Author: Elliot Dean

tsb blair smith camp tribute 03

Latest Holiday Camps had Extra Special Meaning

Our September Holiday Camps had extra special meaning for Tomorrow’s Stars Basketball as they were a special tribute to Blair Smith. Blair was an ex-Melbourne Tigers Teammate of TSB Head Coach Brett Rainbow, who sadly lost his life 6 years ago.

Blair and Brett were not only teammates at the Tigers, but roommates on the road, and the two players became very close, during and after their careers. Blair played eleven seasons in the NBL across four teams, including 5 years at the Tigers. He was a backup to the great Mark Bradtke and an integral part of the amazing 1997 NBL Championship run.

During the holiday camps, all 200 of the Tomorrow’s Stars Basketball participants wore Blair’s name and number in his honour, to celebrate his life and remember the good times. Blair’s wife, Bec, and children Brayden and Marleigh flew down to Melbourne for the first camp in Box Hill, which was a very emotional but very special time.

Throughout the past week, we witnessed some impressive skills, teamwork, and, most importantly, a ton of fun. Our dedicated coaches worked tirelessly to create a dynamic and engaging environment where everyone could learn, grow, and enjoy the game they love.

Over the 4 holiday camps we had 200 players, spent 60 hours on the court, performed 50 different basketball drills, gave out 15 Dream Team awards, 200 free TSB “Smith” t-shirts and drink bottles and lots of other prizes.

Thanks to the hundreds of happy kids who attended, parents for their support, sponsors for making the tribute possible and the fantastic coaching staff for their great work!

For Blair #31.

6 Tips to Help When Starting Basketball

So, you’ve made the decision to get into basketball? Congratulations on choosing an exciting sport to participate in, and for joining the 450 million + people who are already involved.

Whether you’ve got mates already playing or you’ve been lured in after watching current stars such as Steph Curry or Jason Tatum, it’s important to take a few things on board to help you get off on the right foot.

Get suitable attire

By this, we don’t mean that you need the hottest jersey of your favourite player (but that’s a sweet investment to get you started) but more about having safe and comfortable clothing and accessories. Clothes that aren’t too loose is important and avoid shorts with pockets, as fingers can get caught in them – and they’re actually banned for competitive play. Invest in a good pair of basketball boots that are comfortable and supportive. You’re going to be changing direction and jumping a lot, so you need to look after your feet and ankles. Likewise, a pair of ankle braces can also help you avoid injury – and there’s nothing worse than spending a month on the sidelines after rolling your ankle.

Get fit

Basketball is an aerobically challenging sport with constant running up and down the court. So getting into shape is crucial. Going for regular runs can help improve your fitness, but also interval training (where you alternate between bursts of fast and slow speeds) is also recommended. Being optimal fitness will also help minimise the risk of injury.

Source a good coach

Whether you’re playing competitive games or just building your skill set, finding a good coach is crucial. A one-on-one private coach is perfect for working with you when you’re just starting out, as they can give you a range of great drills to help, as well as ensuring you do them properly. Mastering the right techniques is a lot easier if you know how to do them the correct way.

Warm up adequately

Before training sessions or games, it is always important to warm up. This not only gets your body loose and ready for physical activity but also minimises the risk of injury. Gentle jogging, stretching and shooting and passing will get your heart rate up and your head focused for the session.

Jump and then jump some more

Basketball players love to focus on shooting, which is obviously a very important element of the game. However, jumping is also a crucial action, necessary for shooting, but also rebounding and blocking shots on defence. NBA legend Charles Barkley was only 6 foot 5, but was one of the leagues best rebounders. As a youngster, he jumped back and forth over a fence, hundreds of times a day. If you practice your jumping from an early age, you will develop strength and timing that will hold you in great stead for your entire basketball career. We also offer a Jump Program for anyone interested in a targeted program to help their leaping ability.

Practice Practice Practice

When it comes down to it, the best way you can get started with basketball, and the best way to improve, is to practice. Even the greatest players in the world are continually working on their craft. Steph Curry is the world’s best shooter (possibly ever) but he still takes a minimum 250 shots a day – at least 2000 shots per week. Likewise, Magic Johnson, one of the games’ best ever point guards, didn’t become brilliant by accident. As a kid, he used to take a basketball wherever he walked, dribbling to school, dribbling to the shops, dribbling to his friend’s house. He mastered the art of dribbling the ball by practicing over and over again.

