Thank you for that very intelligent response. You make very valid points.
The larger issue regarding the High School System vs. The OBA system is essentially the Private system vs. the Public system debate.
The OBA is so poorly run and so money driven that it makes me sick to my stomach. I would ask anyone that cares about basketball in this province to attend a U11 game between two rival programs. Let’s say Scarborough Blues vs. Blessed Sacrament. You would see the most despicable behaviour by parents, coaches, players, handlers, etc. Parents yelling at parents because they think there kid is the next MJ, Parents yelling at their kids for not being good enough, Parents yelling at refs for making the “wrong call” , coaches who are rude and obnoxious to each other, the manipulation of rules sets to gain an advantage. In the OBA there is no overarching structure to guide reason and appropriate behaviour amongst all stakeholders. I know that the OBA publishes rules and guides for coaches, parents, spectators, etc, but these are rarely followed.
In the HS system there is accountability to the school, administration, teachers, grades, other students, reputation of the school, etc. In other words there are structures in place that do not allow for the type of behaviour that is a detriment to young people.
To that end, the coach and Manager of Athletics at Bill Crothers ARE heavily involved in the OBA system. The removal of the girls from the HS system is an attack. The faulty logic that Canadian Sport for Life principles have to be separate from the HS system is ridiculous. That being said the girls’ season is relatively short and I understand that it some cases it may not allow for proper training prior to the season. The contradiction here however is that the Bill Crothers school year begins the first week of August, giving them a full 2 months of prep time prior to the season. (another unfair advantage for this school)
So my first solution to addressing this issue in our system is to align the HS seasons so that they run for a full year. i.e., Girls and Boys basketball, volleyball, etc should run full year round. Training starts in September and peaks in March. (April-August should be used for proper rest, training and sport specific practice) In other words proper periodization.
Now on to Basketball Canada. Basketball Canada is a very arrogant organization, that does nothing to better the game in Canada. Look at the history of the organization. They poach players who are already good and try to claim them as their own. The list is huge. Was Basketball Canada at any High School event? Ever? Have they ever been at OFSAA to support Grass roots basketball? Have they ever conducted free clinics to Elementary schools to expose kids to BBALL at an early age? Have they offered coaching training to people in the school system? NO, NO, NO. They talk a good game but really do nothing.
Think about it, if Basketball Canada poured some money/time/effort into training people in the school system, they would reach thousands and thousands of kids. They would begin to foster a culture of basketball players who are being trained properly by knowledgeable coaches. The schools have the facilities, and the structures in place to hold kids accountable.
Listen to this clip form Mike McKay who was one of the directors of coaching development for Basketball Cananda. He talks about the old NEDA program (which is similar to what Bill Crothers is now doing) Listen very carefully to the last minute especially.
In the last minute he clearly states that we should have our athletes/bball players peak for Provincial, National team, etc time frames, and NOT the High school system. Again a very European mentality. If this is not an assault on the HS system I don’t know what is. How many kids will make the Provincial /National / Cadet teams? Basketball Canada poaches maybe 100 kids per season, to play on their teams?(not sure of the exact number) What about everyone else? What about the so called late bloomers? The Green Bananas? What BS. In comparison; how many kids should be looking to peak for the playoff’s in their school system? More kids should be looking to align their training to the School year. This is how you prepare to play in the CIS, NCAA, CCAA, JUCO, Professional leagues, etc. The OBA system should be abolished so that kids can train during the real OFF SEASON. i.e.,spring and summer
Once again Basketball Canada is doing things for their own best interest and not for what is best for the majority of kids.
Imagine if Basketball Canada was involved at the school level? How many kids would they reach? Here is a statistic from the Ministry of Education in Ontario.
“As of 2009-2010, there were 4,020 elementary and 911 secondary schools in Ontario”
Assume for arguments sake that each Elementary school had two girls teams and two boys teams (Grade 4-6 jr and Grade 7-8 sr) and each High School team had Four teams (Jr Girls, Jr Boys, Sr, Girls, Sr. Boys) and assume that each team had 12 players. How many players is that in Ontario?
Elementary Players – 4 teams x 12 players x 4020 schools = 192000 players
Secondary Players - 4 teams x 12 players x 911 schools = 43 728 players
This is how you build a grassroots movement.
So my second suggestion for making our system better is to train coaches to be involved in the school system using the Principles of Sport for Life. To reach out to kids at an early age and offer them support. To take the coach from Bill Crothers and other who are knowledgeable and have them train other coaches in the elementary / High School system, to start a real grassroots movement.
Basketball Cananda named Rowen Barret as their director of youth player development. Who has he ever developed? What has he ever done for young people? Why would Canadian kids who have gone through the system on their own be attracted to playing for our National team? Why? Basketball Cananda should involve people who have been proven to help kids get better (at an early age) while maintaining the discipline and accountability that should be mandatory when dealing with young people. Identify guys who love to coach and train kids and bring them on Board. Offer people incentives to help train kids and other coaches. Take a real interest in this country. Not the “WIN NOW MENTALITY” which is what Basketball Cananda does. (I have news for them they aren’t winning now) Stop riding the coat tails of guys like Steve Nash, Jamal Magloire, Tristan Thompson, Corey Joseph, Myck Kabongo, etc, etc and tell people that “we are getting better” Those guys became good despite Basketball Canada. Why do people think Magloire never wanted to play for Basketball Canada? He felt no connection to an organization that did nothing for him as a youngster. They tried to grab him when he became good.
They need to stop promoting Band-Aid solutions to all that is wrong with BBALL in Canada.
I hope everyone know understands my frustration with Bill Crothers, OBA, and Basketball Cananda and the entire Prep movement as a whole.
These places do NOT help our Country get better. They serve as band-aid solutions, to a fragmented system and promote their own agenda.