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 Provincial Teams

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12321



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PostSubject: Provincial Teams   Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:33 pm

Does anyone have any thoughts on how our provincial teams will fare in Edmonton later this week? I understand the U15, U16 and U17 Boys and Girls National Championships will all be held at the Saville Centre at the same time and location for the first time ever since the tournament's inception. That will be quite a week of basketball. Does anyone have any insight into how our Alberta teams look and how they might stack up against the rest of Canada?
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12321



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:43 am

Alberta is hosting this, 100 people have seen this post and no one knows anything about our teams? Is that because the only people on this forum are from the south where players generally don't get selected for these teams?
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For Three



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:07 am

What exactly are you trying to stir up? If you want to see the how the teams are just go to the games. If you're a basketball junkie you don't want to miss this and all 6 groups will be entertaining to watch.
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12321



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:09 am

Discussion. Is that what this forum is for?
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Cochrane



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:51 pm

Basketball Alberta is hosting the U16 Western Canadian Championships (plus Nova Scotia), not nationals.
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New_Guy22



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:18 am

Alberta U15 boys finished 5th out of 10 teams

Alberta U17 boys finished 9th out of 10 teams

Not sure how the U16s did?

What are everyone's thoughts?
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For Three



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:54 pm

U16 Girls won gold beating Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the round robin and then came back from an earlier 73-39 loss to BC to upset them in the final 49-45. Clearly some good adjustments by coach Dave. Tournament MVP went to Alyssa Hoveling from Lethbridge and an all star award went to Janna Kwan. U17 Girls won bronze and the U15 girls came in 7th. U17 Girls: Chiso Ufondu (2nd Team All Star) & Megan Ahlstorm (1st Team All Star). U15 girls didn't have an all star named.

I'm not sure how the U16 Boys finished in the playoffs but they beat Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Territories in the round robin but lost to BC. Mina Ogot and Jake Nielson were tournament all stars. The U17 boys and the U15 boys didn't have any players named as all stars.
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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:03 pm

I caught 3 of the boys games online last week. U17 vs PEI, U16 vs Manitoba and U15 vs Manitoba. I was impressed. I thought our teams looked very good and I'm surprised they didn't finish higher in the standings. If 10th was a huge disappointment last year, 9th isn't going to make anyone feel any better. What happened or are we really just that far behind the other provinces in Canada? I'm also surprised Alberta U17s didn't get an all star nod. Clearly Alberta has some exceptional talent and I'm very curious how these players will do in HS ball next year and where they end up after that.
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rebund



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PostSubject: Provincial Teams   Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:33 pm

U 15 Boys did have a second team All - Star. Matthew Fullerton from Calgary.
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girlballer



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:18 pm

It is unfortunate because Alberta is still not getting the best players out to their programs (on the girls side). I'm not sure why but there are so many great players out there and they just don't try out. Maybe cost, maybe they think they aren't good enough. I think Dave did a great job with the U16 girls team, however, they got beat up pretty bad in the Grads tournament by other teams from Alberta. The U15 team for girls is the same. There are some great players on this team, however there is also some great players that didn't go to the U15 try-outs. I'm not blaming anyone, just more wondering if there is something that can be done to get these players out there to try-out. I think BA has done a great job in marketing this year and with the help of Shawnee, the program has regained some loss credibility and is going in the right direction. For what Dave (U16 coach) and Claire (U15 coach) had to work with this year, I think they did a great job.
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Girlscoach



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:46 pm

I feel the issue that must be overcome for BA to have success is to eliminate the very short term nature of the team training. The few weeks that they have to select a team and train is insufficient. I have seen this in other sports where the Alberta teams train for a few weeks and then get creamed by other provincial teams that are together most of the year. It's not the players, it's the system.