If you work on the fundamentals, and continually practice them, it will set you on a really good path to becoming a solid basketball player.

Interesting Facts About Basketball

A Dozen Interesting Facts About Basketball

Like with many sports, basketball has evolved significantly since it was invented some 130 years ago back in Springfield, Massachusetts. There are now 2.2 billion players and fans around the world, and as participants push the boundaries of the sport, we will see more changes as the story of basketball continues to be written.

Here are 12 fascinating facts in the story so far.

  1. Baskets were really baskets

    Back in 1891 when Phys Ed teacher James Naismith was looking for another sport for his students to play during the colder months, he hung actual peach baskets from the balcony of the gym. Each time someone scored a goal, they had to pull out a ladder and climb up to retrieve the ball. That’s likely would have meant for some extra stoppages in play!

  2. Olympic Sport

    The first time basketball was ever played as an Olympic sport was at the Summer Games in Berlin, Germany in 1936. Twenty-one different countries competed, and America ended up winning the Gold.

  3. Two leagues became one

    The NBA was originally formed in 1949 when the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged together. In 1967, a rival league, the ABA, commenced, but folded nine years later. The ABA attempted some variations on the rules. Some of these ended up being adopted and are still used in the game today.

  4. Most points for a player in a game

    The most points ever scored in an NBA game was by Wilt Chamberlain who finished one night against the Knicks in March 1962 with 100 points.

  5. Three pointers

    The three-pointer now plays such a huge part of modern-day basketball. But it actually wasn’t a thing in the NBA until the 1979-80 season, where they borrowed the idea from the ABA.

  6. Dribbling wasn’t allowed

    When the game was first invented players had to pass the ball from where they caught it. Luckily this rule didn’t stick around for too long and dribbling became a part of the sport from about 1897. Netball has kept this tactic and it still remains one of the most popular sports among all ages.

  7. Fouls were originally permitted

    For the first 20 years of the game fouls were actually permitted. From 1910 players were then permitted to commit 4 fouls, which was updated again in 1946 to the five fouls as we now know it. In 1989, the NBA updated this to 6 but FIBA rules still only allow 5 before the player is sent off.

  8. Basketball Sneakers had to be partially white.

    Basketball sneakers have always been a point of interest for players as well as a part of fashion for many years. League policy mandated that each player “must wear shoes that not only matched their uniforms, but matched the shoes worn by their teammates.” Thanks to Michael Jordan back in 1984, who decided to accept a fine each time he wore his signature Jordans, which were originally black and red. The NBA eventually changed its stance and now any colour is acceptable.

  9. Why is a Basketball orange

    Basketball originally started the game using a soccer ball. This progressed to a brown leather ball, but quite often it would be too hard to see blending with the floor or players uniforms, so was eventually dyed to be the orange colour many of us now use.

  10. Most points for a team in a game

    The most points ever scored in an NBA game by one team is 186. This was by the Detroit Pistons against the Denver Nuggets in December 1983. It was a triple overtime thriller with Denver losing by 2 points. This match also ended up being the most combined points scored by both teams in a game with a total of 300 points.

  11. The First Slam Dunk

    There’s no denying that dunking is one of the most exciting parts of the game. The first person to dunk was in 1944, a 7ft tall center who played for Oklahoma, who was pinned by defenders under the ring and accidentally stuffed the ball in the basket. Dunking actually ended up becoming banned in the 1960’s for about 10 years, mostly because Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was dominating with this move. Luckily this ban didn’t last!

    Our founder Brett Rainbow won 3 straight NBL Slam Dunk titles in the 1990s. If you’d like to slam it like him, check out our basketball jump program.

  12. Most points in total for a player in the NBA

    The title of the most total points in the NBA goes to “The King” Lebron James who currently has 38469 total points, and counting! He only recently took this title from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the 7th February 2023.

    As basketball continues to grow in popularity, the rules will likely keep evolving. To make sure you always know the game inside and out, and be the very best you can, spend time training
prevent basketball injuries

How to Prevent Basketball Injuries

Basketball is one of the most exciting games to play but because of its fast pace, it also means injuries can arise. While getting hurt playing regular sport is almost inevitable, there are things you can do to minimise the risk as well as treat injuries correctly so you can recover faster.

Always warm up effectively

If you love basketball, it can be easy to simply want to run onto the court and start playing when you arrive at the venue. But going through a proper warm up routine will help prevent injury by ensuring your body is ready for physical activity. Light jogging is recommended to get the body going, followed by a range of stretches. Practicing side to side movements and shooting drills in warmups will also help your body get ready for a game or training session. 

