Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mississippi D1 Ambassadors G Avery Woodson To Southeastern Louisiana

Mississippi D1 Ambassadors G Avery Woodson of Wayne County, Mississippi has committed to Southeastern Louisiana in the Southland Conference. The 6'2" combo can handle the rock, but it's shooting the ball where he excels. He's got a picture pefect, hair trigger release that is lightning quick. Woodson helped lead Wayne County to the Mississippi 5A State Title last year.
Woodson had offers from the majority of the SWAC schools, as well as Furman, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State. Murray State, Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State wanted Avery to wait until the spring signing period. However, Woodson bonded with Assistant Coach Larry Cordero who ran point on his recruitment. On his visit to Southeastern Louisiana, Woodson connected with the players as well as the staff and believes the program is headed in the right direction. He wants to be part of helping it to head to the top of the Southland Conference.

Congratulations to Avery and the Woodson Family of Waynesboro, MS. Also, thank you to Mississippi D1 Ambassadors Coach James Cole who worked so hard with these kids the past season. Southeastern is getting a heck of a player but an even better human being in Avery Woodson.-Coach Max Ivany and The D1 Ambassadors Family.

D1 Ambassadors Joshua Hagins To Arkansas-Little Rock

2012 G 6'0" Joshua Hagins has committed to Arkansas-Little Rock. The cat quick guard from Bossier City Airline (LA) was easily the best on ball defender that we had this past summer on the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston squad. He fits in the mold of what UALR's Steve Shields likes to do with his point guards....get in the lane and break down the defenses.
Hagins joins former Texas D1 Ambassadors P 6'9" Gus Leeper of Austin Westlake with the Trojans. He is the third member of the D1 Ambassadors-Houston to commit early, joining Alex Caruso (Texas A&M) and Aly Mohamed (Rice). He becomes the 7th alumni of the D1 Ambassadors to verbally commit early in the fall. Signing Day is early November.

UALR gets a lock down defender in Hagins, a bright and engaging player who can also hit his rainbow three from deep as well as get in the lane at will. Congratulations to Josh and his Family- Coach Max Ivany

Monday, October 17, 2011

Texas D1 Ambassador Aly Mohamed To Rice

In what is a major coup for Rice Coach Ben Braun, 2012 P 6'9" Aly Mohamed of Houston Trent International HS and the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston has committed to Rice University in Conference USA. The native of Egypt and the MVP of the FIBA Under 18 Africa Cup last year turned down numerous Big Ten, ACC and Big XII schools who were interested.
Aly Mohamed (shown below at the D1 Ambassadors Training Camp in Galveston, TX)
There is no question that Mohamed at 6'9" 260lbs will be a force. He came out of nowhere in early June to be the 3rd ranked prospect out of the Under Armour Camp in Atlanta, GA. Fellow country man and Rice Assistant Marco Morcos ran point on his recruitment and the fact that there was another Egyptian player on the Owls roster played a big part in his decision.

Mohamed is one of the most physical and intense players we've ever had in the organization. I really enjoyed getting to know him this summer. Rice is getting a very bright and insightful young man who has a burning desire to be a professional player. As with most international players he is extremely mature, already has advanced post moves that most college players do not possess and has incredibly light and nimble feet for a big man. I spoke with his high school coach, Eugene Harris who said that Aly has shed 10 pounds and is transforming his body since the end of summer basketball. Once he gets in a college weight room and starts eating better he's going to be one scary dude. Congratulations to Aly and his Family who all reside in Egypt.-Coach Max Ivany

Mohamed continues the D1 Ambassadors pipeline to Rice University as recently graduated PG Bryan Beasley of Pflugerville, TX and incoming freshman Seth Gearhart from the Oregon D1 Ambassadors have preceded him at the "Harvard of the Southwest".

Saturday, October 15, 2011

High School Team Wanted For Houston Thanksgiving Game

The D1 Nation Thanksgiving jamboree will be hosted at Houston St. Thomas High School on Friday-Saturday (November 25-26th, 2011).  We've got a great field of teams and some outstanding prospects who will be playing in the event.

