Posted by admin on July 21, 2017
level AAU basketball is ticket to success STORY A Q with Bryce Daley PITTSFIELD When talent collides with opportunity, a spontaneous combustion occurs that ignites dreams of a fruitful future. But that big bang doesn't come without a cost, and at the least may cast a die for a lifestyle that could shake the roots that otherwise balance the life of a normal teen of 15. So, a family weighs risk and reward and moves forward. The teen, meanwhile, is somewhat oblivious to it all, only taking time to scan the calendar that tells him what gym in what city he will next be appearing. The rhythm of the bouncing ball is in harmony with his heart. It's really all he hears. It's all that matters, he believes. Who will be victimized with his next three point dagger and upon what soul will he enact his next five star assist? In the stratified air of high level AAU basketball, your next 12 hour bus ride and hardwood highlight is only a weekend away. Bryce Daley has digested this menu and come to the conclusion that he wouldn't have it served any other way. "Feed me more" is the mantra for Daley, who in June finished his freshman year at Pittsfield High School. The Albany City Rocks have been around for two decades, and during that time have evolved into a well respected national AAU program that is now sponsored by Nike. By the very nature and definition of that relationship, the teams in the program are expected to be successful. Daley, a 6 foot guard, has been with the City Rocks for seven seasons. He began his tenure with the team at age 9, when he was offered a ticket into the program after trying out on a whim. Each age group through 17 is usually broken into three levels of talent, and Daley this year has been a starter on the top age 15 team. The season runs from spring into mid summer and the eventual goal of the City Rocks' staff is to place these elite players into college programs, hopefully Division I schools that can offer full scholarships. Blending this keen type of individual talent while striving for a successful team strategy is the goal of AAU coaches at any level. It's nike 2 in 1 shorts women&s what drives and inspires them, but it's also what keeps them up at night. "The coaches do get tested," said Ralph Tucker, who is Daley's coach this year and the longest tenured City Rocks coach at 16 years. "You can get a quality kid or you can get a player who is not a good academic student and who hasn't had a good home life. "And you have to remember that these kids are being tugged at from all sorts of directions. They are getting advice from their family, girlfriends, high school coaches and basketball peers." About the Albany City Rocks What:Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Formed in January 1888, as a nonprofit sports organization to promote the development of amateur sports. Designed to allow athletes the chance to compete at similar ages and developmental levels. The program is now considered to be among top 20 in the nation. Achievements: Have helped more than 100 athletes receive full Division I basketball scholarships and placed 10 players on the roster of USA Basketball teams. City Rocks have had six members play in the NBA, including current players Jimmer Fredette of the Chicago Bulls and Andray Blatche of the Brooklyn Nets. Many Division II and III players have also come through the City Rocks' program. "Our reputations are on the line," he said. "I don't want to add to the pressure on the players, but when we deal with college coaches we need to be honest in our assessment of the player. "I don't mind endorsing a player who is age 15, although I make it clear that a nike shoes low top lot can happen between that age and when they are ready to enter college. But if I think they will be a scholarship athlete, then I'll say so. It's also tough when you have to decide to ask a kid to leave nike shoes on ebay the program. You hate to take something away from them." Tucker lauded Daley's work ethic, adding that like many of his players the concept of sharing game minutes was at first against the grain for his young backcourt player. "I tell the players that they will get minutes," Tucker said. "I also tell them to show me why I should give them a few minutes more." Dave Paulsen, the former Williams College head basketball coach who led the Ephs to a national Division III title in 2003 and a second place finish in the tournament the subsequent year, has been the head coach at Division 1 Bucknell since 2008. The AAU landscape, he said, has both strong and weak points for a college coach to consider. "There's good AAU basketball and bad AAU basketball," Paulsen said. "But you can make the same case for high school basketball." Still, the concept of bringing a ton of talent to one place at one time is something most college coaches are going to endorse. "I'm in the same gym from 8 in the morning until 11 at night," said Paulsen, who played for Williams during the mid 1980s. "It's a narrow three week window where we can actually go out and evaluate players. And these AAU tournaments give us a chance to see a player in which we have interest. We can see them play against some top competition. Jim Hart, who founded and coaches with the City Rocks, agreed that getting the players to understand the bigger picture is indeed a tough sell. "You can average six points per game in AAU and still earn a Division I scholarship," Hart said. "You can play eight minutes per game and go to the University of North Carolina." The on court and off the court demeanor of a player, Hart said, plays a pivotal role in the recruiting process.