Category Archives: Tournament Info

GRBA National Championships July 24-27

MML U15 parents/players/family,

It has been quite a long time since we have done this, but we are playing in Fort Wayne, IN this weekend (beginning Thursday- I am being told that every team will play on Thursday) at the Gym Rats Basketball Association National Championship tournament.  This is a NCAA-certified event and as such comes with different rules.  For example, there can be no one in the bench area that is not NCAA-certified (even the coaches must pay to be certified) or a player on a NCAA-certified roster.  There is a 30-45 minute video regarding NCAA rules and regulations that the team will be scheduled to watch and MUST do so or be disqualified.  We MUST show proof of age with birth certificates.  If I do not have yours, I better have it by Tuesday’s practice or Wednesday at the latest.  Believe me, they will check.  Admission cost to games for spectators will be higher (you can bank on it).  There will be college coaches at the tournament as well.  Players/parents CANNOT interact with the coaches!  It could constitute an NCAA violation.  If a coach is interested, they will let me know.  There are sections for seating for college coaches only and separate entrances to try to assist with that.  Parking at Spiece Fieldhouse is limited.  Arriving early is advised if our games are there.  I will post the schedule as soon as it becomes available (supposedly today).  In terms of lodging, see below from their website:

“Gym Rats Basketball has a “Stay to Play” policy for all tournaments in Fort Wayne.  This requires all participants (teams and guests) in need of hotel accommodations must make their reservations through Go and See Team Travel.  This is a complimentary service and makes securing your rooms quick and easy.  It is required that teams book their housing through this service to ensure placement in this tournament.”

Team and individual reservations can be made online or by phone, as follows:

Go and See Team Travel


Toll Free – 855-TEAMTVL


Now we did not know about this before the tournament or that likely would have impacted our decision to play here and will do so moving forward.  We have had one parent (Maurice’s mom- -thanks) hold a block of rooms through this travel company, but I didn’t read her text properly and see that the hold was only until Saturday night (my fault).  I know that the rooms were in the Hotel Fort Wayne though for reference.  If there are any additional questions, let me know please.  I will update as time progresses and things change.

Important: If you have not met your financial obligation to MML yet, this must take place by the tournament date….PRACTICE WILL BE TUESDAY 4-6PM AT MOTT CC!


Tournament Schedule:


POOL 20                                Date        Time       Gym          Court    Home/Away

20A MID MICHIGAN LAKERS                 THURSDAY     7:00 PM     NORTHROP               17                20A-20B

20B DB HOOPS – BLAIR                         THURSDAY     8:15 PM     NORTHROP                17                20C-20D

20C INDIANA WARRIORS                      FRIDAY        1:00 PM        NORTHSIDE                14                20A-20C

20D ILLINOIS OLD SCHOOL                  FRIDAY        2:15 PM        NORTHSIDE                14                20B-20D

                                                                 FRIDAY        8:30 PM        NORTHSIDE                12                20A-20D

                                                                 FRIDAY        8:30 PM        NORTHSIDE                13                20B-20C

If we finish in 1st, we play at 9:15 am on Saturday.  2nd-4th and we play at 8:00 am on Saturday.

Gym Locations:

Northrop High School

7001 Coldwater Road

Fort Wayne, IN 46825


Northside High School

475 East State Blvd.

Fort Wayne, IN 46805


Spiece Fieldhouse

5310 Merchandise Drive

Fort Wayne, IN 46825


Tournament Rules:



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Up North Challenge 2014 Schedule

~As of 5/22/14

We are off to Mount Pleasant this weekend in one of our favorite tournaments of the year.  The schedule is a bit strange, but here goes:

MML u15 (Pool C):

Saturday, May 24 @11:30 am- vs. West Michigan Lakers-Black @West Intermediate School (WIS) [white jersey]

Saturday, May 24 @04:10 pm- vs. Northern Michigan Drive @Mount Pleasant High School court #3 (MPHS) [blue jersey]

If we finish in 1st place in the pool, we play at Saturday night at 7:40 pm at MPHS #3, 2nd gets us a game at WIS at 7:40 pm, 3rd is 8:50 pm at MPHS #2, 4th puts us in a game Sunday at 9:10 am at Sacred Heart Academy #6.  Wins or losses in the 1-4 place games still put us into a Sunday morning game to be determined.


