Friday, August 15, 2014

Making The Cut for Premier Hoops by Jasen Sousa


Premier Hoops is underway with tryouts for the National Team which will travel and compete in tournaments against some of the finest talent in the New England area.  Trying out for a team can be an intimating experience.  It’s important for an athletes to prepare themselves for tryouts in order to have the greatest chance of having the coaches notice you, and believe you will be able to make a positive contribution to the team.  There are many different philosophies and strategies out there on what coaches are looking for when selecting players for a roster, below we will cover a few that will help out along the way.  

When athletes from all different backgrounds and situations walk into a gym, they bring their own styles and habits which they have learned throughout the years while on the playground or while playing on other teams.  When you attend a tryout, there will most likely be players there who can do things just as well as you, or better.  If someone has incredible leaping ability, or seems as though they never miss a shot, don’t let it intimate you.  Basketball players are often evaluated on a number of different aspects and abilities when it comes to the selection process.  

Rely on your instincts.  Basketball is a game that you know well.  You have played and practiced for countless hours and have developed instincts which are unique to you as a player.  When you repeat the same activity over and over again, you build instincts and habits, both positive and negative.  Think back on the positive instincts and be confident in them.  Maybe you have great anticipation and are good at stepping into passing lanes and creating steals?  Maybe you are a rebounder and have found a variety of different ways of boxing out your defender and grabbing rebounds?  These instincts well let the coaches know you have logged many hours perfecting your skills. Coaches will be assessing your skills, so rely on what you do best.  Ball- handling, shooting, defending, rely on your strengths and try not to get caught up in doing things you are not accustomed to.    

Trying out for a team is like trying out for a job, so you should present yourself in a professional way as a basketball player.   Have your uniform tucked in, sneakers lacked up tightly, and have on shorts that are not constantly falling off your butt.  We have all been there.  

Coaches will also be on the lookout your coachability and your attitude.  If you are unwilling to be coached during tryouts, it’s not very likely you will be able to be coached during the season.  Effort is also extremely important.   You might make mistakes during tryouts, miss some shots, and commit some turnovers.  Try and not let to impact your effort.  Run back on defense, move the ball on offense, and dive for a few loose balls.  You can bring all of your basketball skills with you, but if you leave your effort and attitude at home, things will not go well.    

Working on conditioning before a tryout is also important.  You do not want fatigue to be something that contributes to you not being able to display your full basketball potential.  I hope some of these tips help and good luck trying out for the Premier Hoops National Team!  





Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE SOLSTICE MFA IN CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM OFFERS FOUR FELLOWSHIPS FOR WRITERS

$1000 fellowship will be offered to promising creative nonfiction writer accepted by Solstice MFA Program!
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
For Release: IMMEDIATELY                                
Contact: Tanya Whiton, Associate Director
whitontanya@pmc.edu, (617) 731-7697
 
THE SOLSTICE MFA IN CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM
OFFERS FOUR FELLOWSHIPS FOR WRITERS

[Chestnut Hill, MA, August, 2014]  Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program offers four fellowships for students starting the program during the winter residency/spring semester: the Michael Steinberg Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction, the Dennis Lehane Fellowship for Fiction, the Jacqueline Woodson Fellowship for a Young People’s Writer of African or Caribbean Descent, and the Sharon Olds Fellowship for Poetry. These Fellowships provide $1,000 each toward first-semester tuition for four students who begin the program during the winter residency/spring semester.

Applicants who want to be considered for a genre-based fellowship should submit a general application form no later than September 12, 2014 (postmark date). There is no separate application form. Awards are based on the quality of the writing sample and personal essay included as part of the general application process; awards must be applied toward the winter residency/spring semester directly following acceptance.

