D-1 Nation Smashes Competition In Three States

Has a club program ever had as much success as the teams of the D-1 Nation had this past weekend, March 26-28th, 2010?  Our overall record with 9 of our teams playing in 3 different states (Texas, Missouri, & Mississippi) was a combined 42 wins and 3 losses!  In one weekend!  Six different teams won championships including the Great American Shootout at Huntsville TX, the Battle of the South in Jackson, MS , and on the girls side we captured the championship at the Houston Insiders Tournament and were co-champions of the She’s Ballin’ Tournament in San Antonio.  What a tribute to the quality of players we have and the great guys who are coaching and mentoring them.  Thank you.  Coach Max

Kansas City D-1 Ambassadors 2013 go 4-0 to win Championship in Kansas City, MO

Kansas City D-1 Ambassadors 17U go 4-0 to win Championship in Kansas City, MO
The Texas D-1 Ambassadors 2013-Team Morse go 3-1 losing the Championship game by 2, losing to the host Houston Hoops.

New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors Varsity go 6-0, winning The Battle of the South Championship in Jackson, MS

Mississippi D-1 Ambassadors Varsity go 3-1, losing quarterfinal at the Battle of the South in Jackson, MS.

Below: Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Josephs won the NBA Division of the Great American Shootout in Huntsville, TX.

Texas D-1 San Antonio-Team Josephs go 5-0 and win the NBA Division Championship of the Great American Shootout in Huntsville, TX.


The Texas D-1 Ambassadors 2016-Team Christian (6th graders) go 4-0 to win the Austin Lady Magic Tournament Championship.

The Texas D-1 Ambassadors Varsity-Team James go 4-0 as Co-Champions of She’s Ballin’ in San Antonio, TX
The Texas D-1 Ambassadors/Austin Elite 2013-Team Gregg go 5-0 to win the Houston Insiders Tournament Championship.

The Texas D-1 Ambassadors/Austin Elite Varsity-Team Martin go 4-1 in the Houston Insiders Tournament, losing the Championship game by 4.


New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors Win Battle Of The South (Jackson, MS)

2011 Post Trevante Drye shown below with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors last summer is now staying closer to home in 2010 and is lacing them up for our crew based in the Crescent City, The New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors, Coached by Greg Holmes.  The talented Junior helped lead his team to the championship at the prestigious Battle of the South Tournament in Jackson, MS.
The New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors are loaded with talent at every position on the court. You can click on the link below (compliments of TigerBait.com to see 2012 PG Javon Felix of New Orleans St. Augustine HS one of the best pure points in the country.  Felix gets to the rim when he wants and knows how to deliver the ball to his team mates in order to make them successful.  Felix is being recruited by Texas, as well as every school in the SEC.
D-1 Beat the Mississippi Byram Ballers and then the Arkansas Warriors to go 2-0 in Pool.
Bracket Play
D-1 then beat New Orleans Select and the Bama Boys (AL) in their first two bracket games.
Semi Final
D-1 67 Louisiana Team Xpress 66
New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors 74 Memphis Trailblazers 71

Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Josephs Win GASO’s NBA Division

Picture courtesy of www.texashoops.com

The Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Josephs out of San Antonio, TX made the trip down the road toHuntsville, TX to the 1st Great American Shootout Event of the 2010 Season.  The talented group of 2011 & 2012 players had a perfect 5-0 record in taking the GASO-Hunstville title in the NBA Division.                                                 

 Coach Paul Josephs

The D-1 Nation handled the Houston Gold 77-41, and then defeated Arlington Metro Elite 67-53.  In Sunday’s bracket play all three games were tough, physical affairs with a total of 8 points being the difference on the way to the title. In the quarterfinals, D-1 defeated the Dallas Heroes 67-61. Facing full court pressure for 32 minutes, 2012 PG’s Carter Josephs (San Antonio Clark) and Adam Perez (San Antonio Clark) these two linchpins consistently broke the press and allowed D-1 to get into their offense.

In the semi finals, D-1 beat the West Houston Warriors 69-68 with a free throw at the buzzer by 2012 G Michael Douglass (San Antonio Churchill) who was fouled driving to the rack with a second left to play.  West Houston’s Sheldon McClellan (University of Texas) was a tough matchup as he dropped 29 points but 2011 W/P Ansley Benjamin made him earn them all. 

