I am so sorry we are not in the gyms right now but there are things your girls can be doing to ready to ground running when we are allowed to restart. The Reid Ouse workouts that are available to all of you free of charge are excellent. They are 30-minute sessions and focus on ball handling and footwork—something every single player can benefit from. Please have your daughters do as many of Reid’s workouts as possible, even multiple times. If a player cannot make a live session, there is a link to Reid’s you tube channel where you can watch any time. Again, I highly recommend these sessions.
It is hard to stay in basketball shape when not actually playing basketball but there are a ton of cardio plyo workouts on you tube that you could have your players doing. Just simple cardio workouts using burpees, mountain climbers, jump squats, jump lunges etc., will help the girls stay in reasonable shape during this pause.
Happy holidays to everyone, and again if you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me directly at
This week I handed out the Eden Prairie Girls’ Basketball Spirit Awards to the travel coaches. Each travel coach received 5 awards to be given out to his/her players throughout the course of the season. A player receives a Spirit Award when she shows exceptional sportsmanship, attitude and/or commitment to TEAM above self. The coaches have been instructed what to watch for and thus what to highlight in terms of the players’ behavior. The in house coaches will be receiving Spirit Awards too to give out to their players once those teams are formed.
The purpose of these awards is simple: to continue to build a girls’ basketball culture in Eden Prairie where our players exhibit great attitude and sportsmanship as well as a commitment to team over self, and to make our program one that the community at large can be proud of due to the way we conduct ourselves on and off the court. I have seen tremendous strides at the high school level as well as the youth level over the past few years. Our future is very bright.
Thank you to all of you who will continue to help reenforce these values to our players.
As you may already know the MN State HS League voted this past Thursday that girls’ high school basketball will start on December 7. This is several weeks later than normal but hopefully there will be no further delays. At this point the League has not made a ruling on spectators but I would suspect that we will be allowed some number of spectators at our games.
I will still run our Give & Go Mentoring program but there will be many changes due to COVID. If you are unfamiliar with the Give & Go mentoring program it is a program, I created whereby I match up every single high school girls’ bball player with a youth team. The players will serve as mentors to the youth teams in that they will attend some practices and some games. Every season we have 3 major events: Mentor Match Up, All Youth Party, and Community Service day. These events will have to be modified this year. Also part of the program is having each travel team be assigned one of our home games where the girls get to come into our locker room prior to the game, be introduced prior to the varsity team intros, and sit behind our bench during the game. As of now we will not be able to schedule those due to COVID restrictions. Every season we also assign all in-house teams a time to come to one of our varsity games and scrimmage at halftime. Again, we will be unable to do that this year. All of this is very disappointing, but we are working hard to try to make the Give & Go program as special as possible this season despite the limitations.
The Mentor Match Up night is usually immediately after I have formed the high school teams. At that point I tell the HS girls who their mentor teams are, and we meet one evening over pizza to get to know each other. We will be unable to do that this year as we are not allowed to have that number of us gather in one place. What I have decided to do is to go ahead and match up the travel teams, since they have been formed, with their HS mentors. Their mentors will be the returning HS players only. Then I will match up the girls new to the HS program with the in-house teams once they are finalized in November.
Tonight, I have a meeting with all girls who plan on trying out for HS bball. The returning players will be given their mentor team assignments. Then those mentors will choose to come to one of their mentor team’s practices in the first few weeks of the travel team season. The mentor will attend practice and then we will ask that the travel team stay after practice for approximately 30 minutes to enjoy a snack (individually wrapped, for example popsicles) and get to know their mentor. I or a member of my Give & Go committee, will contact the team managers to alert them to the evening when their mentor will come to practice and stay after. We will do something similar with the in-house teams once they are formed. I realize this is not as much fun as all of us getting together at the same time, but we think this is an excellent alternative given our limitations. The committee and I are also working on ways to do the Community Service Event as well. For example, we might just make a time for each mentor to meet with her mentee team and write letters to the military or do valentines for the elderly. We are still working on that piece.