About our donors (underwriters of the Sharon Olds Poetry Fellowship wish to remain anonymous):
 
  • A former staff writer for HBO’s The Wire, Solstice MFA writer-in-residence Dennis Lehane is author of ten novels, including Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone —each of which has been made into a feature film—and the recent bestseller, Live By Night.
  • Solstice MFA writer-in-residence Michael Steinberg is a memoirist, essayist, and founding editor of the literary journal, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. His memoir Still Pitching was named the 2003 Independent Press memoir of the year.
  • Solstice MFA consulting writer Jacqueline Woodson is author of numerous books for children and young adults, including Feathers, a Newbery Honor Book; Miracle’s Boys, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award; and Locomotion, winner of the Horn Book Award.
ABOUT SOLSTICE & PINE MANOR COLLEGE
As an undergraduate institution consistently ranked among the most diverse in the country, Pine Manor College emphasizes an inclusive, community-building approach to liberal arts education. The Solstice MFA in Creative Writing reflects the College’s overall mission by creating a supportive, welcoming environment in which writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to take creative risks. We strive to instill in our students an appreciation for the value of community-building and community service, and see engagement with the literary arts not only as a means to personal fulfillment but also as an instrument for real cultural change.
 

 
This email was sent to you by the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College.

Our mailing address is:
Solstice MFA Program
Pine Manor College
400 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA  02467 
See a video about our program on You Tube.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Premier Hoops New/Updated Tryout Schedule

2014 Fall National Team Tryouts

 NEW/UPDATED TRYOUT SCHEDULE 


08/12 @ St. Val's Church in Peabody, MA 
- Boys Only

7pm - Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

8pm - Incoming 7th/8th Graders

9pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders


08/13 @ Billerica Boys and Girls Club 
- Boys and Girls

6pm - Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

7pm - Incoming 7th/8th Graders

8pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

   
Location Change 08/14 @ Beebe School in Malden- Boys and Girls

7pm - Incoming 4th-8th Graders

8pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders


08/18 @ St. Val's Church in Peabody, MA 
- Boys Only

6pm - Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

7pm - Incoming 7th/8th Graders

8pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

08/20 @ St. Val's Church in Peabody, MA - Girls Only

7pm - Incoming4th-8th Graders

8pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

 
Additional/Make Up Tryout 

08/23 @ JCCNS in Marblehead, MA
 - Boys and Girls  

1pm - Incoming 4th-8th Graders

2pm - Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders   


Locations:


St. Val's Church - 7 Paleologos St, Peabody, MA 01960

Billerica Boys and Girls Club - 19 Campbell Rd, Billerica, MA 01821

Malden High School - 77 Salem St, Malden, MA 02148

JCCNS - 4 Community Road, Marblehead, MA 01945



Contact/Follow Premier Hoops:
 Direct: 781-724-8125
Instagram: premierhoops
Facebook: Premier Hoops
Twitter: @thePremierHoops

Monday, August 11, 2014

Definition of A Warrior by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops




I was fortunate enough to closely follow the entire career of Alonzo Mourning.  Alonzo was just recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and it made me think about his amazing career.  I collected basketball cards as a kid and gravitated to Alonzo more because Shaquille O’Neal was getting so much attention.  Alonzo Mourning was Drafted #2 overall in the 1992 NBA Draft and would play his career as a 6-foot-10-inch undersized center.  

The original Charlottes Hornets franchise had a very young and exciting team with players like Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues.  It also didn’t hurt that they had awesome pinstriped teal uniforms and a very cool logo.  They were an expansion franchise and they were hip and stylish.  I rooted for the Charlotte Hornets from a distance over here in Boston and vividly recall a defining moment early in Alonzo;s career when he hit a jump shot from the top of the key during the playoffs to knock the aging Celtics out of competition.  







Alonzo was traded to the Miami Heat and I followed him there as a fan and recall some of the great and intense series they had with the New York Knicks.  Shortly after Alonzo arrived to the Miami Heat, he received some horrific medical news.  Alonzo Mourning was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).  FSGS is a rare, often fatal, and incurable kidney disease.  Most assumed that Alonzo Mourning would never play the game of basketball again, and a lot of individuals also believed that Alonzo wouldn’t be able to overcome FSGS.  Alonzo Mourning retired in 2003 as he went on the waiting listing for a kidney transplant.  Alonzo received a kidney transplant from his cousin, which ended up saving his life.  

