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


Please follow and like us:

Youth Coaching: Enjoy the Experience

Coach Brian Agler, Head Coach of the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, provided Central Ohio coaches with insights and lessons he has learned throughout his coaching journey. Just Hoops by Shoot-A-Way was honored to host the coaching clinic to give back to the local basketball community and provide an opportunity for those coaches searching for more knowledge. Coach Agler has an exceptional understanding of the intricacies of coaching as he has coached both boys’ and girls’ teams from the youth level all the way to his current post in the WNBA. Agler preached that coaching covers more than the X’s and O’s and developing practice plans. Every coach has the platform to develop skills that the players will use long after their playing days to better prepare them to be successful in life.

Take a deep breath, be patient and enjoy the experience you are afforded as a coach. As a coach you cannot base your happiness or how you view your players on the wins and losses. Rather, from start to finish, track your team and players’ improvement in all areas. Making gradual improvements throughout the season to improve the players’ individual skill sets, understanding of team concepts and playing together as team will have lifelong impacts. After the season concludes and you are looking back on the impact you made measure improvement on whether your players have a better understanding of teamwork, the value of working with others and the importance of sportsmanship.


The coaching profession oftentimes is evaluated on wins and losses. It is challenging to ignore external factors but regardless of the outcome of the game your demeanor should stay the same. Stay the course and be consistent with your message. It is easy to become a victim of your emotions and lose sight of improvement if you are basing it on the scoreboard. The most important element of basketball you can foster with your team is quality skill work. Agler highlighted that the game is moving away from physicality and heading towards versatility and skill. Playing multiple positions and possessing an ability to pass, dribble and shoot are the most coveted capabilities in the game today. Dedicate a large percentage of your practices to skill development and making drills competitive. Structuring and fostering competition will provide avenues for the players to learn how to deal with adversity. Adversity will present itself in many forms throughout your journey as a coach but give your best effort to enjoy the experience and it may just trickle down to your players.


Please follow and like us:

Naming Just Hoops

Brad and DanielAny day now my wife Emily is due with our second son, and we have been through the ringer trying to come up with just the right name. We had to laugh at some of the disqualifying factors preventing us from choosing certain names. For example, does it sound right with our son Daniel’s name, or have I had a student with that name in the past that brings up challenging memories? In addition to making sure the name sounds strong and doesn’t carry baggage, it also must hold the right meaning. Does the name’s meaning describe our son, or who we hope our son will be? These factors are important, and it is strange to think that they are directly related to what we went through when choosing the name Just Hoops.

I googled, prayed, brainstormed and even asked my students at the time what they thought we should call the facility. We came up with basketball phrases, training words, rhymes, metaphors and so on. Just like my son’s name, we needed a name that sounded right and represented our values. We decided on Just Hoops because it carried two important aspects that we needed to communicate.

  1. We would be a facility exclusively dedicated to basketball.
  2. We would run this business with integrity.

The first aspect that our name must communicate clearly is that we are solely focused on basketball. We invest all our resources to create Central Ohio’s premier basketball training facility. The people, the equipment and the events will all be dedicated to the game of basketball to make our members better players–one focus executed to the best of our ability.

The second aspect is that we want to operate day in and day out with integrity, not only teaching players the game of basketball, but also using this game to help students learn life skills. We strive to be positive influences to athletes who work with us. Our faith is paramount in how we live life, and we want this facility to reflect that faith by “bringing sunshine” (as the owner, John Joseph, says) to each of our members. Commitment, hard work, perseverance, learning from our mistakes and a positive attitude are just a few character traits that athletes can learn by playing this game at our facility.

With these two aspects in consideration, we decided on the name Just Hoops. When the passerby sees this name the first aspect is covered, we are just about basketball. The name Just Hoops can also reflect that our business will operate with integrity each day. The word ‘just’ is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good.” So, it’s the game of basketball done the right way, with our morals being the guiding factor in our decisions. As a former teacher at Olentangy Berkshire Middle School, we made decisions not what was easy or convenient for us, but based on one factor, “what is best for kids.” This is the exact standard we will use at Just Hoops. I am interested in quality instruction in everything we do. Our product will not be watered down in any way, we will do what is best for our members. We will operate justly.

So after all that thinking and praying we decided that the name Just Hoops by Shoot-A-Way reflects everything we stand for. Basketball with integrity. Basketball done the right way. Basketball on and off the court. Just Hoops.

Thank you for taking the time to read our first Blog post. It will be through this blog that our staff and trainers will communicate information that we think is worth sharing. It could be coaching tips, at home drills, how-to articles or simply interesting basketball or character related articles. We want to use this BLOG to help you continue growing in your process of becoming a better player, better coach or better person.

Brad Niley
Just Hoops by Shoot-A-Way

Please follow and like us: