Archive for the ‘youth basketball’ Category

A Lesson to Be Learned

March 14, 2016

A while back we told you about the fight at a girls’ high school basketball game in Indiana that resulted in the suspension of both teams from the rest of this season.

Pike High meeting

Photo Courtesy: Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star.

Now, as Paul Harvey might say, here is the rest of the story.

After both the Pike and Ben Davis girls’ basketball teams were suspended after the on-court brawl, most everyone thought that would be the end of the issue. But Anucha Browne saw it as an opportunity for a life lesson for everyone involved.

Browne is NCAA vice president for women’s basketball championships. And she comes in with a hoops pedigree: She starred at Northwestern and led the country in scoring in 1985 with a 30.5 points per game average. And she decided she needed to talk with these players.

“I thought it was important to be in their space and help them understand that those split-second decisions can change the rest of their lives,” she told the Indianapolis Star. “I took pride in owning the fact that those young people deserve another chance and to have a dialogue with somebody who has been where they are. I want to be impactful in their lives.”

Browne met with the Pike team last week—she’s scheduled to meet with Ben Davis next week. Neither high school appealed the suspensions, although Pike did ask the Indiana High School Athletic Association to reevaluate its process in ruling on fighting at games.

“These are just young people, and you have to invest in young people,” Browne continued. “We tell our kids to be sportsmen, but what does that mean? I think to have that dialogue and talk to them about the impact of their behavior and what they do is important. It says everything about them.”

As for the school, Pike Athletic Director Doug Schornick said the meeting with Browne was another step in the healing process. “I think the message coming from somebody of her background was perfect,” he said. “We’re going to get stronger. All our programs are going to get stronger.”

Kudos to Browne for reaching out to both teams after a devastating end to their seasons. Let’s hope the schools, and especially the players, learn and grow from it.

A Win Comes with a Price

February 29, 2016



Photo courtesy of Troy Machir, Sporting News.


The coach of a California high school girls’ basketball team was suspended two games for a big win.

And we mean, big.

Arroyo Valley High School defeated Bloomington High School, 161-2 last month. And it’s not first time Arroyo Valley had won by large margins. The Hawks had scored more than 100 points twice before, but this 159-point win created enough backlash that the school felt it needed to act and suspended Coach Michael Anderson for the two games.

Not that benching the coach made much of a difference. In the first game without Coach Anderson, Arroyo Valley won, 80-19. The Hawks were coached by Anderson’s 19-year-old son.

For his part, Anderson said he talked with the Bloomington head coach before the game, explaining that this was the Hawks’ last game before league play and that his team was going to play hard. “I wanted to let him know there was no harm intended,” Anderson told the Orange County Register, “and that if he had any ideas or concerns just to let me know.”

Anderson benched his starters at halftime and told his players in the second half to run the shot clock down before trying to score, but it still ended up as a beyond-lopsided final score. And Bloomington’s head coach, Dale Chung, told the San Bernardino County Sun he wasn’t happy with the outcome. “People shouldn’t feel sorry for my team,” he said. “They should feel sorry for his team, which isn’t learning the game the right way.”

A few times a year, we read about this kind of a game—is it the coach’s fault for running up the score or is it the opposing team’s fault for not putting up more of a fight? In several high school sports, football and basketball included, many state associations allow a running clock if the score is lopsided—in California, a running clock isn’t allowed until the fourth quarter.

There’s a fine line between sportsmanship and letting players play. The reserves want to show their skills and often take the opportunity in ‘garbage time’ to do just that, at the expense of an undermanned opponent. The talent level is so inconsistent in youth sports, including high school girls’ basketball, that blowouts do happen. A two-game suspension probably won’t stop Arroyo Valley from winning by 100+ points again this season. The lesson for the players may be, how those games are won.

The Sad Side of Sports

February 22, 2016

A high school girls’ basketball game this past weekend between Pike and Ben Davis high schools, two Indianapolis-area schools, had to be called with five minutes left in the fourth quarter because of a fight that apparently involved both fans and players.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers

Photo courtesy of

Video posted on social media showed both players and fans on the court, although officials are not saying right now what may have started the incident.

At the time of the scuffle at Ben Davis’ gym, Pike was leading the game by a wide margin. Officials from both schools are scheduled to meet with the Indiana High School Athletic Association later this week.