2012 G “Iron” Michael Douglass propelled D-1 into the GASO Championship game with clutch free throws at the buzzer.

The D-1 Ambassadors beat a very good Houston Lynx-Team Schudy by coming from behind and grabbing another nail biter 49-48 to claim the hardware. This time it was a driving layup by Adam Perez which provided the slimmest of margins for the win.  The tournament MVP was 2011 Ansley Benjamin of San Antonio Clark.  The athletic 6’4″ swingman/post recently bench pressed 285.  The son of former NBA player Benoit Benjamin is an intriguing prospect and if he grows another 2-3 inches, then you’d better watch out!  Coming off the bench & notching a double double in all 5 games, Benjamin exhibited his toughness inside along with an ability to guard players from the two to the five position.  The folks at Texas Hoops informed Coach Josephs that they’d “missed” on Benjamin but would quickly add him to their ranked players in the Class of 2011.

2012 G Adam Perez’ driving layup with 4 seconds left lifted D-1 over the Houston Lynx to win the GASO Championship.

2012 P 6’8″ Connor Lammert of San Antonio Clark continues to improve at a rapid pace.  His skills are ahead of the curve for a player projected to be a 7 footer.  The roster of seven 2011’s mixed in with four 2012’s will only get better as the season goes on. It was a team effort, with balanced scoring and contributions by all. 

Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Josephs Roster

Sean Bambrace           2011                     San Antonio Antonian
Carter Josephs            2012                     San Antonio Clark
Michael Douglass        2012                    San Antonio Churchill
Adam Perez                 2012                     San Antonio Clark
Connor Lammert        2012                    San Antonio Churchill
Alec Senioris               2011                     San Antonio Central Catholic
Kyle Rutledge             2011                     San Antonio Clark
Ansley Benjamin        2011                      San Antonio Clark
Tom Berry                  2011                      San Antonio Central Catholic
Clark Lammert          2011                      San Antonio Churchill
Jacob Palacios            2011                      San Antonio Clark

Texas D-1 Ambassador Cody Doolin Is CenTex Player Of The Year

Group Photo Below:Courtesy of the Austin American Statesman photographer Rodolfo Gonzalez
From left to right:  Demetris “Cleveland” Smith (Pflugerville), David Eads (Austin Lake Travis), LaDarrien Williams (Manor), JaQuarius Daniels (Austin Reagan) & Cody Doolin (Austin Westlake)
Above, Doolin with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors was the consummate competitor in the 5 years he played for the D-1 Nation.  Although always at the top of the statistical heap, it was championships that Doolin was noted for. Perhaps most notable were the back to back Kingwood Classic Championships that Doolin led the D-1 Ambassadors to when Kingwood was noted as the #1 Tournament in the entire country.  Las summer alone he was an integral part of championships in the Great American Shootout (Austin, TX), Atlantic Slam (Myrtle Beach, SC), Rivals.com Memorial Day (Birmingham, AL).
In addition to the basketball accomplishments, Cody was the ultimate student-athlete taking all AP courses at Austin Westlake, a nationally acclaimed school.  He is the son of Jim & Becky Doolin.  I was proud to have had the oppportunity to coach Cody.  Best of luck as you head to the University of San Francisco to play for former Kansas PG Rex Walters.
Coach Max

Texas D-1 Ambassador R.J. McGhee Commits To North Texas

Baton Rouge Istrouma star R.J. McGhee was recently named All State in talent rich Louisiana.  McGhee (below shown with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors) becomes the latest player from the D-1 Nation to commit as he will sign next month with the University of North Texas in the Sun Belt Conference.
Check the complete story below as Bobby Sibley covers it nicely in our affiliate, the Louisiana Basketball Report.  Congratulations to R.J. and his family…Coach Max & The D-1 Nation.

Twintastic Monroe Sisters

Kaylin & Kayrin Monroe on bottom, sister Raven on top
Agile and mobile are the identical twin sisters Kaylin and Kayrin Monroe. Interchangeable combo Jr guards from Manor may stand at 5’1″, but plays much bigger. You can catch them this club season at they play their 5th year with TA D1 Austin Elite 2011 team. Energy and excitement are a given but their ability to make plays with a smile on their face sets them apart. Sure twins are cute, but these twins are respected for their game and the talent they display on the court.
As expected, they can swap places or take turns without skipping a beat and none to the wiser. This is evident in their high school awards. Last year Kayrin made 1st team all-district and side kick Kaylin made 2nd team, this year Kaylin made 1st team all-district with Kayrin making 2nd team. Your turn – My turn rules the day at the Monroe house. Manor has made the playoffs every year the girls have been on varsity. Their quickness is unique and their competitiveness sets them apart.  Both are great students and play other sports as well including volleyball and track. Not sprints, but its the jump that they participate in. It’s that athleticism that allows them to play bigger than height.
Their dream is to one day play collegiate basketball and have received letters from several colleges. D1 is the goal, but they are completely open to anyone offering a scholarship to two explosive combo guards that can run all day and all night with a smile. 