The BA teams are pulled together in a super-chaotic mass tryout with many players nowhere near the level required to compete. Open tryouts are fine, but not with over 100 players attending. Good players go unnoticed and poor players (pronounced tall) make it to the next level. The try out is really nothing more than a CP session. If the players have attended CP and know the drills, they look good. If they don't - they don't make the team. I have seen many players with the proper "CP" moves/techniques play on the BA teams with little impact on the games. Unorthodox players are left behind. The BA system is too caught up in the Canada Basketball program to see the potential of these unorthodox players.

I attended a BA tryout where they did CP drills all day long. The coaches then walked around the gym and informed the successful players that they were on the team. While they were doing this, they had all the players scrimmage. I watched the players that were filling it up during the scrimmage be left behind during the selection process. We don't want good drill performers, we want good players. The sessions I attended did not offer any scrimmage time (until the picks were already made). That is a recipe for great practicers, not great players. We need to fix this.

I know there are lots of people who volunteer a ton of hours to promote youth basketball (me included!). I hope I don't offend any of these people, but the concept of player development really seems to have taken a back seat to coach's resume building. I am not left with the sense that developing players from U14 to U17 is what drives the BA world. BA coaching seems to just be used as a spring board to a better coaching job. Find good coaches and sign them up for a 3 year commitment, not just a 6 week run to Nationals. There is a lack of coaching continuity and team continuity. It is a totally fresh start every year; new coaches, new systems, new players. We need to have time to develop these players. Keep them on the squad for several years and actually develop them. Any coach will tell you, a few weeks of "my drills" just doesn't work.

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girlballer



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:14 pm

Girlscoach.... your entire statement is exactly how I feel about it. That is very insightful from an outside perspective (outside meaning you don't coach for BA or are part of the BA Board). Here is the unfortunate part, I hate when people go on and complain and don't have any solutions, and I feel that is what I'm about to do.

I'm not here to say I know how to fix it, but I think it's fair to say the system can be greatly improved. As stated by Girlscoach, the long term commitment of coaches to these programs, the try-out process, and the lack of financial support the province gives these teams are all concerns.

I am just unsure if BA thinks they have problems. That's whats scary. It's okay if BA says, "yes we know we aren't getting all the best kids, we know we aren't getting enough time to train before Nationals and we know we do not have the finances to make this as cost effective as possible for the players BUT we are working on it and we are trying to make changes" ...

However, it appears (and remember perception can be reality) that BA believes they are a notch above all other basketball organizations in Alberta and that people will flock to them because they are Basketball Alberta. (I would like to point out that I'm not suggesting that is how BA feels, however, their actions in many cases give off that perception to many people)

I will say this, I know that certain people think CLUB basketball can be the devil, but I also believe you can't paint every club with the same brush. There is a place in Alberta for club basketball and a lot of really great players play club basketball. Where it seems a bit confusing is why club basketball and BA can't seem to work together.

Like you Girlscoach, I'm not trying to offend anyone, I'm just trying to get the conversation going so the right people (who ever they may be) may be able to do something to make BA and basketball in Alberta even better then it already is.

