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.

Around the NBA: Vince Carter won't stop dunking

At 42 years old, Vince Carter is defying norms in a sport filled with the greatest athletes in the world.

Much has been made recently of Tom Brady competing at an elite level at age 40. He looks as sharp as ever and lead his team to yet another Superbowl title. A comparison of greatness may be unfair, but in terms of athletic feats, he has stiff competition from a 40 plus NBA star in Vince Carter.

Debatably, the NBA has the top athletes in the world. The majority of the players are 20-somethings that are in the physical primes of their lives. Vince Carter has been there. During the peak years of his athleticism, he had a multi-year run of what may have been the greatest in-game dunks ever. His legendary athleticism paired with deadly long ball made him a lethal offensive threat.

Despite playing at 42 years old, Carter is still holding his own. He has bounced around a bit these last several years, providing a valuable veteran presence for young teams. His scoring numbers are actually up this year from the last few as he provides a spark off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks. And yes, somehow, he is still throwing down dunks.

With players younger than Carter like Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki singing their swan song this season, he is singing a different tune. In a discussion with ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, Carter said that he would like to keep playing. That would be his 22nd season.

As a mentor and a shooter, there will certainly be a market for Carter’s services as long as he is willing to play. Whether it is another year with the Hawks, an old team like the Nets or Raptors, or a different destination, it will still be fun to see Carter keep lacing up to compete.

He says that he has been taking things one year at a time, assessing how he feels at the conclusion of each season. It does sound like he is prepared to play until at least age 43 though. With Wade and Nowitzki getting honorary All-Star nods this year, we could surely expect the same treatment for Vinsanity at All-Star 2020. That would be the 20 year anniversary of his legendary All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, so that would be pretty legit.

Playing basketball at a professional level is more difficult than many realize. It requires dedication and true passion to play as long as VC has. If he enjoys the grind enough to keep playing and he can get paid good money to do it, this is a great move for Carter as well as basketball fans.

We are lucky to still be seeing Vince Carter in action and look forward to watching him for at least one more season! For more on everything basketball, keep it locked here with The Basketball Movement.

Happy International Women's Day from The Basketball Movement!

In sports, school, business, well… everywhere, there are female figures both prominent and unnoticed that are deserving of appreciation.

Basketball offers an incredible platform for women at every level of the sport. We are seeing more female coaches, referees, and sponsored athletes than ever before. Naturally, society still has room for improvement in terms of acknowledgment and appreciation of women, but we are getting there!

In thinking of the most touted accomplishment’s by women at the height of the sport, things have been unfortunately stagnant. The NBA is on only its third female referee since Violet Palmer broke that barrier in 1997. Becky Hammon broke barriers as the first female assistant coach, but she has already been at it for five years. It would be nice to see more movement on this front in the Association.

It would not be difficult to imagine Hammon stepping into a head coaching position in the NBA after such a successful tenure under legendary coach, Gregg Popovich. We’ll see.

The WNBA is currently as talented if not more so than it has ever been. All-time leading scorer, Diana Taurasi is still doing her thing in Phoenix, as well as the legendary Sue Bird for Seattle Storm. There is also plenty of young talent such as Elena Delle Donne, A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Brittney Griner, Maya Moore… you get it.

Unfortunately, despite the enormous talent in the league, revenue streams are not strong enough to support player salaries that rival their male counterparts. Basketball purists can appreciate the talent, but without increased support, many of the top players may start venturing overseas to make more money. Let’s keep these ladies here, shall we?

The NCAAW scene is thriving. March 2018 provided as much madness as we can remember for some time on the lady’s side. The sustained greatness of programs like UCONN mixed with up-and-comers such as Mississippi State has made for some incredibly entertaining basketball.

Locally, women’s basketball is going strong as well. The Missouri State Lady Bears are looking like a contender in the upcoming Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, currently seeded second with only one game to play. The Drury Lady Panthers? Oh, they can’t lose. 28-0. Crazy.

Ranked at the top, the GLVC tournament is theirs to lose. The first game is tonight at 6:00PM in Illinois against McKendree, who are winless against the Panthers all-time, including a 17 point loss earlier this season.

Success abounds at the high school level as well, with many of our Yanders Law players and The Basketball Movement athletes showing out all season long. The future of women’s basketball is strong and we hope to help in making it stronger.

Special shoutouts also to all of the mothers, grandmothers, and other guardians of basketball players. Often unsung heroes, we see these special ladies giving so much to their players to put them in the best possible position to succeed. We see you, and we appreciate you.

Happy International Women’s Day again from your friends at The Basketball Movement!

Multiple athletes gearing up for state push

With their teams preparing for the biggest stages of high school ball, we reach out to a few of our Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement athletes to get their thoughts.

Isaac Haney, Zach Howell, and Kanon Gipson are easy for us to get a hold of. These young men are staples of The Basketball Movement facility - always coming in to get work. Even now at the height of the season, their desire to stay sharp keeps them coming back.

Hard work is a constant with contributors on good teams. It is no surprise that each of these young men are still playing despite districts coming to a close.

