Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Upcoming D1 Nation Events

It's hard to believe but once again another season of spring/summer basketball is under our belts.  Like an old oak tree, another ring is added to all of our lives.  The past year was a great one for me as I became a grandfather twice.  Noah Ivany is 16 months and Julian Ivany is 10 months. 

The D1 Nation continues to grow.  The exposure we provide for players has grown from our original base of Austin-San Antonio to include Houston TX, Lousiana, Mississippi, Oregon. There will be additional expanded coverage to come in the Fall of 2011. 
We'll be expanding on our Fall Super Showcases for high school teams this year. This has proven to be an excellent way for high school coaches to get an early feel for their team and which young players may have an impact. This is achieved through match games against opponents they normally would not play in district.  D1 Nations takes pictures and evaluates key contributors and newcomers to the varsity scene. This fall we have events in Austin, Houston and San Antonio in late September and early October prior to the high school regular season getting under way.

Our All American Prodigy Camps have expanded to other parts of the country. Long before Rivals, Pangos, Nike etc knew who they were Max Ivany's All American Prodigy Camp was the jumping off point for countless players to get on the recruiting map.  Past camp all stars are a who's who. Cory Jefferson (Baylor), John Henson (North Carolina), Allyn Cooks (South Alabama), Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa), Cody Doolin (San Francisco), Paul Garnica (Northern Colorado), Tre Demps (Northwestern), Daniel Alexander (Texas A&M), Gus Leeper (Arkansas-Little Rock), Joel Smith (Northeastern), D.J. Stephens (Memphis) to name a few. Class of 2012 Alumni include J. Mychal Reese (Texas A&M commit) and Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke commit).

Every session sells out.  Register today to reserve your spot.  www.d1nation.com  Be the next Prodigy to have their coming out party.- Coach Max Ivany

Thursday, August 11, 2011

From The 'Ville To Brazil"

This time last year, Deon Mitchell had just finished up an outstanding summer campaign with the Texas D1 Ambassadors.  He'd already been offered by Big East power, Marquette at the end of his sophomore season (summer of 2010) but was in no hurry to commit.  The 2010-2011 high school season saw Mitchell get his Pflugerville Panthers deep into the Texas 5A State Playoffs. Last November, Deon signed with Northern Iowa who had just finished a Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament in the spring.  He was impressed with the constant commitment to watching his every summer game.  UNI Assistant Ben Johnson became a fmailiar face in the crowd as did Head Coach Ben Jacobson.
Pflugerville's Deon Mitchell shown below with the Texas D1 Ambassadors
Fast forward to June of this year.  Mitchell was already on campus at UNI but because of a lack of campus activity, limited interaction with coaches and this being his first time away from home he began to feel homesick.  He called me saying" Coach, I think I made a hasty decision to come here. I don't want to be this far from home".  Anyone who knows me will attest to not enabling kids and giving them the easy way out. I politely told Deon to put his nose to the grindstone and that all would be well before he knew it.  With his parents and myself on the same page we encouraged him and told him to work his way through it.  He did.  Both in the classroom and on the floor, Mitchell is already making a difference. 

He'd also gotten his first passport and at the beginning of August, Northern Iowa made a 10 day, 5 game tour of Brazil playing several club teams and a professional opponent as well.  In addition to hooping in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the UNI players experienced lots of South American culture including a trip to famous Copacabana beach where they played frisbee and football as well as chatted up the local Brazilian beauties. They went 5-0 on the trip, including a nice win versus a top pro team outside of Sao Paulo called A.E. Americana which featured Texas native and former A&M Aggie Jeffrey Addai.  On Tuesday Head Coach Ben Jacobson called gushing that Deon was everything and more that they expected him to be when they recruited him to UNI.
Mitchell, shown below signing his National Letter of Intent at Pflugerville HS last November
With a roster featuring 6 freshmen, Mitchell was a starter right out of the gate in 4 of the 5 games.  Assistant Coach Ben Johnson gave me the following updates:

"Deon played extremely well at the point position! He scored it and ran the show. He has great court vision and feel for the game. We are very confident and happy with him both on and off the floor and look forward to him positively impacting our program from day one!  The sky will be the limit fore him as you know and I cannot express how happy we are with where he is right now as a player and how he has conducted himself as a student in the classroom and socially." he led the team in scoring several times; got to the hole when he wanted, hit threes and got his team mates involved.-Coach Ben Johnson
Mitchell getting off the bus in Rio de Janeiro.  First the gym, and then the beach!
Deon, we are all proud of you and how you represent Pflugerville HS, your family, your community and the Texas D1 Ambassadors.  Don't be distracted by those who want you to fail or come back home.  Also, don't be swayed by the local schools who are bordering on tampering with your commitment.-Coach Max Ivany

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bryan's J. Mychal Reese To Texas A&M

Last night, old friend Coach John Reese of Bryan gave me a call to give me a heads up as to what was about to go down in College Station today.  His son, J. Mychal Reese one of the Class of 2012's most decorated players was about to give his verbal to the Aggies.  Texas A&M is only 5 miles down the road from Bryan High School.  Young Reese was excited to be able to get the ball in his hands and to lead new TAMU Coach Billy Kennedy's free wheeling offense.  You can expect other dominoes to fall in the recruiting world with this announcement as you can bet that other marquee' players will want to play with an unselfish player like him.
2012 J. Mychal Reese of Bryan is the new Aggies staff first high profile commitment.
Reese has carried the mantle of being the country's #1 player from the 5th to 9th grade (and beyond on some services rankings).  He may be the most scrutinized youngster in the history of bsketball because of this, with the possible exception of O.J. Mayo.  Through it all, young Reese has maintained a business like, stoic demeanor as everyone tried to give him their best shot.  This is a testament to his character and that of his family (John and Celeste Reese) as he never allowed the attention to cause him to lose focus or to get "a big head".

The biggest uncertainty for the Reese Family occurred about 10 days ago when J. Mychal went down with a knee injury.  Thank God that a potential torn ACL turned out to be only a severe strain.  Now, the only 5A Texas All State Player in history to have earned that honor as a freshman, sophomore and junior can concentrate on his senior year and attempting to lead Bryan to a State Title. Amongst other honors Reese also attended the Deron Williams PG Camp this summer in addition to the LeBron James Camp. J. Mychal was also selected to play in the upcoming Global Games in Oregon but upon injuring his knee was quickly replaced on the roster by Nike.

J.Mychal Reese (shown below with the Texas D1 Ambassadors) in the summer of 2007. Photo courtesy of ESPN The Magazine. They came to Austin and Bryan to do a feature on the rising 8th grader who was crowned the #1 player in the country. At the time Reese (along with L.J. Rose, Rasheed Sulaimon, Winston Shepherd, D.J. Griggs and Uche Ofoegbu) led the Texas D1 Ambassadors to consecutive Final Four appearances at AAU Nationals in Memphis and Orlando.
From the D1 Nation's archives I thought everyone might enjoy this reach back in time as J. Mike was featured in a Junior NBA promo video  with Suns guard Steve Nash.

Reese is an explosive lefty who gets to the rim when he wants, finishing with his devastating tear drop. Can score in bunches but loves to set up team mates and will get after it on defense.  Congratulations to The Reese Family-Coach Max Ivany