spot. Even Vince Carter makes an appearance in the top 10.

Again, this is an exhibition game that is clearly meant for fan service. To the players and top-talent purists, there may be a few too many old guys (and Lakers/Warriors) on this list. Either way, it will be a blast as it always is. If you don’t like the current standings go vote for your guys!

Follow us on Twitter @BBall_Movement and let us know who you would like to see on All-Star Weekend this February!

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.

Blue and Gold / Pink and White tourneys underway

A holiday week tradition in the Ozarks, the high school boys Blue and Gold and girls Pink and White tournaments have begun.

A lot of us are still trying to figure out how to work off the Christmas ham, cookies, or whatever other holiday goodness that has just been consumed. For many of the Ozark’s young men and women though, it is time to get back to basketball.

Today marks the first day of the annual Blue and Gold and Pink and White tournaments. Missouri State University hosts this great event year after year. It has become a great post-Christmas tradition in our area. The tournaments feature many teams from Springfield, MO and the surrounding area. Games will be played at either the Hammons Student Center or JQH Arena.

Below are the brackets:

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And on the lady’s side of things:

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