Coach Shane Adams – “It’s not about me”

Coach Shane Adams discusses his insights & thoughts on servant leadership, building relationships and defining your values & standards. Coach Adams instilled ABCD (Attitude, Belief, Commitment & Discipline) to develop & grow his culture. Everyone has the ability to produce other leaders & multiply their influences.

Coach Adams brings over 15 years of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level. He is a State Champion in Colorado, achieving league Coach of the Year honors. Coach Shane was the co-owner and Coach of ABC Basketball in Colorado training over 500 committed 7th-12th grade athletes through the ABC basketball skill development program. As a Shoot-A-Way Basketball Clinician and National Sales Rep has presented Basketball Shooting demonstrations at over 50 Nike Basketball Coaches’ Clinics, 14 NCAA Final Four NABC Coaches’ Clinics (2003-2018), and State Coaches’ Clinics in Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

“What’s in the Well Comes up in the Bucket.”

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Coach Shane Adams – “It’s not about me”


May Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

Just Hoops hosted coach Rick Torbett, founder of Better Basketball and the Read & React offense, for a coaching clinic at the beginning of May. Coach Torbett broke down the layers of his Read & React concepts and focused on entries, how to incorporate a post player, countering good help side defense & attacking various zones. Read our May newsletter for details on notes & drills that Torbett shared with the coaches in attendance. This edition also features shooting drills from Baylor’s Head Coach, Scott Drew, Coaching the Line with Brett Ledbetter, articles about the coaching journey & a feature on how to maximize your summer for player development.

Click the link below to read our May Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops May Newsletter

Maximizing your Summer for Player Development

Just Hoops by Shoot-A-Way discusses how players can maximize their summer for player development. It is so important that players understand what is required from them to truly take their game to the next level. Coach Nathan & Coach Kellon discuss the process of off-season training & offer insight on how to develop a plan that works for their skill set.

The process is broken down into 4 segments:

  1. Vision
    • Where do you want to take your game? Break your skill set into SPECIFICS evaluating your strengths & weaknesses.
  2. Plan
    • Invest in game specific drills that will develop skills that translate to game situations.
  3. Hard Work
    • There is no substitute for hard work. Invest wisely & build up your daily deposits.
  4. Patience
    • Consistency & building habits will set your foundation for future success. Skill development will not be over night. Fall in love with the journey of daily improvement.

“There will come a time when winter asks what you did in the summer.”

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Maximizing your Summer for Player Development

Attacking your Defender by Kellon Thomas

An important attribute of a good offensive player, is being able to score within the offensive scheme the coach has put into play. Finding different ways to attack your defender can allow for gaps in the defense to open up for the ball handler or other teammates to score easily. Another important factor about attacking a defender within the offense, is doing it in a reasonable amount of dribbles. Using jab steps, shot fakes and straight-line drives allows the ball handler to get to spots on the floor quickly, using a limited number of dribbles.
Different ways to beat your defender:
  • Change of speed
  • Change of direction
  • Offensive player getting their shoulder past the defender’s hip
  • Using the body to protect the ball
Change of speed and direction is very important in keeping the defensive player honest. Playing at different speeds gives the ball handler an advantage because they have ultimate control on where they want to go. Changing direction quickly forces the defense to react, instead of attacking the ball handler. The combination of changing speed and direction is a great and efficient way to score or create scoring opportunities for others.
Body control is another useful tool in basketball that often goes overlooked. By creating contact, it forces the defense to react to an offensive move, and it creates space for the offensive player to attack. An effective way to attack your defender using your body, is attacking the defender’s hip or outside leg with the inside shoulder of the offensive player. This creates a straight-line drive opportunity. With the offensive player’s body staying between the defender and the ball, makes it very difficult for the defender to reach and steal the ball away.
As a ball handler, you want to do at least one of the following while dribbling:
  •  Get to the lane to score or pass
  •  Draw in multiple defenders to pass to an open teammate
  •  Create separation from you and your defender
  •  Get to a spot on the court where you can be effective in the offense
Finding ways to attack your defender will free up space to be able to score or allow a teammate to score. A good defender will try their best to keep the ball handler out of the paint, because it causes other defenders to help and leave other offensive players open. Using quick moves, changing pace of play and direction causes separation from the offensive player and defender. Separation allows for the ball handler to see the court to find teammates, attack the basket or score in open space.
A good ball handler is not always someone who uses multiple dribble moves, but uses efficient attack moves to create scoring opportunities for himself/herself and teammates. A good offensive player understands what it takes to correctly attack the defense.
  •  Good Footwork
  •  Selling a move with their eyes, feet and body
  •  Being able to finish in a variety of ways
  •  Expecting and creating contact
Taking the correct steps at or toward your defender will get them off balance. This allows for room to score or pass while they are out of their defensive stance. Another good facet of a good offensive player has, is being able to sell their move with their eyes, feet and body. This will keep the defense wondering what the offensive player wants to do, giving the offensive player that extra time they need to get past their defender or draw in another defender to pass to the open player.
Being able to avoid shot blockers is a skill that takes practice and concentration. Scoring around the rim in a variety of ways is important when going against high level defenders. Rather it be a simple layup, reverse layup, floater or even quick jumpshot keeps the defense wondering of what the offensive player wants to do. In addition to scoring in a variety of ways, expecting and creating contact is a good way to keep the defense off balance. Creating contact while driving to the basket to score keeps the defense from being able to contest the shot how they want.
Being able to attack your defender in multiple ways gives the advantage to the offensive player and is important when trying to find different ways to affect the game against a good defender. Small details go a long way in the game of basketball. It could be one false step or an unneeded dribble that gives the defense the upper hand from allowing you to score.
-Kellon Thomas

April Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

Just Hoops was fortunate to attend the NABC Clinic in San Antonio and learn from coaches at the highest levels including the Head Coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich. Read our latest newsletter to learn what Coach Popovich shared as vital lessons he has learned throughout his coaching career. Our April edition also features shooting drills from Michigan’s Head Coach, John Beilein, articles that delve into the culture of Villanova & Loyola Chicago and we included the Just Hoops Shooting Rubric that we use to evaluate our players!

Click the link below to read our April Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops April Newsletter


LD Williams – Get Comfortable being Uncomfortable

LD Williams, former standout at Wake Forest University, is currently playing in Finland for Torpan Pojat (ToPo) which has a 15-6 record. Williams averaged 17.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.4 APG & 1.5 SPG. LD was a four year starter at Wake Forest University (2006-2010) under Skip Prosser and Dino Gaudio. In 2008-2009 he was part of the Wake Forest team that started the season 16-0 and rose to be voted the #1 team in the nation. He started in 118 of his 119 games in his career and is the only Demon Deacon to be voted to ACC All-Defensive team multiple times (2). LD has been a pro since he graduated from Wake Forest and has played in various places across the globe. In 2012 he played in the NBA Summer League for the San Antonio Spurs.

Favorite Quote: “Basketball isn’t like Halloween just because you are wearing a costume doesn’t mean you’re going to get candy” – Skip Prosser
Meaning just because you have on a uniform doesn’t mean you’re going to get playing time. You must put in the work!!!

Best advice you would offer to younger players: Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Don’t come to the gym every day and work on the same things. Mix in some of the things you aren’t as gifted in, try to work on a new move/skill every week or so. DON’T BE ONE DIMENSIONAL.

Most memorable basketball moment: My first college game is by far my most memorable basketball moment. I was 18, we played North Carolina Central. My whole life I wanted to play at Wake Forest, I mean I grew up watching guys like Rodney Rodgers, Randolph Childress, Tim Duncan even Chis Paul was a little before my time. So being able to follow in their footsteps was surreal to me.

What is one area you wish you spent more time on growing up: When I was younger I wish I worked more on shooting the ball more consistently. I was usually bigger, faster and stronger than the guys I grew up with so I got by without having to be a consistent threat shooting wise. I made shots but it was never something I really needed in my game when I was younger. As I got older I was a bit hampered with consistency so I struggled at times, it wasn’t until I started making shots from the outside that I became a DEADLY scorer!!

LD Williams, Just Hoops Coach

Best teaching point a coach has ever given you: “Never delay gratitude” – Skip Prosser

How can players use Just Hoops to become a better player: Just Hoops is a great way for young players to fall in love with the process, coming in daily and working to get results is the best way to get better in my opinion. With the help of a great staff and state of the art equipment results will come. The environment is fun, intimate and most of all effective. If you’re serious about wanting to get better, there is no question about where to get that done!


My last point, basketball is fun make sure that you always keep it that way. Even in my professional years I’ve tried to keep that aspect as true as I can. It’s easy to get caught up into individual accolades and wins and losses, but at the end of the day it’s still a game. Be competitive, play with passion and emotion, work your tail off but make sure you have fun! Drake said it best “once I’m done having fun with it I’ll be done with it.”


