Coach Wiese posted 1/16/2020
It has been a while since my last post. Many of you contacted me about AAU opportunities for your daughters. I just received an email from the MN Heat that they are holding their spring tryouts soon. Go to Minnesotaheat.net for more information but this is an organization that I trust. As always if you have any questions please let me know.
I have watched a lot of travel games this season. I have been pleased with the spirit, attitudes and sportsmanship that I have witnessed at these games. Yes, we can still do better but we are on the right track!
I am meeting soon with Coach Lo and some executive board members to start planning our spring and summer schedule. I again want to offer many opportunities for your daughters to work on her basketball skills during the “off season.” We want to offer clinics where girls will continue to work on fundamentals as well as run some scrimmages to work on game-like situations. I am completely invested in making the EP program more inclusive, more competitive and more integrated with the high school program. I am always open to suggestions on how to accomplish this.
Coach Wiese posted 12/2/2019
GYPO (Get Your Pink On):
The girls’ basketball high school program holds a cancer awareness night every season. This season it will be on February 4 when both the boys’ and the girls’ teams play Wayzata in a double header. We partner with Pay It Forward Fund which is a local nonprofit that provides financial assistance to those going thru cancer treatments. The financial assistance comes in the form of helping families pay their bills during cancer treatment. It is a fantastic organization that I am thrilled to be able to partner with.
We will have an envelope drawing with really great prizes. All the proceeds will go to Pay It Forward. The boys’ and girls’ hs teams will wear a pink GYPO (Get Your Pink On) t-shirt as their shooting shirts that night. We would like to offer these to any EPGBA girls and parents. I really need a parent to contact me to help with that asap.
I know a lot of you have asked me questions about AAU basketball. It is one of those things that if you are not involved already you may not know a whole lot about it. I am here to give you an introduction and then if you have any more questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
AAU girls’ basketball is played in MN from March to the end of July. It is organized by AAU clubs who field teams in the different age brackets. Teams now are divided by the girls’ grade level instead of age. Thus, if your daughter is in 6th grade right now she would play on a 6th grade AAU team next spring/summer. A girl can always play up a grade level but never down. The tournaments during the school year are all on the weekends. During the summer they are usually still on the weekends with a few exceptions. Some clubs only practice on weekends while others practice two times per week during the week.
There are several AAU tournaments held in MN throughout the season. The most notable are: an April one, then the State Qualifier and the State Tournament in May, Hardwood Classic in late May or early June, Summer Jam in mid June, Mill City Classic in early July and Meltdown in late July. We are very fortunate that we have excellent girls’ AAU basketball here in MN and thus we have so many opportunities to play locally.
The NCAA certifies certain AAU tourneys. These occur during what are called NCAA exposure periods when DI college coaches are allowed to come and watch. These periods only occur as follows this next year: April 17-21; April 24-26; May 15-17; July 6-12, July 21-25; July 26-31. DII and DIII coaches can come to the other tournaments but DI coaches can only watch the girls play during the above-listed time periods. These tournaments tend to be very large and draw teams from around the country. I know all your daughters are not even in high school yet, but you would be surprised at the number of DI college coaches who are already recruiting middle school players. I could write a whole lot about the recruiting process but will save that for later. In the meantime, if you have any questions about that please contact me directly.
I am a big proponent of AAU basketball. I love the fact that the girls meet other players from all over the state and beyond, that they get to play on true all star-caliber teams, they get incredible competition, and they learn how to play for different coaches. AAU games are different than high school and travel teams. They are way more physical! The officials simply do not call nearly as many touch fouls as you see during the hs and travel seasons. The games usually are a lot faster in that teams push the ball more. Remember that the best AAU teams in every age group are truly all star type teams with the best girls being plucked from the best travel and hs teams around. I coach for the MN Metro Stars and this coming year will have a 9th grade team.
So how do you get involved? There is large percentage of AAU clubs who have already filled all their rosters for the upcoming AAU season. Most AAU clubs have their tryouts in August and September. The clubs who traditionally have the best teams are: North Tartan, Fury, Metro Stars, MN Stars. Other quality clubs include the MN Suns, MN Heat, TC Takeover, 43 Hoops, and others. But to be honest what is most important to me is the coach. You need to find a coach of a team who has your daughter’s best interests in mind. Unfortunately, you will come across many teams, coaches, even sometimes whole clubs who will treat the players on their teams who they think are stars like royalty while treating others as disposable. Some clubs will have so many teams at one level that you can see it is purely a money grab for them. So, you need to do your research. You need to find out about the club, and more importantly the coach of your daughter’s potential team. Talk to that coach about his/her values, why they want your daughter on their team, what her role will be etc. These AAU teams do not have playing time policies; they play to win and therefore there is no guarantee that just because you were asked onto a team that your daughter will actually play quality minutes.
I have seen amazing success stories in AAU as well as amazingly sad cases of coaches ruining players. So do your research—talk to the club director, the coach, and others who have played for the coach and/or the club. I do not know every coach out there, but I know quite a few so please feel free to come to me with questions.
There are still some clubs that have openings out there if you are interested in joining a team next season, I would get on it quickly. Again, I am here for anyone who has questions or concerns about AAU or anything else basketball related.