Saturday, June 5, 2010

We're proud of "T baybee..."

Former Hoops Star Tramaine Aaron Leads Team to German Title
Tramaine Aaron

June 5, 2010

WERNE, Germany -- Former Berry All-American Tramaine Aaron continued his successful pro-basketball career as his team, TV Werne 03, claim the Championship of the German 2 Regionalliga. The team from Werne defeated Recklinghausen 86-71 to claim the title in front of a packed home crowd.

Aaron, who signed with TV Werne in August of 2008, helped his team finish the year with an undefeated record of 22-0 to top the West 2 division in the Regionalliga. During the season Aaron averaged 20 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals per-game for the championship winning team.

Aaron previewed the skills that he would showcase in the professional ranks while at Berry by earning All-American honors, scoring a total of 1,313 points during his four-year career. As a senior he led the Vikings in scoring with 15.5 points per-game and also led the team with 103 assists and 53 steals. Playing the guard position, he demonstrated a high work rate on defense and pulled down 152 rebounds, the third most on the team that season.

Like many other professional basketball players, Aaron is taking advantage of social media to share the story of his personal adventure in professional basketball. His use of social media includes his personal blog, where fans can go learn more about his the recent victory, find video links and and also translated news paper links on the championship. Click the following link to access Aaron's personal blog: Tramaine Aaron Basketball Blog.

Currently in the third division of German basketball, the TV Werne team will continue to work towards promotion into even higher ranks of German basketball.

*Photo courtesy of TV Werne 03

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Neat blog entry from Alan Stein

I copied this from the blog from Alan Stein. He does a wonderful job and a neat guy to follow on the internet. He is the strength and conditioning coach at famed DeMatha Catholic HS and is employed by Nike to conduct clinics involving strength and conditioning type stuff. Some of our past players had a chance to work with Alan and he certainly knows his stuff! Enjoy the read...

I get several dozen emails (as well as Twitter/Facebook messages) asking me “what it takes to be a great player.” Here are a few of my thoughts:

Over the past three weeks I had the opportunity to work the nation’s two premier high school basketball All-Star events – the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand All-American Classic. As always, being a part of such prestigious events is both an honor and a privilege. Having access to the nation’s top high school players for several straight days gives me valuable insight into what makes them great players.

With very few exceptions, elite level players absolutely love to play basketball. They want to play 24-7. Whenever possible they have a ball in their hand and they are always trying to get up shots. They would rather play basketball than do just about anything else (the only thing that even comes close is chasing girls!). When they aren’t playing basketball, they are watching it on TV. The game consumes them. And most of them have been this way since they were young. Do you have the same love for the game? Do you have the same passion? I am not implying or suggesting that basketball should be the most important thing in your life… but it should be up there. If you truly want to be great, you have to genuinely love the game.

I also noticed that the most elite level players are super competitive. They hate to lose. Whether they are playing NBA Live ‘10 or a game of H-O-R-S-E, they always try as hard as possible to win. They never concede. Winning matters. Especially when they are playing against their peers or when bragging rights are on the line. Does winning matter that much to you? How hot does your competitive fire burn? If you want to be a great player you have to learn how to compete. Winning has to matter.

Despite being the top players in the nation, most of them still fit into one of two categories: those who have a tremendous work ethic and those who are lazy. Unfortunately, many of the players who are the most naturally gifted are also the laziest because they haven’t had to work hard to be successful. They have been able to rely solely on their size, strength, quickness and explosiveness. They aren’t hard to spot. Heck, I can tell in the first 5 minutes of warm-ups which guys like to work and which guys don’t. Regardless of how naturally gifted they are, it will eventually catch up to them… at either the college level or the pro level. Do you enjoy putting in the hard work necessary to be a great player? Or do you constantly look for short cuts and the easy way out? The best players look at every workout and every practice as an opportunity to get better. As Kevin Eastman of the Boston Celtics says, “great players look to get from the workout, not through the workout.”

