Yanders Law Blue Elite (16u) - Homegrown, top-tier AAU squad

Today we spotlight the 16 & under Yanders Law Blue Elite team that is living up to their name and putting the AAU scene on notice.

The NY2LA Spring Warm Up over the weekend confirmed what many already knew: the Yanders Law program can claim many of the top sophomores not only in the state, but beyond. Yanders Law Blue Elite defeated the Green Bay Gunners, ET21 Buckeyes, Mac Irvin Fire EYBL, and Team Teague in the 16u platinum bracket.

Blue Elite fell to Meanstreets (another EYBL team), which went on to win the bracket. This Yanders Law squad is a team of guys from Southwest Missouri that have mostly been playing with each other for four or five years. Many of these other teams consist of new, recruited players from a wide area.

For Yanders Law Blue Elite to be able to hang with teams that have shoe deals or NBA players backing them is immensely impressive. With all the noise this team is making after just a couple weeks of practice together, a few of these guys are likely to be more heavily recruited themselves.

Every player on this team contributed in one way or another at the NY2LA Spring Warm Up. Scoring, defending, or being active from the sidelines are all important; we saw plenty of that this weekend. One player that has truly upped his game recently is Zach Howell, and it showed in Milwaukee.

“Zach has improved a ton” said Yanders Law founder and namesake, Rob Yanders. “He hit some huge shots this weekend and showed out.” Another player that was making things look easy against stiff competition was Anton Brookshire.

In a recap of early tournament action, the NY2LA website had this to say about Brookshire:

Brookshire really captains the ship for his team with his play and is efficient in his work. He picked up where he left off last summer with a solid opening game, getting to the hoop and finishing with good control, burying shots from both the mid and long levels and was otherwise operating as a facilitator for his teammates, pushing the ball up the floor and getting his guys scoring opportunities.
— NY2LAsports.com

One more player that has to be named is Isaac Haney. If you were paying attention to his season in Dora, you know that he has taken his game to another stratosphere. The kid can score with ease and had one of the prettiest shots in the whole tournament, regardless of age or association.

Things are just getting started for not only this team, but all of Yanders Law Basketball. To keep track of our guys and girls, make sure to follow along on Twitter @YandersLaw and add us on Facebook.

One-on-One: Connor Killian

Our final conversation that took place ahead of the NY2LA Spring Warm Up in Milwaukee was with sophomore, Connor Killion.

Connor Killion recently finished up his sophomore season with East Newton High. He said that the season was a bit of a struggle at times and the team finished below .500. “We had great team chemistry, but things never quite came together” said Killion.

He said that he is excited to get spring and summer ball underway. “School ball is always very structured, where this stuff is a lot more loose and free.” He also said that his biggest takeaway from the season was stepping up as a leader after earning a starting role. “I also worked to establish myself as an offensive threat” Connor continued.

Killion will try and carry that scorer mentality into his second year with Yanders Law, where he plans to be a scorer and shooter, while remaining unselfish with the basketball. In his short time with Yanders Law and coming to The Basketball Movement, he says that he is impressed with the progress that has been made.

Just within these few years, the floors have been re-done, these seats weren’t here ... I love coming here and playing with Yanders Law because it is highly competitive.
— Connor Killion

East Newton High is 73 miles from The Basketball Movement. Coach Lou Carasquillo had the connections to get with Connor and it has been a great fit.

With the first tourney of spring wrapping up and much more action on the horizon, we asked what Killian intends to work on this season with Yanders Law. “I want to keep focusing on my leadership to always be a role model for any team I’m on. For this team I want to fill my role and keep improving upon my strengths.”

As Connor Killian and Yanders Law Basketball continue to put in work this spring and summer, we look forward to seeing continued growth. There are many good things in store for the program coming up, so be sure to keep checking back in with us!

Two-on-One: Anton Brookshire and Carson Noel

Kickapoo High teammates, Anton Brookshire and Carson Noel team up again as Yanders Law begins it’s spring basketball circuit.

Now in Wisconsin for the NY2LA Swish ‘N Dish Spring Warm Up, we had a chance to catch up with Anton Brookshire and Carson Noel before they headed to Milwaukee. Coming off of a successful year at Kickapoo High School, the pair are ready to make a splash in spring and summer ball.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Anton Brookshire has been with Yanders Law for a while now. Carson has only been coming around to The Basketball Movement for a year or so. “I know this is where Coach Chris played and I‘ve had some teammates play here” Carson said. “Still I recognize a lot of these guys, but there are some new faces.”

