Q.Why LEGENDS HOOPS? A. Local Middle School, High School and College Coaches in the Napa Valley and from neighboring communities, players and families asked for a competitive youth basketball league organization that could support many teams at different seasons to provide player development focused Teams, Leagues, Clinics and Team Training. Families wanted a non-profit Club so that the Team Fees were reasonable and affordable. With the loss of competitive Teams in the local public schools in 2011 for the Napa Valley Unified School District, the Napa Valley Basketball Alliance was formed to offer local boys middle school competitive Team opportunities under AAU Club rules, and several Teams were supported under this umbrella organization. In 2015 Legends Hoops grew out of Napa Valley Basketball Alliance after 5 years of working with local middle and High school Coaching staffs and Athletic Directors, to also offer girls competitive Travel Teams as the Lady Legends and to offer Skills & Team Clinics for both girls and boys.
Q. What is the difference between the Optimist boys middle school League and Legends Hoops Competitive League? A. The main difference is that Optimist is a Recreational League and Legends Hoops is a Competitive League and that we are endorsed by the Napa Valley College's Basketball Coaching staff in recognition of our player development focus. Many detailed differences exist with the most significant being a much higher level experience of our Coaches and much more competitive game rules that challenge players to grow each year they play to ensure their proper learning progression, to enable our players in qualifying for their High School teams. We practice more with more space for each team and all players are taught game fundamental skills, game rules, game strategy and a variety of offensive plays with man to man and zone defense methods, teamwork and commitment to goals. Higher level certified Referees and higher quality uniforms also cost more so with this quality there is a higher player fee to participate. We are directly supported by the Napa Valley College Basketball program Coaching staff, Optimist is not endorsed by NVC. (Boys Middle School Optimist should only be played for some fun and for beginners learning basketball. The girls Middle School Optimist uses High School based game rules but the boys do not ). Optimist accepts all players regardless of skill, Legends Hoops assesses players skill level and provides skill training opportunities for those not ready for competitive basketball or for those who do not yet have enough game experience to benefit from a competitive league.
Note: CYO- Catholic Youth Organization basketball's Winter League is also another competitive League for players from 3rd grade to 8th grade via St. Apollinaris Church of Napa, with 5 travel games and 5 local games and provides a great basis for learning basketball in an environment that is challenging but focused on good sportsmanship and teamwork. There are tryouts due to limited gym time for both boys and girls teams at St A's. CYO accepts both private and public school players: http://www.northbaycyo.org/cyo-contacts/
ACE-After Class Enrichment by NCOE-Napa County Office of Education is a public middle school Winter basketball program for boys and girls, which is semi-competitive league that plays against competitive private school and other public school teams! ACE is a great way to experience the fun of playing for your school Team and competing with and against friends and classmates: https://www.facebook.com/acenv
Q. What happens at the Legends Hoops Player Assessment sessions? A. Players are all assessed in the basic basketball skills and in athletic performance to best form evenly matched teams and spread the skills and strengths out on each team to ensure the League Teams are skills balanced. Players will be tested in their dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding, guarding, scoring, assisting, defending, box out, teamwork, knowledge of the game, game IQ, game rules understanding, attitude and character, including "coach-ability". Additionally, timed sprints, running form, jumping. agility ladder, jump rope and push ups & plank (core strength) tests will be done and also enables us to track player progress and improvements from the beginning of the season to the end!
Q. Are there tryouts and player cuts for League Teams? A. No cuts are made unless we have a maximum capacity of 12 players per maximum number of Teams (8) registering and then a full refund will be provided to any players we cannot assign a League Team spot. Only our AAU Travel Teams have cuts as there is typically only one team per grade and gender formed and some players are not ready for competitive travel basketball and need more skill or athletic training, which we provide so that all players can set the goal of playing at the highest level (AAU Club Basketball).