Marble Falls In The D-1 House

Two Key Marble Falls Players Join The Texas D-1 Ambassadors
The Marble Falls girls program has been synonymous with success and State ranked teams at the 5A level.  Now, one of the top female freshmen in Texas, Falls’ Kiara Etheridge (left) brings her A game to the Texas D-1 Ambassadors.  She’ll get her feet wet on the circuit at an invitation only tournament in Indiana in a couple of weeks.  Make no mistake, this will be her coming out party as the long, fluid Etheridge will show off her oozing potential to somewhere in the neghborhood of 200 college coaches at this elite 16 team event.  She comes by the basketball pedigree honestly as she’s the daughter of Mr & Mrs. Bruce Etheridge (Marble Falls’ Boys Head Coach).
2011 P 6’9″ Shane Minnick (right) is improving rapidly and figures to be a huge part of Marble Falls success in their coming 2010-2011 campaign.  He’ll head to Las Vegas April 9-11th with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors as they compete in the Easter Classic.  Minnick is still raw, but he’s willing to mix it up in the paint with anyone.  April is not “live” for NCAA coaches to view the boys but Minnick and his D-1 sidekicks will be under the watchful eye of Coach Max’s D-1 Nation Prep Report (TX), ESPNU, and Scout.com just to name a few of the scouting services in attendance.

Texas Super Showcase I March 20-21 Austin, TX 2012, 2013 Player Recaps

“Coach Max’s Sweet Sixteen”

Underclassmen Competing At Varsity

2012 PG Michael Hardge of Georgetown turned in one particularly superlative performance and along with Deon Mitchell & Josiah Monroe of Bastrop led D1-Team Hardge to the Varsity level championship.  He is emerging as a leader.

2012 WG 6’4″ Alex Caruso of College Station A&M Consolidated was the surprise sophomore of the event.  Caruso knows the game, can flat out stroke it, finds the open man and as witnessed with three dunks in one game has great explosiveness as well.

2012 W Michael Hargis of Austin LBJ who’s also a pretty good football player was used primarily as a rebounding post this past season.  One of the luxuries of summer ball is the ability to choose your personnel.  Hargis showed great flashes of being a pretty good wing player including a nice perimeter shot and adequate handles.

2012 P 6’8″ Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill is likely to be the next 7 footer out of the San Antonio area.  He’s long to say the least, runs the floor well and is skilled around the goal.

2012 WG Kyle Hittle of New Braunfels showed a deadly three point shot, adequate handles, rebounded well and gave 100% on every possession.  Played with a swagger which I liked.

2011 PG T.J. Williams of Pflugerville (below) just “gets it”.  He knows the game and is one of those rare guys who looks to pass first & always makes his team mates more productive.  Williams can also shoot it from the perimeter if you sag off him.  He’s one of the best “pure points” in the  D-1 Ambassadors organization and he’s only a freshman.

2012 G Collin Tubbs of Dripping Springs fresh off his Three Point Shooting Contest win at the All American Prodigy Camp continued to fire it up with success.  Very nice catch and shoot type of player.
2012 W Avery Polchinski of Temple showed quality ball handling, shooting and battled on the boards successfully against bigger, more mature players all tournament long.

Junior Varsity

2012 Twin Guards Jeremiah & Joshua Jones showed superior athleticism in every contest.

2013 PG Will Morse (below) of Austin Westlake led his team, Texas D1- Team Morse to the JV championship with steady play throughout, highlighted by a 20 point barrage in one outing.

2013 WG 6’0″ Rasmus Bach of Austin Anderson was a key man for his crew.  A heady player, Bach has a nice shot and slashes well to the rack.

2013 PG Dylan Larson of San Marcos was a rock both handling the ball as well as shooting it.  He also had one 20 point outing.

2013 G Austin Grief of Austin St. Michael’s handled the ball and a good deal of the scoring.  He’s a nice combo guard in the making.

2013 WG  Julian Battley of Harker Heights is long and lanky.  He’s a dangerous 3 point shooter, especially from the corners.