Another thing I noticed about the talented players that play in these games are the intangibles of attitude, enthusiasm, manners, punctuality, and appearance (how they present themselves). Most of the players are energy givers, not energy takers. These players think “we”… not “me.” Their attitude and enthusiasm raises the level of those around them. They are polite, friendly, and engaging. These are the guys who will make it. I will admit the committees that select the players for these prestigious events do an outstanding job of taking character into account. It is very rare that a jerk makes the team. This means if you want to be an All-American, you have to be an outstanding player and an outstanding person. Are you an energy giver or an energy taker? Are you always on time? Do you say please and thank you? Those might sound like “small” things; but they aren’t.

Obviously, the players who have the best chance to excel at the next level (whether college or the NBA) are those who combine natural talent, solid fundamentals, an unparalleled work ethic, and a fantastic attitude. Kevin Durant, the youngest NBA scoring leader in history, is the epitome of those qualities. KD loves to play more than anyone I have ever worked with. KD loves to compete. KD works his butt off every single day. KD is an energy giver. Despite his money, fame, and success, KD is as humble as the day I met him. KD is pure class.

If you haven’t already done so, it is time to start thinking about making your off-season as productive as possible. What you do this spring and summer will determine how successful you are next season. Championship programs and elite level players are built in the off-season! That is why THE BEST PLAYERS ARE IN THE BEST SHAPE!

Whether you are a coach or a player, here is a three-step plan to how you should approach this off-season:

1) Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses (athletically and fundamentally)

2) Create a comprehensive plan to improve (prioritize AAU vs. individual development)

3) Implement your plan with effort, enthusiasm, and consistency (deserve success!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some Post Season Awards

Berry Athletes Take Home Conference Academic Awards

May 12, 2010

ROME, Ga. -- The Southern States Athletic Conference selected members of several of the Berry athletic teams as All-Academic Team members for their exceptional performance in the classroom this year. Berry athletes collected a total of 65 All-Academic Team awards.

The women's cross country team led the way with 13 members making the list. The members making the grade were: Jennifer Cook, Courtney Cooper, Alice Coughlin, Sarah Foreman, Taylor Gupton, Rosalyn Huard, Anna Nelson, Casey Norris, Alyssa O'Dell, Jacque Smith, Anna Sons, Sara Walcott and Alex Whitaker-Lea.

The men's basketball team had an impressive eight players make the cut. The members are: Will Blackwell, Kendall Gadie, David Holloman, Tim Miles, Matt Mixer, Corey Ragnott, Michael Shulte and Bentley Sparks.

The women's soccer team also had eight players make the All-Academic Team. The players that earned the honor included: Mary Brugh, Sarah Capati, Kim Crosslin, Jenna Davis, Sheena MacGowan, Keri McGinnis, Laura Phyfer and Ali Shaw.

Seven Berry runners made the team from the men's cross country team. The award winners are: Blake Bannister, Bert Harrison, Jonathan Horn, Peyton Hoyal, Josh Jones, Matt Scott and Seth Smith.

Six members made the cut from the men's soccer team. The following players earned a spot: Jorg Bergmann, Mark Bloom, Chris Capati, Michael Grigalunas, Shane Moroney and Steven Weeks.

The women's volleyball team also had six players on the All-Academic Team. These players included: Betsy Bowers, Megan Cheatham, Erin Godwin, Kiersten Hammock, Stephanie Post and Claire Scott.

The Berry baseball team had five players make the grades needed. The players included: Brock Anderson, Cory Kirkland, Matt McCalley, Scott Pollock and Harman Watkins.

Four players made the team from the women's basketball squad. Holly Compton, Brittany Howes, Tikedra Jones and Laura Moore all made the All-Academic Team.

Three members of the men's tennis team made the team, including: Daniel Mician, Jonathan Surls and Steven Weeks, who also earned the award for soccer. The women's tennis team had Kirstin Ruffner and Barbara Tomai earn All-Academic Team honors.

Three players from the golf team earned All-Academic honors. From the men's team Grey Haddon and Tim Kim made the list, while Jayne Curtis earned the recognition for the women's team.

