U14 Development Vs Askdudk 2004′

A great ending…

On our last day of tour, the boys gave their absolute best in practice which followed over into our last game. This was exactly how I wanted the tour round off, putting in a strong performance leaving everything on the floor.

In the first half of the game, straight from the tip we gained a 10 point lead, instigated by Harry and Tristan really getting out and running the floor. With a slight dip towards the end of the first half Askdudk managed to cut it to a 7 point lead.

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U14 Game 2 Vs Tres Cantos 2004′

After a comfortable win in our first game, the boys hit a real test in today’s matchup, with the opposition being bigger, stronger and smarter than the team we played yesterday. We’ve hit the middle point of the trip and the boys are starting to get fatigued and more tired, meaning they have to bring more and more energy and effort each day.

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U14 Development vs Tres Cantos 2005′

The perfect start…

From start to finish in game 1, the boys gave there absolute best efforts both defensively and offensively, creating ecstatic energy and encouragement for one another. This has really set the tone for the rest of our tour practices and games.

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Hustle, heart and pride

Last day of the tour and you can see it at breakfast this morning. A slightly earlier start, everyone has their boots this time. We were a little more adaptive with practice, to accommodate the tiredness. But we were still able to work on a few specifics ahead of tonight’s game.

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Wins, water fights and relays

After a relatively strenuous rest day exploring, it was back to business today for the girls. Louise forgot her shoes in the morning session, she is still anxiously awaiting her punishment, (if you didn’t know before, now you do, Louise). But having said that she did a fantastic job in the game today, so perhaps I may reassess.

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Boats, Palaces and Poorly Synchronised Diving

After a fairly intense day of basketball, the girls were very much looking forward to a recovery and cultural day.
After breakfast at the hotel, we set off on the bus to the city of Madrid where our first stop was Retiro Park, we headed to the lake where people were boating and after scoping it out, we fancied our chances.

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IMG_6844

So today was our first full day of basketball and that it certainly was! We started this morning with a team practise working on some team offensive and defensive movements. The gym was probably only 25 degrees at this point.

After the overall tally on the practise meant “blue team” won, white had to negotiate a consequence. You can tell it is the summer holidays, because they took a fair few minutes to decide how to complete their challenge of the whole team crossing the half way line (without their feet) but just their hands touching the floor. Eureka moment after a monumental few minutes of some interesting suggestions, when (correct me if I’m wrong), Katelyn suggested maybe a wheelbarrow would do the trick!

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So after a smooth experience, checking in and a slight delay in London, we were on our way to Madrid. As the first girls group touring from Russell Hoops, consisting of thirteen, ten players and three coaches, it feels special to embark on a tour that will likely lay the foundation for many trips to come. I think the girls might have cleared the plane of hot chocolates.

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The Russell Hoops tour to Dallas, Texas was an incredible experience, in which 11 wonderful young men put their heart and soul into 10 days of intense basketball, team bonding and life experiences. There were many moments throughout the tour that the players, Ben and I will remember for a long, long time. 

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Our final day of the Russell Hoops’ tour was a basketball extravaganza, with a focus on improvement and skill development.

We headed off in the morning to PSA where the boys would be treated to a skill development workout with Coach Josh Feemster of one of the areas top AAU programs, Nike Pro Skills. Nike Pro Skills are consistently one of the best AAU teams in the nation, and it was clear to see why as Coach Feemster really put the boys through their paces. They worked on ball-handling, shooting, toughness and a LOT of conditioning with some serious full-court end to end drills that left the boys looking flustered!

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