In a statement, Ben Davis’ administration said, “We are extremely disappointed that good sportsmanship was not shown by the players involved in (today’s) girls basketball game at Ben Davis High School We are working closely with administrators at Pike High School and the IHSAA to determine exactly which players were involved in this incident.”

The statement continues: “This behavior is not representative of our values, beliefs or how we coach our student athletes. It is not reflective of the Ben Davis pride of our students, alumni and community share. And it certainly does not reflect the rich tradition and success of our girls basketball team. The Ben Davis players involved will face consequences at school, and we will comply with any consequences we receive from the IHSAA.”

For its part, the Pike athletic department Twitter feed posted this message: “Today’s girls’ BB incident was unfortunate! We are working with BD & IHSAA to investigate today’s occurrence.”

Last season the IHSAA hit Griffith and Hammond high schools with sanctions after a fight at a boys game, suspending both teams for the year. Eventually both schools got a temporary restraining order so they could play in the post-season tournament, and Griffith make it to the 3A championship game.

This investigation probably will go on for weeks, with sanctions expected on both sides. But when young players, girls or boys, see the behavior that goes on at some professional games, is it any wonder that scuffles break out? It makes it even more imperative for youth coaches to have proper training to make sure that nothing like this happens at their events.

When Society and Sports Collide

January 19, 2015

In the wake of the social unrest we’ve seen in Ferguson, Cleveland and New York, athletes have used their national platforms to express their opinions on the incidents—see the St. Louis Rams’ players coming out for team introductions with the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose.

This expression has reached basketball, where professional and college players alike have worn “I Can’t Breathe” shirts, signifying the last words of Eric Gardner, the New York man who died after an officer put him in a chokehold.I cant breathe

And now, a high school basketball tournament in Northern California has been included in the conversation, after a school scheduled to play in the tournament was disinvited because of concerns its players would wear “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups.

The athletic director at Mendocino High School was told that neither the boy’s nor the girl’s team would be allowed to participate in the tournament if they wore the shirts.

The boys were reinstated after all but one player agreed not to wear the shirt. Too few girl players agreed to not wear the shirts and were not allowed to play.

No surprise here: The parent of the one boy who decided to sit out the holiday tournament has taken the issue to the American Civil Liberties Union. In a written statement, the principal of the host school, Fort Bragg High School, said the school administrators respected the Mendocino teams “for paying attention to what is going on in the world around them” and that the shirts were being banned as a security precaution.

This isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, time where the world of amateur and youth sports will collide with First Amendment rights and the desire of young athletes to express themselves.

Have you run into similar issues with your events or teams? If so how did you handle the issue and what advice would you have other rights holders or event planners on how to deal with the issue? Give us your thoughts on our NASC Facebook page. We always welcome comments on best practices.

The Power of Sports

November 18, 2014

Not often will an NFL backup defensive lineman and a freshman forward on a Division III women’s basketball team make national news and touch countless lives. But in the last month we have seen the power of sports touch emotions and raise millions of dollars.

The story of Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still’s daughter, Leah, and her fight against pediatric cancer reached far beyond the NFL. More than $1.3 million was raised through the sale of Still’s number 75 jersey for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and its pediatric cancer research.

Just as dramatic, is the story of Lauren Hill, the Mt. St. Joseph basketball player who was diagnosed her senior year of high school with an inoperable brain tumor and whose only wish was to play a college basketball game. The NCAA allowed the school to move up the date of its season opener to assure Lauren would be well enough to play in at least that one game.

But her #layups4Lauren campaign, similar to this summer’s ice bucket challenge, continues, as she challenges celebrities and pro athletes to make a donation to The Cure Starts Now, dedicated to raising funds for pediatric cancer research. Her efforts, too, are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I never thought I would play on a college court, put my feet on the floor and feel the vibration of the crowd,” she said after that first game against Hiram College. That is a quote from someone who truly loves her sport and is grateful for the opportunity to play.

Every once in a while, the games that student-athletes and professionals play transcend sports and remind us what is really important. A 4-year-old who is undergoing chemotherapy and a 19-year-old grateful to take the court before the inevitable occurs remind us that sports can touch us all and can make a difference long after the final buzzer sounds.

Pat Summitt presented Lauren Hill with the “Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award” at halftime of the Mount St. Joseph University game in Cincinnati.

Pat Summitt presented Lauren Hill with the “Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award” at halftime of the Mount St. Joseph University game in Cincinnati.

