Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This Week in Eagles Hoops

The video above is our first edition of "This Week in Eagles Hoops," featuring Will Avery and myself.  And this post is all about Eagles hoops.  Avery, a former first round NBA draft pick and Duke University star has joined me as a GAIS basketball coach.

I periodically write letters explaining the GAIS Eagles basketball program to current and prospective players and parents.  The program serves "home schooled" students, including boys and girls of all ages.  This initiative is one of four that our primary sponsor, the Augusta Metro Youth Foundation (AMYF), supports and runs along with many great people in our community.  These are the four initiatives:

1) The GAIS Eagles (the subject of this post) 
2) The Learning Center in Appling
4) Our community service and outreach efforts (see related post)

It is time for me to write another letter to the GAIS parents who are interested in our Eagles basketball program.  Readers of this site can become more informed about the Eagles if I publish the letter here.  Click below to read the letter...

Dear Parents,

Many of you will probably not be surprised to know that the calendar is full of opportunities for current and potential GAIS members to play basketball.  I hope those who are participating in The Fall League are enjoying themselves.  I think the GAIS players are representing themselves very well among the best basketball players from our area and beyond.  The off season schedule is typically more fluid than that of the "regular season."  But I will attempt to outline the opportunities below.  Please know that off season activities are 100% optional.  Playing competitively and developing skills in productive workout sessions can be very fun and worthwhile experiences.  If you agree and would like your son or daughter to participate in any or all of these activities, we will enjoy having them.  If you would like your child to be a GAIS member but only participate selectively, we ask that you tell us which activities he or she will not attend so we can plan accordingly.

General Schedule

August, September, and October (Off season activities):

GAIS has entered six teams in The Fall League:
- 2 varsity boys teams
- 1 varsity girls team (players as young as 12 participate)
- 1 JV boys team
- 2 middle school boys teams

The Fall League began August 17, and it ends October 19.  Because this is an “off season” activity, new GAIS players can be added at any time.

Our GAIS parents and supporters play a huge role in making the Fall League possible.  More than 40 volunteers work on many Saturdays to make this free (to the players and teams) and great league possible.

Skill Sessions

Will Avery and I regularly conduct skill sessions for GAIS players.  Will also does this on Saturdays as a part of our Fall League initiative.  Starting Tuesday, September 3rd, we will move these sessions to the evening time and open them to players throughout the community, whether they be GAIS players, Fall League players, or others.  Here is the new schedule for the skill sessions:

Tuesdays and Thursdays at Patriots Park:  
5PM to 6PM - Girls of all ages, and elementary school boys
6 PM to 8PM - High School and middle school boys

The focus of these skill sessions is to help players make progress in the fundamentals of basketball:  shooting, scoring, ball handling, and passing.

November, December, January, February, March (Regular Season)

During the traditional “regular season,” our Eagles follow a schedule that is quite “irregular,” but in a very good way for those who love basketball.  Our teams participate as an independent, home school basketball program.  This allows us to schedule as many games as we like against whomever we choose.  And the support from our sponsors and supporters allow us to give players the most unique and special experience available.  Our teams combine to take no fewer than 10 weekend long trips to five states during the regular season.  Our teams play at least twice the number of games as traditional school basketball programs.

The results have been very positive.  During our third and fourth year of competition, our boys varsity team placed 9th and 7th in the nation at the National Homeschool Basketball Championships in Springfield, Missouri.

April through July (Spring and Summer leagues and tournaments and other “off season” activities)

This period of time is similar to the Fall.  We normally host and enter leagues and tournaments.  And we conduct skill sessions.

Please contact me if you have questions.

Chad Cook
(706) 550-2229

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