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mcorrigan68



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:32 pm

Here a couple things to think about re: BA. While BA likes to adhere to Canada Basketball curriculum (as previously stated and Shawnee Harle espouses continually), I agree that in some cases some athletes would appear to be chosen as they were part of "the program" (CP, younger provincial teams etc.). I would also argue that if the goal is development and not winning, then more time should be spent on choosing athletes that might pan out at the U17, CIS or Canball levels. This should be stated as a BA directive, along with expectations so that people are aware that development is the true initial goal and at some point, BA will catch up with some of the other stronger provinces. If on the other hand, winning is the goal (finishing top 3), BA should be looking at athletes that can perform right now - can a player score in a multitude of different ways - unorthodox or not. Whether or not any CP material is used would be irrelevant - performance would be the evaluation. Having listened to our National team coaches speak, Canada is void of "scorers / shooters" - we can defend with the best, however our ability to score is mediocre at the international level.
Along that same line, choosing coaches must match the athletes - you cannot expect a "new" head coach or one recently graduated from a master's coaching program to match wits with a seasoned coach who has a ton of practical experience. Just because a coach might be a recent ex-player - does not translate into instant coaching success. Again BA must analyze their priorities - can they chose an experienced, successful coach and provide them with the resources (lets face it - most coaches would like to make a little bit of $$ sacrificing their summer months) and the timeline required to have success at the U15/U17 levels. I agree that having 15-20 training sessions prior to competing at a national level is not enough to achieve success in wins nor in development of certain skill sets.
As for attracting the best athletes as a parent I want to see value for my dollar - and if so, I will gladly pay the price. When I look at the cost of participation, the length of the season of play/practice and the experience of the coaches (in general), I would be more inclined to remain with my club team - who in many cases offer better coaching, longer season of play and development at a far more reasonable price. While representing my province is nice, on it's own merit, it's certainly not enough at this point to dish out mega $$ for a 6week season.
Is there an easy solution? As a parent, I think BA must do a better job of attracting and allocating funds towards attracting top-level experienced coaches who are willing to sign on for a certain period of time to allow for continuity between years/athletes. I would also suggest that as mentioned some commonality between programs should be established to allow an easier transition by the athletes as they move from one to the next, as well as for the coaches. BLOB/SLOB, basic zone offense etc. can be standardized.
I do think girlballer and Girlscoach have hi-lited a few areas that will continue to be troubled as long as BA stays status quo.
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PressThis



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:33 am

I'm from BC where there have been similar concerns over the years about the status of the BBC program. One of the factors (not the only) is the wide spread growth of private club programs which compete in US and attract many of the top players. The result is that top players tend to get spread out across many teams. I know this is an issue in Ontario as well but their depth given population helps them stay competitive.

Just wondering what the club situation is in Alberta - is this a factor?
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earlmanigalt



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:53 pm

The club situation in Alberta majorly limits the performance of provincial teams at nationals. Every year, every provincial team (U15/U17 boy's/ girl's) loses out on 3+ players who are opting to play club instead. Until ABA can reconcile an understanding with the club teams, it will only get worse for ABA. The club teams run their programs to make money (though some claim to be non-profit, this only means that their revenues match their expenses. It`s easy to include a line expense for a coaching salary that can afford you to buy an Escalade or Lexus, and call your club non-profit). As a result of the money incentive, club teams have to prove to the basketball community, on a yearly basis, that they are the best team or program to play for. And no one should fault the club teams for doing this. If someone wants to earn their living from club basketball, that should be their choice. However, this puts ABA in a difficult position to either work collaboratively with the clubs or to compete with them. Based on ABA not getting the best players for any of their teams, I would assume that the collaboration approach has not been successful.

I am not sure that the financial aspect is a limitation. Four years ago, I had a niece complete her 2nd year on the U17 team and the cost was similar to our club team`s cost and the travel was similar. I don`t believe ABA`s price tag is a concern when you compare travel schedule and gym time with other programs.

I don`t believe coaching and or player development is the issue either. Over the past 7 years (sorry, this is the extent of my provincial team knowledge), the coaching for ABA has been excellent (either university, college, or experienced high school coaches on most of the teams). Furthermore, the top players in the province are quite good as we have several players each year move on to the NCAA. The only issue is that our best players don`t always play for the provincial program because the clubs take them onto their teams. Pair that with being a province that is low in population (compared to ON and QC) and with a hockey focus, it is understandable to see finishes out of the top 3.

An analysis of MB will support my point. Speaking with a MB coach this summer indicated that they have no club system to compete with. MB gets their best players for the provincial program. As a result, they won both U17 boy`s and girl`s this year. ON and QC tend to do very well due to their populations. They can send their B teams and finish top 3 in Canada. BC has been struggling as of late for the same reasons as AB: low population (relative to ON and QC) and excellent development of the club system.