We need one high school team to play ONE GAME on Saturday, November 26th.  The opponent will be Houston Episcopal.  Call Coach Max Ivany at 512-791-5455 or email at TexasBasketball@aol.com for consideration in this top flight event.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Austin Bowie's Paul Baxter To Sam Houston State

Austin Bowie's Paul Baxter to Sam Houston State in the Southland Conference.
Sam Houston State Head Coach Jason Hooten has snagged a good one in Austin Bowie's Paul Baxter. I just had a phone conversation with Bowie Head Man, Celester Collier. Coach Collier is in Richmond, TX in the company of his 90 year old mother who is intensive care. Our prayers go out to him and his family. Coach took a few minutes to rave about Baxter. As a three year starter at Bowie, his biggest emphasis was on what a "hard worker, great person and what impeccable character" Paul Baxter has.

Credit Sam Houston Assistant Chris Mudge for running point on Baxter's recruitment. They offered Paul as a junior and always made it clear he was their primary PG target. Baxter had offers from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Denver, Louisiana-Monroe and Boston U but decided to stay close to home.

Baxter is a physical guard who is strong with the ball, looks to make his team mates better but also brings deadly combo skills to the party. He's a much higher level athlete and should end up All Conference at some point in the Southland. Baxter sheds defenders when he goes to the rim, and will dunk on ANYBODY. Paul's father, Ron played for the Texas Longhorns back in the day.-Congratulations to The Baxter Family.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

All American Prodigy Camp-Oregon/Washington

Max Ivany's D1 Nation All American Prodigy Camp was held on Sunday in the Pacific Northwest..The camp was held at Lower Columbia College in Longview, WA. Athletes from all over Oregon and Washington were on hand. Participating athletes went through some rigorous drills and competitions. The athletes worked on things such as dribbling, shooting, various offensive moves, defensive skills, footwork, etc.Parents and athletes also participated in a recruiting panel. Panel participants included Max Ivany, Paul Dean of West Coast Hoops Report and college coaches from Oregon State, Lower Columbia, College and Western Oregon.
The Portland, OR skyline. I was extremely impressed with the beauty of the area and the friendly way I was welcomed while in Oregon and Washington.
I would like to say thank you to the following:
Camp Participants.We had several participants drive for several hours in order to attend the camp.Everyone hustled, played hard, and showed great sportsmanship.Camp members were able to improve their game, compete in competitive games, and were included in a recruiting database by both www.d1nation.com and www.westcoasthoopsreport.com

Parents and spectators.Thank you for being present at the camp.The time and effort you put in so that these athletes can become a better player is appreciated. The questions that many of you asked during the recruiting panel were excellent and I hope that you left knowing a little bit more of what it will take for your son to fulfill his dream of playing college basketball.
Coach Jim Roffler, head coach at Lower Columbia College.He was gracious enough to let us use his facility.Coach Roffler selected the coaches for the camp including 3 of his former coaches. In addition, he had his college players help assist the coaches during the instructional part of the stations.Coach Roffler also showed the camp participants different workouts they can do in order to work on their game and get physically and mentally stronger.His energy and passion for the game was very evident in the camp. It's very easy to see how this man has won over 400 games in his college career.
Coach Joe Schaumburg, assistant coach at Western Oregon University.Coach Schaumburg drove up to partake in the Recruiting Panel.He was able to give the players and family members some advice and tips on what they need to do in order to get ready to play college basketball. Players were able to get a better understanding of what it takes to play college basketball. He had great insights to share from the Division II perspective.
Paul Dean, owner www.westcoasthoopsreport.comMr. Dean came from Las Vegas to help evaluate players. He has been evaluating kids for several years and his experience and knowledge is extremely appreciated.He had valuable knowledge to share with both parents and camp participants.The D1 Ambassadors’ family will continue to work with him in the future.
My good friend, David Grace, Assistant Coach at Oregon State. Coach Grace had a great motivational and inspirational speech.He had wonderful insights to share with parents and athletes on how hard it is to play Division I basketball.His wise words helped everyone realize the rigors of chasing the Division I basketball dream.

