Welcome to the third 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.
There is no way to put in words, the devastation of the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi. I have an older son who was a participant in YMCA basketball when he was a youth, and it was during the time when the Lakers were winning championships with Shaq and Kobe dominating the team. My son was living with his mom in Orange County, and every night, we would talk on the phone, and discuss how many points Kobe or Shaq had, what were their game averages and stats, how the Lakers were doing, and what kind of moves and shots that Kobe demonstrated.
This was a bonding for my son and I, and it also led to his love of statistics that eventually propelled him into a career of statistical analysis for his current occupation as an asset valuations analyst.
Kobe’s passing signifies how important that bond was that help my son and I stay close, and helped influence both of our lives. With tears and a heavy heart, all I can say is:
“Thank you Kobe, God bless you, Gigi, and your family, and you will never be forgotten!”
February is Black History Month, and I will continue in this issue of Swish, with part two of the series of articles, now through February, from the Black Fives Foundation. Please visit their website www.BlackFives.org
This is an amazing organization that helps to educate all young players and fans of basketball about the early pioneers of the game that have influenced following generations, and will continue to influence the game of basketball for future generations to come.
Charles ‘Tarzan’ Cooper
“Here is one of the marvels of the athletic world. Cooper, now around 33, has been on top in the basketball world as the game’s greatest center since the mid-twenties when he broke in with the Rens after a celebrated debut around Philadelphia.”
— Art Carter, Baltimore Afro-American, 1942
Teams: Philadelphia Panthers, New York Renaissance, Washington Bears
Charles “Tarzan” Cooper was considered perhaps the greatest center of his time. He played from the mid-1920s through the mid-1940s.
Cooper, a Philadelphia native, starred in the Christian Street YMCA’s Senior Interscholastic League before joining the all-black Philadelphia Panthers semi-pro team in 1926.
His size (6′-5″, 215 lbs.) and tenacious rebounding produced the nickname “Long Boy” and then “Tarzan.”
Cooper joined the New York Rens in 1929, leading them to an 88-game winning streak in 1933 and a World’s Championship title in 1939.
In 1941, Cooper left the Rens to sign a better-paying contract with the all-black Washington Bears and led them to a World’s Championship in 1943.
He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, as the first African American player to be inducted as an individual.
Theo Franklin and Jason Gaines reminded some of a young Lebron and Kuzma during the early game on Sunday. With the crowd in a frenzy the Rebels were able to apply strong pressure defensively and manufacture numerous fast break opportunities. Franklin let the attack for the rebels with a stat-sheet stuffer of a performance, compiling 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks. Meanwhile, J. Gaines pulled down an eye-popping 12 rebounds to go along with a score. Weston Brea, Daniel Gruft and Roman Sweeney were major factors as well, each of them contributing scoring, rebounding and steals. It was a bit of a rough go for the upstart Darts, who just couldn’t seem to take the lid off the basket in the 1st quarter. But as they were able to work themselves into the game flow, Ario Aghabala emerged as a true two-way player, showing great shooting accuracy and scoring multiple buckets in the 2nd quarter; finishing with a handful of steals and rebounds from the guard spot. Zayn Al-Shawe had several great looks and scored a huge basket and a free throw for Darts late in the game. Kaya Dahukey had his second strong rebounding game in a row and Chase Wilson Owen Rudman and Cruz Hecklin did their part in a valiant effort. In the end, the Rebels were able to overwhelm the Darts by a proper Sunday football score of 21-7. Submitted by Coach Chris Chambers
