GBOA Tournament of Champions (California)

There’s one more stop on the road as the long, hot July recruitig period winds down.  After winning the Las Vegas Live event the Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio heaed out to the coast.  The GBOA Tournament of Champions was held in Long Beach and this group from the Alamo City picked up where they left off in Las Vegas.  Just win, Baby!  ….and boy, do they win.  They finished the summer at 54-9.  Three losses came by single digits to the adidas Super 64 Champion Texas Assault, another to Franchize All Stars at the buzzer and another to Houston Hoop Stars. 

This group ented the summer with no particular buzz or notoriety.  It ended with two players receiving high major offers (Uche Ofoegbu and Connor Lammert) and the entire Big XII follwoing the D1 Ambassadors for 12 straight games no mater where they played or who their opponent was.

There was no bracket format at the GBOA, but the D1 Ambassadors won their four games against all comers.  Most importantly they did it in front of the aforementioned Big XII coaches, the entire Pac-10 and the West Coast Conference.  Not only is this great for the players on the roster, but it continues to build the reputation that Texas players can play…ANYWHERE.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio  74   Connecticut Select  63
Texas D1 led by 20 and cruised to their first game win after arriving in Los Angeles.  As usual they took care of business by committe as 2012 Matt Gramling of San Antonio MacArthur had 14, 2012 Uche Ofoegbu had 13 and Connor Lammert added 12.  Head Coaches from Arizona (Sean Miller), Texas Tech (Billy Gillispie), SMU (Matt Doherty) Penn State (Pat Chambers), Washington (Lorenzo Romar) were courtside with many others watching the game.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio  81  Belmont Shores (CA) 77
In what was likely the showdown game of the event, Texas D1 took on host Belmont Shores before a packed gym and rabid SoCal audience.  It didn’t bother Connor Lammert though as he scored 18 points in a variety of ways to lead the D1 Ambassadors to the win.  Once again, Uche Ofoegbu was right there to lend a hand with 14 points.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio  74  Fresno Select Superstars (CA)  67
It took a year to get a little revenge (Fresno Select had beaten the D1 Ambassadors in the 2010 quarterfinals of the adidas Super 64), but Texas D1 made sure they paid.  Connor Lammert continued putting on a show, and 2012 W Jeffrey Rodewald dropped 19 to go along with Uche Ofoegbu’s 15 in the win.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio  74   Compton Magic-San Diego 47
Texas D1 broke open a close game in the middle of the first half and cruised to the victory.  Jeggrey Rodewald led the way with 21 points, Connor Lammert had 15 and Matt Gramling chipped in with 15. 

What an end to the summer of 2011.  Texas’ hats go off to the Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio squads basketball accomplishments. Even more importantly though , was the classy way you guys handled yourselves on and off the court the entire year.  I will have a spearate tribute to the anatomy of a champion later in the week.

GBOA Tournament of Champions

There’s one more stop on the road as the long, hot July recruitig period winds down.  After winning the Las Vegas Live event the Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio heaed out to the coast.  The GBOA Tournament of Champions was held in Long Beach and this group from the Alamo City picked up where they left off in Las Vegas.  Just win, Baby!  ….and boy, do they win.  They finished the summer at 54-9.  Three losses came by single digits to the adidas Super 64 Champion Texas Assault, another to Franchize All Stars at the buzzer and another to Houston Hoop Stars. 

This group ented the summer with no particular buzz or notoriety.  It ended with two players receiving high major offers (Uche Ofoegbu and Connor Lammert) and the entire Big XII follwoing the D1 Ambassadors for 12 straight games no mater where they played or who their opponent was.

There was no bracket format at the GBOA, but the D1 Ambassadors won their four games against all comers.  Most importantly they did it in front of the aforementioned Big XII coaches, the entire Pac-10 and the West Coast Conference.  Not only is this great for the players on the roster, but it continues to build the reputation that Texas players can play…ANYWHERE.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio  74   Connecticut Select  63
Texas D1 led by 20 and cruised to their first game win after arriving in Los Angeles.  As usual they took care of business by committe as 2012 Matt Gramling of San Antonio MacArthur had 14, 2012 Uche Ofoegbu had 13 and Connor Lammert added 12.  Head Coaches from Arizona (Sean Miller), Texas Tech (Billy Gillispie), SMU (Matt Doherty) Penn State (Pat Chambers), Washington (Lorenzo Romar) were courtside with many others watching the game.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio  81  Belmont Shores (CA) 77
In what was likely the showdown game of the event, Texas D1 took on host Belmont Shores before a packed gym and rabid SoCal audience.  It didn’t bother Connor Lammert though as he scored 18 points in a variety of ways to lead the D1 Ambassadors to the win.  Once again, Uche Ofoegbu was right there to lend a hand with 14 points.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio  74  Fresno Select Superstars (CA)  67
It took a year to get a little revenge (Fresno Select had beaten the D1 Ambassadors in the 2010 quarterfinals of the adidas Super 64), but Texas D1 made sure they paid.  Connor Lammert continued putting on a show, and 2012 W Jeffrey Rodewald dropped 19 to go along with Uche Ofoegbu’s 15 in the win.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio  74   Compton Magic-San Diego 47
Texas D1 broke open a close game in the middle of the first half and cruised to the victory.  Jeggrey Rodewald led the way with 21 points, Connor Lammert had 15 and Matt Gramling chipped in with 15. 

What an end to the summer of 2011.  Texas’ hats go off to the Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio squads basketball accomplishments. Even more importantly though , was the classy way you guys handled yourselves on and off the court the entire year.  I will have a spearate tribute to the anatomy of a champion later in the week.

Desert Duel Wrap Up

I wasn’t there for the Desert Duel championship game as I was on the road to Palm Springs, CA.  I regret not having stayed now as the two heavyweights in the final put on a show.  Down 26 points in the second half, the New Jersey Playaz put on the mother of all comebacks and ended up beating Mac Irvin Fire (IL) in overtime. 

Worldwide Renegades (GA)  73  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 70
Texas D1 led at the half 43-31 and looked to be winning going away.  However, D1 Ambassadors stars Alex Caruso fouled out at the 7 minute mark and Aly Mohamed fouled out at the 3 minute mark allowing Worldwide Renegades to mountheir comeback and win with 20 seconds left to play.  2012 Devon Turk led with 20 points, but it was Mohamed’s work down low and on the boards that was setting the tone for the game.  He finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds.  Caruso and Chase Brogna had 7 assists a piece for D1. Because of flight commitments, the D1 Ambassadors could not stay to play their final consolation game vs the Arizona Stars.

2012 Devon Turk led Texas D1 with 20 points in their final game of the summer.

Once again I’d like to thank my friends Jeff Schneider and Tammy Crawford for putting on the classiest basketball event, coupled with a great cause.  What a way to end the summer.-Coach Max Ivany

Desert Duel Wrap Up

I wasn’t there for the Desert Duel championship game as I was on the road to Palm Springs, CA.  I regret not having stayed now as the two heavyweights in the final put on a show.  Down 26 points in the second half, the New Jersey Playaz put on the mother of all comebacks and ended up beating Mac Irvin Fire (IL) in overtime. 

Worldwide Renegades (GA)  73  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 70
Texas D1 led at the half 43-31 and looked to be winning going away.  However, D1 Ambassadors stars Alex Caruso fouled out at the 7 minute mark and Aly Mohamed fouled out at the 3 minute mark allowing Worldwide Renegades to mountheir comeback and win with 20 seconds left to play.  2012 Devon Turk led with 20 points, but it was Mohamed’s work down low and on the boards that was setting the tone for the game.  He finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds.  Caruso and Chase Brogna had 7 assists a piece for D1. Because of flight commitments, the D1 Ambassadors could not stay to play their final consolation game vs the Arizona Stars.

