Rising Stars Basketball: Hoops They Did It Again
Hayward Wis - Rising Stars Basketball a non-profit sports club located in Hayward Wisconsin has brought high-level development to Northern Wisconsin. In 2017, the founder of Rising Stars Basketball, Curtis DeCora, took to the AAU website to find a club his daughter could join to help fulfill the spark and love she had found for the game of basketball. After the search concluded with a couple of clubs, there was still some concern with the level of development that went into these programs. The level of play was great, the competition was strong, but the athletes weren't developing during the times they had designated for team practices.
After three years of jumping from program to program, the realization was that none of the programs focus on developing the players. The focus was tournament play, and trying to win tournaments. The higher levels in those programs were focused on getting college coaches to coach the teams, and get girls in front of college coaches and scouts. The athletes that weren't ready, well, they received a full summer of tournament play. The ones that were, had opportunities presented to them when they finished high school.
What Happens If Development Occurs?
The first question that came into mind was, "What happens if a club develops the players?" In 2020, DeCora, founded Rising Stars Basketball amid the Covid-19 Pandemic. The first year, Rising Stars found 10 members that signed up to join the club. Rising Stars Basketball participated in various tournaments around the state of Wisconsin, including Wisconsin Dells, Minneapolis, Germantown, Pewaukee and Milwaukee - to name a few. The athletes came from Milwaukee, Lacrosse, Colfax, Hayward, Lac Courte Oreilles, and Chippewa Falls. The team practiced outdoors because none of the indoor facilities were available under Covid restrictions. The girls practiced outdoors, rain or shine, in centrally located parks and outdoor courts. The Rising Stars 12U Girls team went on to finish the summer with a 8-4 record and beating a lot of the powerhouse clubs in the state of Wisconsin.
Every athlete was provided a daily docket of skill drills focused on development and playing in space with a fast pace. The goal was to have each young lady leave that summer with a new set of skills, and be able to contribute on their teams with new and expanded roles, wit hopes they return the next summer.
The Development Phase
In 2021, there was a noticeable increase in players joining the Rising Stars Basketball Club. The summer included an 12U Boys team, 12U Girls team, a 14U Girls team, 14U Boys team, and a 17U Boys team.
The 17U Boys team made a lot of noise in these tournaments by finishing the summer with a 9-2 record, after getting shorted 3 games due to court conditionings at a 5-game tournament. The 14U Boys team finished 6-8, 14U Girls team finished 7-7, 12U Girls team won the Germantown Classic, and finished with a 6-8 record, while the 12U boys struggled to find any wins.
Every athlete went through a rigorous 10-week training period focusing on skill development. Most of the athletes went on to have monster seasons at their respective schools. Some went to the state tournament (MS and HS), and others went on to top 20+ points per game scoring.
The Growth Phase
There are a lot of programs that focus exclusively on plays, and trying to draw up the best plays to get the best looks. Other programs are focusing on the players.
Chris Webber, member of the Michigan Fab 5, and NBA Legend states, "Players should be working on ball handling, scoring, shooting, and passing regardless of their size and regardless of their level." He goes on to state, "Would we have Kevin Durant today if he was stuffed in the post, because some coach said he's tall and needs to be in the post?"
Both styles see great success and it is up to the coach to make that determination for what works best for their program. As a program, Rising Stars Basketball, has witnessed the fastest development and quickest realization of confidence when we focus on developing the player versus developing plays. While our program is exclusively focused on player development, we do see area schools adopting this style of coaching. They're playing faster, scoring in the 70s, 80s, and 90s in some games.
We don't have definitive data on which system works best, we do know that the players that play in faster systems and score quickly do see a noticeable increase in number of athletes reaching 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and leading their conferences in scoring.
Wins Supersede Scoring, Right?
For most high school programs, you're absolutely looking for win more games than you lose, and climb the conference to win a conference title or earn your way to the state tournament. We're simply talking about those that wish to start looking at scoring at a faster pace. We implement the Rising Stars Basketball Offensive System, which is predicated on space and pace.
In the podcast, The Old Man and the 3, JJ Redick goes on to state that the game is changing and the programs that are seeing greater successes are those that implement space, and pace. "Some of these programs are running the same sets, the same plays and the same schemes I grew up watching, I grew up playing against and grew up running. The teams that are the toughest to stop are those that play with space, and increase their player's skill levels."
The emergence of the Read and React offense came to light in 2008 when Coach John Calipari ran it in the National Championship game against the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas went on to win the National Championship but social media was buzzing about the 5-out system Coach Cal implemented to throw off the Jayhawks defense.
In 2018, nearly a decade later, we saw the emergence of the Dribble Drive Offense which incorporated many of the aspects of the Read and React, but used a "Dunker" on the opposite block of the drive. This system has become the standard in today's high-performing high school programs, and high level college programs.
While there are still case studies of programs seeing success with the Princeton Offense, Flex, Wisconsin Swing, and UCLA horns sets - those programs are built from youth levels and grown into as they reach the high school level. If we're talking collegiate play, those particular players in those systems are recruited to play in those specific systems, based on their skills, abilities, and tendencies - as well as success.
The idea and concept behind positionless basketball is that you can develop a player that can adapt to any system fo play, perform in a slow-paced offense, fast-paced offense, motion, attack, or otherwise.
Rising Stars Basketball