By Dr. Paul Drew
Welcome to the sixth issue of volume three 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.
As I have discussed in previous issues of Swish, the Positive Coaching Alliance has been a big influence in my life as a coach, player, parent, and my professional career.
Jim Thompson started PCA at Stanford University in 1998 to create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports into a Development Zone® with the goal to develop Better Athletes, Better People. PCA has helped lead a sea change in public awareness that positive coaching is the key to get the best out of youth athletes (everyone, really!) and help them become a Triple-Impact Competitor® who elevates self, teammates, and the game. PCA has 18 Chapters across the U.S. and does more than 3,000 live workshops annually for more than 1,000 youth sports organizations and partnerships with Major League Baseball and the NBA.
Jim let the Board know last fall that he would be stepping down as CEO 20 years after he started PCA. “I am proud of the impact PCA has had on youth sports, helping lead a sea change to positive coaching as the key to getting the best from youth athletes,” Jim said. “I also want to see PCA do even more in the future and look forward to helping the new CEO and organization do just that.”
The ROOTS of Honoring the Game
“The game is sacred. It’s a sacred field you walk on when you go to play. The game is forever; players and coaches are not. When you are out on the field, you must remember your legacy and what you are representing.”
Herm Edwards, Former NFL Head Coach
Triple-Impact Competitors make the game better by competing by a code of Honoring the Game. The acronym ROOTS describes behavior that makes the game better—respect for: Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates, and Self.
Rules: Triple-Impact Competitors want to win the way the game is supposed to be played. They refuse to bend the rules whether anyone is looking or not. Rules have been developed and carefully modified to make games as fair as possible. Breaking them undercuts fairness. But rules can’t cover every situation. A crafty individual can find a way to circumvent the wording of any rule. Honoring the Game means respecting both the spirit and the letter of the rules.
Opponents: A worthy opponent is a gift. Imagine a tug-of-war with no one at the other end of the rope. Without opponents, competitive sports make no sense. It’s also not much fun to beat up on a much weaker opponent (or be dominated by a much stronger one). We are challenged when we have a worthy opponent, one who requires our best. The level of play is elevated when evenly matched rivals with mutual respect compete against each other.
We’ve seen this with great rivalries in every sport. In tennis, for example, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert pushed each other to greater heights in the 1970s and 1980s. More recently, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal produced historic matches of incredible tennis that neither would be able to match without the other’s challenge.
“Fierce and friendly” says it all. You try as hard as you can to win. If you knock down an opponent going for the ball, you grab the loose ball and try to score. But when the whistle blows, you help your opponent up. Sports gives us the chance to get to know people we compete with, even become friends with them, without ever letting up when the game is on.
Katie Bruzzone, a 2008 finalist for PCA’s Triple-Impact Competitor scholarship, saw her high school coach lose control and verbally attack the best player on an opposing team after a game. Katie looked up the opposing player’s phone number and called her. “I wanted to personally apologize for the coach’s hurtful comments and let her know how much I respect the way she plays the game.” Katie was delighted to find that this conversation led to a wonderful long-term friendship with the other player.
Officials: Officials are guides to fairness in the game. Honoring the Game means respecting officials even when they are wrong. There is never an excuse for treating officials with disrespect. Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga impressively demonstrated this on June 3, 2010, when he lost a perfect game on the last out of the game. Umpire Jim Joyce blew the call at first base that prevented Galarraga from a perfect game. While Tigers Manager Jim Leyland went nuts, Galarraga shrugged off the call and quickly got the next batter out to end the game. The next day Leyland, who had apologized for his outburst, had Galarraga deliver the line-up to Joyce before the game so he could publicly shake his hand. Galarraga noted about Joyce, who was devastated when he realized his blown call ruined Galarraga’s perfect game, “I have a lot of respect for the man. It takes a lot to say you’re sorry and to say in interviews he made a mistake.” Armando Galarraga showed what it means to Honor the Game even when an official’s mistake hurts — and in his case, hurt a lot.