2013 P 6’5″ Wesley Brown of Pflugerville Hendrickson showed length, athleticism and a nose for the ball.

2013 PG Darrian Bostic of Pflugerville led the break, and had a deadeye three point shot.  Only a last second bucket kept them from the championship game.

Great Article On Texas D-1 Ambassadors Jonathan Perry

I had the privelege of coaching Kerrville Tivy’s Jonathan Perry (pictured here with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors) for 2 summers, approximately 130 games.  He was always a tough competitor and a class kid.  He was recently named Texas 4A All Region (Region 4) for the third consecutive year and this year also garnered All State Honors.  Below is a story courtesy of the Hill Country Community Journal which far transcends the nominal importance of basketball.  Great job Jonathan!..Coach Max

Courtesy of the Hill Country Community Journal
Faith and the Cross-over
By Doug Mitchell
Staff Writer

Tivy senior Jonathan Perry is best known around Kerrville for his exploits on the basketball court, having capped a four-year career as a varsity player by helping the Antlers advance to the Class 4A, Region IV championship game during the just recently completed season.
Perry appears set to continue his career at the collegiate level, having averaged 18.9 points per game en route to being named the District 27-4A Most Valuable Player while leading Tivy to a 30-6 record and its farthest playoff advance in 40 years. It would come as no surprise if Perry, a 6-foot-5 guard, was consumed with the drive and commitment to advance his career to the next level, as countless of high school athletes before him have done.
Those who know Perry best, however, know there is a stronger driving force behind the player, something more important to him than basketball or the materialistic world that defines the high school social scene.
Moments after the Antlers finished a hard-fought, overtime victory over Pflugerville Hendrickson in a Feb. 26 area round playoff game in Fredericksburg, and the postgame questions had been asked, Perry approached and asked to make one more point about the contest.

“I’d like to thank the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for making this possible,” Perry said. “Without him, none of this would be possible.”

Such statements have become routine, especially from professional athletes, but less so at the high school level. Most mainstream media is leery of responding to such statements, or even printing it. Religion makes some people uncomfortable, especially in situations perceived as non-religious such as an athletic competition.
Tivy teams pray regularly before events, and Perry is recognized by teammates and those around him as a faith-based individual. Tivy coach Brian Young has seen it up close from his star guard for the last four years.

“He walked the walk,” Young said of Perry’s faith-based approach to life. “That’s the bottom line. The whole time he’s walked the walk, not talked the talk. I mean that from every aspect — person, basketball player, and Christian.”

“People always accepted him for who he was,” Young added. “A lot of the kids are the same way, but Jonathan was more of a witness. It didn’t matter if you were the most popular athlete as school or a regular student, Jonathan treated you the same, and to me, that’s a Christian aspect.”

Parents Rick and Holly Perry have brought up their children with a strong Christian foundation, but Jonathan himself had to choose to accept Jesus into his life. It’s a path he said he’s actually chosen twice, and one that’s helped him through rough times.

“No. 1 would be my faith in Jesus Christ,” Perry said. “Ever since I was younger, my parents influenced me with Him being No. 1. Even though I struggle with things from time to time, He still maintains the No. 1 spot in my life.”

Quiet by nature, Perry is not vocal in asking those around him to follow his example. But when asked to witness about his experiences, he is happy to share the message.

“It’s difficult, because they don’t all share the same feeling about religion and Jesus Christ, but that’s when you have to lean on Him in those tough times,” Perry said of being Christian in a high school setting. “It’s relying on your actions, more than what you say, when your actions speak louder than words.

“There’s reasons why people ask me why I’m quiet, because I’m at home with my family on weekends, not at parties, and think I’m mad because I’m quiet and not talking about those parties, don’t join in on those conversations.”

Perry is the first to admit he’s not perfect, experiencing issues that took him away from the path for a time.

“I accepted Jesus Christ in my heart at 9 or 10,” he said. “I was actually baptized again after I went through struggles of my own two years ago. I had been through struggles with friends, some pretty big ones, and it helped being able to talk to the pastor at Southern Oaks Baptist Church, Joe Taylor.

“It was a really big time in my life,” Perry said of recommitting to his faith. “It helped me get back on track, to what was right, and what I had grown up with my parents teaching me all those years.

“It’s always hard, there are temptations everywhere. It helps having faith in JC like I have, not have to go through the temptations most do. Without Him, I know I’d be out there drinking and partying all the time, because it’s the popular thing to do.”