Just Hoops Reaction to NBA & USA Basketball Recommendations for Youth Development

The NBA & USA basketball recently released recommendations to make the game better, more enjoyable and more accessible to develop best practices for young players. The intent is to create an age-appropriate set of rules and standards that prioritize skill and development and health and wellness and that also allow kids to have early success in the sport.

The recommendations include:

  • Lower rims – eight-foot baskets for ages 7-8 and nine-foot baskets for ages 9-11 when possible. Lower rims will help develop proper shooting form and increase the chances of success, according to USA Basketball and the NBA.
  • The groups recommend using a basketball 27½ inches in circumference for ages 7-8 and 28½ inches for ages 9-11. For girls 12-14 and grades 9-12, the recommendation is a 28½-inch basketball for girls and a 29½-inch basketball for boys.
  • No three-point scoring for players 11 years old and younger.
  • A 24-second shot clock for high school players and a 30-second shot clock for players 12-14 years old.
  • No zone defense for players 11 and under.


The Just Hoops coaching staff sat down & discussed their reaction to the news coming from the NBA & USA basketball. Click on the following link to listen to our reaction via SoundCloud

Just Hoops Reaction to NBA, USA Basketball Recommendations


March Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

Survive & advance! It’s March Madness 2018 & time for everyone to predict the most likely upsets, buzzer beaters & Final Four winners. Our March edition features shooting drills from Wichita State’s Head Coach, Gregg Marshall, articles on ways to attack your defender, defining true “toughness” for your team & what made Tom Izzo describe one of his seniors as “maybe the greatest teammate ever.”

Click the link below to read our March Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops March Newsletter

Just Hoops Staff Spotlight – Kellon Thomas

Kellon Thomas is a Just Hoops coach who works with players in 1 on 1 sessions & conducts skill development classes. Kellon played for the Kent State University Flashes from 2012-2016 during which he became a 1,000-point scorer and led his team as captain both his Junior and Senior seasons. He completed his collegiate career at IUPUI where he was 14th in the nation for free throw percentage, shooting 90% from the line, and earned Honorable Mention recognition. Kellon was also a 1,000-point scorer at Southport High School in Indianapolis, Indiana.

For Players: The Importance of Defining Success

It was my freshman year of high school. I sat at the end of the bench while my older sister and six other seniors witnessed the final seconds of their high school basketball careers wind down. Their playoff run ended with a loss in the Regional Finals and the excitement, nervousness, and energy that had been palpable just hours before was replaced with disappointment and a sense of unwelcome abrupt finality.

We got home late that night, but unable to accept or comprehend what had occurred, I remember spending an hour or so shooting baskets in our driveway on a dark, chilly Cleveland night. Over the course of the following week, I had time to reflect on the season. It was remarkable what I had been taught in just 5 months; that high school games were often won by teams with strong leaders that exhibited hard work, positive attitudes, and unselfish play daily.

At school that week, I tore out of sheet of notebook paper and on it I wrote, “Coach, I want to be a State Champion.” I signed my name and placed it on his desk that afternoon.

Over the course of the next three years our coach would tape articles about hard working individuals, the benefits of positive thinking, and definitions to words like selflessness (unselfish, altruistic; the act of putting others ahead of oneself) to our lockers. He challenged me to fight for what I said I wanted. I was able to rebound from injury, losses, doubt, and other forms of adversity because I had a mission that I had put out into the universe. It was on me if I did not put forth every effort into becoming what I claimed I wanted to become.

After losing my sophomore year in the Regional Semi-Finals and again Junior year in the Regional Finals, we finally became State Champions my senior year. We certainly benefited from a few lucky bounces and whistles, but it was the culmination of daily deposits by numerous people before us and during our time that provided the opportunity for us to be successful.

I tell this story because I failed to learn my own lesson. After setting a goal and working towards it in high school, I failed to do so in college and that resulted in an unexceptional college career. I did not fight and work like I had in high school, because I never defined what it was I was fighting for. Injuries and self-doubt became road blocks that I struggled to overcome and ultimately let inhibit my progression.

You cannot sustain the hard work required to be successful when you have not defined your success.  Therefore, I challenge you to state what you are working toward. When the early morning workouts, long practices, losses, self-doubt, and setbacks occur, they will be minor impasses because you and others know your goal and you can visualize success.