By Dr. Paul Drew
Welcome to the seventh issue of volume two of Swish, a weekly periodical with recaps and photos of Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball games, and other pertinent info such as standings, schedules, announcements, and updates from the program.
Registration for the Spring season of youth basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA is only available in person at the Santa Monica YMCA, all registrations will be on the waitlist. All new players and those that did not play the Winter season, must attend sills evaluations on March 4th thru March 7th. Please visit http://welcome.ymcasm.org/
Black History Month
In honor of Black History Month, the Swish has been having series of articles dedicated to the history of African Americans in basketball and honoring the pioneers that led to diversity and inclusivity of the game, helping to make it the sport that we all very much enjoy today. The following is from https://www.blackfives.org/ I strongly encourage everyone to visit their website and support their foundation.
Cumberland ‘Cum’ Posey, Jr.
“The mystic wand of Posey ruled basketball with as much eclat as ‘Rasputin’ dominated the Queen of all the Russias.”
— The Interstate Tattler, 1929
Teams: Monticello Athletic Association, Monticello-Delany Rifles, Loendi Big Five, Monarch Elks Five, Homestead Grays Five
Born: 1890, Pittsburgh
Died: 1946, Pittsburgh
Cumberland Willis Posey, Jr. was the best black basketball player of his time. Playing from the early 1900s through the mid-1920s, his peers considered Posey an “All-Time Immortal.”
He led Homestead High to the 1908 Pittsburgh City Basketball Championship, was Penn State’s first African American varsity basketball player while there for two years, enrolled briefly as a pharmacology and medicine student at Pitt, and then formed the famous Monticello Athletic Association team that won the Colored Basketball World’s Championship in 1912.
Posey later played for Duquesne University—using the alias “Charles Cumbert”—and led the Dukes in scoring for three seasons.
While at Duquesne, Posey simultaneously played for and operated the Loendi Big Five, a team he had organized in 1913 under sponsorship of the Loendi Social & Literary Club, an exclusive African American organization located in the Lower Hill District of Pittsburgh. The Loendi Big Five were the most dominant basketball team of the Black Fives Era through the mid-1920s, winning four straight black national titles, from 1919-1922.
While playing with the Monticello Athletic Association, Posey was a centerfielder for the Murdock Grays and the team’s subsequent owner, changing its name to Homestead Grays.
Posey retired from basketball in the late 1920s to focus exclusively on the business of baseball. He later became chief architect of the Negro National League. For his contributions to baseball, Posey was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006.
He was enshrined in the Duquesne University Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, under his real name, Cumberland Willis Posey, Jr.
Posey is believed to be the only athlete in collegiate history who is enshrined in his school’s sports hall of fame without ever having enrolled nor having used his real name.
Cumberland Posey, Jr. was announced April 4, 2016 as inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for the Class of 2016!
He is the first ever to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, as well as the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield!
Special congratulations to the referee in the picture, Mike Thompson. He and his wife Muriel gave birth to their first child, Mason Michael Thompson. Look forward to seeing him play basketball in the future at the Santa Monica YMCA.
Red Sox over Rays. Our Rays would start the day as the only unbeaten team in Rookies and with a chance to open up a big lead in the standings with a win over the second place Red Sox, but things went bad from the start. From there, it only got worse, as we played our worst game of the season in a 14-8 loss. Our normally tough defense was non-existent for much of the game and we didn’t shoot well. We will need to work on our rebounding and aggressiveness in the paint at practice. Give the Red Sox credit, as they were better prepared and out-worked our Rays on this day. Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher
BLUE JAYS START WEEKEND STRONG, YET END COACH PETERING OUT — February 23rd & 24th. In the first match up of the weekend, it was a tale of two halves, as the Jays were finally up in a game at halftime. Girl power was popping off—Scarlett Harris hit an early jump shot, and regular season team-MVP, Sylvie Levitt nailed both her free throws. Alas, defensivee lapses and maybe not enough Cheerios in the morning (or was it a lack of adjustments?) led to a second half swoon, and a loss to the Twins.
