The last time I took this much time off from posting it was due to a lot of travel and too much information. Both are true again. It is now the start of November and the summer of 2009 is officially over for me with the end of last week’s AAU Convention in Cancun, Mexico. A lot has transpired since my last post, some of which is pending, some I can’t post and other parts I am happy to talk about.
The first order of business is the addition of two new names and faces to the Blue Star web site, the first being Wendy Parker the long time women’s basketball voice of Basketball Times and the former women’s basketball writer for the Atlanta Constitution Journal a victim of the economics of today’s newspaper industry. Wendy Parker along with Mel Greenberg’s blog link here give those coming to the Blue Star web site the two most interesting and respected sports writers covering and commenting on the women’s basketball universe. I’ve asked Wendy to bring whatever commentary and insights she wants to this site. We’ve talked about a number of new and interesting topics that have been either missed or rarely talked about in women’s basketball and women’s sports. Over the coming months you can look forward to some interesting reading from Wendy.
The other new face to the Blue Star web site is a familiar person to the Blue Star and USJN family, that of Winston Kelly from New York City. Winston is one of thost people who’s always loved the game, dove deep into the youth basketball level as a parent-coach, observing parent, advocate and observer that led him to creating GameBall Magazine, a publication that covers youth boys and girls basketball in the greater New York City area. Winston has seen the game from all sides, especially that of a parent who had to navigate the up’s and down’s of the game while his daughter NaKeisha went from grade school to Christ the King HS and now to the college game (on both coasts). His perspective of the game as a former parent will bring fresh perspective that most commentors don’t bring. I’ve asked Winston to share his observations about New York City basketball, especially some of the boys stuff which is critical to understanding the how’s and why’s entities like the NCAA and the NBA want to try and take over youth basketball.
The month of October has been a whirlwind of meetings, travel, planning and musical chairs among those deeply invovled in the youth basketball community. The annual travel team meetings of Nike (boys and girls) along with those of Adidas girls (John Phillips) and the MTWhite leftovers have taken place with a number of team affiliations changed, dropped, opened and still pending. The 2009 girls basketball event calendar has been finalized while the boys calendar is still pending with NCAA legislation and the Youth Basketball community seeking different perspectives and action. The AAU Convention in Cancun, Mexico where the AAU Girls Basketball meeting of District Sports Directors and the AAU Girls Basketball Execituinve Committee turned into a six-hour display of unhappiness over the direction and leadership of the Girls program which has seen a tremendous loss in numbers during the present EC’s tenure.
In the next week we’ll see the NCAA’s fall signing period where a number of players will finally be officially committed to their schools with the National Letter of Intent (NLI) and a few who will skip this time line and choose to sign at a different time. The list of top college recuiting classes is being worked on by Chris Mennig with input from our staffers and contributers to our site and to our events. Another addition to our group will be Duffy Burns, a former women’s basketball head coach and assistant coach who’s famous in the women’s basketball community for his annual list of singing and college job openings. Duffy will bring his years of experience and connections to our family of Blue Star people.
A lot has transpired over the past month and now with most of my helter-skelter travel schedule completed there are just a few more meetings to do before I take a break for the Thanksgiving holidays and the start of girls basketball on the East Coast. I will take that time to bring some of the tid-bits of information and things-to-come points that you’ll want to know about – things that you won’t find elsewhere on the web. Our goal is to make sure that the girls basketball fan has a place they know they can click to where they can get the most authentic and authoratative information about the sport from rankings, to information, to trends, to signings and the ever important insider information we can provide. Credibility comes from your resume of experience and years in girls and women’s basketball and we feel strongly about our list of people connected with the Blue Star web site and we hope you enjoy what they bring.