Teammates: Triple-Impact Competitors never do anything, on or off the field, to embarrass their teammates. They behave in a way so their teammates, school, and family can be proud of them. Because the heat of competition can sometimes bring out the worst in each of us, it helps to develop personal and team routines to reinforce Honoring-the-Game behavior.
1. Develop a self-control routine to use when you feel your emotions building up. Tap your head to remind yourself to “keep a cool head.” Take deep breaths, count backwards from 100, or slap your thighs to symbolize moving on. Your routine should help calm you and refocus your attention on the next play.
2. Thank officials before and/or after every game.
3. Shake hands with the opposing coach before and/or after every
4. Shake hands with opponents after each game. Look each of them in the eye and say something positive, even after tough defeats. 5. Welcome opponents to your school. This can be done as simply as writing “Welcome, Eagles!” on the visiting locker room whiteboard, or as elaborately as presenting each opponent with a small gift, like a water bottle with “Honor the Game” and your logo on it, before the game. On senior night at one high school, gifts were given to the opposing team’s seniors as well. At another high school, the scoreboard was changed to read, “HOME” and “GUESTS” (not “VISITORS”), and players, boosters, and staff were instructed to treat the opposing teams as if they were guests.
6. Before games at many schools, an announcement is made asking coaches, players, parents, and fans to Honor the Game and thanking the officials for their effort. If your school doesn’t do this, talk with your coach and athletic director about starting to do it.
Self: Respect for oneself is the foundation of Honoring the Game. Individuals with self-respect would never dishonor the game because they have their own standards that they always want to live up to.
When I’m asked if I expect people to Honor the Game when their opponents don’t, I respond, “Of course. That’s what having your own standards means.” Triple-Impact Competitors maintain their standards even when an opponent lowers his to gain an advantage.
To find out more about the Positive Coaching Alliance, please visit:
Chihuahuas vs Terriers: This Mother’s Day morning game was a tough one for the Terriers. The Chihuahuas were tied for 1st in Rookies for a reason as they have multiple play makers and despite a heartfelt effort by the Terriers, it just wasn’t enough. Terriers missed one of their key players Rhys Scheflen. The 5 year old pre-schooler Teddy Franklin once again played remarkably well past his age and was responsible for 6 of the total 8 Terrier team points plus 2 steals and 2 rebounds (no doubt he’s a kid to look out for as he keeps developing). Tristan Hayes, despite his typical attacking the ball energy allowing him to snag 8 rebounds and a steal, he also had his most off shooting game of the season and struggled…even had an uncontested fast breakaway that he did score (but for the wrong team/hoop!)…it was that kind of game for Hayes who ended with 4 points (unfortunately 2 for the wrong team). Eloise Siegler, with no surprise was active on defense as well as grabbing 4 rebounds and a steal. Kiera Wheeler used her grit and got a steal. The rest of the Terriers did their best on D, but to the Chihuahuas credit, they got better shots and were too much this Mother’s Day for the Terriers, with after restricted defense for the last 4 minutes still ended up short 14-8 in a Chihuahuas win over the Terriers. Submitted by Coach Holden Hayes
The Pugs battled the Doxies in a Mother’s Day matchup. The Doxies jumped out to a quick 6 point lead before the Pugs responded, scoring 4 points in the 2nd quarter on baskets by David Casparian and Arya Nawathe. Branden Forester made a fantastic pass to assist on Arya’s bucket. Branden finished with 1 assist and 2 rebounds. David Casparian led the team in scoring with 4 points, along with 2 rebounds, 1 steal. Laila Elliot, Reyansh Varma, Adam Norman, and Hawkins Wakefield combined for 4 rebounds and several loose ball tie-ups. Adrian Liu also got involved and pulled down 2 rebounds of his own. The second half of the game got away quickly but there were still some Pug highlights. Cruz Hecklin scored his first career basket with an 7-foot baseline jumper that drew huge applause from the crowd. Luca Samson battled all game long facing tough matchups with the Doxies. With time winding down, Luca grabbed an offensive rebound, turned, and fired a bank shot from the left wing that fell through the net just as the game clock expired to cap the scoring for the Pugs. Final score Pugs 10 – Doxies 20. Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood
This weekend brought a wild and exciting matchup that saw the Maltese nip our Yorkies 10-9. It was a tight defensive game in the first half, as a bucket by Vitalina Moncher made it 2-2 at the half. The second half brought out the offensive fireworks, as the teams traded buckets to make it a 10-8 going into free-throws; of which we had 6 and they had none. Vitalina made 1 of her 2, but our other Yorkies couldn’t get any of the other 4 to fall. Mariama Belew stunned the crowd with the game of her career with 2 buckets in the second half to keep us in the game and Lauren Bryan hit the other bucket for us. With all 10 Yorkies again in the doghouse for this important game, everyone had their chance to be the hero, but so many good looks just wouldn’t fall for us. The Rookie League now sets up for an exciting conclusion to the season, as multiple teams control their own destiny. Whoever wins out from here will take the championship. Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher
Last weekend the Corgies had a remarkable match up against the Beagles, who are ranked second in the division. The Corgies offense was led by Vihaan Niwathe and Jordan Blum who scored the majority of the team’s points. Jordan went on to earn Player of the Game! The Corgies performance was characterized by impressive ball movement, seeking the open player on every offensive drive, and ultimately racking up an impressive 26 points. The team’s defense held the Beagles to 18 points. It was an exciting game to watch and made Mother’s Day all the more special. Submitted by Coach Caroline Byfield
The Pointers and Shelties squared off in a classic matchup that featured different outcomes to each half with an equal result in the end. The Pinschers jumped on the Shelties to obtain a 9-1 first half lead, led by Michael Mikhail with 7 points in the first half, and Dominic Drew with a basket and a couple of assists to his classroom buddy. The second half belonged to the Shelties who had balanced scoring with baskets from Elliot Ma, Wiley Scheflen, Rayan Etemadnia, and Aiden Lin who sank a go-ahead basket with only a minute left, to put the Shelties up by 2. After a strategic timeout by Coach Karim Mikhail, and key defensive stops by Jenson Montague and Desi Parra, a mad scramble ensued in the final seconds, in which Michael Mikhail threw up a final shot which went in to tie the game, 11-11. The Shelties Siena Shickler and Axel Trussler played great defense with key blocks and rebounds. Jenson Montague was awarded “Player of the Game” for his outstanding defensive effort and multiple rebounds, to which I’m certain that his mother in the heavens above had a big smile on this Mother’s Day. Submitted by DocDrew
The Labs managed two wins over a busy Mother’s Day weekend. In the first action-packed game on Saturday, the team worked hard with just 6 players in total. Zoe Debenning snagged 14 rebounds and was strong defensively. Ben Felson and Jack Carter were tremendous defensively. The three point guards, Parker Keslow, James Cook and Leo Mooney played fast and strong on both sides of the court. Submitted by Coach Kerri Keslow
On Sunday, the Labs started slow and were down by almost 10 points when the offense exploded led by fast driving Leo Mooney, Eddie Stein, Weston Keslow, James Cook and Parker Keslow. Defense was the key and the Labs moved quick and held strong with help from Jack Carter and Annika Cook. A bucket by Annika Cook helped solidify the win. Submitted by Coach Kerri Keslow
The Pointers had a busy weekend. We played one game on Saturday and another on Sunday. We were fortunate to win both contests. Our 5th game of the season, against the Setters, was tied for the first half of the game, but we increased our defensive effort in the second half of the game. Nate Blum was the player of the game. He provided defensive effort and much needed offensive power to lead us to victory. Our 6th game of the season, pitted us against the Wolfhounds which is a very well coached team. We got off to a very slow start due to the tough defense of the Wolfhounds. We got better results as the game continued, as we increased our rate of rebounding and began contesting more shots. In this game, Akiva Heller was the Player of the Game. He played his best game of the year thus far. He provided rebounds which led to fast breaks and second shot attempts. His shooting production increased in this contest which helped us secure the victory. Submitted by Coach Elan Mevasse
Family Affair: The Pointers Nate Blum earned top honors, in his team’s victory over the Setters, and not to be outdone, his sister Jordan took home the same for her Bantam Corgies!