I will post camp recaps beginning tomorrow.

Friday, October 7, 2011

D1 Ambassadors Matt Gramling Commits To Army

Today was a culmination of an outstanding spring and summer for Matt Gramling. The 6'2" PG from San Antonio MacArthur sorted through his offers and today decided to commit early to West Point. It's been a whirlwind year for the hardnosed guard who led Coach Mark Murphy's Brahmas to the Regional Finals in his junior year. At the conclusion of the season he was the only underclassman named to the San Antonio Express News Super Team for 2010-2011.
2012 G Matt Gramling of San Antonio MacArthur, shown below with the Texas D1 Ambassadors
That was only Act 1 for Matt who went through spring football and was nursing an ankle injury. When he did get back on the hardwood in April with the Texas D1 Ambassadors he quickly shook off the rust and went on to have an outstanding summer in the live recruiting period. Anchoring the backcourt with Adam Perez, and teaming with Connor Lammert (Texas) and Uche Ofoegbu (Southern Methodist), Jeffrey Rodewald and the rest of the talented Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio squad Gramling helped lead the D1 Ambassadors to the 17U Las Vegas Live Championship and then the GBOA Tournament of Champions in California where they reeled off 12 straight wins to complete the summer evaluation period.
Gramling had offers from Texas-Arlington, Lafayette, Navy, Air Force, Bucknell, Monmouth, New Hampshire, Citadel, Texas State and Columbia. In the end he couldn't turn down the United States Military Academy.
“God has blessed me in more ways than I can count and in the end my decision came down to what type of person do I want to be four years from now, not only from an educational stand point but also a character standpoint and I wanted to commit to the brotherhood of “Duty Honor and Country” and self sacrifice that comes from being a part of something much bigger than myself or just basketball “says Gramling.
Matt will be joining his older brother Chris currently a freshman on the West Point basketball team. This continues the legacy of D1 Ambassadors playing at the Academies (Army, Navy, Air Force). Gramling is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jon Gramling of San Antonio, TX.
"I've known Matt and his Family for 10 years. They are intense, driven people of their word. They know and love the game of basketball and quite frankly Army has gotten a steal. In addition to the offers listed above Gramling was beginning to get ticklers from high major programs after handling every major guard in the country successfully on the summer circuit. The Mules get a physical defender, a strong guard who can finish, and a team player who also hits the three and is clutch in big game situations. I think the opportunity to play with his brother was also a huge draw. In fact, it might be precedent setting at West Point, two young men from the same family hooping together. Congratulations to the Gramlings."-Coach Max Ivany and the D1 Ambassadors Family.
Gramling (far right) with his D1 Ambassadors team mates at the Las Vegas Live Event

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Danny Granger and the D1 Ambassadors

In the first of several pending agreements with NBA players, The D1 Nation and the D1 Ambassadors basketball program proudly announce our relationship with Indiana Pacers star, Danny Granger.  For the past several years, Danny has given back to the youth of New Mexico by providing substantial resources to his club team, Danny Granger Hurricane.  The D1 Ambassadors have locked horns with the Hurricane multiple times over the last years and had some great battles.  I was always struck by the classy way they conducted themselves win or lose.  We share that philosophy in common.  A friendship developed with then Coach Craig Snow (now basketball video coordinator at University of New Mexico) and with Granger's Club Director, Marty Saiz.
Danny Granger shown with the New Mexico Lobos
Fast forward to two weeks ago in Phoenix and the deal was done!  The D1 Ambassadors will throw their considerable recruting relationships and ability to attract top level players to the already potent Hurricane.  Danny Granger will continue to be a pillar of the community and be involved in the program.  He has expressed his desire for Danny Granger's D1 Ambassadors to be mentioned amongst the nation's elite club teams year in and year out.  He has my pledge to assist the current staff to raise and to uphold that standard.