Wear clothes that fit

Baggy shorts or jersey can make it harder to move and also increases the risk of other players getting fingers caught up on them. Wearing a uniform that fits well is paramount. Sneakers or boots that fit are also crucial – not too loose, not too tight. Older footwear can also lose grip making you more susceptible to slipping. Wearing jewellery is also a no-no as earrings can get caught up in the action and wearing a ring increases your chances of a broken finger if the ball or a player hits it.

Protect your ankles

A rolled or sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries basketballers face. But it’s also one that can be significantly prevented easily. Whether you’re participating in a game or a training session, taping your ankles before playing or wearing ankle braces reduces the angle your ankle can move, making it a lot harder to roll or sprain. Choosing footwear that has good support will also help.

Other injury prevention tips

  • Wear a mouth guard
  • Play on a dry, clean safe surface
  • Always follow the rules

Injury Treatment

For ankle, knee sprains or other muscular injuries:

Use the R.I.C.E. method

Rest the injured area.

Ice the injured area for 20 minutes every 2 hours.

Apply a Compression bandage to reduce swelling.

Elevate the injured area to a level above the heart.

For concussions:

If you received a heavy knock, stop playing right away. You should not return to playing (games or trainings) until you are evaluated by a medical professional and are given the all clear.

For jammed fingers:

Run your finger (or hand) under very cold water for 20 minutes. Alternatively, apply an ice pack to the injured area (with a layer around it such as a cloth). You can continue playing by taping the injured finger to the next finger.

A lot of injury prevention is common sense. If you take all the main precautions, you should be able to enjoy basketball to its fullest!

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Why a Basketball Tour is an Experience of a Lifetime

Travelling has been off most people’s agenda for the last few years. But as things slowly return to normal around the world, more and more of us are starting to plan our first trip in quite a while. As a basketball player, one of the most rewarding trips is a basketball tour and will provide an experience you are unlikely to ever have again!

There are a lot of reasons why a basketball tour is the experience of a lifetime, many which you wouldn’t have even considered. Here are some of these:

You get to watch high quality games

Most tours will build into their itinerary a range of professional matches. At TSB, our basketball tours to the USA include a number of NBA games. Seeing these superstars in action will not only help you see skills being performed at a high level up close, but also inspire you to become the best player you can be!

You learn about the culture of a different place

Many people spend their entire lives in the city they were born and because of this, their eyes have not been opened to other ways of thinking and doing. Going overseas for a tour gives you the chance to learn about other cultures, as well as experiencing different cuisines, history and in some cases languages.

You play against teams from another country

While basketball is played all over the world, different countries have different styles of play, and even rules can be slightly different. Playing matches while on tour lets you experience how professionals play, travelling from city to city, staying in hotels, coming up against different teams with different game plans. It can also highlight the importance of getting good sleep, which is why rest at night is crucial – along with staying in quality hotel beds!

America is known as the best basketball nation in the world (although other countries including Australia are definitely catching up), so playing against the best in the world will naturally make you better!

You build friendships and life-long relationships

Normally playing basketball, you might spend a few hours a week with your teammates, at games and training sessions. Travelling overseas with other ballers means you spend every waking hour with them. You have breakfast together, go sightseeing, watch games, have dinners and everything else on a daily basis. Over the period of a tour, this helps strengthen bonds and develops long lasting friendships. A tour will also help your personal development as you learn to live in close quarters with others (who aren’t your family).

As you can see, there are a lot of fantastic reasons to go on an overseas basketball tour. Tomorrow’s Stars have restarted their tours but to take up an opportunity like this, you need to move fast! Contact us today to find out more.

bill russell basketball center

How to Excel as a Basketball Center

With the sad passing of the Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, we thought we’d pay our respects by writing an article with tips on how to dominate the center position in basketball. Russell was not only one of the best players of all time, but an athletic big man who revolutionised the game. Focused on team success, he won an amazing 11 NBA championships and 5 league MVP awards.

While the NBA has developed into a “small ball” league over the last couple of decades, a dominant big man is still crucial in most other leagues across the world, especially at the amateur level. Here are 4 important roles a big man needs to perfect in order to succeed.   