Anton says that he has known most of his Yanders Law teammates since 6th grade and has played AAU with many of them for several years now.

When asked what they took away from this past season of school ball, Carson talked on the importance of playing every game and going through every practice playing your hardest. Anton said that it felt good to get as far as they did as a team. “I feel that we could’ve made it to state. We ran into an opponent that was loaded, but that happens” said Brookshire.

With just a few short weeks of practice, the guys have headed to Milwaukee to show what they can do as a unit. Anton noted that the competition would be consistently tougher for spring and summer AAU compared to school ball. He and Carson agreed that a similar mentality would still be necessary: aggressiveness. Being ready to kill it when the time comes, but still keeping teammates involved.

Spring and summer are great times to get a step up on competition by improving many facets of your game. In particular, Carson said that he would be looking to improve his shot, seeing the floor, and know what’s coming. That last one is an important part of your game that Rob Yanders and the Yanders Law coaches can cultivate in young players.

Anton said that he is wanting to step up his defense and his leadership. “I’ve already grown as a leader playing varsity this year, but I want to continue to grow.”

Both of these young men are approaching the “offseason” the right way. In order to continuously improve, basketball needs to be approached frequently, aggressively, and passionately. This NY2LA Spring Warm Up is a great start and will provide numerous lessons, win-or-lose.

For more Yanders Law action keep checking back with us right here.

One-on-One: Jadon Gilpin

Ahead of summer action for many of our Yanders Law athletes, we got the chance to catch up with a few of our young men. This is One-on-One with Jadon Gilpin.

An athletic 6 foot 3, junior wing Jadon Gilpin looks like a player. A good-looking stroke from outside and soft touch inside show that the Yanders Law staple has come a long way in his time with the program. Gilpin is coming off of a varsity season with Glendale High that demonstrated the improvements he has made over the years.

“We definitely could have gone farther” Jadon recalls of the Falcons 2018-19 season. “We had a lot of talent, so it is a bit disappointing.” He also pointed out that it is time to put that aside as the offseason begins and focus on improving as he always has.

Jadon Gilpin went from having limited offensive impact as a sophomore to being an All-District performer this past season. Asked what he is looking to improve upon this summer, he said that there is always room for improvement in all areas, so he is focusing on becoming a better all-around player.

“I want to focus on catch-and-shoot situations and being a better scorer in general” Jadon said. He says that this season helped him in getting more out of the offense with the ball running through him on many possessions.

As he looks to improve, he will be playing with a lot of familiar faces for Yanders Law Basketball this summer.

I’ve been playing with Yanders Law and coming around The Basketball Movement since jr. high - 7th grade. I’ve played with these guys for years. It’s always fun to compete at such a high level and just play the game versus the structure that comes with school ball.
— Jadon Gilpin

Asked to describe his role with the team, Jadon says that he will look to do a bit of everything. He will focus on defense, stretching the floor, and hitting open jumpers.

Gilpin has been a great player to have in the gym at The Basketball Movement and on the Yanders Law Basketball squad. A nice guy off the court and a big part of what we do on it - we are thrilled to have him back as his team gears up for their first game tomorrow as they travel to Milwaukee.

Good luck to Jadon this season and all of our squads! Keep an eye out for more interviews incoming over the next few days. ‘Til next time!

Super sophomores make All-State teams

Anton Brookshire and Isaac Haney top off incredible sophomore seasons with All-State team selections.

We have bragged a lot this season about Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement athletes, Anton Brookshire and Isaac Haney. What began the season as a couple of sophomores that were defying lofty expectations turned into routine torchings of bigger, stronger, and older opponents. What seemed exceptional in the early going became routine for these two athletes.

Anton Brookshire led his Kickapoo team on an incredible stretch that fell just short of a Missouri Class 5 final four appearance. Along the way, Brookshire was named Player of the Year in his conference as well as POY in District 11. His buzzer beater to seal the district championship certainly didn’t hurt his cause for that honor.

Again, only a sophomore, Brookshire has been named to the All-State team for Missouri’s largest class. Anton has already been receiving plenty of interest and offers from good basketball schools, but his stock is undoubtedly about to spike following a fantastic finish to his year two campaign.

