Saturday, June 26, 2010


As I walked into Tudor Fieldhouse for the first time, several memories of old Autry Court went through my head. I can go back to old Southwest Conference days watching Ricky Pierce and probably the most talented guard to come out of Houston, Rob Williams go at it through the old Gulf AAU Qualifer days when the Hotshots and Old Marvin were "Kings Of The City". Probably the most memorable game for me was watching my daughter drop 40 on a star studded Houston Elite team, 12 D-1 players, in a semi-final upset win back in 2005, the same year we won the NC at Basketball On The Bayou.

Coach Williams and Amenomope"PAY PAY" McKinney

Head Coach Greg Williams and I go back a few years, great coach and a great guy. I really feel bad for him because he has been hurt by injuries during the past two seasons, even though he has led Rice to a pair of Conference USA Championship games, along with a WNIT appearance since becoming head coach. Williams also played at Rice back in the day and was a three-year letterman for the Owls under coach Don Knodel in 1967-69, earning all-Southwest Conference honors and the league's Co-MVP in 1969.

Zoe Rogers was a four year starter at Bellaire High School and another kid that it seems like I have known forever. Baby Lowblock is another one of my faves, because she always has great comebacks for me, I guess it's hereditary (lol) Zoe put Bellaire on her back and led the Cardinals to the Region 3 Finals in her senior year, along the way adding numerous honors to her resume.In her freshman season at Rice, Zoe also had a breakout game against Tulane , scoring 19 points, going 9-9 from the field which included a trey, all in the second half.

Another great kid I've known for years is "Pay Pay", I know I'm spelling the nickname wrong but it fits because she used to make them PAY on the court. I remember her and Ashleigh Fontenette ,who now plays at UT, putting on one of the most memorable battles going at each other , both dropping over 30, when they were juniors in high school.

D'Frantz Smart is a product of Chicago's Whitney Young High School, consistently ranked nationally year after year. She was one of the top PG's in the country coming out of high school and although she is listed at 5'0, she is a perfect example of what heart, hard work and determination can do for you.

Former Plano West star Candace Ashford taking instructions

The staff and players did a great job teaching and instructing as the campers were very attentive and seemed to be grasping everything they were told

Close to 100 kids were in attendance from as far away as San Antonio and the Metroplex, to Bay City and the Clear Lake area.

Two of the top 2013's in the city, Alex "I'm not gonna let you take a picture"Lapeyrolerie and Jo Ann Lira were doing their thing.

Our own Bryce Owens, 2012, by way of DeSoto, was in the house.

Paige Parliament, Bryce Owens and Mary Abella, who btw gave a verbal while at the camp.

The kids from out of town were enjoying themselves, and I did get a shot of Alex, finally! Jackie Anderson plays for my good friend Ray Caldwell in San Antonio. Also in camp from their team were Briana Jones and Kayla White. Speaking of Caldwell, his daughter is one of the top 2014 guards I've seen, that's in the country folks!

Former 4A POY and Dickinson great, Brianna Hypolite offering words of encouragement

Megan Shafer had already given a verbal to Rice before the camp even started. If you kept up with post season awards, you would have seen her listed as a senior on the All Greater Houston team, however this College Park standout has one more year in high school before joining the Owls.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, these kids were into it. Megan Palmer from Cinco Ranch in left photo, wearing burgundy, my bad, maroon shorts and a kid that played on the North Texas Shcockers for my old pal John in the right photo, Mary Abedula , all were were doing their thing

Cy Falls, Kim Metoyer, 2012, is one of the top shooters from BTA in the area. She awed the crowd as she was letting them fly from what seemed like the main court inTudor , even though she was in Fox, the gym in the back . The kid has range out of this world!

The Fantastic Four, which included Metoyer, Parliament from Brock and another Cy Falls shooter, Macy Moore, were beating everyone before I left

6'1 Lyanne Colon has transformed from a post when she was around 11 or 12 to the PG at Morton Ranch. She is also from that Class of 2012 I keep talking about.

It was great to hang out with Coach Greg and his assistant Coach Kim Nzamba, along with meeting the new ladies on the staff.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Mark Lewis from wrote an excellent piece on getting ready for July. This is some good stuff that I have preached for years. The words may have been changed, but the meaning is the same.