I`m not sure what ABA`s next move is, but they are steadily losing ground to the clubs. ABA has to find a way to develop more excellent players, and get the best players to play for the provincial program. Much easier said than done!
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For Three



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:02 am

The financial aspect is definitely a limitation when you pay $2500 to play club and another $2500 to play BA. Clearly that kind of money limits participation for many players, especially from lower income families.

Are you sure MB basketball doesn't have a club system? Where do the kids play basketball after high school season is over? Does the Manitoba High School system have a seasons of play rule that limits local high school programs to run only from November to March? If they don't, they are playing locally at their high schools for very little money if any at all and getting a ton of practice, experience and gym time for less financial investment and time commitment than club programs which is a huge bonus for basketball development. It also means once the schools are closed in July, kids are available to play on the provincial teams. If the high school rules prohibit basketball out of season like in Alberta, there has to be some sort of club system where kids can play. Obviously they are playing somewhere.

There are a lot of variables to consider, the issues are complex and they involve more than a few stakeholders. Add in the business side of youth basketball that is now a reality in Alberta and there are no simple answers.
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Basketball Believer



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:30 pm

Not sure who told you that MB doesn't have a Club Basketball program. They do and there are many good travelling teams. Basketball Manitoba won the 17U Gold at Nationals but there are a number of good players that didn't tryout and played for a travelling Club team. The Club team offers some great tournaments in the USA and are well coached and everything is at a cheaper price then the provincial program. As I see it, the provincial team in MB did excellent and so did the club team.
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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:37 pm

every year its the same type of questions and criticisms following alberta's poor showing at the youth nationals. in my opinion, the new reality is that basketball alberta is far less significant than what they think they are, or should be. this is a steady decline over the past 5 or so years and has everything to do with A) the attitude of basketball alberta towards the "evil" clubs who "steal" players and their sense of superiority B) Poor coaching/coach selection C) The historically political nature of basketball alberta and the selection of teams D) The experiece BA can offer is no longer unique as basketball has grown and improved in this province as a direct result of the "evil" clubs.

i am old enough to recall when Basketball Alberta offered the only real source for a young player to be highlighted nationally and compete at the highest level at that age. I can also recall the political nature of how many of the player selections were made, where many of of the most talented players were not chosen because they either did not know the right people, or play for the right club (Jr. Dinos in Calgary.)

i would argue that the advent of the top clubs in Calgary in particular, began as a response to the politics of BA where a significant amount of truly talented players just never got the opportunity.

BA used to be feared 10 years ago when they showed up to tournaments. 5 years ago club teams wanted nothing more than to hand it to them. Now, BA is almost a side note.

BA continues to operate under this sense of entitlement that just isnt there anymore. They are out of touch.

As far as this notion that clubs take players from BA. That is the sense of entitlement i am talking about. A player is free to do whatever he/she chooses. Most clubs offer excellent development programs that are year round and provide opportunities to play at elite levels and in some incredible tournaments both in Canada and the US. If you dont believe this is accurate then go take a look at a club schedule and start counting the hours the coaches are with the players in the gym from september to july.

Im not sure what the solution should be for BA to get back to a respectable level nationally. But I do think it should start with a change of attitude and direction beginning with the guy at the top. If they view themselves as the leaders of basketball in the province is time they start demonstrating the characteristics of leadership themselves.
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Mark Scott



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:46 pm

Balldontlie wrote:
every year its the same type of questions and criticisms following alberta's poor showing at the youth nationals. in my opinion, the new reality is that basketball alberta is far less significant than what they think they are, or should be. this is a steady decline over the past 5 or so years and has everything to do with A) the attitude of basketball alberta towards the "evil" clubs who "steal" players and their sense of superiority B) Poor coaching/coach selection C) The historically political nature of basketball alberta and the selection of teams D) The experiece BA can offer is no longer unique as basketball has grown and improved in this province as a direct result of the "evil" clubs.

i am old enough to recall when Basketball Alberta offered the only real source for a young player to be highlighted nationally and compete at the highest level at that age. I can also recall the political nature of how many of the player selections were made, where many of of the most talented players were not chosen because they either did not know the right people, or play for the right club (Jr. Dinos in Calgary.)

i would argue that the advent of the top clubs in Calgary in particular, began as a response to the politics of BA where a significant amount of truly talented players just never got the opportunity.