The unwritten code among athletes is you don’t pray to The Almighty to let you win, rather to help you do your best. It’s a code Perry says he adheres to.

“I’m asking him for strength to do his will,” Perry said. “If it’s meant for us to win, great, it’s His will. I’m not the only one praying that day. If it’s meant to be, it turns out. You can learn more from losing than winning. I know we did against Seguin (the team’s only District 27-4A loss this season).

“Coach Young says a prayer before game, and I say a prayer before the game, with a few others. Afterward I say a prayer for letting me be able to play, and being out there with my friends.”

It’s a path Perry acknowledges plenty of people have helped him with. Spiritual advisors have included his parents and siblings including older brother Keith, a former Antler and player at Howard Payne University, Taylor at the family’s church, coach Grant Palmer and wife Beth, and Tony and Karen Rose from Calvary Temple Church.

He credits his athletic development to coaches Don Eddy (former UTSA head coach), Dan Selwin, John Roberson, Max Ivany, and Luke Heinz, physical trainers Jose Flores and T.J. Garza, and especially Young, for instilling discipline, passion, and work ethic for the game.

“I’m extremely proud not only of his dedication to the sport, but his stand for his beliefs in Christ and his walk with the Lord,” Rick Perry, who is at every one of Jonathan’s games, said of his son. “As he said, he’s had his struggles, but gained his footing, and always comes back to his foundation.  “You can tell kids what to do, but they make their choices, and Jonathan has made good choices,” Rick added. “He’s also very teachable and open to his parents to speak into his life, and that’s been a huge factor.”
While Perry mulls his choices for collegiate ball, he is sure he would like to pursue a career that involves not only basketball, but helping others, and sharing his faith if it allows.

“Being in a small community, there’s a focus on athletes at Tivy,” Perry said “I try to be a role model for kids, and it keeps me accountable. I don’t want to be caught with MIP or something like that. “I’d love to do something with kids once I’m done with basketball, coaching or training some way in a community like this is a way of giving back. So many kids don’t know what’s out there for them. If you work as hard as you can, anything’s possible.”

Texas Super Showcase I Austin, TX March 20-21 2011 Player Recap

“Coach Max’s Dandy Dozen”
Tournament MVP
2011 G Deon Mitchell of Pflugerville rose up offensively when it counted most and led Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Hardge to the championship. 

2011 W 6’8″ Reinier Strobos of New Braunfels Canyon is only scratching the surface of what he can do.  An injury plagued junior year now looks to be behind him.  He dropped 20 points in a semi final win.  Strobos handles the ball fluidly for a big fella and now just has to get the mindset that he can do more than only rebound.

2011 W 6’3″ Jalen Washington of Pflugerville Hendrickson can do it all; slash, score from the perimeter, defend & smash on you if you underestimate him.  Now he just has to up his intensity and he’ll be on everyone’s radar.

2011 PG Dylan Elias of San Antonio Taft (below) showed this weekend why he has a verbal in his pocket to Northern Colorado.  He knows how to run a team, getting others involved.  However if you need a bucket he’ll get you one driving to the hole or by pulling up and nailing the jumper.

2011 SG Blair Williams of Round Rock McNeil is one of the most explosive 2011 guards in the Austin area.  He had several rim rattlers this weekend.

2011 P Zach Chambers of Round Rock was the hardest working player in the gym this weekend.  The 6’7″ post was around the goal picking up loose balls and cleaning up the mess in the paint.

2011 Combo 6’5″ Jaleel Williams is a high major in the making.  He’s learning to run the point and once his decision making improves as it relates to getting others involved then he’ll be off the charts.  Williams recently won the slam dunk competition at the All American Prodigy Camp.  He showed several choice dunks during the tournament as well.

2011 G Jake Kocher of Austin St. Michael’s picked up where he left off as (Austin’s leading scorer in the high school season) as he had double figures in all 3 contests.

2011 G Jacob Palacios  of San Antonio Clark is extremely active showing great decision making to go along with a deadly perimeter game.

2011 Kyle Rutledge of San Antonio Clark was a consistent scorer who had 20 in one game to go along with yeoman’s work on the boards.  The 6’4″ W/P is very explosive and not afraid to mix it up down low.

2011 Robert Lee of Austin LBJ is the area’s most explosive guard prospect.  He gets to the hole at will and dunked on people several times during the tournament.

2011 PG LaDarrien Williams of Manor is athletic, shoots it well from the perimeter and knows how to run a team.  He takes what the game gives him and will defend you too.