Q. My player wants to play in High School, what is the best path to ensure he/she is ready when they reach High School as a Freshman? A. Start your player in a Recreational league first to just enjoy the game when they are in 3rd or 4th grade and have them attend one camp (we recommend Basketball Jones) or a Skill clinic each year to give them basic skills and experience. Then for 5th grade sign them up for CYO or their school Team, or an AAU Team at the Division III level (entry Division) have them attend 2 clinics a year and one camp (Warriors or Kings). They should play CYO or other in another competitive team program such as their school Team until they are in 7th grade and then they should try out for a Division II AAU Travel Team and play AAU in the Spring along with their Winter School or CYO Division 1 or Division 2 Team with attending higher level skill clinics and camps like 1% Basketball Club, Excel, Stanford, Legends Hoops, etc. and starting in 7th grade work out with an athletic Trainer 1-2 times a week for 3 months prior to 8th grade, repeat with more Spring athletic training for 2 months to ready them for the 5 days a week of Freshman Summer League in June at their High School! They should play in or attend a Dan Clark Tournament at least once to experience big game environment and attend at least 1 High School game while in the Winter of being an 8th grader to get comfortable with how it will be playing in a big gym with a a big crowd. Practice, Patience and Performance make the difference. Best Swishes!
Q. What type of training does Legends Hoops Coaches take? A. All of our Coaches have years of playing and Coaching experience-some International level, some College and some High School and Middle School, so we train all Coaches in the fundamental goals of our program 1st for Coaching consistency. Our Coaches are trained from Better Basketball, Team USA Youth Development Certification, Positive Coaching Alliance and attend a wide variety of professional Coaches Clinics and Conferences. All Coaches receive First Aid training, nutrition and basic conditioning principles including injury prevention from a certified youth athletic Trainer. All of our Coaches go through a criminal background check before being assigned. Our skills trainers receive training from certified professional skill Trainers with proven College level success and beyond.
Q. What sport helps basketball players the most and which hurts basketball skills the most? A. Lacrosse helps the most, then soccer, and football or wrestling all help with running, conditioning and aggression but basketball conditioning is unique as it requires stamina and total body coordination. Baseball slows down basketball shooting form and full court press speed more than any other sport.Track & Field help basketball running skill, speed and form. Water Polo is good for stamina.
Q. What are the basic abilities needed to excel in basketball? A. Coordination, stamina, mental toughness, agility, speed, height or above average athleticism and aggression that is under control and includes the ability to be a team player! Basketball is a running sport, so the ability to run quick and think on the move, see the game and plays as they are changing and forming (anticipation)!
Q. What are the Divisions in AAU? Do they match up to CYO? A. AAU youth Basketball is organized by Division and grade group for Travel Tournaments with Division III being developmental or entry level, then Division II is called competitive and this is where most players start as few DIII Teams exist, then D1 or Division 1 which is "Elite", these are the very best players of which some participate in invitation only Travel Tournaments.
CYO divisions do not exactly align as AAU is a harder game with no mercy points rule on scoring and no restrictions on full court press, so CYO Division 1 is more like AAU Division 2. However in CYO the CYO League organization determines the Teams Division so they tend to be more accurate to skill level and in AAU teams and AAU Clubs are free to self designate their Division. So some teams call themselves Division 1 to attract players but Tournament Directors will place your Team in a lower Division if your team keeps losing at the Division your Team designated (Our Teams have never been moved down but have moved up a Division). LEGENDS HOOPS has always self designated our teams conservatively to ensure good competition for our teams and prevent bad match ups. Most of our middle school players are referred by Coaches and our elementary & middle school teams are D2, with our High School Teams being D2 or D1.
Q. Why does AAU basketball cost more than CYO or school Teams, or Rec Leagues? A. CYO is supported financially by local churches and Diocese, so they can offer a lower player fee, the uniforms must be returned and only half of the game schedule is not home games with no additional gym costs. School Teams are funded to pay Coaches and financially supported by large Athletic Booster Groups, local sponsors and also not all of thier games are travel games with no additional gym or insurance costs. AAU Teams are independent private organizations that are either profit based or non-profit based and typically all games are travel games, players pay for and keep their uniforms, and must pay for gym time and insurance individually. Recreation Leagues are typically supported by city funding or charitable organization funding to keep costs low to enable all players to participate as an entry level opportunity. AAU Teams typically hire additional trainers and training facility time to maintain and improve competitiveness, which increases cost to participate.
What makes Legends Hoops unique?: While most AAU Clubs and Teams are focused on offense,Legends Hoops provides AAU Travel Teams that teach and require both offense and defensive skills, understanding and effort to best develop players for High School and College level. We provide 2 experienced and successful Coaches per Team, our Coaches have High School and College level experience and are supported by Napa Valley College and we have a repuation for teaching the game with passion, connecting with players and optimum player deveopment. Our program continues to produce year after year more High School starters than any other AAU Club or League in the Napa Valley!