Playing the Yankees on Sunday was even tougher, as the other team had boys seemingly as big as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton combined. There were some thrills, as Lincoln McCannel scored his first ever basket in a game, nonetheless on his mom’s after-game snack day! But Coach Pete didn’t do his Jays any favors, incurring a technical foul by calling a time out they had already spent. His more charming son, however, Oliver Harris was a revelation, putting together all he’s learned, and amassing over the weekend 3 steals and 2 rebounds. These Jays may never win, but they never quit, and they love the game. Submitted by Coach Pete Harris
Orioles vs Yankees Rematch (Saturday 2/23)
The Yankees looked to even the score from the weekend prior, and in the end, they did. Orioles defense was not sharp enough and allowed 12 points from a tough Yankees team and while Orioles were able to squeeze 10 points by the end, it just wasn’t enough. Jackson Harper did most the scoring himself plus several steals/blocks/rebounds. Eloise Siegler, Cruz Hecklin, Spencer Nelson and Tristan Hayes contributed in the effort with rebounds, steals, blocks, and another 2 points. These two teams may not match up again this season, but if they do, the rubber match will be on!
Orioles vs Twins
Also a rematch game from weeks prior…the Twins were able to show the Orioles they wouldn’t be beaten twice in a row, and took a definitive win hugely off a monstrous performance from 6 year old Aiden Smith who dropped 18 points himself along with a gang load of steals! Jackson Harper for the Orioles led again their charge… Eloise Siegler & Tristan Hayes chipped in a basket a piece and helped with rebounds, etc. Ross & Spencer Nelson twin brothers (not to be confused for being on the “Twins”) chipped in with some steals and rebounds as well. The lack of ability to defend well enough past the 1st quarter coupled with killer play by Twins resulted in basically a blowout by Twins over Orioles. Submitted by Coach Holden Hayes
It was an exciting game on Saturday against the Reds.
The first half the dodgers had scored an impressive 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 steals. Second half of the game the dodgers had a total of 10 points, 16 rebounds and 2 steals. The victory was awarded by hard defense, rebounding,and scoring in the usual Dodgers fashion.
Oliver Kowalczuk grabbed 5 rebounds and 2 points from a jump shot, Michael Mikhail scored 4 points, and 2 rebounds. Richard Haro had a steal, Xavier Aldez grabbed a rebound and a steal with his hustle defense. Shai Painter was able to grab a rebound, Cam Pariser scored 4 points and grabbed 3 rebounds. Brandon Israels scored a basket, grabbed 3 rebounds and had a block. Jarvis Wakefield scored 6 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals, Jarvis was a force to be recon with and definitely carried the team when we needed him. Walker “Wally” Levitt
was actually the player of the game with a grand total of 9 points, 3 steals and a rebound. This kid has a talent for a kindergartner to play this way and has an impressive drive for the game of basketball!
The Dodgers are gelling as a Team and it’s a great pleasure to work with them!
Submitted by Coach Karim Mikhail
Playing their 7th game of the season, the Reds were facing another tough challenge against a seasoned Dodgers squad. With only 5 players, the Reds needed great effort and contributions from everyone to be competitive and stay in the game. That is exactly what happened.
