Who’s teaching who?

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Coach Tiny – seen here coaching his K&E Bulls squad in the Rancho Cienega League – has been around inner city youth basketball for over 37 years.  Image by PopScout.

What happens when your son/daughter is a top recruit, getting looks from schools across the nation?  He/she plays for the top AAU program in their state and skillsets are up to par.  The problem is that the kid has attended several different high schools, as well as played on several AAU clubs during his/her 4 year tenure.  It seems to be the norm nowadays, but once upon a time, there were limitations as to how far you could go, before your luck ran out.


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Landing on solid ground is a difficult task for kids who may not have the correct leadership and guidance from coaches, parents, and peers.

Today, many families are faced with joining the hype of youth basketball and inheriting the baggage that comes along with it.  Travel ball, high school hoops, and expectations of landing that college scholarship. Some parents are happy to see their kid excel – allowing them to move at their own pace –  while others push their kids to the brink of no return.  Which parent are you?


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Nowadays, there’s definitely no shortage of Elite AAU clubs to join.  Once there, is your game getting any better?  Image by PopScout

We’ve noticed a plethora of youth AAU clubs sprouting up.  One would say that’s a good thing – to be able to participate and be a part of the game that so many love.  But many feel the AAU circuit is becoming watered down, with teams and programs only concerned about padding their pockets, instead of the development of players – pushing their own Agendas in other words.  For famalies who lack support, proper guidance, and the knowledge of the game, you may feel as if you didn’t get the  “bang for your buck” that you thought you deserved –  from paying team fees, shoes, uniforms, and admissions – just to name a few expenses parents are faced with.  Some student athletes are fortunate to join teams that actually have sponsors, allowing these studs to just focus on playing basketball at a high level.



We had chance to sit and chat with Coach Tiny – who coaches the K&E Bulls.  He’s been around the game of basketball for quite some time – never allowing me to forget that I was the one who called a timeout in the Championship Game in 1988 – Crenshaw vs Manual Arts rematch of the City title game – this time to see who would advance to the State Championship game.  Yep, I was the first Chris Webber you feel me.   Manual Arts went on to defeat us in overtime and win the state title that year.  As a point guard, we take the bitter with the sweet.  As I look back, I’m very proud of myself to have even been in the game and played for The Shaw – at a time when you would get your shoes taken if you came in our gym halfsteppin’ – or a jersey ripped off your back if you came to practice with another schools’ jersey on.  Yep…times have definitely changed.


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