MML u17 (Pool O):

Friday, May 23 @7:10 pm- vs. Elite Skills Orange @Mount Pleasant High School court #3 (MPHS) [blue jersey]

Saturday, May 24 @8:00 am- vs. Grand Rapids Flight @Mount Pleasant High School court #1 (MPHS) [white jersey]

If we finish in 1st place in the pool, we play at Saturday night at 7:40 pm at MPHS #1, 2nd gets us a game at WIS at 5:20 pm, 3rd is 6:30 pm at MPHS #3.  Win or lose, it will put us into a Sunday morning game to be determined.


Mount Pleasant High School

1155 S. Elizabeth St.
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

Court 1
Court 2
Court 3


Sacred Heart Academy

316 E. Michigan St.
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

Court 5
Court 6


West Intermediate School

440 S. Bradley Rd.
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

Court 4

Hotel Info:

As of 9:00 am on 5/22/2014, there are still rooms available at the Super 8 in Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant Inn and Suites, Hampton Inn Mount Pleasant (very expensive), and I have heard word that there are comparably-priced rooms at the waterpark hotel.  I recommend searching express deals as well for a better value.


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Kalamazoo’s Finest

The MML U15 squad had its most productive weekend of the spring so far this past weekend at the Camp Darryl/ tournament.  Finishing with a 2-3 record, some may question if that is the case, but anyone who has seen the team over the past month can attest to that fact.  The weekend started with a Saturday morning shellacking of the Elite Skills squad and a 65-45 win.  Trevor Bland led the way with 18 points with Matt Buschman and Thomas Cook tossing in 10 themselves.  It was truly a balanced game with everyone contributing to the cause.  It was also a sign of the team’s growth and things to come.

Facing the host Camp Darryl team in the second game proved to be very interesting.  Following a series of questionable calls and suspect bench play, we found ourselves in foul trouble and behind on the scoreboard.  Then we decided to start playing the way we know how to and PG Ricky Holmes III led the charge.  The game went back and forth until the end when we had a couple costly turnovers in a 3 point loss 58-61.  Holmes III had 13, Cook 11, Bland 10, and Tyler Rose 9.

The next game was against the co-host team, Parallel 45, and unfortunately the same two officials from game 2.  I will never blame officials for a loss, but when one comes up to you after the game and apologizes for the other’s officiating, something must be said.  It hurt the heart of the team to see the game being stripped by one guy.  Of course we did not play flawlessly, but the official who approached me said, “I saw what he was doing and I tried to make up for it.”  The second half fouls were 9-1 in their favor to start the half.  Several of our best players were saddled with foul trouble.  That said, we still battled to the bitter end in which a controversial foul call at best sent the opposition to the FT line with 3 seconds left.  He hit the 2nd of two free throws and a long heave by Cook glanced off the rim at the buzzer for a 55-56 loss.  Holmes led with 24, Bland 11, and Paris Partee 7.

That loss put us into bracket play as the 3rd place team in the pool and a tougher road ahead.  We played the Macomb County Cougars (ironically, so did the u17 in their first bracket game).  Last year, we also faced this team in the same position en route to the silver championship as a u17 squad.  The 4th game in a long day left the guys without much inn the tank.  Well, that is until Bland decided to take control.  Playing like a man possessed, he took control of a game in the balance and pushed MML to victory with a huge 21-point performance.  Cook threw in 12, Holmes 10, and Partee 7 to earn the team’s first bracket win of the spring and a birth in the quarterfinals.

Unfortunately, this description will be short.  The quarterfinal game matched us against a team in the Michigan Mustangs that has not loss all season.  We still had no excuse to play as bad of a first half as we did.  Letting fear override our good sense, we struggled to make a shot or stop one.  We showed some chops in the beginning of the second half but it was far too late and we suffered our worst loss 29-69.  Holmes had 11 and Partee 10 in the loss.

All in all, it was a weekend of growth for us and a sign that we are growing.  For the players, there is no going back now.  The bar as been set.  On to Mount Pleasant we go…

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CDBA/Bankhoops Tournament info May 16-18, 2014



Well, we at poised to begin another tourney weekend, this time in Kalamazoo, MI.  This tournament is run by one of the programs that helped us get started, Camp Darryl Basketball Academy.  The following are the schedules as of Wednesday night.  Both teams will play no Friday games (thank goodness).  The schedule is as follows:


U-15 (Pool I):

11:20 a.m. May 17, 2014- vs. Elite Skills @ Kalamazoo College (court #1- white jersey) 

1:40 p.m. May 17, 2014- vs. CDBA @ Courthouse Athletic Center (court #3- white jersey)

4:00 p.m. May 17, 2014- vs. Parallel 45 @ Courthouse Athletic Center (court #3- blue jersey)

~~A 1st place pool finish will put us with a game Sun, at 10:10 am, 2nd place Sat at 6:20 pm, 3rd place Sat. 7:30 pm.  We are guaranteed 4 games.