ANOTHER GREAT TEAM EFFORT BY THE REBELS. The Rebels pulled together another total team effort to get their 2nd win of the season. Roman Sweeney opened up the scoring in the first quarter with 2 points and added 3 steals and 1 blocked shot. Jason Gaines added another 2 points in the first quarter and dominated the boards with 12 rebounds. Weston Brea scored his first career basket in the 2nd quarter and finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal to earn Player of the Game. Last week’s Player of the Game Theo Franklin had another strong contribution with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot. Daniel Batra played great interior defense, had 1 rebound and almost scored his first career bucket. Xavier Bramlette did a great job defending their guards and had 1 well-timed steal. Daniel Gruft played hard and had 2 points, 3 rebounds 4 steals. Mariella Belew and Zeke Sarr and brought their energy and hustle to add to the team’s overall fantastic defensive performance. Submitted by Coach Jeff Brea
Sat. 1/25/2020, 2:00pm Falcons vs. Comets (purple): The Comets pulled off their first win of the season against the formidable Falcons on Saturday. Oliver Nabel came out of the gates on fire and scored the Comets first 4 points of the game and played tight perimeter defense all game long. Liam Broihier had 2 points, 4 steals, 1 rebound, and controlled the ball with the poise of an NBA point guard, earning him Player of the Game. Sydney Summers scored her first 2 points of the season and had 4 rebounds, including 3 in the fourth quarter when the pressure was on. The Falcons stars Gus Mitha (who pulled down 12 rebounds!!) and Siva Pfarschmidt kept the Comets defense on their toes all game long, never letting off the pressure. For the Comets, Luca Samson played unselfish team basketball, creating scoring opportunities for his teammates and collecting 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and a team high 5 steals. Henry Kendall and Brandon Tae-Soo Kim and played aggressively on defense and moved the ball well on offense. Dylan Geary had 1 rebound, 1 steal, and 1 assist, playing a big part of the Comets 6 point second quarter run. August Fenderson had 1 rebound and attacked the basket on offense. Calvin Reardon pulled down 2 rebounds and made it tough for the Falcons down below. Rapha Darsky had 3 rebounds and scored the final basket of the fourth quarter, sealing the game for the Comets. Final score: Falcons 4, Comets 10. Submitted by Coach Kevin Geary
Sun. 1/26/2020, 12:50pm Comets (yellow) vs. Coronets: The Comets faced off against the Coronets on Sunday. The Comets fell behind early after the Coronets sensation Hunter Ma sank a beautiful jump shot in the opening minute. The Comets quickly settled down after that, shored up the defensive end, and went to work. For the Comets, Luca Samson earned the Player of the Game award with 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 free throw, and a record setting 8 steals. Dylan Geary scored 4 points, pulled down 2 rebounds, and controlled the ball on offense, creating excellent scoring opportunities for his teammates. Liam Broihier had 2 steals and sank 1 free throw. August Fenderson had a steal early on and was 2 for 2 at the free throw line. Brandon Tae-Soo Kim played strong defense and moved the ball well on offense. Calvin Reardon played strong in the post and pulled down a big rebound in the second quarter. Sydney Summers made a huge free throw at the end of the second half putting the Comets ahead 5 to 2 going into halftime. Oliver Nabel hit a big bucket in the third quarter to extend the Comets lead. Henry Kendall played strong, pulling down 1 rebound and 1 steal in the second half. Julian Zambrano played excellent defense and had a big steal in the fourth. Final score: Comets 11, Coronets 2. Submitted by Coach Kevin Geary
SUPER BEES PROUDLY WEAR THEIR LAKERS JERSEYS AND SCORE A TEAM SEASON HIGH WHILE HONORING KOBE — January 26th, 2020, a day that shall live in basketball infamy. Earlier in the afternoon, I kept checking my phone to see if Paul would cancel games, but the NBA didn’t, and Kobe probably would have somehow appreciated every single jump ball tipped across all of L.A. At first, both the Wildcats and the Super Bees had trouble scoring, mostly because both teams had stellar defenses (check all the steals I list below) then the lid came off the basket. We’ve had a different Player of the Game in all 3 of our wins to start the season, and Sunday’s Player of the Game, Arya Nawathe had been–Kobe like–working relentlessly towards this moment for as long as I’ve known him. He wanted this, and he got it with 6 points, 2 rebounds and 5 steals. Rex Stone went steal-heavy too, as he had 7 thefts, 4 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist (I hope the YMCA accolades committee starts to recognize this name!). Oliver Harris had 2 steals, 2 points and 1 rebound (Mr. Reliable, that kid). Maddox Preston had a bucket and 2 steals too. Oliver Ma scored 2 points. That’s a lot of scoring for our team, and Theo DeCordoba poured on even more in the end, as he sunk 3 free throws out of 4 adding to his 1 steal and 1 rebound. We played a great team in the Wildcats–turns out they also can score a bunch–so we needed this offensive breakout that ended with our final huddle yelling as loud as we could on the count of 3, “For Kobe!” Final Score, Super Bees 19 – Wildcats 12. Submitted by Coach Pete Harris