Inside Scoring

Most tall players get thrown into the middle, but height alone will not always mean success. A center needs to have an array of post moves and the ability to finish at the rim. Practicing footwork is crucial to becoming a solid center. Hakeem Olajuwon was the master of post moves and could score on his opponents with a variety of fakes, drop steps and spins. Watch his videos on YouTube to get some great ideas on what to practice.

Passing from the Post

Scoring inside is important but having the ability to find the open man when you’re double teamed can take your game to a whole new level. When the defence collapses, knowing where the open teammate is and being able to execute the pass will have opposition teams hating when they play you. Australia-born Andrew Bogut is a name that comes to mind when excelling at this skill. He won a championship with the Golden State Warriors by passing from the post when scoring wasn’t an option. Patience and protecting the ball is key when waiting for the right moment to make the pass.

Rebounding at both Ends

A center who controls the boards can dominate a game without scoring. More rebounds mean less opportunities for the opposition and more chances for your own team to score. Positioning is key when it comes to being a strong rebounder. Getting between your player and the basket gives you a much better chance of coming up with the ball. Also, knowing where the ball is most likely going to end up after a miss is a skill that can be developed with experience. Dennis Rodman and Charles Barkley were both players who lacked size but had an uncanny ability to find the ball and outmanoeuvre their opponents. Watching footage of them and continually noting where various missed shots go will give you a big advantage, no matter what your height!

Guarding the Opposition’s Big

If you want to excel as a basketball center, you also need to be able to stop the opposition big man. Height, strength and physicality all play an important role in this. But even if you’re undersized, there are ways to keep your opponent under control (see Rodman and Barkley again). Not allowing your opponent to catch the ball close to the basket will reduce the chance of them scoring. Use your knee to subtly push them off the block, so they have to beat you with an outside game. Staying on your feet and not falling for fakes (but keeping your arm up at all times) also goes a long way to success. Being in top condition is another great asset. If you can sprint up and down the court and beat your opponent to the key, you will be able to set the tone, and hopefully wear them out in the process.

While having a 3 point shot is something most youngsters desire, if you’re a center and can perfect all of the above, you’re going to have a lot of success on the basketball court. To work on your post moves, consider private basketball training with Tomorrows Stars.

school holiday basketball camps benefits

6 Reasons to Attend a Holiday Basketball Camp

Finding things to do over the school holidays can be a tough task. There’s almost an overload of options available, making it hard to make a choice. And many of the activities are fun for 15 minutes, then you get bored.

Attending a basketball camp is one activity that will not only keep you busy during the break, but keep you highly entertained too. Here are 6 reasons why a school holiday basketball camp is a great idea.

Social Development

Spending time at home playing video games might be fun for a while. But at the end of the day, we are social creatures and want to spend time with other people. Basketball camps give you the chance to make lasting friendships with people who share the same interests as you. It’s also a good chance to spend time with mates you may not have seen for a while.

Physical Fitness

As per above, it’s very easy to do minimal exercise when on holidays. Furthermore, it’s amazing how fast we can lose our fitness. Attending a basketball camp will keep your mind and body active, increasing the release of dopamine and serotonin, which makes you feel more positive. Staying fit will also help the transition back into the new school term will be easier.

Discipline

Basketball camps teach you how to abide by rules, but within a fun environment. This makes holiday camps the perfect setting to build discipline. Discipline can be very useful in sport, as it helps give you an edge over more talented players. It will help you become more dedicated and consistent. Learning to follow regulations is also a skill that is very useful in every aspect of your life.

Confidence

Trying out for a club team can be quite daunting. You need to perform at your best against a number of other players, in the hope of making the cut. By attending a holiday camp, you can learn how to build confidence and be comfortable competing against others, in a less stressful environment.

Develop your skills

Similar to building confidence, camps run a number of drills and activities to help you develop your skills. Learning from highly skilled coaches with years of experience will allow you to get the best out of your game. Practice makes perfect, and a camp will show you how to practice different techniques the “right” way.

Entertainment

Camps aren’t just about skills, fitness, discipline, and building your confidence. They are also entertaining. Perhaps the biggest reason to attend a basketball camp is because they are fun! We play basketball because we love the game, and camps are designed to be thoroughly enjoyable. When you attend a Tomorrow’s Stars Basketball camp, you are guaranteed to not only walk away a better and more knowledgeable player but enjoy the action-packed days we deliver for all players. If you’re struggling for activities to do during the school holidays, a basketball camp is a fantastic idea. Find out more info about our upcoming camps here.

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