U-17 (Pool D):

9:00 a.m. May 17, 2014- vs. West Michigan Lakers- Purple @ Kalamazoo College (court #1- blue jersey) 

11:20 a.m. May 17, 2014- vs. Shoreline Hoops @ Courthouse Athletic Center (court #4- blue jersey)

1:40 p.m. May 17, 2014- vs. Parallel 45- White @ Kalamazoo College (court #2- white jersey)

6:20 p.m. May 17, 2014- vs. TBD @ TBD (DETERMINED BY SEEDING)



Courthouse Athletic Center

7365 S Sprinkle Rd
Portage, MI 49002

Courthouse Athletic Center – CH 1
Courthouse Athletic Center – CH 2
Courthouse Athletic Center – CH 3
Courthouse Athletic Center – CH 4


Kalamazoo College

1200 Academy St
Kalamazoo, MI 49006

Kalamazoo College – KC 1
Kalamazoo College – KC 2


Loy Norrix High School

606 E. Kilgore Rd
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Loy Norrix High School – LN 1
Loy Norrix High School – LN 2




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PROGRESS in Lansing…

Coming into the Moneyball Shootout this past weekend, the MML u15 team had a 0-6 record in two previous tournaments.  However, with only a 3-point loss in their final game of the Warriors Jam Fest, winning seemed only to be around the corner.  Everyone wants to win; that’s why we run (see I Corinthians 9:24-25), but I placed an emphasis on getting better in this program and we stand by that.  Some programs sacrifice everything in an effort to win right then, only to see years of dry talent pools hinder them moving forward.  This group had never played together before and frankly had barely even heard of each other before and the challenge of fusing together a true team is a daunting one.  Saturday at the Moneyball Shootout, the guys showed that they are becoming one though right on the fly.

Our first game was against the Saginaw Underdawgs, a relatively new program in part sponsored by the Oakland Raiders’ Lamar Woodley.  We started out tentatively and allowed them to use their athleticism against us.  Once we settled down, we began creating opportunities for each other simply by moving the ball up the floor without concern for our own offense.  Adding Ricky Holmes III has been a big pickup for us.  Putting in the position of PG that he has never really played before has been quite a transition for him as well.  But, he and the team are all learning together.  Many times in this contest, he broke through the Underdawgs press and set up teammates with open shots.  One such teammate was Thomas Cook, who was lighting it up from the outside with three 3-point baskets.  Trevor Bland and Paris Partee controlled the glass, while Matt Buschman and Tyler Rose seemed to do a bit of everything en route to a 4-point victory.

In game two on Saturday, we matched up against an Adidas-sponsored  Michigan Mustangs team.  Stepping in for me as coach for the first few minutes was Holly head coach Lance Bayliss (thank you sir!).  We got off slow offensively, but defensively we were  in control.  Then our past issues reared their ugly heads, turnovers and missed layups.  On 3 consecutive plays, the Mustangs stole a pass and went down court for a layup that hurt tremendously.  At halftime, we were down 19-16 and frustrated.  A determined group in the second half though got back to playing their games and decided to go for the win.  The guards turned up the pressure on defense led by Holmes.  His defense quickly rubbed off on every0ne else, including a big defensive stretch by Destin Julian whose hustle stopped a sure layup by the Mustangs and caused us to get one on the other end. Cook and Buschman took turns hitting 3’s from the corners with 3 a piece in the second half alone.  It was Buschman’s 3 that put MML in the lead for good and Cook’s that really took the heart out of the Mustangs.  A little bit of shaky free throw shooting by us made the game interesting, but the result was a 51-47 win.  We more than doubled our offensive output in the second half with Cook finishing with 14 points (four 3’s), Buschman 11 points (three 3’s). and Bland adding 11 of his own.  Rose and Holmes had 5 points a piece.

Finishing #1 in our pool moved us into bracket play on Sunday for the first time this spring.  Unfortunately, we looked like it was our first time this spring in bracket play.  The West Michigan Flight have annually been a tough opponent for us and this time was no different.  They came out strong, out hustling us to each loose ball.  When you add to that Bland picking up two quick fouls and Rose being unable to attend, we got ourselves into a tough spot early on.  The hole we dug kept getting deeper, but we kept fighting.  With a size advantage and Bland in foul trouble, the Flight attacked us inside.  The second started out much like the first, and the lead reached the upper 20’s.  Putting Bland at the PG for a while seemed to help some and we cut the lead to 15 a couple times, but each time the Flight would hit a couple huge shots from the outside to stop the runs.  In the end, we took the loss 42-62 and bowed out of the tournament in the quarterfinals.  Bland led with 12p, Holmes had 9, and Buschman and Partee had 8 respectively.