BA used to be feared 10 years ago when they showed up to tournaments. 5 years ago club teams wanted nothing more than to hand it to them. Now, BA is almost a side note.

BA continues to operate under this sense of entitlement that just isnt there anymore. They are out of touch.

As far as this notion that clubs take players from BA. That is the sense of entitlement i am talking about. A player is free to do whatever he/she chooses. Most clubs offer excellent development programs that are year round and provide opportunities to play at elite levels and in some incredible tournaments both in Canada and the US. If you dont believe this is accurate then go take a look at a club schedule and start counting the hours the coaches are with the players in the gym from september to july.

Im not sure what the solution should be for BA to get back to a respectable level nationally. But I do think it should start with a change of attitude and direction beginning with the guy at the top. If they view themselves as the leaders of basketball in the province is time they start demonstrating the characteristics of leadership themselves.



This looks like a post from the BC Forum. Many of the same issues there, although coaching isn't the same problem at Basketball BC as you say it is in Alberta. Some excellent coaches at Basketball BC. In my experience the coaching and training is better at Basketball BC (my son played on the U15 team a couple years ago), but they are not good at helping players get recruited and their schedule is not as strong. Many kids want to go D1 and clubs give them the best shot.

The mandate for provincial organizations is too wide and hasn't kept up with the growth of the game or the interests of players.  They need to get out of the club “business” and focus on the sport's infrastructure – especially at the grassroots.  

Rather than wasting resources on summer long provincial team programs, provincial teams should be chosen from the best players at the end of the July season, which usually ends after the final Vegas tourney “live” period.  This means Canada Basketball would need to move the Nationals to mid or late August, but it is a sensible alternative to the declining importance of the Nationals for top players. Now it is generally only the smaller provinces, without major clubs, that get all their best players. Ontario, BC, Alberta and Quebec are all in decline, especially at the U17 level, when recruiting counts. Were there even three D1 coaches at the Nationals this year, while there were dozens at the CIA Bounce Exposure camp in Toronto at the same time? No.

Clubs need competition too.  When there is only one dominant club in a market, they get arrogant and self-satisfied just like the provincial organizations.  Freeing up quality players from the provincial teams would help clubs compete among themselves, and force them to provide better coaching and programs to go along with their focus on recruiting.  

I am confident that none of what I am suggesting will get implemented - I've been proselytizing on the BC forum for years - but it is worth stating the case every once in a while in the slim hope of change.
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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:24 pm

There was a day when BA was the only game in town during the summer. The best players played because it was the highest level of ball, had quality coaching, was the best opportunity for exposure and it was affordable for everyone. BA literally dropped the ball and club basketball picked it up and ran with it, providing opportunities not only for the elite players, but for all players. There is still a draw for players to represent Alberta at the National Tournament but there are so many more options for player development and exposure other than BA. If BA really wants to make a difference and become relevant again, they should be helping to bring local, affordable opportunities for players to play year round at various levels including elite. That means advocating for basketball with the ASAA and getting rid of the seasons of play rule that is randomly enforced and ridiculously outdated. Take advantage of local gyms that are already paid for by taxes, allow players to play at a 10th of what it costs to play club, keep the talented and experienced coaches coaching instead of padding the pockets of a select few full time professional club coaches, and make Team Alberta a draw again that players will choose to participate on because it provides the best opportunities once more. The current system, including club, has major flaws and players and their families are sucked into a dream support scenario that for many is at a serious financial breaking point.
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PostSubject: re:agree   Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:29 am

I agree with most comments here. Politics have killed BA as well as poor coaching selection. There never seems to be an emphasis on building a team, as opposed to just grabbing a bunch of kids who think they can score. This yrs u17 tryout was basically a glorified shoot around. Kind of hard to pick a team that way. I guess that's why they let someone's mother bully her way in to make sure certain kids were selected.
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trifecta3



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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:47 pm

This discussion started down a path talking about the girls provincial program with concerns expressed by Girlscoach and Girlballer. It has now migrated to issues with the boys side. The common theme being that no one thinks BA is doing a good job with the provincial team program. While some points made in this thread are valid, others ring hollow.