U8 Santa Monica YMCA vs U8 Culver/Palms YMCA: It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I came out of retirement from coaching, in order to coach an amazing five kids that played lights out in the 6-7 year old division against the Culver/Palms YMCA at Culver Middle School. My faithful assistant was my son Dominic Drew who was under the weather, but was there to support players on the bench; however, we had no subs. Instead, we had a gritty and determined five that did all they could to play as a team, and donned the Junior Lakers purple and gold against the Junior Clippers black and white jerseys. Joaquin Jimenez was a beast grabbing rebounds and scoring baskets. James Haro had multiple baskets, and his brother Richard contributed in the scoring. Arya Nawathe was solid in all parts of the game, scoring, rebounding, and stealing. Player of the Game Miles Smith had the most assists and steals, and came ever so close to scoring his first basket, and it will happen soon. It was a resounding victory for the Junior Lakers in their crosstown rivalry with the Junior Clippers(Something the NBA Lakers haven’t been able to do this season). Final score 16-0 for the Santa Monica YMCA Junior Lakers. Submitted by Coach DocDrew
Game Summary – Superbees vs Wildcats
A mid-afternoon matchup pitted the young Wildcats against the red-hot Superbees.
The Superbees jumped out to an early 6 – 0 lead with some smart offense; passing the ball to players next to the basket for easy shot attempts. After regrouping, the Wildcats went on the offensive, scoring 6 points in the 2nd quarter to make a game of it.
Aryan Abjani had a triple-single with 2 points, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Joaquin Jimenez did as well with 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. Emmeline Kraus scored her first basket of the season with a nice baseline jumper in the 2nd quarter to go along with 1 rebound.
After the halftime break, the pace of the game picked up. The Wildcats started to play better defense and looked for good opportunities to score the ball. Drew Nelson was very active on the defensive end, racking up 5 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal. Zachary Ruderman pitched in with 1 steal. Tayt Scheflen, Archie Lewis, Auden Travnikoff, and Adrian Yen rallied on defense to help hold the Superbees to 2 points in the 3rd quarter. In the 4th quarter, Kelan Tsay scored 2 field-goals to cut the lead to 2. He played another solid all-around game, finishing with 4 points, 1 assist, and 2 steals. The Superbees scored another basket to extend the lead and win the game. Final Score: Superbees 19 – Wildcats 12. Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood
Photos by Louis Yansen
The following are amazing photos of the Rookie match between the Comets and the Falcons, taken by master photographer Louis Yansen
The Toronados squeaked by the Sabres 15-8 in a closely-contested defensive struggle that pitted former teammates from last season’s Revolution team against each other. Player of the Game Axel Trussler had a strong game for the Toronados with 4 points, 4 rebounds and a steal. Rhys Scheflen was on fire and had a second strong game in a row contributing 8 points, a steal and a rebound, and point guards Stellan Haberli, Wiley Scheflen (2 points, an assist and a rebound) and Taylan Kraus (1 point, 2 rebounds) ran the offense while Logan Cappicille, Leo Gonzalez, Brooks Stuber (3 key rebounds), Will Schwarzman (4 rebounds), and Dechen Lemond (3 rebounds, an assist and a steal in the fourth quarter) played great defense. Submitted by Coach Sarah Scheflen