This is Berry's final season as a member of the NAIA and of the SSAC. The next season the school will join as a full-time member of the NCAA Division III.

Friday, March 5, 2010

another season closes...

We finished up another of Viking basketball with a hard fought loss on Sat. Feb. 27 at SWU. We played very hard and played with a sense of urgency, but just did not play particularly smart. Nick Lagroone, SWU all-conference wing, played another outstanding game with 23 points, 9 rebs, and 5 assists. Nick was coming off a 49 point effort two night prior vs. Shorter. I hate it for our seniors that we had to send them out with a loss. They can be proud of the effort that was given and they should have their heads held high. It certainly seemed like an odd ending to a season without the opportunity to compete in any post season tourney. In terms of wins and losses, probably not we wanted, but if you add in the big victories that we had vs. Lee, AUM & Shorter it certainly was a memorable year. We had so many guys play big parts this season. The trip to San Diego was a great deal. Thanks so much to our administration for allowing us to take such and great trip. The guys are a unified group. They will be lifelong friends and that is what small college athletics is about. This team faced a lot of adversity and they stayed together and worked hard throughout the year. Each team leaves a legacy and this year's team will be remember for the big wins vs the Flames, the Senetors and the Hawks!!! Thanks guys for the effort and dedication!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Truett / Seniors...

Another senor night has come and gone. I still find it amazing how quickly the years go by! We had a lackluster first half, but really played well in the second half and got a good win vs. a very scrappy bunch from Truett McConnell. We were led again by Will who chipped in 22 points (18 in 2nd half), Josh had 19, Lee finished with 14 and Tim ended with 10. Stefan did a great job with energy in the 2nd half on their scorer. Corey got in and contributed 3 points...he got an unselfish pass from Michael on a break. Bentley knocked down an important 3 in the first half...there were some bright spots. It was great the see Coach Tellus again here in the Cage.

It was neat to see all the families represented for all four seniors. It has been an honor to coach and be around these four! Thanks for the memories!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Seniors...Will, Mix, Bentley, Lee

I am always amazed at how fast 4 years can go by. I vividly remember recruiting Will at Harrison. I remember Mix coming down for a workout and watching him go through a bunch of drills and thinking that we might get a steal with him. I remember meeting the Sparks when Bentley came up and asked about a student assistant / manager type spot. I remember when Lee showed up and we beat Shorter here in the first Berry / Shorter game in the Cage! It certainly has been a fun class watch mature and grow. Will, Mix, and Bentley were a part of a turnaround their Sophomore season when we went from 9 wins to 18 wins. Lee joined us last year and we continued to get some wins. Then they were able to amass 19 wins last year. After losing 5 scholarship players and the move to D3, we have gotten some big wins together this year. The season started with a huge win vs. Lee in the second game of the season. A win vs. Lee has not happened 5 years! Then we had a huge home win vs. AUM. Probably the highlight of the season is the win over Shorter at home. After the thumping we took at their place, it was certainly bittersweet to get the one at home in a convincing fashion!

I am so proud of the achievements these four have reached. They have won between 54 and 56 wins, they have been named academic All-American 4 times, 6 times all-academic all state by the GA. Basketball Coaches Association (GABCA). They are some of the most recognized students on campus and they have represented our programs in fine fashion.

I hope their memories of Berry College will be fond ones and I hope they will look back on their time here and be proud of their accomplishments!

Emmanuel home game...

Emmanuel is a very dangerous team! They are able to score the ball in so many different ways and when they shot the ball well it can be a long night for any opponent. We played over at Emmanuel about a month ago and we were convinced they could not play much better, but they came close. Tedrick Hudson, their leading scorer, put up huge numbers vs. us after we threw a number of guys at him. They just seem to have our number. We continued with our balanced scoring...with 5 guys in double figures with Will leading the way with 19 points. Stefan played well contributing 10 points, but playing with a lot of passion off the bench. Josh and Lee played well.