2012 Devon Turk led Texas D1 with 20 points in their final game of the summer.

Once again I’d like to thank my friends Jeff Schneider and Tammy Crawford for putting on the classiest basketball event, coupled with a great cause.  What a way to end the summer.-Coach Max Ivany

Breakfast of Texas Champions

This morning at our hotel breakfast provided by the Desert Duel, I had a chance to talk championships with the other big winners from Las Vegas.  From left to right, Texas Assault Coach Vonzell Thomas (Champions of the Las Vegas adidas Super 64 Platinum) Max Ivany, Founder Texas D1 Ambassadors (representing for Coach Paul Josephs Las Vegas Live Platinum Champions and Reggie Bostic Las Vegas Live Silver Champions) and Tony Johnson, Founder Dallas Mustangs (representing for Coach Gerald Booker and the Las Vegas adidas Super 64 Gold). The only team not represented here are Coach Aaron Harrison and the Houston Defenders who won their title at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, FL.
If you love grassroots basketball, and you’re a Texan specifically then the last few days has been a perfect storm as Texas teams captured an unprecedented 5 prestigious National Championships. The last 10 years or so have seen more and more Texas youngsters turn their backs on track and football to pursue basketball at the highest level.  With an average of 125 Division One signees every year Texas leads the country in college level players. 
There are many reasons in addition to the obvious one of plenty of talent on hand in hotbeds like Dallas and Houston.  San Antonio is growing rapidly and is not too far behind while Austin and Killeen also produces it’s more than fair share of talent.  While other states cut budgets, Texas is blessed with a healthy economy AND a commitment to athletic facilities and professional high school coaches like no other.  While states like Arizona and California have a high school varsity coach who is a certifed teacher all assistants and JV/freshman coaches are men and women who work a regular 9-5 job and then come to the school to work with the players after hours.  There are no athletic periods for the development of players in most other states.
The club scene in Texas is very healthy as well with the level of coaching amongst the prominent national level clubs being quality.  The D1 Ambassadors have an array of high school, college coaches and former college players in their instructional ranks along with men who have high character from the local business community who volunteer their time as well.
Texas Assault 93  Dream Vision (NV) 78
Getting an outrageous 29 points, 18 rebound, 5 assist performance from tournament MVP Marcus Smart of Flower Mound Marcus the Texas Assault won back to back Las Vegas adidas Super 64  Platinum titles over hometown Dream Vision (NV).  Dream Vision features the Class of 2012’s #1 player in Shabazz Muhammad and Winston Shepherd a former Texas D1 Ambassador who now attends school at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas
Dallas Mustangs Blue 69  Oakland Rebels Black  68
Coach Gerald Booker’s “Baby Mustangs” used a last second basket by Soma Edo to capture the Gold Division of the adidas Las Vegas Super 64.
Houston Defenders Select  55  Boston Area Basketball Club  45
In a championship game that was nationally televised on ESPN the Defenders repped Space City behind the performance of the Harrison twins (Aaron..18 points and Andrew).  High flying Derrick Griffin of Rosenberg Terry had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio 65  Houston Hoops  53
Leading from wire to wire by as many as 20 points, Tournament MVP Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill racked up another double double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while 2012 Uche Ofoegbu of San Antonio Stevens led the way with 18 points and 5 rebounds.  2012 Jeffrey Rodewald of San Antonio Alamo Heights continues to shoot up the ladder as he had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
2012 G Uche Ofoegbu of San Antonio Stevens was unstoppable off the bounce vs Houston Hoops
Texas D1 Ambassadors-Bostic  Oklahoma Attack
The Pflugerville tandem of Justin Moss (25 points) and Napoleon Onyeje led the scoring parade as this group of Austin based 2013 players rounded out the Parade of Texas Champions for the summer of 2011 by winning the Las Vegas Live Silver 17U division.
Congratulations to all these Champions as they emerged from a field of over 1000 of the country’s best summer teams.-Coach Max Ivany
Below: An impromptu gathering of the Texas D1 16U squad in white, celebrating with the 17U squad after the back to back title game wins at Durango High School and Las Vegas Live.