1/19/20: The talented Thunderbolts were short-staffed last weekend as they took on the talented Dusters. Missing from the action were star players Dylan Mills, Eloise Siegler, Austin Bernier, Nevoh Zach, and Xander Zhou. Coach G. was really nervous about taking on the Dusters without a full line up, but fortunately, the Thunderbolts have two additional coaches who share equal responsibility for putting the kids in a position to win. The Thunderbolts are fortunate to have Spencer Nelson’s dad Justin as a coach on the team as his presence really had Spencer in a groove defensively against the Dusters. Also in the coaching mix is Luca Anderson’s dad Amos who played a huge role in keeping our players calm, cool, and collected during gameplay. Sampson Anderson had the most playing time during this game as his height, athleticism and leadership were needed in order to help secure the win. Levi Hamilton showed a strong performance by scoring his first bucket of the season, as did his teammate River Greenwell who utilized skills learned from “Coach Corey” his personal trainer. River snagged a rebound, secured the ball and put it right back up for a solid score. Spencer Nelson was fantastic on defense and he exhibited a winning attitude despite the Thunderbolts being down early in the game. Luca Hayutin demonstrated that he is a great ball-handler and shooter as well. Luca Hayutin also played a strong defense against the Dusters. Gabriel Chibane was a top scorer on the team as well and a tremendously important player on defense. All in all, it was a fantastic team effort. The Thunderbolts won the game 16 – 8 and the player of the game was Luca Anderson. Submitted by Coach Chris Greenwell
Photos by Louis Yansen
The following are terrific photos of the Stingrays versus the Cougars, taken by Louis Yansen
The following are photos from the Cobras versus the Stingrays, taken by Louis Yansen
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 Geary family, Father Kevin is currently coaching his son Dylan in the Rookies division. Dylan is a veteran of several seasons at the Santa Monica YMCA, and shows great focus and intensity when he plays, but also a willingness to share the ball as evident from the team concept taught by his dad who is coaching his first season and learning from the players, but also emphasizing positive reinforcement to his players, as well as, working together as a team.
Sarah helps to provide cheer and motivation for her her husband and son, and knows a thing or two about the game to impart to the youth.
DocDrew: How are you enjoying your first season as a youth basketball coach?
Kevin: I love it so much! Sarah and I have been so impressed by the quality of the SM YMCA youth basketball program. All of the volunteers and coaches give so much of their time and energy to teach our children not just basketball skills, but life skills that will shape them for the rest of their lives. Their passion for our kids is contagious and I wanted to be a part of that. The Comets’ athletes and parents are so amazing and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better bunch!
DocDrew: What do you hope to accomplish for the kids that you are coaching?
Kevin: I want them to have fun, work hard on the fundamentals of the game, and most importantly learn what it means to be a team player. Every boy and girl comes into each season at a different skill level and it’s our job as coaches to help each one reach their full potential individually as well as a team unit. Dylan learned so much from Coach Charles, Coach Pete, and Coach Holden during his first 3 seasons in the league. They set a very high bar for all youth coaches and are excellent role models for me! A big thank you to all the coaches, referees, volunteers, and especially the families who manage to get these kids to the gym consistently every week to learn and have fun!
DocDrew: What do you enjoy most about playing basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?
Dylan: Shooting and snacks after our games.
DocDrew: Any memorable or favorite moments in your basketball career at The YMCA?
Dylan: Winning the (Rookies league) championship with the Yardbirds (last season).
DocDrew: Do you have any favorite players?
Dylan: Not really. My teammates!
DocDrew: What do you enjoy about your family being involved with the basketball program at the YMCA?
Sarah: There is a great sense of community. We’ve been able to get to know lots of other Santa Monica and West LA families and our kids have made some great friends.
The Geary family is what the Santa Monica Family YMCA is all about, strength with relationship to each other and all the youth in our basketball program, and giving back to our community. We truly thank you, God bless.