Playing their most complete game of the season; the Reds were led by Felix Idell’s inspired performance: 17 points (5-6 from the free throw line) and 7 rebounds. Leo Epstein added 3 points, 9 rebounds and 1 assist. Sienna Shickler held it down on the defensive end with 4 rebounds and 2 steals to help her team close out defensive possessions. Jonathan Watson continues to improve; scoring 4 timely points in the 4th quarter to help keep the score close. Auden Steiger brought his usual energy and enthusiasm to the gym to the tune of 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal; all while playing tough man-to-man defense against the Dodgers’ quick perimeter players. A fun game against another talented opponent. Final Score: REDS 24, DODGERS 27. Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood
Angels over Astros. The season starts with 30 undefeated teams at the Y, but there were only 2 unbeaten teams left when this day started. After my daughter’s Rookie team lost their first game earlier in the day, that left our opponent Astros as the last perfect team. When they jumped out to a very quick 4-0 lead, I would usually start to worry, but not on this day. I could see our boys were very ready for this game and with the Astros down a key ball-handler, I was fully confident that our man-to-man full-court press would eventually yield significant results. It wouldn’t be long before we took control and we continued to press until our lead hit 20 and it was certain the Astros would have their first loss.
Our usual scorers did their part, but we got pleasant surprises from other players on this day, as Sheamus Daniels scored 4 of his season high 6 points in the key first quarter and Jesse Lister hit multiple buckets in this big game. Taylor Chen played very well on both ends of the court and Lorenzo Stabilini had the toughest night for all our Angels, as he was left to battle all night in the paint against the much larger Astros players. His efforts lead to fast breaks on offense and key stops on defense. Sam Rubin had another great all-around game. Dom Kajota had 14 big points and applied constant pressure on defense. Timosha Moncher scored in every conceivable way for a game-high 17 to go with his usual busy stat sheet. This was truly a great team win by our Angels. Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher
This Week’s Profile
Each week, Swish has a profile of a coach, player, or someone in the program who inspires all of us involved in Santa Monica YMCA basketball.
This week’s profile features the O’Brien family: Pia and Geoffrey O’Brien, and their boys Jace and Gavin.
I was first introduced to Gavin when I was coaching an All-Star game, and he was one of my players. He told me that he had not scored a basket all season, and I saw potential in him to be able to do something magical, so I told him to take it to the basket and put the shot up and you will score, any he ended up scoring a couple baskets and was the MVP for the game, and after the game, his parents came to me and said h”How can we get you as a coach?”, and I told him that I would make sure that he was on my team next season. I started to realize what a great and supportive family they were. Not only did I coach Gavin, but his brother Jace helped me coach. Jace also plays at the YMCA, and was the Bantam league MVP for the Spring 2018 season. Gavin was All First Team for our championship Rookie team for the Spring 2018 season, and was Transitional Player of the season for the Fall 2018 Rookie to Bantam.
Geoffrey and Pia are the most supportive parents to the program, and to my coaching. Pia gives me great advice on coaching, tactics, and what works best with each kid on my team. I hope she can coach a team in the future, because she knows the game and the kids. Geoffrey always says it best to me: “We sure got lucky with our wives, getting the best ever.” I can totally agree!
DocDrew: What do you enjoy most about playing basketball at the YMCA?
Gavin: I like playing with my friends & making new friends
Jace: I like that there’s kids with different skills and I am always learning something new.
DocDrew: What are your most memorable moments in your basketball career at the YMCA?
Jace: My favorite moment playing basketball at the Y was having an undefeated team(Sol) and Becoming the MVP during my last season in Bantam. And this is a great first season in Minors with my current team (the Mets).
Gavin: My favorite moment was when my team, the Crusaders, came in first place during my last season in Rookies
DocDrew: Who are your favorite players and why?
Jace: My favorite players are Lebron James because of his great passing skills
and Steph Curry because of his three point shooting.
Gavin: My favorite players are Kevin Durant because he’s the best all around player, James Harden because he’s fearless, and Steph Curry because he’s so good at 3s.
DocDrew: What do enjoy most about having your boys play basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?
Pia and Geoffrey: The program at the Y offers the perfect blend of skill development and positive social outlet. Our sons’ exposure to the different coaches, new players each season, and a dedicated staff provide an enormous learning experience. We feel fortunate to be a part of such a special community!
The Santa Monica YMCA thanks the O’Brien family for inspiring all of us to be our best, never give up, and work as a team to accomplish our goals.