New Mexico has several very good college prospects every year but they simply do not have a deep well of Division One talent.  We will offer the opportunity for THREE players from the bordering states of Colorado, Texas or Arizona the unique opportunity to be part of Danny's group.  All players must be talented, academically solid and of good character.  This group is in need of big wings and a post player.  New Mexico Coach Steve Alford's son, Bryce Alford a 2013 G 6'3" at Albuqurque La Cueva is a lights out shooter (imagine that) and Assistant Craig Neal's son Cullen a 6'4" G at Albuqurque Eldorado is considered one of the top guards in the Class of 2013 and 2014 G Adonis Saltes of Farmington (NM) currently anchor the talented backcourt.  
All expenses will be covered including camp invitations earned!

The D1 Nation now stretches uninterrupted from Mississippi all the way to New Mexico!

Danny Granger
Totally contradicting the stereotype of being a dumb jock, Danny Granger is a truly unique person. Born in New Orleans he attended high school at nearby Metarie Grace King.  Granger scored a 30 on the ACT and was accepted at Yale.  He originally signed and played two seasons at Bradley University. His decision to transfer to New Mexico as a junior was validated as he had an outstanding career where he led the Lobos to the NCAA Tournament and was named Mountain West Player of the Year. He was drafted 17th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers and to date has played his entire career in Indianapolis.  He has averaged over 20 ppg game over the last 4 seasons, with a high point game of 44.
Danny Granger repping the United States at the FIBA World CHampionships:
Photo Courtesy of FIBA

Not only was Danny a star on the court.  he also took care of business in the classroom earning his engineering degree.  He is a humanitarian who gives back to his community in a variety of ways, including through summer basketball.  Granger represented the Unites States in the 2010 World Championships where they won the Gold Medal. 

Danny, thank you so much!
Max Ivany
D1 Nation

Monday, October 3, 2011

Texas Super Showcase/Recruiting Seminar-Austin, TX

Fifteen of the Cen Tex area's top high school programs were on hand at Concordia University this past weekend for the D1 Nation Texas Super Showcase.  I want to take the time to thank the high school coaches who are friends of mine and support the role that I play in assisting players through the D1 Nation.  Coach Collier (Bowie), Coach Raigosa (Pflugerville), Coach Fossett (Killeen), Coach Bobbitt (Harker Heights), Coach Schmitt (Elgin), Coach Pritchett (Killeen Shoemaker), Coach Jones (Killeen Ellison), Coach Polchinski (Temple), Coach Brown (Cedar Park, Coach Weaver (San Antonio Warren), Coach Baty (Lake Travis), Coach Bourne (Liberty Hill, Coach Route (Round Rock Stony Point and Coach Ellis (Austin Westlake). I appreciate you supporting my event and I love covering your kids throughout the season.

Along with over 150 athletes, many parents were in the stands supporting their kids.  Midway through the event, all were treated to a recruiting seminar where a wealth of knowledge was on display for everyone to soak up. Game and player recaps will follow shortly.
Coach Max Ivany publisher of http://www.d1nation.com/ and contributor to several national recruiting sites led off the seminar with an explanation of the differences between the kinds of scholarship and financial aid available to athletes  dependent on whether their son is being recruited D1, D2, D3, NAIA or Junior College.  The message was loud and clear.  Academics and coachability are the two critical variables in addition to talent.