Breakfast of Texas Champions

This morning at our hotel breakfast provided by the Desert Duel, I had a chance to talk championships with the other big winners from Las Vegas.  From left to right, Texas Assault Coach Vonzell Thomas (Champions of the Las Vegas adidas Super 64 Platinum) Max Ivany, Founder Texas D1 Ambassadors (representing for Coach Paul Josephs Las Vegas Live Platinum Champions and Reggie Bostic Las Vegas Live Silver Champions) and Tony Johnson, Founder Dallas Mustangs (representing for Coach Gerald Booker and the Las Vegas adidas Super 64 Gold). The only team not represented here are Coach Aaron Harrison and the Houston Defenders who won their title at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, FL.
If you love grassroots basketball, and you’re a Texan specifically then the last few days has been a perfect storm as Texas teams captured an unprecedented 5 prestigious National Championships. The last 10 years or so have seen more and more Texas youngsters turn their backs on track and football to pursue basketball at the highest level.  With an average of 125 Division One signees every year Texas leads the country in college level players. 
There are many reasons in addition to the obvious one of plenty of talent on hand in hotbeds like Dallas and Houston.  San Antonio is growing rapidly and is not too far behind while Austin and Killeen also produces it’s more than fair share of talent.  While other states cut budgets, Texas is blessed with a healthy economy AND a commitment to athletic facilities and professional high school coaches like no other.  While states like Arizona and California have a high school varsity coach who is a certifed teacher all assistants and JV/freshman coaches are men and women who work a regular 9-5 job and then come to the school to work with the players after hours.  There are no athletic periods for the development of players in most other states.
The club scene in Texas is very healthy as well with the level of coaching amongst the prominent national level clubs being quality.  The D1 Ambassadors have an array of high school, college coaches and former college players in their instructional ranks along with men who have high character from the local business community who volunteer their time as well.
Texas Assault 93  Dream Vision (NV) 78
Getting an outrageous 29 points, 18 rebound, 5 assist performance from tournament MVP Marcus Smart of Flower Mound Marcus the Texas Assault won back to back Las Vegas adidas Super 64  Platinum titles over hometown Dream Vision (NV).  Dream Vision features the Class of 2012’s #1 player in Shabazz Muhammad and Winston Shepherd a former Texas D1 Ambassador who now attends school at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas
Dallas Mustangs Blue 69  Oakland Rebels Black  68
Coach Gerald Booker’s “Baby Mustangs” used a last second basket by Soma Edo to capture the Gold Division of the adidas Las Vegas Super 64.
Houston Defenders Select  55  Boston Area Basketball Club  45
In a championship game that was nationally televised on ESPN the Defenders repped Space City behind the performance of the Harrison twins (Aaron..18 points and Andrew).  High flying Derrick Griffin of Rosenberg Terry had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio 65  Houston Hoops  53
Leading from wire to wire by as many as 20 points, Tournament MVP Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill racked up another double double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while 2012 Uche Ofoegbu of San Antonio Stevens led the way with 18 points and 5 rebounds.  2012 Jeffrey Rodewald of San Antonio Alamo Heights continues to shoot up the ladder as he had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
2012 G Uche Ofoegbu of San Antonio Stevens was unstoppable off the bounce vs Houston Hoops
Texas D1 Ambassadors-Bostic  Oklahoma Attack
The Pflugerville tandem of Justin Moss (25 points) and Napoleon Onyeje led the scoring parade as this group of Austin based 2013 players rounded out the Parade of Texas Champions for the summer of 2011 by winning the Las Vegas Live Silver 17U division.
Congratulations to all these Champions as they emerged from a field of over 1000 of the country’s best summer teams.-Coach Max Ivany
Below: An impromptu gathering of the Texas D1 16U squad in white, celebrating with the 17U squad after the back to back title game wins at Durango High School and Las Vegas Live.

