Hoops with House 17

Hey Sky fans! How was your week? Mine was fantastic… I’ve unloaded my boxes and I’m (nearly) ready to go.

We're getting closer and closer to the start of our 2011 training camp!

T-minus 13 days and counting, I can't wait!

One of Coach Pokey’s goals from our first conversations was to make the 2011 training camp the most competitive in the franchise’s history. With the returning veteran players on our roster, the draft picks and our free agent signings – we believe that everyday at camp will be a tremendous challenge and great competition at a high level.

What better way to instill the FIGHT… FOCUS… for 40 mindset!

NIKE SKILLS ACADEMY

This past weekend I was fortunate to instruct at the Nike Skills Academy in Atlanta. The Southeast region skills academy was the most talented 62 prospects in the region. They gathered at the Suwannee Sports Academy with a tremendous staff of coaches… nearly 200 years of coaching experience on staff for the weekend event. The instruction was high; the athletic and basketball talent was equal. It was a fantastic event! I really enjoyed my part on the staff and learned a great deal from the players and coaches on hand. I really enjoy working skills camps… the teaching. Entering my 26th year I never grow tired trying to learn something new everyday.

The group of players was primarily 2013 and 2014 high school graduates. The girls spent all but for two hours on the court in instructional situations. The focus was on teaching, improving your skills and learning the game… not just playing game after meaningless game.

Don’t get me wrong… AAU and summer competition is vital to a player’s improvement. But, there has to be all three components for a player’s development:

1.) Skill Training 2.) Strength, Speed, Agility, Quickness and Cardio training 3.) Competition.

Skipping or short changing any area and the player’s development is not complete.

Jackie Ansley and her Performance Training, Inc. staff conducted the SSAQ+C training. In a word, tremendous. Performance Training, Inc. (PTI), the nation's leader in enhancing amateur and professional athletic performance, has been developing better athletes, at all levels of competition, from middle school to professional athletes, for over 12 years.

They put the players through the Nike SPARQ training evaluation and our camp had the top three national scores at our event, including the nation’s new number one ranking of over 117 set by Andraya Carter a 2012 Buford HS (GA) prospect.

You know what… she is Christie Thomas’s younger sister! See the Sky love is everywhere! It was no surprise that she has already verbally committed to Tennessee… certainly to the dismay of Georgia Bulldog fans wishing she followed in Christie’s footsteps. She is a talent.

OPEN TRYOUTS

This week we are hosting an open tryout. The response has been off the charts! Players, agents and coaches have been calling like crazy to get a chance to be involved in the tryout. We have been busy preparing all the activities for the 60 free agents who will work out in front of Coach Chatman and our staff. We can't wait to get them to the gym and see who has what it takes to possibly earn a spot in our 2011 training camp. There is space available on our training camp roster and Coach Pokey will be looking hard at every prospect in the gym. Bring your “A-Game” and effort ladies.

OFFICES

We're also moving into our offices at the training center right now. There are a ton of boxes: the players and coaches gear, all the supplies... I couldn’t believe it, but there is one entire room of bottled water! We’ll get everything put away by the end of week and ready for the players to arrive.

SKY SERVES

Don’t forget the Chicago Sky will host “Get Served by the Sky” at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mount Prospect on Tuesday, May 31 at 6:00 p.m. to raise money for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

I want to see you there!... and serve you your wings! Make sure you say hi to me and let me bring you your wings!

Our entire Sky team and coaching staff will wait tables and bartend to collect tips which will be donated directly to the ADA. The event is open to everyone and ends at approximately 8:30 pm. You’ll have the chance to get autographs and photos with the players, all for a tip.

It is a great cause… so bring your appetite and your donations. Let’s make this the highest donation total for the ADA from the Sky to date! The team will also host a raffle where you can win unique autographed Sky experiences and memorabilia.

You’ll get a chance to interact with the entire Sky team, meet our rookies, free agents and coaching staff; while most importantly help a great cause. Put it on your calendar now… I’ll wait. Thanks.

In case you didn’t know, Buffalo Wild Wings is located at 301 Euclid Avenue, Mount Prospect, IL 60056. You will be seated on a first come first serve basis, so get there early. My BLOG next week will be less than a week before our first practice!... May 15th cannot get here fast enough Sky fans!

If you have anything you’d like me to talk about in next week’s BLOG, just email me or leave a comment and I’ll get to it.

Talk to you soon.

Everyone have a great Mother’s Day!

For previous editions of Sky Hoops with House, click here.