What are the minmum expections of players and parents? Players are expected to show up on time, ready, listen, learn, be good team players, play aggressive but safe, practice good sportsmanship, respect the game, court, officials, Coaches, fans and rules. Players must attend 70-80% of all practices and should attend practice when injured and able, to learn from the sideline. Players should attend all Travel Games so that no game forfiet fees are incurred and 80% of League games to avoid play time reductions over players who have better attendance. Parents are expected to bring players on time to all Team and League practices, games, clinics and events, provide on time payment of any fees that are due to avoid late fees for the player and to avoid increaed costs for the program. Parents are expected to exhibit good fan behavior in cheering thier team on in a manner that does not conflict with the Coaches or result in a Technical Foul against the Team. Parents can attend practices, Player Asessments, Clinics and League games as long as they witness from the sidelines and not under or near baskets and prevent family and friends from these locations as well as ensure thier game behavior is not unsportsmanship like. Parents are expected to volunteer for thier Team to video games, take Team photos, record stats, score League games, carpool and coordinate and provide end of season Team parties with Coaches Thank Yous and apprecation gifts. Spring Travel Team players are expected to commit to their Team as thier number one priority over other sports, though we allow and have many multi-sport athletes who play another sport in other seasons, Spring is the most competitive season and requires full commitment, especially for 8th grade players who have thier last development opportunity before going to their selected High School's Freshman summer Leauge as 8th graders in June each year.
What is the proper method of addressing a Team issue or question about play time or a player's Team status? : Players with questions regarding play time, performance, progress, team status and all other issues or questions are asked to first ask their Coach to ensure player to Coach clarity and to develop a habit of accountability and responsibility at the functional level as required when in High School and College of players. If this first step of player to Coach communication does not resolve the question or issue, then the player can esclate the issue to the Teams Manager, who will coordinate with the player's primary parent and the Coach for resolution and the Coaching Director if determined neccessary by the Teams Manager or requested by the primary parent. Parents shall not question Coaches about play time until after the player has asked first and after the practice or game's end when the Team after game huddle is completed in respect for the Team. (Player's play time is dependent on the following factors: game performance, behavior, commitment, hustle, effort, athletic ability and attitude, sportsmanship, respectfulness, commitment, teamwork and readiness to learn and be challenged. All player's game performance is recorded via player statistics and player's and parent's should review thier player's performance to best understand thier Team status, play time and developmental progress as well as strength areas and challenge areas.) Questions to the Coach by the player and parents about a player's developmental progress is encouraged and reccomended for optimum planning by parents of the player's path to ther goals and understanding of the player from a Coaches perspective.
What is the average % of returning players overall for Legends Hoops ?: We have a 95+ % return of Alumni to play in Spring each year, with high percentages of 80- 90% average for return of Summer League Alumni, which makes taking in new players more difficult but we are one of the few organizations that will refer players to other programs, Clubs and Leagues, Clinics and Camps where possible to help players get enough opportunities to play.
What community support does Legends Hoops provide outside of thier programs? As a non-profit youth organization we are very involved in our continual mission to improve all basketball within our community and have establlished many successful relationships with local School Coaches, League Adminstration, Athletic Directors and parents. We provided assistance in 2014 after the earthquake to St. Apollinaris CYO to find alternate gyms and lease options for all of thier 12 teams when the St. A's gym was too damaged to practice or hold games in, to ensure the local CYO season was not cancelled and continue to provide High School certified quality referees for CYO since 2015, as well as referrals of quality Coaches, players and porive a donation each year to CYO. We provide organization assitance to the annual 8th grade Dan Clark Championship Tourney board since 2014, as well as donations. We provide organizational support, guidance, referral of Coaches and players, Summer Camp to the Napa County Office of Education's ACE basketball program for boys and girls each year since thier start in 2014. We provide donations to the Napa Boys & Girls Club annualy, as well as the Vintage and Napa High Athletic Booster Clubs! Our partnership with Napa Valley College's basketball program enables us to support thier program in many ways that benefit the College and benefit local youth players, as well as the College's out of state student-athletes who play for thier Teams. We have been a founding supporter of Prolific Prep Baskeball Academy in an effort for our community to benefit from having a Nationally ranked High School Prep Varisty basketball program locally to enable local players to dream big and see what is possible when they focus thier effort to acheive thier dreams and goals.