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DocDrew’s Swish Issue 1, Volume 6

Welcome to the first issue of volume six of Swish, a weekly periodical with recaps and photos of Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball games, and other pertinent info such as announcements and updates from the program.

We are very fortunate to have the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation partnering with the Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball program.  This is our inaugural season with this new partnership, and we are extremely excited and happy for the kids.

We welcome returning players to the Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball league, and a bigger welcome to the new players to the league.  We kicked off our season this past weekend with Scrimmage Saturday, in which all teams had a scrimmage. The following day was opening day for 16 of the 30 teams in our league.

We have four divisions based on skill level, and the theme this season is Classic American Muscle Cars, here are the list of the teams in each division:


Wildcats, Comets, Cyclones, Rebels, Coronets, Falcons, Super Bees, and Darts


Challengers, Chevelles, Sabres, Toronados, Thunderbolts, Fury, Dusters, and Caminos


Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers, Daytonas, Impalas, Judges, Torinos, and Novas


Cobras, Stingrays, Roadrunners, Firebirds, Cougars, and Barracudas

I’m a strong advocate of the Positive Coaching Alliance, and they have been a great help to me, to be a better coach, player, and parent.  Here is helpful advice from their development zone of PCA, to help parents have a good relationship with the coach of their child’s sports team

Coach-Parent Partnership

Following are guidelines for how sports parents can contribute to a Coach-Parent Partnership that benefits youth athletes.

Recognize the Coaches’ Commitment 

Your child’s coaches have made a commitment that involves many hours of preparation beyond the time spent at practices and games. Quite likely in youth sports they are volunteers. Respect their commitment and imagine yourself in their place before approaching them to discuss any issues you may perceive.

Make Early, Positive Contact with the Coach

As soon as you know who will coach your child, contact those coaches to introduce yourself and offer any assistance you may provide. Establishing a positive relationship with the coaches will help you proactively shape a positive experience for your child and will lay the foundation for respectful, productive conversations with coaches should a conflict arise later.

Fill the Coach’s Emotional Tank. 

Too often, coaches hear only from parents who have complaints. Filling the coaches’ Emotional Tanks with specific, truthful praise positively reinforces them to continue doing the things you see as benefiting the youth athletes.

Don’t Put the Player in the Middle 

You wouldn’t complain to your children about how poorly their math teacher explains fractions. Don’t share your disapproval of a coach with your children. Doing so may force the child to take sides, and not necessarily your side! If your child has an issue with the coach and can maturely articulate it, encourage your child to approach the coach and at the very least learn some life lessons in self- advocacy with an authority figure. Otherwise, if you disapprove of how the coach handles a situation, seek a private meeting to discuss the matter.

Let Coaches Coach

It can confuse players to hear someone other than the coach yelling out instructions. Also, your instructions may counter the coaches’ strategy and tactics, undermining team performance.

Fill Your Child’s Emotional Tank 

Competitive sports can be stressful to players. The last thing they need is your critiquing their performance…on top of what the coach may deliver and what they already are telling themselves. Let your children know you love and support them regardless of their performance.

Contribute to a Positive Environment

Fill all the players’ Emotional Tanks when you see them doing something well. Honor the Game as a spectator, respecting ROOTS (Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self), and encourage others around you to Honor the Game.

For more Resources, visit: www.PCADevZone.org

For more information on Positive Coaching Alliance, visit: www.PositiveCoach.org


Miles Smith made his first basket ever, outside of practice.  Photo by Lisa Smith
Scrimmage between the Falcons and Comets