Alonzo Mourning returned to the NBA and to the Miami Heat and won an NBA World Championship in 2006.  During game 6 of that series, Alonzo played some of the most inspired and energetic basketball you will ever see.  Please view the footage below.  






Alonzo Mourning’s journey is one that every basketball fan can be inspired by.  Alonzo could have easily accepted the news from the doctor and allow FSGC to mentally and physically paralyze him.  Alonzo overcame the disease, came back to the game he so desperately loved, and went out as a champion.  His fierce competitiveness and warrior-like mentality which he developed and learned on the basketball floor translated over to his personal life, and that was the key to Alonzo’s success.  To never give-up, and to never give-in.  He simply wouldn’t allow it.  That was the way he played basketball, and that was the way he lived his life. Alonzo Mourning’s story is one to learn from, and one to be inspired by as his will to not be defeated in sports, and in life, will always be honored, and admired.  


Located below is Alonzo Mourning Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech.  It is filled with the same passion and desire that ran though Alonzo during his career. 





Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Basketball Women by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

It should not matter what your appearance is, if you’re good enough for the job, you should be given the opportunity to excel at it.  However, throughout time, stereotypes have been built into our minds, that something should appear a certain way.  What is acceptable and what is not, is ingrained in our retinas.  Our perception of successful is present whether we are the one interviewing for the job, or the one doing the hiring.  However, every now and then, something, or someone comes along and changes our entire perception of how we view the world along with the individuals who operate inside of it.  

Basketball has always been at the forefront when it comes to social issues and the NBA has done an outstanding job throughout the years of being progressive in these areas, being one of the most diverse workplaces you can find.

This past week marked a notable milestone for the NBA and for the San Antonio Spurs as they hired Becky Hammon as the first full-time female assistant on an NBA coaching staff.  The San Antonio Spurs are known as a no-nonsense franchise that does not do things for publicity stunts.  They didn’t hire Becky Hammon to make headlines, they did it because they believe she is a tremendous coach who will be just as effective as any male coach could be.  

Also, the NBA Players Association recently hired a new boss, a female boss, Michele Roberts.  Michele Roberts will be the first woman to lead a men’s professional sports union.  Yes, a bunch of male athletes filled with testosterone and covered with tattoos, sat down together, voted, and selected a woman to represent their best interests.  

In addition, Violet Palmer is also a long-time female NBA referee who at the moment, is the only female full-time referee in the NBA.  

These recent events in basketball display that there are so many different ways to have an impact on the game.  

Sometimes playing a professionals sport is just not in the cards, but you would still like to be involved in some capacity.  Then there is also that other thing called time.  Time eventually catches up to all athletes, and you have to think about what you are going to do next.  

For many of us, basketball is more than just a game.  It’s an activity that kept us out of trouble as young people, it’s an activity that helped us learn about discipline, it’s an activity that introduced us to a wide range of teammates from all different cultural and social economical backgrounds.  Sports has a way of bringing people together and looking past many of the injustices and flaws that exist in many other areas of society.  

Before you can want to become something, you have to believe it’s possible.  You have to be able to visualize it.  You have to have some type of concrete evidence that you are not crazy, that what you are dreaming can become a reality.  The entire basketball family all over the world thanks Becky Hammon, Michele Roberts, and Violet Palmer for allowing us to imagine the unimaginable.   




Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fall National Team Tryouts in Massachusetts by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

 
 
August is shaping up to be an exciting month for Premier Hoops and all of the basketball players and staff involved.  August begins tryouts for the Fall National Team in Massachusetts for both boys and girls.  Premier Hoops will be holding a variety of different tryouts at alternate locations and times (listed below).  Premier Hoops is searching for serious athletes who are serious about the game of basketball, and who are willing to take advantage of this unique opportunity.  Premier Hoops encourages hardworking individuals on the court, as well as hardworking individuals in the classroom, to try out for the Fall National Team.   