Isaac Haney

If you have been paying attention, it won’t surprise you to hear that All-District selection, Isaac Haney has taken his team to the final four in class 1. Dora has been dropping a lot of points on opponents - most of which have been supplied by Haney. “It feels like the hard work has paid off,” said Haney. “We just have to make sure we stay together and do what we’ve been doing; put an emphasis on teamwork, defend, and jump on people out of the gate.”

As Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Dora has been jumping out to big leads early and will look to continue to gain that advantage. If that doesn’t work out though, Isaac says they will be ready.

Zach Howell

Springfield Catholic (28-3) played strong right out of the gate this year. That put a target on their back, but it hasn’t mattered as they are preparing to kick off their class 3 final four appearance against St. Paul Lutheran. Two of Catholic’s losses came in the Tournament of Champions, which hosts some of the best teams in the nation. Freshman Zach Howell says that if the team locks in and plays the way they can, that they are poised to win it all.

Howell says that being on one of the few teams in the state left playing is a great feeling. Unlike most teams though, he feels that they essentially hold a home court advantage in the final four. “We have played at JQH about as much as we have played on our home court this year. We’ll be familiar with the court and space, which will be very helpful.”

After putting in so much time with The Basketball Movement, Zach says he is ready for anything.

Working with Rob can be applied to anything, but on the court I am prepared skill-wise and mentally. Rob says basketball is 90 percent mental and I agree. I’ll be ready.
— Zach Howell

Kanon Gipson

The other of Springfield Catholic’s three losses came to Logan-Rogersville and sharpshooter, Kanon Gipson of The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law. LR is now preparing for their sectional tilt and Gipson says he is determined to make sure his senior teammates don’t hang up their jerseys early.

“At this point any team can get you because they are there for a reason. You just have to give it your best shot,” said Kanon. “Our mentality has been the same all season”. Gipson still has the green light from deep and says that his main takeaway from The Basketball Movement will be stepping up his defense.

Here I’ve learned how to apply more pressure but also how to handle pressure. I’ve learned to deal with every obstacle.
— Gipson's takeaways from The Basketball Movement

Good luck again to these and all of our high school athletes that are getting to continue their push towards a state title. We will be watching and hoping for the best for each of you. For those of you that are prepping for the offseason - remember the number one facility for not only staying sharp, but improving your skills on and off the floor.

Players from both Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement set to face off

With their teams gearing up for a Missouri class 5 sectional showdown, we talk to a few of our athletes as they prepare for battle.

Anton Brookshire and Elijah Bridgers play for perhaps Springfield, MO’s most prominent basketball school - Kickapoo High. They are also players that we have had the privilege of working with at The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law. Drew McMillin is another one, but he plays for a Republic squad that has exceeded expectations and finds themselves squaring off with the above Kickapoo duo in sectionals.

Kickapoo won their district title in dramatic fashion and are now hoping to go on a run. Following a workout at The Basketball Movement, we chatted with Brookshire and Bridgers to get a feel for their mindset as the stage continues to get bigger and brighter.

Perhaps no player in the state has made the splash to this point that Kickapoo’s Anton Brookshire has. That splash being a game-winning three pointer to take the district title over Nixa.

Anton Brookshire

During the final play of of the district championship game, Anton Brookshire’s adrenaline was pumping. “It was a dream come true. I knew that I would take the shot, but I also knew that I would make the shot.” Despite having such a huge moment already, Anton is poised to raise his stock, even as a sophomore as Kickapoo prepares for sectionals.

Brookshire says they have already watched a lot of film and will continue to scout Republic. He says that the team’s chemistry and bonding these last few weeks has grown exponentially and that they will be ready.

Being at The Basketball Movement almost everyday surrounded by good people has made me grow as a player and a person. The way my game has grown - I think that this is the greatest environment a player can be in.
— Brookshire on The Basketball Movement

Elijah Bridgers

Another Kickapoo player, junior Elijah Bridgers can confirm that the team is focused, determined, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay alive. “We approach every game the same way, but this time of year, you have to turn it up,” Bridgers said.

If they play the right way, Elijah says they can beat anyone. He pointed out that they have already beaten plenty of good teams this season. Asked about takeaways from Rob and The Basketball Movement, Bridgers said that the intensity will translate well into March basketball. Every time you take the floor at The Basketball Movement, you need to bring your A-game. The same will certainly apply at sectionals as well.

Drew McMillin

On the other side of things, we had the opportunity to chat with Republic’s Drew McMillin before Thursday’s big tilt. In his time with Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement, Drew said that he has learned how to deal with almost all possible situations on the basketball court. This experience will help as Republic locks in on the Kickapoo Chiefs; he says that their coach has stressed the importance of staying in the moment and focusing on taking this run one game at a time.

McMillan says that as they buckle down to face the stiffer competition that the offense has a renewed focus on getting smart shots as opposed to free-flowing ball that could lead to mistakes.

Asked about the biggest moment of the season, Drew believes the win over Ozark to seal the conference championship takes it so far. “We had lost several games before that win and it really helped us to come together,” he said.

A win over Kickapoo in the sectionals may be sweeter, but he’ll have to go through Brookshire, Bridgers, and company to do it.

Good luck to these and all area athletes as high school ball nears its conclusion. Keep and eye out as we talk with more of our successful athletes soon about their quest for a state championship.

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!