Breakfast of Texas Champions

This morning at our hotel breakfast provided by the Desert Duel, I had a chance to talk championships with the other big winners from Las Vegas.  From left to right, Texas Assault Coach Vonzell Thomas (Champions of the Las Vegas adidas Super 64 Platinum) Max Ivany, Founder Texas D1 Ambassadors (representing for Coach Paul Josephs Las Vegas Live Platinum Champions and Reggie Bostic Las Vegas Live Silver Champions) and Tony Johnson, Founder Dallas Mustangs (representing for Coach Gerald Booker and the Las Vegas adidas Super 64 Gold). The only team not represented here are Coach Aaron Harrison and the Houston Defenders who won their title at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, FL.
If you love grassroots basketball, and you’re a Texan specifically then the last few days has been a perfect storm as Texas teams captured an unprecedented 5 prestigious National Championships. The last 10 years or so have seen more and more Texas youngsters turn their backs on track and football to pursue basketball at the highest level.  With an average of 125 Division One signees every year Texas leads the country in college level players. 
There are many reasons in addition to the obvious one of plenty of talent on hand in hotbeds like Dallas and Houston.  San Antonio is growing rapidly and is not too far behind while Austin and Killeen also produces it’s more than fair share of talent.  While other states cut budgets, Texas is blessed with a healthy economy AND a commitment to athletic facilities and professional high school coaches like no other.  While states like Arizona and California have a high school varsity coach who is a certifed teacher all assistants and JV/freshman coaches are men and women who work a regular 9-5 job and then come to the school to work with the players after hours.  There are no athletic periods for the development of players in most other states.
The club scene in Texas is very healthy as well with the level of coaching amongst the prominent national level clubs being quality.  The D1 Ambassadors have an array of high school, college coaches and former college players in their instructional ranks along with men who have high character from the local business community who volunteer their time as well.
Texas Assault 93  Dream Vision (NV) 78
Getting an outrageous 29 points, 18 rebound, 5 assist performance from tournament MVP Marcus Smart of Flower Mound Marcus the Texas Assault won back to back Las Vegas adidas Super 64  Platinum titles over hometown Dream Vision (NV).  Dream Vision features the Class of 2012’s #1 player in Shabazz Muhammad and Winston Shepherd a former Texas D1 Ambassador who now attends school at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas
Dallas Mustangs Blue 69  Oakland Rebels Black  68
Coach Gerald Booker’s “Baby Mustangs” used a last second basket by Soma Edo to capture the Gold Division of the adidas Las Vegas Super 64.
Houston Defenders Select  55  Boston Area Basketball Club  45
In a championship game that was nationally televised on ESPN the Defenders repped Space City behind the performance of the Harrison twins (Aaron..18 points and Andrew).  High flying Derrick Griffin of Rosenberg Terry had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio 65  Houston Hoops  53
Leading from wire to wire by as many as 20 points, Tournament MVP Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill racked up another double double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while 2012 Uche Ofoegbu of San Antonio Stevens led the way with 18 points and 5 rebounds.  2012 Jeffrey Rodewald of San Antonio Alamo Heights continues to shoot up the ladder as he had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
2012 G Uche Ofoegbu of San Antonio Stevens was unstoppable off the bounce vs Houston Hoops
Texas D1 Ambassadors-Bostic  Oklahoma Attack
The Pflugerville tandem of Justin Moss (25 points) and Napoleon Onyeje led the scoring parade as this group of Austin based 2013 players rounded out the Parade of Texas Champions for the summer of 2011 by winning the Las Vegas Live Silver 17U division.
Congratulations to all these Champions as they emerged from a field of over 1000 of the country’s best summer teams.-Coach Max Ivany
Below: An impromptu gathering of the Texas D1 16U squad in white, celebrating with the 17U squad after the back to back title game wins at Durango High School and Las Vegas Live.

