Classic Recap, Prayers Needed, AAU Thoughts
By Jim Dabbelt
Another successful Classic in the Country is in the books. Although an illness and family commitment kept me home over the weekend, I received plenty of updates from those in attendance telling me that it was a huge success.
The Southwest Ohio area won 11 of the 13 games they competed in, not including Game 1 which pitted Fort Loramie against Cincinnati SCD, both from our region. That’s quite an achievement from an area of Ohio that is known as the best region in Ohio for girls’ hoops.
But now that the CITC is history for another year, all attention can be turned to the next stage of the season, the post-season.
I look at the season in three parts: Opening Night, CITC, and the tournament. On January 31, teams from Ohio will be placing their names on the dotted line to determine their fate, and their path through the state tournament.
Congrats to those involved in producing the CITC, you truly bring a lot of excitement to the game and give fans from all over the Buckeye state a place to congregate for a weekend to see the absolute best of the best talent.
*My prayers go out to my longtime friend and Dayton Carroll head coach Rob Berry, who is undergoing treatments for cancer that was recently diagnosed. I spoke with the family, and they ask that everyone please keep Rob and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this time of treatment.
*It’s that time again… AAU teams are starting to schedule their tryouts, starting with the younger age groups. Remember, if you are still active in your season when they have tryouts, do not attend anything, rather contact the AAU coach to inform them of your intent to try out for the team.
Here are the websites to help you find the right AAU team for you if you are a player in the Dayton/Cincinnati area. If I missed someone, I apologize in advance and please email me the link to your club to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Dayton Metro www.daytonmetro.org
Dayton Lady Hoopstars www.daytonladyhoopstars.org
Cincinnati Heat Premier http://cincinnatiheatpremier.org/
Cincinnati Angels http://www.angelsbasketballclub.com/
We Got Next Basketball http://wegotnextbasketball.com/
Dayton Flight http://daytonflight.net/
Miami Valley Hawks http://www.miamivalleyhawks.com/
Capital City Comets http://www.cometsbasketball.org/
Cincy Swish http://www.cincyswishbasketball.com/
Dayton Vipers http://daytonvipers.wix.com/daytonvipers
Ohio Wolves Elite http://courts4sports.com/index.php?cID=181
*Choosing the right AAU team is very important to not only have a chance to be seen by college coaches at the showcases, but also continue to grow and develop as a player. So many times, players and parents lose focus of what the main objective is when playing for your spring and summer team.
In the junior high years, the #1 priority is to strengthen your fundamentals, so get with a program that is known for development of players. Attending these big-time events as a 7th grader for example is nice, but the main focus should be to use the spring/summer to improve.
Once you get into 9th grade, I recommend exposure events along with skill development. An old saying I often say is “you can put a bag of garbage out on the curb, and spray it with perfume…it is still garbage.” If you don’t work on your game, and you don’t get any better, it doesn’t matter what coaches are there to see you. It is vital that you work on your skill development through the middle school years before worrying about what college is going to see you.
One event I do recommend is the OGBR Skills Camp in early July. It is one day of skill work and game action for girls in grades 7-9. There are some college coaches there which is a bonus, but you will have to work hard to compete, and it will give you the best of both worlds, development and college looks.
Another thing that I hear is when a player wants to stay with her AAU team because “all of her friends are there.” Hey, that is great if your friends are going to pay for your college, but I never had any friends that liked me THAT much, and I doubt you do either.
Sometimes, you develop skills at a faster rate than your friends and need to challenge yourself at a higher level. When it comes to your on-court play, you need to play for your “team”, but when it comes to finding the right place to play that helps you get better, you need to do that for “you.”
*I am planning to be more active this spring/summer on this site to promote the different AAU teams in the region, with feature stories on different teams. Ultimately, this will help bring additional ink for the area players.
*A reminder that the state tournament draw is set for January 31, and I will have the complete SW District draw information as it becomes available.