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Whale Watching Pics
Pictures from the OTA have been posted on the team's official Facebook page. The event was a total success. Everyone had a great time (even Aziz I think haha). The kids were really well behaved. As worn out as I was by the end of the day, by the next day I already was missing the kids and ready to get back to practice. Here is the link to the photos:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irvine-Celtics/254045458056488

Once again, a big thank-you to Victoria's mom Blanca for putting this event together and also taking all the pictures. And a BIG thank-you to all the chaperones that helped me keep the kids safe.

Torin's Birthday
Our next OTA will be Scorin' Torin's birthday party. EVERYONE is invited. The event will be June 8th and here is the address:

Wintermist Pool in Irvine. The cross street is East Yale Loop. Simply head West past the Boys & Girls Club on East Yale Loop until you hit Wintermist Ave and then take a Left Turn. Within a block and a half you will see the community pool on the left.

Bring shorts for swimming as well as basketball shoes since there is a court to play on. And bring a crazy costume. We will be filming our own version of the Miami Heat's "Harlem Shake".

Welcome to the Team

Please welcome our newest members of the teams:

Andrew
Tim
Tobias
Peyton
Alex F
Marcus L
Xavier
Lucky

Alex has been a practice player for some time now. At only 9 years of age and relatively new to the country (he recently moved here from Spain) he has worked EXTREMELY hard to get up to speed. He spends countless hours practicing at home and has come a long way since joining the team. With his work ethic, he as a bright future with our team. Andrew brings with him superb instincts, defense, and ball handling to help sure up our point guard position. With Andrew and Aanan working together at PG, the position has now become a strength of this team. Tim is a player that gave us a LOT of trouble during Winter League and Im very glad he's now on our side. He plays great defense, can score at will, and never takes a play off. Tobias brings excellent learning ability. I never have to tell him something twice. His defense is superb. I think that at some point this season with Tobias, Victoria, Marcus, Andrew all on the same court at the same time, it will be nearly impossible for opposing teams to score. Peyton & Marcus L are the newest members to join. They are eager to learn our system, get in shape, and show they have what it takes to play our style of basektball. And then their is Xavier. One of the most unique kids Ive ever met. He has the swagger of 10 rappers all in one lil body. He is a fast learner and plays GREAT defense. And then there is "Lucky". This kid has a knack for keeping everyone on their toes, and laughing at the same time. I have high hopes for him, I dont think he's really aware of his potential.

Im thoroughly excited about every member of this team going forward. With each season we are adding more and more talent. Our bench players are nearly as strong as our starters at this point. That will make us a very dangerous team.

Rosters
As some of you may know, we will be splitting the team into 3
  • 8 & under
  • 10 & under
  • 12 & under

Some of the more talented players on our team will have the opportunity to play on multiple teams. For example, I expect Marcus Green to suite up for both the 10U & 12U team. A few other players will fit this example as well.
The 8 & under team is my newest project. This is a work in progress. I hope to have the entire squad set and ready by July so we can enter our first tournament. So far, I have 3 outstanding talents on board. Khmori, Noah, and Gabriel. These 3 are going to be the foundation of what I know will be a DOMINANT basketball team one day.

Summer League Schedule
I will have our Summer League schedule finalised by this Sunday once the league has been formed this Saturday. We will be playing games on both Thursday & Friday evenings most every week from now until August.
July 5th thru 7th we will be entering our first tournament. The WCE25 Championships in Anaheim. The cost will be $325 per team. I have already registered both the 10U & 12U teams. So the cost per player will be split up evenly amongst the team. That should work out to about $50 per player if everyone wants to attend.
 
 
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Boxing Out in Basketball is Controversial 

Whether you're a coach or a fan, there will be times that you'll find that you don't agree with what the referees have called in a particular situation. Of course, the same can be said about the 'no-calls' in sports, as well. Regardless of the sport, there will always be a certain level of disagreement, as they're not always going to get it right. Baseball seems to be the worst in this - however - basketball can sometimes be just as bad in this, especially at the youth level.

In all of the missed calls, it does seem as if the 'over the back' call is one that's generally missed more than many. I watched a NBA playoff game on cable.tv the other day and in my opinion counted 20 ‘over the back’ situations and only 3 were actually called by the refs, which resulted in a foul. They are better at referring games than I am and I’m watching it from the television, but the ‘over the back’ call isn't a subjective call nor is it difficult to see happen as it occurs. These plays happen right in plain sight. They aren't "missed calls", they are blatant "no-calls".

The Controversy

One of the most infuriating things about the no call is that it's flying in the face of the fundamentals. It's extremely important to teach young players how to be fundamentally sound, especially when we're on the defensive side. Boxing out is imperative to properly crashing the boards - a trait that all players should have - regardless of the position that they play. 

One of the worst things about the controversy is that there's a chance that the players would be hesitant in game time situations because they may have a player climb all over their back to grab the ball. Not only is it something that can lead them to some level of injury, but it may stop them from making a bigger impact on the glass going forward. If they know that there's a chance that they'll have another player jumping all over them, they may simply choose not to exert the effort.

The Problem

There are a few theories as to why referees don't call over the back as much as they should. For one thing, coaches may assume that their player has better inside positioning than the other - often taller - player, however he doesn't quite get the rebound because of sheer size. The referees generally won't call it because - while there may be a little contact - that's what they assume is supposed to happen. It's the law of nature. It's not often that you'd expect a 6-foot guy to get a rebound over a player who outweighs them by 50 and has 6 inches on them.

This doesn't excuse them, but the point is to give a bit of perspective into the mind of the referee. Either way, its a slap in the face to the game of basketball for those of us who are purists.

Make no mistake about it; the over the back call is one of the most under-utilized call in basketball. Unfortunately, this is something that's the case in basketball at basically all levels. Coaches do everything they can to assure that their players have the technique down to a T, even if they're going against a much taller player going for a rebound.

There may not be a time where fundamentally-sound athletes are rewarded for doing what they should do in this case, but it's important that young athletes continue to exert the effort even if they don't get rewarded for all of their hard work. 

Author: Lamar Hull is a former NCAA basketball player for Davidson College. He also played overseas professionally. Lamar loves writing about sports and teaching young kids how to play basketball. You can follow Lamar @lamarhull20 and then be sure to check out his website @ www.inspirationalbasketball.com

Lamar's Youth Basketball Site
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