Four things that stand out!
1.Play each game as if it were a championship game
I've said it before, over and over and over. College coaches could care less who wins the game, if a player scores 30 or how nice the uniforms look. Play hard, no matter what the score is and never quit on yourself or your team

2.Work on the intangibles
What seperates you from another player with the same skills? Less than 4% of of all of those varsity players actually receive scholarships, so in case you need to bring something else to the table, please don't take something off with a bad or don't care attitude toward coaches, teammates, opposing players and even officials

3.Play within yourself
Don't try that weak crossover or behind the back pass that goes off your foot, in other words, don't try and impress any coaches by showing what you can't do. Play smart and do the things you do best and not the the things you can't. You also can't play scared, be confident in your game

4.Travel smart
I know many kids like to have fun on these trips, but here's the problem and I love saying this over and over. This is not a vacation, or at least shouldn't be treated as one if you are serious about playing at the next level. Treat this as a job interiew because unless you are over 6 feet, unless you are a can't miss or unless you've proven yourself before, in other words if you have nothing on the table, you have to sell yourself. Get your rest, eat properly and act sensible, this includes unruly parents in the stands because coaches watch EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Views From UT

It was great hanging out with Coaches Goestenkors and Hughey at the Univeristy of Texas Elite Camp over the weekend. Talking basketball is what I love and it's always a pleasure in getting a different perspective from knowledgeable folks. I had a chance to see several talented players from the Houston area, including Brittany Branch and Kendall Shaw. I also caught up with some kids that it seems as if I've known forever.

Bellaire was a good high school girl's basketball program prior to 2oo4, making the playoffs the previous 6 years, however once Carla Cortigo enrolled, Bellaire became "BIG TIME" and off her accomplishments, it also became a school where some of the top girl's in HISD wanted to go. Point guard is listed in the dictionary as the guard who directs the team's offense from the point. Few have done it as well in Houston GBB, she was a treasure to watch. Smooth as silk, cunning and sly as a fox. Carla took the city by control and sent daggers to opposing teams and parents (lol) with some of her last second heroics as she almost took the Cards to state. It's funny what you can laugh about now, but nevertheless, I have to give this kid her props, she was the "REAL DEAL"

I've been knowing Chelsea Bass since she was around 10 or 11 and watched her game evolve. She says she is making the necessary adjustments and looking forward to her freshman season.

Cokie Reed is and will always be one of my favorites on and off the court because like me, she keeps it real. Cokie had an outstanding freshman season last year after coming off a state champioship, along with being named to Parade's and Mc Donald's All American teams. This young ladies future is as bright as her smile.

The camp had around 175 kids in attendance. Coach G was all smiles after getting verbals from four players, including a highly touted Top 100 player, Ronisha Major, from the Class of 2011. Peyton Little, Class of 2012, and two of the top 2013 players in the state, Jada Terry and Candice Adams also gave verbals. Terry,who stands 6'3 is a gifted athlete with tremendous upside and "Miss Shoot The Lights Out" Adams who was not only Newcomer Of The Year in high school, but also MVP of a big Nike event held in Cincinnati a few weeks ago.

The Houston kids had fun and showed they can play with the "BIG GIRLS"



Juneteenth brings back so many memories from my youth, the time I spent with family members who have passed on are forever embedded in my mind. It's also a weekend that the Austin Elite holds their annual Tyrone Johnson Classic. Johnson was a former basketball player for the University of Texas and as a product of Central Texas schools and athletics, gave his all to help student athletes make the most of their abilities and to make opportunities available to them. He spearheaded the first fall league for Austin Independent School District (AISD) athletics and was instrumental in helping form the first sophomore league in Austin. As a coach, he led the Anderson High School Trojans to three district championships and two state championship finals, the closest Austin had come to winning a state championship. His life was cut short by a heart attack at the age of 49 on a hunting trip in 2001.

Fonzelle Martin and Tommy Gregg have become more than opposing coaches, they too have become family. I remember getting into a heated discussion the first time we met in what seems like a lifetime ago, however it was only 8 years. I have watched their daughters grow up along with mine into young womanhood. Martin has two playing college basketball and one playing college volleyball, while Gregg has a daughter playing college basketball.

Mrs. Martin shows it is truly a family affair as she has a team of her own


Amber, along with Fonzelle's daughters Cierra, Bianca and Kaylan, were all little girls playing up when we first met in what seems like eons ago.

Austin Elite has always put together some impressive teams and this tournament showed nothing has changed.

Two of their teams and the two Team Xpress squads made up the Final Four in the Doris Miller Bracket.

Even though Jessiah Johnson was directing traffic early and Chelsea Ngo was ready to launch her aerial attack

Team Xpress had a little too much firepower for us this day.

Inside and outside, Team Xpress was clicking on all cylinders.

Push The Rock, Austin Glory and Team Xpress were some of the other programs that joined the party

Art Pertile is the brains behind Waco Lady Panthers. I think his 20 plus year run has ended in "BEAR LAND" however he and Coach K from Houston may be joining forces.


Even though "MUDD" has passed away, DFW Elite is still thriving.

Coach Butler continues what he and MJ started a few years ago and DFW Elite now boasts 9 teams, 3 competing here, 3 in San Antonio and on top of that, two of their 2013's committed at the UT Camp up the road.

Kaboom is a team from Corphus Christi and played like their name, aggressive and cleaned up.