With the Airedales missing one of their two big men and our Greyhounds missing our only paint protector, strategies would change a bit for this game. Although the Airedales had some speed to keep up with our full-court press, we figured if we pushed hard all game that they would eventually crack on occasion. They did have a few of those moments and those brief periods decided the game, as we had a few big spurts where we would hit 3-4 buckets off the press in a short time. Other than those key moments, this was a very tight game in our 54-46 win. The Airedales balanced scoring threw off our game plan a bit, but even when they built up a lead, our boys stayed the course until our press caused them to breakdown long enough for us to rattle off 6-8 quick points. Jonathan Lin scored at the end of the game to a large ovation and Guy Carter hit a bucket for us, but the rest of our points came from our 3 speedy guards in Jason Tun, Timosha Moncher, and Evan Daghighian. Those 3 combined for 51 of our 54 points and they also lead the way with many steals in our tenacious press. Travis Waters and Oliver Ghiassi helped free our shooters with numerous screens and played key roles in our press. Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher
The Boxers and Malamutes squared off Saturday in a closely contested match. Both teams were missing some of their taller players, so others had to step up on defense and rebounding. The Boxers led 13-11 after a low-scoring first half. The game remained tight throughout the second half. Dom Kajota and Quest Miller led the Boxers with 12 and 8 points respectively, which are low scoring totals for them. The difference in this game was how their teammates stepped up, especially in the second half. Eric Papazian had a solid game, scoring 7 points and rebounding well. Hunter Esposito-Doi scored on a fast break layup in the third quarter. Aayan Lakhani sunk a couple baseline jumpers in the fourth. With seconds remaining in regulation, Jake Ronn grabbed a loose ball in the key and hit a bank shot to beat the buzzer, putting the Boxers on top 35-31. This turned out to be the final score. Submitted by Coach Jonathan Wray
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 is the Cook family: Parents Caroline and Bryan have their two children Annika and James playing youth basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA. James is an extremely talented player for the Labs in the Minors, in fact, he’s one of the youngest Minor league players. Annika, a former Rookie MVP, is currently in the Bantams, playing for the Corgies whose coach is none other than her mom Caroline who is making an impressive coaching debut.
DocDrew: What do you enjoy most about playing basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?
Annika: I like how playing basketball at the YMCA has taught me about basketball and I’ve had lots of amazing friendships.
James: I like playing basketball at the Y because I am learning a lot of basketball and I am making new friends.
DocDrew: What are your most memorable moments in your basketball career at the Santa Monica YMCA?
Annika: One of my most memorable moments is when I made a basket when I was playing up a division during a Minors game on my brother’s team.
James: One of my favorite memories was helping my mom coach.
DocDrew: Who are your favorite players and why?
James: My favorite players are Lebron James because his last name is James and he’s a really good basketball player, and Chris Paul because he’s a really good ball handler. At the Y my favorite players are Weston and Parker Keslow because they are really nice people.
Annika: My favorite Lebron James because he started a school, he gives back to his community and he’s a really good basketball player. Another one of my favorite players in Jordin Canada because she went to UCLA and I saw her play in lots of games before she joined the WNBA.
DocDrew: What do you enjoy most about having your children play basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?
Caroline and Bryan: We appreciate the sense of community at the Y. It’s full of great kids and kind parents.
The Cook family is very devoted to the Santa Monica YMCA and to the local community by providing support and encouragement to all young players. We can’t thank the Cooks enough for being so dedicated to our youth basketball program, and helping to guide this generation of youth to success in the future.