Saturday, February 23rd
Blue Jays 6, Twins 16
Orioles 10, Yankees 12
Rays 8, Red Sox 14
Dodgers 27, Reds 24
Mets 34, Braves 19
Mariners 46, Rangers 34
Royals 45, Athletics 49
Astros 35, Angels 51
Sunday, February 17th
Yankees 17, Blue Jays 4
Orioles 12, Twins 27
Pirates 10, Diamondbacks 12
Tigers 37, Nationals 21
Rangers 41, Braves 21
Marlins 35, White Sox 27
Rangers 31, Athletics 41
Royals 51, Mariners 60
Teams are awarded 5 points for a win, 3 points for a tie, 1 point for a loss, 0 points for a forfeit. Tournament games have greater point value. Teams are listed in their place in the standings with W-L-T and team points.
Rays 5-1-0, 26 points
Yankees 4-3-0, 23 points *Yankees beat Twins head to head
Twins 4-3-0, 23 points
Red Sox 4-2-0, 22 points
Orioles 3-4-0, 19 points
Blue Jays 0-7-0, 7 points
Dodgers 5-1-1, 29 points *Both teams tied each other, Dodgers beat the Brewers, Padres have not played the Brewers
Padres 5-1-1, 29 points
Brewers 5-2-0, 27 points
Diamondbacks 4-4-0, 24 points
Rockies 4-3-0, 23 points *Both teams lost to Dodgers and Padres, Rockies beat the Brewers, Cardinals lost to the Brewers
Cardinals 4-3-0, 23 points
Pirates 3-5-0, 20 points
Reds 3-4-0, 19 points
Cubs 1-6-0, 11 points *Cubs beat Giants head to head
Giants 1-6-0, 11 points
Marlins 5-2-0, 27 points *Marlins beat Phillies head to head
Phillies 5-2-0, 27 points
Nationals 4-3-0, 22 points *one loss by forfeit, Nationals beat Mets head to head
Mets 4-3-0, 22 points *one loss by forfeit
Rangers 3-4-0, 18 points *one loss by forfeit, Rangers beat Tigers head to head
Tigers 3-4-0, 18 points *one loss by forfeit
White Sox 2-5-0, 15 points
Braves 0-7-0, 7 points
Astros 5-1-0, 26 points
Angels 4-1-1, 24 points
Athletics 5-2-0, 27 points
Royals 2-5-0 15 points
Mariners 3-3-1, 21 points
Rangers 0-7-0, 7 points
All games are played in the gymnasium of the Santa Monica YMCA
SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2019
TOURNAMENT SEMI FINALS (6-4 POINTS)
10:30 ASTROS VS MARINERS
11:40 ANGELS VS ATHLETICS
TOURNAMENT SEMI FINALS (6-4 POINTS)
12:50 PM RAYS VS TWINS
2:00 PM RED SOX VS YANKEES
3:10 PM ROCKIES VS CARDINALS
4:20 PM PADRES VS BREWERS
5:30 PM GIANTS VS REDS
SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2019
10:30 AM RAYS VS ORIOLES
11:40 AM RED SOX VS BLUE JAYS
“A” TOURNAMENT SEMI FINALS (6-4 POINTS)
12:50 PM MARLINS VS METS
2:00 PM PHILLIES VS NATIONALS
“B” TOURNAMENT SEMI FINALS
3:10 PM RANGERS VS BRAVES
4:20 PM TIGERS VS WHITE SOX
5:30 PM ASTROS VS ROYALS
6:40 PM ANGELS VS RANGERS
MONDAY, MARCH 4 THROUGH WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2019
SPRING LEAGUE NEW PLAYER EVALUATIONS
THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2019
SPRING TEAMS SELECTED
5:25 PM DODGERS VS CUBS
Thank you very much,
Dr. Paul Drew, assistant youth basketball coordinator at the Santa Monica YMCA, editor and publisher of Swish