Phoenix Desert Duel: Day One

The country’s classiest event, the Desert Duel Memorial kicked off today in Gilbert, AZ.  The Texas D1 Ambassadors have been fortunate to have been invite all four years to take part in this 32 team event which is hosted as a charitable event to the memory of Tom Crawford.  This year the Houston squad is representing the D1 Nation, amongst the country’s best teams.
Seattle Rotary Select (WA)  65  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston  57
After fatiguing 5 days events in Las Vegas and Orlando there isn’t a player in the country who isn’t plumb tired in the latter part of July.  Seattle Rotary kept a 3-10 point lead for the majority of the game winning by 8.  2012 Aly Mohamed of Houston Trent International is one of the few guys left with a lot of gas in his tank. He pounded the boards and bullied his way to the free throw line as he led all scorers with 17 points.  2012 Devon Turk had 11 points in support.
2012 Aly Mohamed is a workhorse on the boards and possesses great moves down low
Texas D1 Ambassadors 70  Team Loaded (VA)  67  Overtime
The third time was the charm for Texas D1 as they got the best of Team Loaded (VA) in overtime.  Their two previous encounters (Myrtle Beach, SC and Las Vegas Fab 48) ended with North Carolina State commit Tyler Lewis leaving his team to the wins.  Tonight was different as Texas D1 fought back from 11 down with 4 minutes left to send it into overtime where they got clutch free throw shooting and a big bucket from 2013 W Parker Callender of Houston Clear Creek.  Callender has been offered by Colorado State and is now piquing the interet of Depaul.  He finished with 15 points in the win.
2013 Parker Callender came up big in overtime
2012 Aly Mohamed gave another excellent effort, finishing with 14 and 7 rebounds.  It was 2012 Alex Caruso’s energy and leadership that led the way in the second half as there were times he took the game over, finishing with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals.  2012 Maurice Letcher-Ellis of Houston Yates had 6 points and 11 rebounds.
2012 Alex Caruso had his bes game in July by far as he comes off a severe ankle injury

Phoenix Desert Duel: Day One

The country’s classiest event, the Desert Duel Memorial kicked off today in Gilbert, AZ.  The Texas D1 Ambassadors have been fortunate to have been invite all four years to take part in this 32 team event which is hosted as a charitable event to the memory of Tom Crawford.  This year the Houston squad is representing the D1 Nation, amongst the country’s best teams.
Seattle Rotary Select (WA)  65  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston  57
After fatiguing 5 days events in Las Vegas and Orlando there isn’t a player in the country who isn’t plumb tired in the latter part of July.  Seattle Rotary kept a 3-10 point lead for the majority of the game winning by 8.  2012 Aly Mohamed of Houston Trent International is one of the few guys left with a lot of gas in his tank. He pounded the boards and bullied his way to the free throw line as he led all scorers with 17 points.  2012 Devon Turk had 11 points in support.
2012 Aly Mohamed is a workhorse on the boards and possesses great moves down low
Texas D1 Ambassadors 70  Team Loaded (VA)  67  Overtime
The third time was the charm for Texas D1 as they got the best of Team Loaded (VA) in overtime.  Their two previous encounters (Myrtle Beach, SC and Las Vegas Fab 48) ended with North Carolina State commit Tyler Lewis leaving his team to the wins.  Tonight was different as Texas D1 fought back from 11 down with 4 minutes left to send it into overtime where they got clutch free throw shooting and a big bucket from 2013 W Parker Callender of Houston Clear Creek.  Callender has been offered by Colorado State and is now piquing the interet of Depaul.  He finished with 15 points in the win.
2013 Parker Callender came up big in overtime
2012 Aly Mohamed gave another excellent effort, finishing with 14 and 7 rebounds.  It was 2012 Alex Caruso’s energy and leadership that led the way in the second half as there were times he took the game over, finishing with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals.  2012 Maurice Letcher-Ellis of Houston Yates had 6 points and 11 rebounds.
2012 Alex Caruso had his bes game in July by far as he comes off a severe ankle injury