Today I am going to try my best to educate you on a simple topic. What’s right and what is wrong. There is no grey area here. It’s goes to the character of people. It’s about being a fair and good person. You’ve heard me say it over and over. AAU brings out the worst in people. It’s just the way it is these days. It’s why I tell parents do what is best for you ALWAYS. Unfortunately some good people have been burnt for being good people. Because those who game the system have no conscience.
Now you have to understand there are a few bad apples in the AAU world. Look around most programs do a great job. There are always going to be the complaints about playing time. Lack of quality showcasing of their kids. There is always going to be jealousy. It’s part of the game at any level. The real problem with AAU, is the backdoor shady behavior, all in the hopes of winning an AAU tournament. There are adults and make no mistake it’s an adult issue. They are simply flat out clueless when it comes right and wrong in youth sports. These are the adults that paint a rosy picture to greedy parents who always think the grass is greener on the other side.
Tracey Sabino changed her entire philosophy on AAU about ten years ago. She had a great AAU team. The kids were mega talented and I believe every member went on to play D1. But her team was broken up by outsiders and disloyal parents. For that group it worked out in the end basketball wise, everything else not so good. Those relationships today are still not healed. Tracey Sabino should thank that group, it gave her blueprint for the next 10 years. Her entire 2020 ShoreShot team all are off to college. They all will be playing D1 basketball in a year. Including her daughter Shae. Sabino took the approach to make training and development a priority and surrounded herself with classy loyal parents.
Those parents with an agenda Tracey wished good luck, regardless of how good their kids were. It led to happy kids and happy parents who to this day are close. The result of that change was the 2021 Shoreshots. A bigger and bigger version of her 2020 team. A group that couldn’t be swayed by sneaker money, big name AAU teams or threats. So while many others are applying for loans, her kids all have free educations lined up. Tracey Sabino is the Queen of AAU girls basketball.. nobody has more juice than she does these days. But she had to learn how to develop her own players and set a standard for her organization. She figured out loyalty inside and jealousy outside her organization is just what the doctor ordered.
That gets me to today. Now many AAU teams don’t develop of build anything. Ellen Masonious built the New Jersey Belles from the ground up. The same thing Lance Miller has done for Team Miller. Look what John Mayo has done. Look they’ve built homes for thousands of kids.They got the same problems and make mistakes like everyone else. The difference is they have a moral compass. But their are still AAU programs who can’t or are not willing to build anything. They prefer to steal and misrepresent what they are all about. So let me give you two examples in the past week of why AAU just doesn’t get it sometimes.
Ally Carman was built and developed by the Shoreshots. She is family to everyone in the organization. Her mother Candace is a coach in the organization. Her sister Emma is a future D1 player and her younger sister Tessa has a chance to be a Shore All time great. All are Shoreshots to the bone. This weekend she will play her last game with her Shoreshots 2021. It will be an emotional weekend to say the least. These girls have been together for years. The Shoreshots have been her family. She is a junior and must decide what she is doing next year, because the entire team graduates. But right now she wants to enjoy these final weeks with her teammates. She wants to bathe in the memories and relish the moment. She has time for those other tough decisions down the road… at least that’s what she thought.
Because already the buzzards and the snakes are surrounding her. There making their feelings known. Do they care enough to allow her to finish her season?… hell no.. do they have enough respect to call Tracey Sabino? hell no.. did they even call her high school coach?.. hell no…do they understand the pressure in the young ladies house right now with the real recruiting process taking place? Yes, but they don’t give a shit and newsflash they don’t give a shit about you either ALLY CARMAN. They talking deadlines before college coaches making millions of dollars. Folks, these are people who never coached a REAL GAME IN THEIR LIFE trying to apply pressure. Ally’s mom Candice,played at Georgia Tech in the ACC and the dad, Jon was a All American football player at Georgia tech and played for the NFL Eagles.. try living up to those standards… now that’s pressure. Not this nonsense.
Now there is talk about ranking in the Carman household, now there is talk about the All American game. Now there is talk about Team USA in the household. Now there is talk about getting 13 year old Tessa ranked… folks you can’t make this dumb ass shit up. So here is what I told Ally Carman.. “F…” them and the boat they came in on (and it didn’t have … at the end of that first word). First I told her, your of all 6’5” without sneakers. If they can get somebody the size better than you. What the ”F” they calling you for. Then I said you got P5 offers out the ass.. including one from your dream school. I told her you can’t go to ten schools. She laughed and said “yes I can”.. I then said if they can’t wait for you to get through this cloud, they don’t deserve you. They I said “Ally you will be committed long before AAU NEXT YEAR”… that’s if we even play. I said Ally “if I taught you anything it’s this.. we work harder than everyone and 2 years from now. You will be something nobody will believe”. They I walked over to her mother and said these exact work… “F” them, they don’t give a shit about your daughter.. they don’t need her and she sure as hell don’t need them..let the kid breathe a little”. Ally Carman has a lot on her table these days, without some fake ass pressure being thrown her way… oh yeah not once did they ask how was her sprained ankle.. another real punk ass move.
But you probably think this nonsense only goes on at the highest level. Well guess what? At the lowest level of AAU IT’S worst. Because the parents and kids are always looking for something better. Like a coach calling a kid, then asking them to guess play. See this is very innocent and most coaches are okay with this. But now that coach ask the player to join his team. His says she will be part of let’s just say a Nike Team.. wait except, you have to pay for your own shit.. like travel , hotels, food, team fees and practice transportation. You know all the shit the REAL ASS NIKE TEAM GETS FOR I FREE. Next they tell you can play up and one day play for the real Nike team. But forget to tell you the team you playing on is not very damm good. The kids who can ball are already on the real Nike Team… there’s not going to be no moving up. The team your on doesn’t have a current player with a D1 offer… that doesn’t sound very Nike like to me. Funny other non Nike U16’s have 3 kids with D1 offers already. Meaning your playing on a weak ass team, trying to sell it as something else, to everyone around you. By you can still brag and say I am playing EYBL.. the problem is coaches are not dumb. Here is a little advice…you may want to get your college saving fund updated cause most likely your going to need it. Now all this leads to bad blood. It leads to good people caught in the middle. It’s leads to good well respected relationships being ruined. Why because being sneaky doesn’t do anyone any good. The worst part is you never know when you are pissing somebody off with real access to decision matters. But why worry about that.. you have a AAU team to steal.
Folks there’s a damn pandemic going on. Why not give the kids a few weeks to relax. To settle into school and think about what’s next. Why not be respectful to each other and work together. Maybe you both can work together.. make something big happen for a kid..but I guess AAU BRINGS OUT THE WORST IN EVERYONE .. why this stuff even bothers me anymore is a mystery🙏