Basketball players trying out for the  Fall National Team will be coming from all over the state of Massachusetts including: Acton, Attleboro, Beacon Hill, Beverly, Burlington, Chelmsford, Dedham, Falmouth, Framingham, Hingham, Lexington, Mansfield, Martha’s Vineyard, Melrose, Natick, North Andover, North Reading, Peabody, Roslindale, Sharon, South End, Sudbury, Wakefield, Watertown, Westborough, West Roxbury, Wilmington, Wrentham, Andover, Back Bay, Bedford, Braintree, Canton, Concord, Dover-Sherborn, Fenway-Kenmore, Grafton, Holliston-Hopkinton, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Medfield, Milford, Needham, Northborough, Norton, Plymouth, Salem, Shrewsbury, Stoneham, Swampscott, Walpole, Wayland, Walpole, Westford, Westwood, Winchester, Arlington, Barnstable-Hyannis, Belmont, Brookline, Charlestown, Danvers, Easton, Foxborough, Hamilton-Wenham, Jamaica Plain, Malden, Marlborough, Medford, Milton, Newton, North End, Norwood, Reading, Seekonk-Swansea, Somerville, Stoughton, Tewksbury, Waltham, Wellesley, Weston, Weymouth, and Woburn!

At Premier Hops, the coaching staff does an excellent job of not only teaching how to succeed on the basketball court, but also develops skills that will teach young athletes how to thrive in real-life situations.  Attention to detail and recognizing teachable moments is what separates Premier Hoops from other programs in Massachusetts.    A lot of programs and their staff simply roll a ball out onto the court and have the players run up and down without much meaning or direction.  Premier Hoops teaches skills and fundamentals that will improve your chances of excelling during in-game action.  Are you being guarded by a defender that is taller than you and they continue to block your shot throughout the game?   You will learn techniques on how to create more air space between yourself and the defender.  Do you struggle with getting easy baskets and get anxious over when you will score your first points?  The staff at Premier Hoops will teach you the proper ways to cut and find hidden gaps within the giants. 

There have been many great basketball players with natural ability who have never lived up to their full potential because they neglected the fundamentals of the game.  Getting involved with Premier Hoops, along with the potential of making the Fall National Team, will greatly improve your odds of being a successful basketball player. 

Being selected to the Fall National Team gives you the opportunity to travel and compete against some of the best players and best talent in New England.  There is nothing quite like bonding with a group of new players, new individuals, traveling together, and trying to accomplish a common goal.  There is no other experience like it in life.  There are multiple life lessons hidden within sports that society tends to overlook, but this is where staff at Premier Hoops steps in and shapes the athletes they work with into young men and women who will learn what dedication and devotion means, and then apply it to other areas of their lives.

Listed below are the Fall National Team tryout locations and dates.  If you have any questions please feel free to visit the website or contact staff.  We at Premier Hoops look forward to seeing you on the court! 

 


 

BOYS NATIONAL SELECT TEAM TRYOUTS

 

08/12 @ St. Val’s Church in Peabody, MA

 

7pm – Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

 

8pm – Incoming 7th/8th Graders

 

9pm – Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

 

08/13 @ Billerica Boys and Girls Club

 

6pm – Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

 

7pm – Incoming 7th/8th Graders

 

8pm – Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

 

08/14 @ Malden High School

 

6pm – Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

 

7pm – Incoming 7th/8th Graders

 

8pm – Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

 

08/18 @ St. Val’s Church in Peabody, MA

 

6pm – Incoming 4th/5th/6th Graders

 

7pm – Incoming 7th/8th Graders

 

8pm – Incoming 9th/10th/11th Graders

 

 
GIRLS NATIONAL SELECT TEAM TRYOUTS

 

08/11 @ St. Val’s Church in Peabody, MA

 