All in all, there were big strides made in MML’s effort to constantly improve.  The will to win has kicked in and now permeates everyone.  It will no longer be acceptable to play below this level as we continue to progress this summer.  Good tournament guys, but always remember…”Good, better, best; don’t ever rest until your good is better than your best.”  No time to rest.

Offensive MVPs:

Bland, Cook, Buschman

Defensive MVPs:

Holmes, Rose, Partee

Unsung hero:

Destin Julian

Next tournament is this weekend in Kalamazoo.  Please secure transportation prior to Friday.  Also, remember that payment is PAST DUE.  You must see me immediately if your fee has not been paid.


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Moneyball Shootout 2014 Tournament Schedule

~UPDATED 5/10/14!!!!

It’s that time again…tournament time!  We are in Lansing this week playing against some stiff competition.  It’s time for MML to turn the corner!  The scheduling is a bit odd in this tournament, especially for U15 because they only use one facility for games.  I do not have the times for Sunday, but both teams will be playing then.  Here is what we know so far:

U15 (Pool B):

11:15 am May 10, 2014- vs.  Saginaw Underdawgs @Aim High court #2

2:30 pm May 10, 2014- vs.  Michigan Mustangs- Petersen @Aim High court #1

11:15 am May 11, 2014- vs.  Stars Basketball @Aim High court #3 (if we win, we play again at 4:40 pm in the semifinal)


U17 (Pool C):

2:30 pm May 10, 2014- vs.  REACH Elite @Aim High court #4

7:55 pm May 10, 2014- vs. Michigan Mustangs- Stucky @Aim High court #2

10:10 am May 11, 2014- vs. Elite Nation @Aim High court #1 (if we win, we play at 12:20 pm)


~I will add Sunday’s schedule as soon as I find out…

Court Location:

Aim High, 7977 Centerline Drive, Diamondale, MI 48821 (Located behind Wendy’s and Comfort Inn)

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Warriors Jam Fest 2014 Schedule


Hello all,

I have gotten the tentative schedule for this weekend’s competition in the Livonia/Dearborn area for the Mid Michigan Laker teams.  Please bear in mind that this schedule is early so is still subject to change.  We will continue to update as we get them and let you know here of any changes: There are plenty of hotels in the area for those parents that want to stay overnight where necessary.  This tournament has a 3 game guarantee.  After that, it will be up to pool positioning whether we play any more games on Sunday.  As we travel, it is important to understand that it is the players’ responsibility to secure travel and food accommodations to and from the event.  There are multiple gym sites and car-pooling is encouraged.  If there are questions, see your coach.  That said, here are the schedules:

MML u-15 (Pool B):

Friday, May 2, 2014 @7:40pm- vs. TEAM-Basketball Red at HYPE Rec Center court 24

Saturday, May 3, 2014 @11:40am- vs. Triple-Threat Black at Livonia Franklin HS court 11

Saturday, May 3, 2014 @2:20pm- vs. Plymouth-Canton Force at Livonia Stevenson HS court 7

~Note:~ If we finish 1st in the pool, we play Sunday, May 4, 2014 @12:00 pm at LFHS court 14, finish 2nd and it’s a game @9:20am at LFHS court 12, finish 3rd it’s @12:00pm at HYPE court 20, finish 4th and we go home without a bracket game.


MML u-17 (Pool E):

Saturday, May 3, 2014 @09:00am- vs. DSO Elite at HYPE Rec Center court 21

Saturday, May 3, 2014 @11:40pm- vs. Parallel 45-Green at HYPE Rec Center court 23

Saturday, May 3, 2014 @5:00pm- vs. Little Ma Power at HYPE Rec Center court 23

~Note:~ If we finish 1st in the pool, we play Sunday, May 4, 2014 @8:00 am at LFHS court 14, finish 2nd and it’s a game @8:00am at HYPE court 21, finish 3rd it’s @8:00pm at HYPE court 22, finish 4th and we go home without a bracket game.