1/12/20:  The Comets kicked off the season against the very evenly matched Darts.  Luca Samson earned Player of the Game accolades with 3 steals, 2 rebounds, and all 6 of the Comets’ points, including 2 clutch free throws with no time left in the game to secure the come-from-behind tie.  Liam Broihier pulled down a rebound in the first quarter, contained the Darts guards on defense, and controlled the ball on offense. August Fenderson, hot after off a stellar Saturday scrimmage where he hit the Comets’ first jump shot of the season, controlled the ball on offense throughout the game and came through with a timely steal in the 4th quarter.  Julian was a serious threat on defense with 2 steals and 2 rebounds. Dylan Geary handled the ball well on offense and played strong defense with 2 rebounds and a steal. Sydney Summers owned the block on offense, finding the openings and proving she’s going to be tough to contain this season. Oliver Nabel, Calvin Reardon, Henry Kendall, and Brandon Tae-Soo Kim all had key contributions with their tenacious defense and hustle on fast break opportunities.  Final score: Comets 6, Darts 6. Submitted by Coach Kevin Geary

Rookie action between the Super Bees and Cyclones.  Photos by the Nawathe family 
Rebels and Wildcats get ready to scrimmage 
Scrimmage between Super Bees and Darts

THE SUPER BEES HAVE A SUPER 1ST WEEKEND — The season kicked off with quite a lot to do for a bunch of 5-and-6-year-olds. We had our first practice Friday, first scrimmage Saturday then our first game on Sunday. But every kid on the team stuck with it, and found a way to contribute. No, seriously, that’s not a euphemism. Oliver Harris was first to score in our first game then he added 4 rebounds to co-lead our team. Player of the Game, Theo DeCordoba took over in the 3rd quarter with 6 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal. Arya Nawathe had 2 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. James Haro had 2 points and 1 rebound. Maddox Preston had 2 points. Oliver Ma had an awesome breakaway scoring 2 points. Ari Cummings had 3 rebounds and 1 steal. Rex Stone had 2 rebounds. Luca Palmer and Zoe Avramopoulos-Orlandos each had 1 steal. All in all, the Super Bees tirelessly worked together to beat a very promising squad in the Cyclones, 16-4.  Submitted by Coach Pete Harris

Wildcats versus the Falcons.  Photo by Kathy Jeths
The Wildcats Aryan Abjani was Player of the Game, pictured with his coach Charles Ellinwood.  Photo by Kathy Jeths

Game Summary – Wildcats vs Falcons:  The Wildcats opened the 2020 Rookie League Winter Season with an early-morning contest against The Falcons. 

The starting line-up of Aryan Abjani, Auden Travnikoff, Tayt Scheflen, Kelan Tsay, and Joaquin Jimenez played really well together.  Tayt grabbed the first rebound his career in the first quarter. Auden played a good all-around game with several good looks at the basket, and 3 rebounds for the game. Kelan showed great poise; playing solid defense and looking to make his teammates better on offense with his unselfish passing.  He finished the game with 2 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. Aryan scored his first basket of the season to put the Wildcats on the board early in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Joaquin gathered a contested loose ball and dropped in a little 3-footer for his first basket of the season.  

Both teams played at a good back-and-forth pace, giving the crowd reason to cheer.  After substitutions, Emmeline Kraus, Drew Nelson, Zachary Ruderman, Miles Smith, and Adrian Yen took the court.  Emmeline had a nice floor game, playing good team basketball. She finished the game with 1 assist, and 1 rebound while helping the team move the ball.  Drew Nelson was active on both ends of the court. His offense, rebounding, and defense (2 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal) provided a lift for the team. Zachary was huge on defense too, pulling down 4 rebounds and grabbing 3 steals.  Miles Smith looked like a veteran basketball player on the floor, helping the team with his rebounding. He grabbed 4 rebounds and played well on defense. Adrian Yen, another veteran player, showed some toughness in the paint against the Falcons’ front court competing for rebounds and securing loose ball possessions.  