1. Reasonable Expectations

How well should Alberta do at Nationals? On average Alberta should perform at its share of population which is 4th in the country. This means sometimes winning medals and sometimes finishing 5th or sixth. In recent years, Alberta has underperformed on this measure. The average place of Alberta teams at Nationals and Canada Games over the last five years from 2010-2014 is 5.75. On average, the performance of the boys and girls teams is almost identical.

2. Why does Alberta underperform?

(a) Getting the Best Players

A common theme to many of the posts in this thread is that Team Alberta does not get the best players in the Province. This is not the reason for Alberta’s underperformance at Nationals.

On the girls side most of the best players were on Team Alberta. There were few if any team changing players missing from the U15 or U17 provincial teams. There were certainly some solid players from clubs that did not try out, but these individuals would not have turned the U15s into a medal contender or the U17s from a bronze medallists into silver or gold medallists. Similarly, there were no team changing players cut from either the U15 or U17 teams. With any team you can always disagree with the coach over some cuts, but those disagreements are about the players at the end of the bench (9-12) and not about the core of the team. On the boys side there may have been more missing players, but some of the very best were playing for Alberta (Awak Piom, Aher Uguak).

The more important point is that Alberta is no more affected (perhaps less) than the other large provinces by missing players. Ontario, Quebec, and B.C. all miss players who choose to play with club teams on the U.S. tournament circuit in July or on the Basketball Canada Cadet team. If Alberta had its missing players and the other large Provinces had their missing players the result would be the same. It is true that the smaller provinces tend to get most of their best players on their provincial teams and that this is, in part, because the clubs are not as big and successful in those provinces. The bottom line is that I don’t think that BA is any worse at getting players out than any other large province.

(b) Getting the Best Coaches

There has been lots of general criticism of the coaches and selection of coaches, but nothing specific. The vibe seems to be that posters would prefer to see veteran high school coaches rather than university coaches or up and coming university assistant coaches.

By its recent choices, BA clearly favours coaches associated with a university and who have bought into the Basketball Canada philosophy and system. BA is signalling how it wants players developed and, more importantly, coaches developed. By making choices like this, BA is investing in coaches that will contribute to the growth of basketball in Alberta for many years to come.

Like everyone else, I question some of the strategic decisions and personnel choices made by the coaches. However, I often find myself doing the same thing when I watch the NBA on television. This probably says more about the nature of being a spectator than the quality of the coaching. My view is that the quality of coaches this year was excellent and I respect their effort and dedication in coaching kids for little money and little credit in the summer.

I have no doubt that if you gave a veteran high school coach a 3 or 4 year deal to run a team, he or she could get better results. You would have continuity and you would have someone who has lots of experience and a bag full of age appropriate strategies. However, you would also risk having the kind of problems that happen when someone “owns” a program, especially if you pick a coach with a dominant personality. More importantly, from the BA perspective, you would have some trouble finding a veteran high school coach who would teach the game in accordance with Basketball Canada’s philosophy.

BA has selected a certain type of coach and has done so for reasons that I generally agree with. Going a different way could affect results (though not dramatically) and would not necessarily accomplish BA’s other goals. While posters can reasonably differ with BA's approach, it cannot be said that has no logic or that it is done in bad faith.

(c) Divided Geography

Alberta teams are chosen in the early spring – in April the last couple of years – and then practice sporadically until the beginning of July. Other large provinces choose their teams later (Ontario and BC in May) and similarly do not practice seriously until July. Alberta’s problems are exacerbated by the fact that training moves around the Province (Calgary, Edmonton, South) to keep everyone happy (or more accurately, equally unhappy). The cost and inconvenience of travel for training is demanding and is a disincentive to participate in the program.