Site addresses for the tournament:

1. Livonia Churchill HS, 8900 Newburgh Road, Livonia, MI 48150

2. Livonia Franklin HS, 31000 Joy Road, Livonia, MI 48150

3. Livonia Stevenson HS, 33500 6 Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48152

4. Northville HS, 45700 6 Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48168

5. HYPE Recreation Center, 23302 West Warren Street, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

6. Holmes Middle School, 16200 Newburgh Road, Livonia, MI 48154


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Nowhere to go but UP…

The MML U15 season started out Easter weekend at the Flint’s Finest tournament Hoops Classic tournament in Swartz Creek. After only 4 practices (only 1 with the full squad), it was time to turn the lights on and see what we had. Well, what we saw is that we have a lot of work to do. For the first time as a coach in MML history, my team finished a weekend without a win. For a 7-team bracket, the competition was really high which was great preparation moving forward.

The first game was a hard battle against the team that eventually finished in 2nd place, the Tri City Heat. Thomas Cook and Matt Buschman had strong starts to take us to halftime in a battle. Tyler Rose came off of the bench to spark the team in the second half, but turnovers proved to be the team’s demise in the 39-47 loss. Cook and Buschman led with 9 points and Rose chipped in 8. Trevor Bland led a rebounding effort that kept it close as well.

The second game saw us matched up against a former MSU Flintstone Morris Peterson sponsored team appropriately named the “Flintstones”. Unfortunately for us, they had an experienced and big group that jumped on us with their athleticism. There weren’t many bright spots, but ours had to be when Bland dove for a loose ball, came up short, but was somehow then able to knock it from the opposing player’s hands, collect the ball, then pass it out to a teammate to start the break all while ON THE GROUND! The game didn’t finish in our favor 36-66, but that hustle showed signs of a heart developing. Buschman and Bland had 10 points apiece, while Rose tossed in 9 of his own.

The next morning brought with it a team from Ann Arbor in DSO Sports. The MML squad seemed more determined than ever to fight and claw their way through the game. At halftime, we found ourselves buying into a brand new defensive strategy and down only 3 points to a heavily favored team. Unfortunately, the grind of a tough weekend and tough game caught up to us in the second half and we ran out of gas and managed only 9 points losing 22-38. Bland and Buschman threw in 5 points, and Devonare Vaughn had 4.

A couple of weeks off will help the team gel and allow some work to be done on ball control. The next tournament will be the Michigan Warriors Jam Fest May 2-4.

The good: MVPs Buschman and Bland. Both guys showed a grit and determination that started to rub off on the rest of the guys. Leading the team in scoring and rebounding, they did what they could to lead the Lakers. I expect bigger and better things.

The bad: Our offense. Execution was at a minimum this tournament and must get better. Ball control, passing, cutting, and shooting are some of the determining factors.

The ugly: TURNOVERS!! We set a record I am sure for the number of times we gave the ball away for free to the other team. Execution will help, but an understanding of how important ball control will help even more…and we WILL take care of the ball better!

Unsung hero: Rose. I admit it; I didn’t know what he had in him. He showed me a heart that is threatening to burst out his chest. He scored, hustled, defended, played out of position at times, and just gave everything he had.

~REMEMBER~ Payment is now due.

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Flint’s Finest Hoops Classic- MML U15 schedule 2014

It’s an exciting week here with MML as our first tournament is fast approaching this upcoming weekend, April 18, 19.  So far, the schedule for the pool games on Friday are as follows:

Friday, April 18, 2014– 12:00 pm vs. Tri City Heat @ the Cage Fieldhouse court 4

Friday, April 18, 2014– 4:00 pm vs. Flintstones@ the Cage Fieldhouse court 2

Bear in mind that the schedule is tentative until Thursday at 5:00 pm when it goes final.  As you can see, two games are scheduled pool games and any games following, will be scheduled based on the results from these pool games.  The more we win, the more we play.  In this tournament, only three games are guaranteed, so to keep playing after game 3, we MUST win.  We will post more information if it becomes available or if the schedule changes.

Parents, it is imperative that the U15 kids be at practice on Thursday, April 17 from 7-9 pm at the Cage as we will finalize preparation for the tourney.  Spring break has put us firmly behind the 8-ball in terms of practice and preparation, but we will adapt and overcome

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Tentative 2014 Schedule


Flints Finest Tournament: April 18-19 (Flint) * U-15 only

Warrior Jamfest: May 2-4 (Livonia)

Moneyball Shootout: May 9-11, (Lansing)

CDBA/BankHoops: May 16-18 (Kalamazoo)

Up North Challenge: May 23-25 (Mt. Pleasant)


TBD: Based on spring performance

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