At halftime, the game was 4-2 in favor of the Wildcats.  The 3rd quarter saw lots of good shot opportunities for both teams.  Some alert defense by the Wildcats and some very good passing helped build momentum.  Kelan Tsay’s assists to Arayan Abjani for baskets in the paint were key. Aryan earned Player of the Game honors for his efforts and finished the game with 6 points, and 2 rebounds.  Joaquin Jimenez finished off his solid effort (4 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals) with a basket in the 4th quarter to cap the scoring for the Wildcats. Final Score: Wildcats 12 – Falcons  4. Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood


Scrimmage between Fury and Toronados 


The Novas took on the Torinos in the only Minors Opening Day game.  Photos by the Nawathe family.
Buddies since preschool, Felix Allen, Landon Broihier, Dylan Kravitz, and Axel Fenderson.  Photo by Stacy Kravitz 
Scrimmage between Mustangs and Judges
Scrimmage action between the Camaros and Torinos 


Roadrunners vs Stingrays.  Photos by Rit Tun

The Barracudas beat the Cougars 49-34 in a game that well fought by both sides.  The Barracudas jumped out to a 18-5 lead, with strong efforts from Bruno Picazo (13 pts, 9 reb and 2 assists) and Jack Froom (10 pts, 7 reb).  The Cougars closed out the 1st half on a 7-5 run with the teams going into the half time at 23-12. The Cougars did a great job pushing the pace to get easy baskets throughout, led by the strong defense of Keean Stoll (6 pts, 3 assists, 3 steals).  As the 2nd half ticked forward, the Cougars battled, narrowing the score to 36-30, before the Barracudas went on a 4th quarter run to close the game out (49-34). The Cougars also had strong performances from Keenan Bryant (10 pts, 6 rebs) and Weston Keslow (9 pts).  The smallest man on the court for the Barracudas, Leo Mooney, did a great job of pounding the boards throughout the game. While Picazo’s efforts resulted in the player of the game. Submitted by Coach Brent Stoll

Scrimmage Day action between the Stingrays and Cobras.  Photos by Mirela Samardzija
Opening Day action between the Stingrays and the Roadrunners.  Photos by Mirela Samardzija
Barracudas took on the Cougars.  Photo by Susanna Young
The Firebirds Milan Kis and Sebastian Ramirez both grab the rebound in their game against the Cobras.  Photo by Paulina Ramirez 
The Cougars coach David Cappiccille talks to his team.  Photo by Thea Cappiccille 
Tip off between the Cougars and Barracudas.  Photo by Thea Cappiccille 
Post scrimmage handshakes between the Barracudas and Roadrunners 

Photography of Louis Yansen

Louis is an incredible photographer that takes amazing shots of games.  Here are photos from the Stingrays against the Roadrunners 

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 of the father and son coaching combo of Brian and David Mayer.  Brian and David have been co-coaching Majors teams for the past few seasons, and are also avid pickup basketball players at the Santa Monica YMCA.  Father Brian brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and positive reinforcement to his players, while his son David helps players hone and develop their skills and can relate to their difficulties of being young teens and learning to grow into young men and women.

David recently became an employee for the Santa Monica YMCA, in which he happily greets members as they check into the YMCA for their workouts, and he helps families become members of our facility and programs.

Brain has been a longtime member of our facility, and has a kind heart and demeanor, and always wants to give back to the next generation.  His main concern is to see the next generation become our future leaders, and he helps guide our youth in this direction. I had the opportunity to ask them both questions for the Swish:

DocDrew:  What do you enjoy most about coaching youth basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?

Brian: I enjoy seeing the kids improve on all the elements of basketball. Especially defense and rebounding. Each kid is different and it’s fun to see how they learn and how we can make them better players and teammates. I also like to see how my son relates to and inspires the next generation. Spending time doing this with my son is extra special. 

David: I enjoy relating to the kids. I am only 19, so a few years ago, i was that kid. I know what got me excited and what got me motivated. I also know what I need to hear and how I need to hear it. I think my dad and I are a good balance in that way. We complement each other in our styles and we get to do it together.

DocDrew:  What do you wish to teach or impart to your players?

Brian: I love to see players learn the game. Most kids want to shoot threes and play offense. Teaching them to rebound, to play fundamental defense, to play as a team, to be a good teammate, and to play hard for your team is motivating to me. 