I want to give a special thanks to referees Xailoh Hermosillo and Clark Elliott. Xailoh refereed two games on Saturday, and Clark refereed an unbelievable four games on Saturday and two on Sunday. These young men had to fill in for referees that had to cancel at the last minute, and both saved the weekend.
The fact that Clark is only 10 years old, and took command and refereed as if he was an adult, was to say as outstanding as I have ever seen. Many coaches and parents were super impressed by the performance of both these young men in helping to keep this program strong.
The Impalas and Camaros faced off in a fast paced and exciting early season contest last Sunday. After falling behind 6-12 in the early going, the Impalas pulled even at half time, and gradually pulled away in the second half for a 42-29 win. Lots of great performances on both sides, both in the box score and in the intensity and skill displayed on the court. The Impalas passed the ball well all game, with a lot of the points coming off assists. Luke Hill led a balanced scoring effort for the Impalas with 8 points, Kellen McDonough and Joseph Zak each had 7 and Theo Haberli added 6. For the Cameros, Guy Sikora led all scores with 12 points, and Leo Sikora added 11. Submitted by Coach Ralph Haberli
Barracudas 23, Cobras 32
Roadrunners 41, Firebirds 46
Cougars 49, Stingrays 62
Falcons 4, Comets 10
Challengers 33, Chevelles 20
Sabres 9, Toronados 15
Fury 21, Dusters 22
Thunderbolts 9, Caminos 15
Culver Middle School
Santa Monica YMCA 16, Culver/Palms YMCA 0
Rebels 21, Darts 7
Falcons 12, Cyclones 14
Comets 11, Coronets 2
Super Bees 19, Wildcats 12
Torinos 37, Chargers 32
Novas 26, Daytonas 15
Impalas 42, Camaros 29
Judges 23, Mustangs 18
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.
Comets 2-0-2, 16 points
Super Bees 3-0-0, 15 points
Rebels 2-0-1, 11 points
Wildcats 1-1-1, 9 points
Falcons 1-3-0, 8 points
Cyclones 1-2-0, 7 points
Coronets 1-2-0, 7 points
Darts 0-2-1, 5 points
Caminos 2-0-0, 10 points
Toronados 2-0-0, 10 points
Challengers 2-0-0, 10 points
Thunderbolts 1-1-0, 6 points *Thunderbolts beat Dusters head to head
Dusters 1-1-0, 6 points
Chevelles 0-2-0, 2 points
Fury 0-2-0, 2 points
Sabres 0-2-0, 2 points
Torinos 2-1-0, 11 points *Torinos beat Chargers head to head
Chargers 2-1-0, 11 points
Impalas 2-0-0, 10 points
Novas 1-2-0, 7 points *Novas beat Daytonas head to head
Daytonas 1-2-0, 7 points
Camaros 1-1-0, 6 points *Camaros beat Judges head to head
Judges 1-1-0, 6 points
Mustangs 0-2-0, 2 points
Firebirds 3-0-0, 15 points
Cobras 2-1-0, 11 points *Cobras beat Stingrays head to head
Stingrays 2-1-0, 11 points *Stingrays beat Roadrunners head to head
Roadrunners 1-2-0, 11 points
Barracudas 1-2-0, 7 points
Cougars 0-3-0, 3 points
All games are played in the gymnasium of the Santa Monica YMCA
10:30 AM R Coronets Wildcats
11:40 AM B Toronados Challengers
12:50 PM B Fury Thunderbolts
2:00 PM B Chevelles Sabres
3:10 PM B Caminos Dusters
4:20 PM MJ Roadrunners Barracudas
5:30 PM MJ Cobras Cougars
6:40 PM MJ Stingrays Firebirds
10:30 AM R Wildcats Darts
11:40 AM R Coronets Cyclones
12:50 PM R Rebels Super Bees
Thank you very much,
Dr. Paul Drew, youth basketball coordinator at the Santa Monica YMCA, editor and publisher of Swish