Concordia University (D3) Head Coach Stan Bonewitz a San Antonio scoring legend and former Texas Tech player himself explained what he looked for in his program.  He was followed by St. Edward's (D2) Assistant David Martin who spoke about life at his level and about the importance of finding the "right fit" for the student-athlete's level of play.  Texas (D1) Assistant Chris Ogden encouraged everyone to register for the NCAA Clearinghouse, the need to have 16 core courses and the sliding scale for standardized test scores (ACT/SAT) for D1 eligibility.
Concordia University Coach Stan Boewitz address the crowd 
Ron Baxter, a former Texas Longhorn player spoke about "choices".  Make good ones and life takes care of itself.  Finally, Indiana Pacers scout Mark Morefield (a longtime Baylor and Valparaiso Assistant spoke to parents about doing their homework about a school and staff while trying not to be caught up in the glamour and glitz of recruiting. 
Mark Morefield (Indiana Pacers Scout) and Chris Ogden (Texas Asst.) share their knowledge
If you missed this event, you missed a huge amount of information to help in the planning of your son's future!  However, it's not too late.  The final Texas Super Showcase for the fall of 2011 will be held on Saturday, September 15th at Boerne Champion High School in Boerne, TX.  This event is for high school based teams ONLY.  The cost of the event is $150 per team and will include two games, publicity for the top performers and a recruiting seminar similar to the event in Austin.  See you there!  Spots are limited to 16 teams ONLY.  High school coaches please contact me at 512-791-5455 to participate.

Connor Lammert To Texas

I receieved a text message late this afternoon from Texas Assistant Chris Ogden saying, "We got him", and also almost simultaneously a voice mail from Connor Lammert letting me know that he had indeed committed to the Texas Longhorns.  The 2012 F 6'9 Lammert was his usual low key, grounded self in announcing his decision to hoop at The 40 Acres while expressing his gratutude for his time spent in the Texas D1 Ambassadors organization.

Frankly, as it is with most of these kids it is me who always thanks them.  Seeing young people reach their goals is extremely gratifying.  Some guys get the pub ealry and often.  Not Lammert, he didn't start drawing media notice until the summer of 2010 when he attended his first of two Pangos All American Camps in Los Angeles.  Since then he has made the slow and steady climb where he kept focused and worked hard to the point you could see improvement on a weekly basis.  By the end of this summer he had reached the pinnacle.
Connor Lammert at Pangos June 2010
Still only 16 years old during the July recruiting period, Lammert played a significant part in the Texas D1 Ambassadors reeling off 12 straight wins in a row to win the Las Vegas Live and then the GBOA Tournament of Champions in Los Angeles to end the summer.  By that time he had picked up offers from every Big XII school, and many other high majors throughout the country. He battled the best of the blue chippers and either held his own or came out on top.  You could see his confidence grow and a swagger become part of his game.

Lammert's final four came down to Texas, Texas aTm, Vanderbilt and Texas Tech.  Thanks so much to Coach Kennedy, Coach Gillispie and Coach Stallings for recruiting him and following our program faithfully all summer long.  aTm Assistant was particularly classy and gracious as he reached out to me and wished Connor success despite not landing the youngster. 

Having just turned 17 in August, Lammert has tremendous upside.  He's not done growing. I would not be shocked to see him end up being 6'11".  He's an above average athlete with great footwork and an assortment of nifty moves around the rim.  He's not afraid to bang with the big boys despite the fact that he could easily put on another 30 lbs of muscle once he gets into workouts with Todd Wright, the Longhorns strength coach.  What really sets him apart though is his passing ability and the fact that at 6'9" he can easily stretch his game to the three point line which should cause matchup nightmares. As a testament to his character and work ethic he is also an Eagle Scout.-Coach Max Ivany
Lammert in July 2011, shown below with the Texas D1 Ambassadors
Head Coach Rick Barnes called tonight and was extremely excited to have Lammert as the latest member of the Longhorn Family.  Connor plays his high school basketball for Sn Antonio Churchill and Coach Tim Woods. He will join PG Javan Felix of New Orleans St. Augustine and the New Orleans D1 Ambassadors Elite as our first two alumni to take their games to Austin, TX in the fall of 2012.  

Connor is the son of Dean and Christy Lammert of San Antonio, TX.  Papa Dean played his basketball at Texas A&I, now Texas A&M-Kingsville. He's the latest in a long line of D1 Ambassadors Division One commitments which now numbers over 100 strong. He was coached in the summer by Paul Josephs who did a wonderful job as a mentor and a friend in addition to the x's and o's.