David: Have some fun, learn some stuff, and play the game the right way – show up, play hard, give 100% effort, and support your teammates. Everyone needs a little support.

DocDrew:  Which coaches or players inspire you?

Brian:  I really appreciate LeBron for who he is on and off the court. He’s obviously one of the best to ever play basketball. Off the court, he started a successful school. He gives time and money to help kids in Akron that grew up in similar circumstances as him. Family is also very important to him. 

David: I know it is not basketball, but Joe Burrow the Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion. It is inspiring because he was rated as a 2-star athlete coming out of high school and never got a chance at the university he grew up loving, Ohio State. Instead of accepting where he was, he went to work and created great things for himself and others. That motivates me as I see the kids coming into the gym. With hard work and persistence, we may have the next Joe Burrow or Luca Doncic, Kyle Kuzma, or Rudy Gobert.

DocDrew:  How has your experience been of being a new employee of the Santa Monica YMCA?

David:  The experience has been awesome. There is a great team here at the Santa Monica YMCA. Each employee is very welcoming, very friendly, and wanting to see everyone succeed. I think that translates to the members each time they walk in. As an employee, it definitely inspires me to help every member, every fellow YMCA worker, and anyone else I can throughout my day.

David and Brian Mayer

The strong father/son relationship of the Mayers, sets the example in helping our youth become successful in life.  We truly thank them for their support to our youth basketball program.


SUN    1/12/2020


Wildcats 12, Falcons 4

Rebels 6, Coronets 7

Super Bees 16, Cyclones 4

Darts 6, Comets 6


Novas 24, Torinos 37


Barracudas 49, Cougars 34

Stingrays 58, Roadrunners 38

Firebirds 45, Cobras 21


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.


Wildcats 1-0-0, 5 points

Super Bees 1-0-0, 5 points

Coronets 1-0-0, 5 points

Comets 0-0-1 3 points 

Darts 0-0-1 3 points

Cyclones 0-0-1, 1 point 

Falcons 0-0-1, 1 point

Rebels 0-0-1, 1 point

Chevelles 0-0-0, 0 points 

Dusters 0-0-0, 0 points

Caminos 0-0-0, 0 points 

Fury 0-0-0, 0 points

Thunderbolts 0-0-0, 0 points

Toronados 0-0-0, 0 points

Challengers 0-0-0, 0 points

Sabres 0-0-0, 0 points

Torinos 1-0-0, 5 points

Novas 0-0-1, 1 point

Impalas 0-0-0, 0 points 

Judges 0-0-0, 0 points

Daytonas 0-0-0, 0 points

Chargers 0-0-0, 0 points

Camaros 0-0-0, 0 points

Mustangs 0-0-0, 0 points 


Firebirds 1-0-0, 5 points 

Stingrays 1-0-0, 5 points

Barracudas 1-0-0, 5 points

Cougars 0-0-1, 1 point 

Cobras 0-0-1, 1 point 

Roadrunners 0-0-1, 1 point

Upcoming Schedule 

SAT    1/18/2020   

10:30 AM    R    Cyclones        Rebels

11:40 AM    R    Super Bees     Coronets

12:50 PM    R    Wildcats        Comets

2:00 PM    R    Darts            Falcons

3:10 PM    MN    Mustangs        Impalas

4:20 PM    MN    Camaros        Judges

5:30 PM    MN    Novas             Chargers 

6:40 PM    MN    Daytonas        Torinos

SUN    1/19/2020   

10:30 AM    B    Fury           Caminos

11:40 AM    B    Thunderbolts    Dusters

12:50 PM    B    Sabres         Challengers 

2:00 PM    B    Chevelles        Toronados

3:10 PM    MN    Daytonas        Chargers

4:20 PM    MJ    Cobras         Stingrays 

5:30 PM    MJ    Firebirds         Barracudas 

6:40 PM    MJ    Roadrunners     Cougars

Thank you very much, 

Dr. Paul Drew, youth basketball coordinator at the Santa Monica YMCA,  editor and publisher of Swish

in Sports
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