Please see the below message and join the Eden Prairie High School Girls Basketball parents in signing a petition to allow spectators at Minnesota High School Basketball.
The MSHSL is going to conduct a vote on October 1st regarding the upcoming 2020-2021 Minnesota High School Basketball season. The MSHSL Board will be determining the length of the season, the scope of play (conference, post-season) and if spectators will be allowed to attend the games.
While the prospect of having a season looks positive, of special concern is the potential of not allowing fans to attend games. First, while this decision would obviously affect parents of all the athletes, it has a special impact for the parents and families who are playing their last year of high school basketball. Second, there is a safety aspect to be considered, if a child is injured, the parent would not be present to provide support. The thought of not being able to watch our children play in person is hard to fathom.
Many players across Minnesota participated in AAU basketball this past summer at events here in Minneapolis and in other states. In addition, many Minnesota high school teams have started participating in Breakdown pre-season scrimmages that are occurring in the same style as many of the summer tournaments.
These events have implemented safety measures including mandatory masks, limited spectators and controlled entrance/exit into the facility all of which have contributed to allowing fans to safely attend games since early July. These events typically have multiple games being played concurrently at one location whereas a high school game will be conducted at a single court involving just two teams. If these larger scale events have figured out how to allow spectators surely our member schools can do the same on a smaller scale.
While the MSHSL is to be applauded for trying to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19, the blueprint has not only been created but has been actively executed upon over the past several months on how to safely conduct basketball games with fans in attendance. We strongly urge you to allow schools to implement these practices and allow a limited number of fans to see kids play the game they love.
"You take what comes and you run with it. Winning is fun... sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. The game doesn’t end when you come off the court. The secret of the game is in doing your best. To persist and endure, to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”
The travel teams have been formed and announced. I know some of you are ecstatic and some of you are disappointed. Unfortunately, that is inevitable. I want you all to know though that the tryout process was fair, thorough, and deliberate. I continue to be impressed with the way the outside evaluators do their job. They pay close attention, make clear notes, and communicate their opinions to us very well. You can certainly say that you disagree with what they concluded but I can assure you that they evaluated your daughters in a completely unbiased manner.
On the second day the travel coaches came in to evaluate. Again, this group did a great job of paying close attention to all players and communicating their opinions to the committee.
I hope you trust the process that took place even if you disagree with some of the results. I appreciate you following the 48-hour rule and not contacting the board, Coach Lo, or me until 48 hours has passed. Emotions run high which is completely understandable, but I feel that better communication happens once we all have had a little distance.
For those of you who are disappointed in your daughter’s placement—remember that we can talk to you but only about your daughter. We will never bring another player into that conversation. That rule goes for talking about team placement or any conversation you want to have with your coach during the season. Do not bring up or compare your daughter to someone else in these conversations. We will discuss what we believe your daughter needs to work on, but not how she stacks up against another player. If you call to talk about your daughter Mary, we will talk about her alone and not talk about how she compares to Susie who made a higher level team.
What I hope is that parents who are disappointed in their daughter’s placement will encourage their daughters to continue to work hard, be coachable, and be accountable to their own progress.
There may be some questions about the teams that have over 10 players. 4th grade has 13 players. That is a big team but EPGBA plans to add tournaments and rotate players such that 10 players play at 8 tournaments, thus approximating the experience if you only had 10 players on the team. Thank you to Lori and Ken, the coaches of this grade, who I know will make this work and make it a positive experience for everyone.
7th grade: The outside evaluations and travel coaches felt very strongly that there was a definitive break in the talent level after the first 8 players. This led to team 2 having 12 players. One of those players will initially be practice only as she is aware, she is travel ready but not tournament ready. This really means a team of 11. We believe that this is workable, and the coach of this team is completely on board with this. Again, we believe this was best for ALL 7th grade players to be divided this way, and we trust our coaches to make it work such that each girl gets plenty of playing time.
Check out the EPGBA website for information on the free Travel player clinics over the next two weeks prior to the start of the season.
I am available to talk to you all as usual. My goal remains providing these girls with a fun yet challenging basketball environment where they can grow on and off the court.