Small provinces and provinces with a single major centre have huge advantages in selecting teams and in practicing frequently. For example, because Winnipeg is the dominant city in Manitoba, selecting Team Manitoba is not that different than selecting a team for Greater Edmonton. If the task was to select a team for Greater Edmonton, the coaches would also come into the try-outs more familiar with the players and would have an easier time scheduling practices around club commitments. The small provinces can also pick their teams early and then practice more frequently because less travel is required. Even Saskatchewan with its much smaller population and less distance between the major centres (Regina and Saskatoon) is better placed than Alberta in this regard.

(d) Basketball Culture

No one wants to talk about this, but other provinces care more about basketball. In Alberta it is f***ing hockey first, middle, and last on every sportscast. You are more likely to hear about junior hockey or minor hockey than you are about professional basketball. This attention given to hockey is reflected in the resources (money, time, etc.) soaked up by hockey. While this is also the case in places like Saskatchewan and Manitoba, there are large parts of BC, Ontario, and even Quebec where kids don’t give a crap about hockey. This is where Canadian basketball talent comes from. In addition to having the Raptors, Greater Toronto has large number of kids who never lace up skates.

Basketball is never going to overtake hockey in Alberta, but we need a vibrant basketball culture. This is where I think that BA is making signficant strides and must continue to do so. In the past several years BA has done the following:

(i) Moved the Senior Women’s National Team to Edmonton;
(ii) Established a significant media presence on the radio, newspapers, etc.;
(iii) Brought international games to Edmonton;
(iv) Brought the National Championships to Edmonton and had all four age/gender groups together (and have the boys coming back next year);
(v) Got the National Championships NCAA certified for the first time;
(vi) Together with EYBA made Youth Provincials a first class event;
(vii) Gotten involved with 3X3 and heavily promoted 3X3;
(viii) Hired Shawnee Harle to work on coach development;
(ix) etc. etc.

The BA of 2014 has more resources and ambition than at any time in recent years. They deserve a lot of credit for this and a bit of a break from the negativity.

Going forward it is essential that BA establish a better relationship with the clubs and more of a presence in Calgary. Both of these things would contribute to the development of basketball in Alberta and the strengthening of the provincial team program.
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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:07 pm

Good discussion. Even the heavy weights are signing in. Certainly some regional biases and some obvious club biases that read like a bid to take over BA's perceived sense of entitlement but most are well thought out remarks and some good ideas. trifecta3 defends BA well. The coaching seems to be a real sticking point that is both conceded and defended by the BA post. It almost reads that Alberta could win with more experienced coaching but with adverse side effects that wouldn't be acceptable. One person said "you cannot expect a "new" head coach or one recently graduated from a master's coaching program to match wits with a seasoned coach who has a ton of practical experience." That's a valid point shared by North Pole Hoops in their article that describes Alberta as the most talented team. The list of all stars in other divisions also shows that we must have some talent in the province that could be developed further. Perhaps all the best players don't play but it sounds like most do and expecting a 100% buy in is probably unreasonable. So if we don't have a significant problem getting the talent, is getting the highest quality, successful, seasoned and experienced coaches from the high school ranks really the simple answer? What are the unacceptable draw backs to this approach from the BA perspective? Certainly refusing to follow Basketball Canada’s philosophy can't be one of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:01 am

So this year the results from Nationals are:

U15 Girls - 5th
U17 Girls - 5th
U15 Boys - 6th
U17 Boys - 8th

Pretty much in line with recent historical performance. Some good players were missing from U17 Boys, but I am not sure about the other teams. Generally, things seemed Edmonton heavy except for U17 Girls.
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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:59 pm

And a pair of 4th place finishes by the U16s at WCSG.
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PostSubject: Re: Provincial Teams   Today at 10:00 pm

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