Tomorrow’s News, Today (2012 NASC Sports Event Symposium – 4/17/12)

April 17, 2012

Each day of the 2012 National Association of Sports Commissions Annual Symposium, we will publish a daily blog with highlights from the programs and activities.

Get Social with NASC: #NASC12

Follow all of the news from the 2012 Symposium on Twitter @NASC_News, using the hashtag: #NASC12

Check us out on Facebook @National Association of Sports Commissions

“Heard” on the Show Floor

“Business is good, and it’s getting better.”                         

At the general session to kick off the NASC Sports Event Symposium, Executive Director Don Schumacher gave a strong report on how the sports event business is faring. The top five issues in the last 20 years of the NASC continue to be: Education, Funding, Return on Investment, Facilities and Creating Events.

Don also talked about new partnerships between the NASC and two universities, Ohio University and the University of Arizona. Key findings from those studies include visitor spending to sporting events was a $7.68 billion industry last year, 6.5 percent above 2010. The number of events increased 10.5 percent with estimated visitors numbering some 24 million.

In addition, the University of Arizona study found that direct spending per person, per day, at these events average nearly $209 dollars, showing that sports events continue to be a growth industry throughout the nation.

During the general session, the site selection committee for future NASC spots announced that Oklahoma City, in 2014, and Milwaukee in 2015 will be the hosts, with bids for 2016 and 2017 opening during the summer of 2013.

New Board Members

The NASC also said goodbye to Tara Green, at least in the role of head of the NASC board, and hello to the new board members, including:


Immediate Past Chair                     Tara Green, CSEE, American Airlines Center

Chair                                                      Gary Alexander, Nashville Sports Council

Vice Chair/Chair Elect                     Terry Hasseltine, CSEE, Maryland Office of Sports Marketing

Treasurer                                            Kevin Smith, CSEE, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission

Secretary                                             Greg Ayers, CSEE, Discover Kalamazoo (NEW TERM)

Board Term Expiring 2013
Jennifer Hawkins, CSEE, VisitPittsburgh
Mary Lee Malmberg, CSEE, Cedar Rapids Area CVB
Ralph Morton, CSEE, Seattle Sports Commission
Marc Zimmerman, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing

Board Term Expiring 2014
Mike Anderson, CSEE, Visit Charlotte
Jim Dietz, Columbus Indiana Visitors Center
Mike Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission
Ed Hruska, CSEE, Rochester Amateur Sports Commission

Board Term Expiring 2015

Tammy Dunn, CSEE, Snohomish County Sports Commission (NEW TERM)
Greg Fante, CSEE, Louisville Sports Commission (NEW TERM)
Kindra Fry, CSEE, Bryan-College Station CVB (NEW TERM)
Nancy Yawn, CSEE, Round Rock CVB (NEW TERM)

Allied Representatives
Board Term Expiring 2013
Jim Hilb, Associated Premium Corporation

Board Term Expiring 2014
Lou Mengsol, Innovations Consulting (NEW TERM)

Rights Holder Representatives
Board Term Expiring 2013
Gary Beck, Killer ‘B’ Promotions

Board Term Expiring 2014
John David, USA BMX (NEW TERM)

Coming Up Tomorrow: See ESPN’s Karl Ravech

The Sports Marketplace kicks into high gear, and the keynote luncheon will be held Wednesday with guest speaker, ESPN’s Karl Ravech. And don’t forget to stop by our Social Media lounge and tell us why you’re here at NASC-we have fabulous prizes selected especially for you, if you’re one of the first 10 to visit!

2012 YBOA National Championships to Feature Naismith Traveling Exhibit

February 14, 2012

We received a very impressive packet of information recently. It was sent by our good friend Don Ruedlinger, President of Youth Basketball of America (YBOA).

The 2012 YBOA National Championships will be held in Kissimmee, Florida. This event is projected to attract 350 teams and somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 visitors. What a fantastic achievement! YBOA has done a wonderful job developing their championship…to the point where they need a true destination city in order to house everyone!

As added value they are featuring the Naismith Traveling Exhibit on the history and development of the game of basketball. Don Ruedlinger was honored in 2009 with the Naismith Sportsmanship Award, so it is particularly fitting this outstanding exhibit will be available to all visitors to the event.

Congratulations from all of us at the NASC to Don and his staff (and to our friends in Kissimmee) for assembling such a great championship event!

Mark your calendars for the weeks of July 1-7 and 8-14 in Kissimmee!

– Don