6pm – Incoming 5th/6th Graders

 

7pm – Incoming 7th/8th Graders

 

8pm – Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

 

08/13 @ Billerica Boys and Girls Club

 

6pm – Incoming 5th/6th Graders

 

7pm – Incoming 7th/8th Graders

 

8pm – Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

 

08/14 @ Malden High School

 

6pm – Incoming 5th/6th Graders

 

7pm – Incoming 7th/8th Graders

 

8pm – Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

 

08/20 @ St. Val’s Church in Peabody, MA

 

6pm – Incoming 5th/6th Graders

 

7pm – Incoming 7th/8th Graders

 

8pm – Incoming 9th/10th/11th/12th Graders

 

Locations:

St. Val’s Church – 7 Paleologos St, Peabody, MA 01960

Billerica Boys and Girls Club - 19 Campbell Rd, Billerica, MA 01821

Malden High School - 77 Salem St, Malden, MA 02148

 

 
https://premierhoopsters.com/national-select-team-tryouts




Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Basketball by the Numbers by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops






You are an athlete and you love the game of basketball.  However, as you walk down your school corridor on the way to math class, you contemplate hiding in a locker, or coming down with an illness which you will recover from when geometry class ends.  Math can be difficult and frustrating, but as a basketball player, understanding numbers, and not only the ones on the back of jerseys, are key to understanding and mastering the game.  


1st Quarter:

  • Basketball hoops are 10 feet tall

  • Professional and college courts sizes are 94 feet by 50 feet ( men and women)

  • The basket is a steel rim 18 inches in diameter

  • Professional and college backboards measure 6 feet by 3.5 feet

  • The white outlined box on the backboard is 18 inches high and 2 feet wide

  • Free throw lines are 15 feet from the basket

2nd Quarter:


Female 

  • A professional women’s basketball is 28.5 inches in circumference and weighs 20 ounces

  • The three-point line is 22 feet 1 3/4 inches in the WNBA and 20 feet 9 inches in the NCAA

  • Shot clocks range from 30 seconds to 24 seconds in college and professional play

Male

  • A professional men’s basketball is 29.5 inches in circumference and weighs 22 ounces 

  • The three-point line in the NBA is 23 feet 9 inches and 20 feet 9 inches in the NCAA 

  • The NBA shot clock is 24 seconds and the NCAA shot clock is 35 seconds (way too long in my opinion!)




3rd Quarter:


Basketball Slang in Numbers

Are you a parent or a newcomer to the game of basketball and hear all of these numbers being tossed around in the crowd while you are watching your child play, and feel like you are the one in math class?  Let me try and clear things up for you. 

During play, a team is allowed to have 5 players active on the court, and each player has a position name and number.  A point guard is referred to as a 1, a shooting guard is referred to as a 2, a small forward is referred to as a 3, a power forward is referred to as a 4, and a center is referred to as a 5.  Don’t worry if your child is a 5, it does not mean he is no good, it just means he is tall!

Impress your child by asking them what position they play, and don’t be afraid to ask their coach, “Hey, why are you playing my child at the 3?”

Ever hear of the term, “And One” and try to figure out what it means?  When a player drives to the basket, or takes a shot inside the 3 point line and scores, you will often hear the term, “And One.”  It simply means that the player made a two point shot and has the opportunity to go to the free throw line and add one more point to total 3 points.  Simply, two points, “And One.”

Please feel free to comment on your own basketball numerology slang as different phrases are imagined and used on playgrounds all across the world.  


4th Quarter:

If you haven’t noticed by now, numbers and math play a large role in the game of basketball. On offense, think about angles and where you can you use the backboard for a smooth shot.  On defense, remember how the court is designed and try and push the player with the ball against the sidelines and force them out of bounds.  Where you are rebounding, pay attention to how the ball bounces off the rim and predict where it might land.  The next time you feel bored in math class, remember how math is used to make the game of basketball function properly, and ponder how you can use it to your advantage.    






Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.