SATURDAY, MAY 11
10:30 AM POINTERS 32, SETTERS 20
11:40 AM LABS 19, WHIPPETS 13
12:50 PM AKITAS 37, WOLFHOUNDS 17
2:00 PM YORKIES 9, MALTESE 10
3:10 PM AIREDALES 46, GREYHOUNDS 54
4:20 PM MALAMUTES 31, BOXERS 35
5:30 PM DOBIES 49, MASTIFFS 27
6:40 PM SHEPHERDS 57, DANES 49
SUNDAY, MAY 12
10:30 AM TERRIERS 8, CHIHUAHUAS 14
11:40 AM DOXIES 20, PUGS 10
12:50 PM CORGIES 26, BEAGLES 16
2:00 PM PINSCHERS 11, SHELTIES 11
3:10 PM SCOTTIES 16, BASSETTS 24
4:20 PM SPANIELS 8, SCHNAUZERS 13
5:30 PM AKITAS 19, LABS 38
6:40 PM POINTERS 39, WOLFHOUNDS 26
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.
Chihuahuas 4-1-0, 21 points
Maltese 4-1-0, 20 points *one loss by forfeit
Yorkies 2-1-2, 17 points
Doxies 2-2-1, 15 points
Terriers 1-3-1, 10 points *Unsportsmanlike technical resulting in loss of one point
Pugs 0-5-0, 5 points
Spaniels 5-1-0, 26 points
Beagles 4-2-0, 22 points
Shelties 3-2-1, 20 points
Corgies 3-3-0, 18 points
Pinschers 2-3-1, 16 points
Schnauzers 2-4-0, 14 points
Bassets 2-4-0, 14 points
Scotties 2-4-0, 14 points
Pointers 5-1-0, 26 points
Labs 5-1-0, 26 points
Akitas 5-1-0, 26 points
Whippets 3-2-0, 17 points
Collies 2-3-0, 13 points
Wolfhounds 1-5-0, 10 points
Setters 1-4-0, 9 points
Dalmatians 0-5-0, 5 points
Boxers 6-0-0, 30 points
Shepherds 5-1-0, 26 points
Greyhounds 4-2-0, 22 points *Greyhounds beat Malamutes head to head
Malamutes 4-2-0, 22 points
Dobies 3-3-0, 18 points
Danes 2-4-0, 14 points
Airedales 0-6-0, 6 points
Mastiffs 0-6-0, 6 points
All games are played in the gymnasium of the Santa Monica YMCA
SATURDAY, MAY 18
10:30 AM CHIHUAHUAS VS MALTESES
11:40 AM YORKIES VS DOXIES
12:50 PM TERRIERS VS PUGS
BASED ON STANDINGS AFTER SUNDAY, MAY 12
2:00 PM COLLIES VS WHIPPETS
3:10 PM DALMATIONS VS SETTERS
4:20 PM AIREDALES VS MASTIFFS
5:30 PM SHEPHERDS VS BOXERS
6:40 PM DANES VS GREYHOUNDS
SUNDAY, MAY 19
10:30 AM SCOTTIES VS BEAGLES
11:40 AM SCHNAUZERS VS BASSETTS
12:50 PM CORGIES VS PINSCHERS
ROOKIE LEAGUE TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS
2:00 PM 3RD PLACE VS 6TH PLACE
3:10 PM 4TH PLACE VS 5TH PLACE
BASED ON STANDINGS AT END OF SATURDAY, MAY 18
4:20 PM AKITAS VS POINTERS
5:30 PM COLLIES VS LABS
6:40 PM DALMATIONS VS WOLFHOUNDS
MONDAY, MAY 20
4:20 PM SPANIELS VS SHELTIES
6:30 PM DOBIES VS MALAMUTES
Thank you very much,
Dr. Paul Drew, youth basketball coordinator at the Santa Monica YMCA, editor and publisher of Swish