Isaac Haney had himself an eventful sophomore season as well. “Ice” Haney was on a heater all season long. Like Brookshire, Isaac was all-conference, all-district, and all-state for class 1 in Missouri. He carried Dora all the way to the state championship game, coming up just shy of a perfect season.

Despite Dora losing their final game, individually, Isaac Haney’s body of work was undeniable and he was named Missouri Class 1 Player of the Year. This is an incredible honor that will also draw the attention of multiple D-1 programs, regardless of class. The size of your school doesn’t matter when you can put the ball in the hole at an elite level.

Congratulations to both of these young men who had exemplary years for their high school teams. We’ve said it before, but their work ethic and dedication perfectly personifies what we strive for at The Basketball Movement and within the Yanders Law program. We could not be more proud and are thrilled to get to see these guys in action for years to come.

Players from Yanders Law set to face off

With their teams gearing up for a Missouri class 5 sectional showdown, we talk to a few of our athletes as they prepare for battle.

Anton Brookshire and Elijah Bridgers play for perhaps Springfield, MO’s most prominent basketball school - Kickapoo High. They are also players that we have had the privilege of working with at The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law. Drew McMillin is another one, but he plays for a Republic squad that has exceeded expectations and finds themselves squaring off with the above Kickapoo duo in sectionals.

Kickapoo won their district title in dramatic fashion and are now hoping to go on a run. Following a workout at The Basketball Movement, we chatted with Brookshire and Bridgers to get a feel for their mindset as the stage continues to get bigger and brighter.

Perhaps no player in the state has made the splash to this point that Kickapoo’s Anton Brookshire has. That splash being a game-winning three pointer to take the district title over Nixa.

Anton Brookshire

During the final play of of the district championship game, Anton Brookshire’s adrenaline was pumping. “It was a dream come true. I knew that I would take the shot, but I also knew that I would make the shot.” Despite having such a huge moment already, Anton is poised to raise his stock, even as a sophomore as Kickapoo prepares for sectionals.

Brookshire says they have already watched a lot of film and will continue to scout Republic. He says that the team’s chemistry and bonding these last few weeks has grown exponentially and that they will be ready.

Being at The Basketball Movement almost everyday surrounded by good people has made me grow as a player and a person. The way my game has grown - I think that this is the greatest environment a player can be in.
— Anton Brookshire

Elijah Bridgers

Another Kickapoo player, junior Elijah Bridgers can confirm that the team is focused, determined, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay alive. “We approach every game the same way, but this time of year, you have to turn it up,” Bridgers said.

If they play the right way, Elijah says they can beat anyone. He pointed out that they have already beaten plenty of good teams this season. Asked about takeaways from Rob and Yanders Law, Bridgers said that the intensity will translate well into March basketball. Every time you take the floor for Yanders Law, you need to bring your A-game. The same will certainly apply at sectionals as well.

Drew McMillin

On the other side of things, we had the opportunity to chat with Republic’s Drew McMillin before Thursday’s big tilt. In his time with Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement, Drew said that he has learned how to deal with almost all possible situations on the basketball court. This experience will help as Republic locks in on the Kickapoo Chiefs; he says that their coach has stressed the importance of staying in the moment and focusing on taking this run one game at a time.

McMillan says that as they buckle down to face the stiffer competition that the offense has a renewed focus on getting smart shots as opposed to free-flowing ball that could lead to mistakes.

Asked about the biggest moment of the season, Drew believes the win over Ozark to seal the conference championship takes it so far. “We had lost several games before that win and it really helped us to come together,” he said.

A win over Kickapoo in the sectionals may be sweeter, but he’ll have to go through Brookshire, Bridgers, and company to do it.

Good luck to these and all area athletes as high school ball nears its conclusion. Keep and eye out as we talk with more of our successful athletes soon about their quest for a state championship.

Multiple athletes gearing up for state push

With their teams preparing for the biggest stages of high school ball, we reach out to a few of our Yanders Law athletes to get their thoughts.

Yanders Law’s Isaac Haney, Zach Howell, and Kanon Gipson are easy for us to get a hold of. These young men are staples of The Basketball Movement facility - always coming in to get work. Even now at the height of the season, their desire to stay sharp keeps them coming back.

Hard work is a constant with contributors on good teams. It is no surprise that each of these young men are still playing despite districts coming to a close.

Isaac Haney

If you have been paying attention, it won’t surprise you to hear that All-District selection, Isaac Haney has taken his team to the final four in class 1. Dora has been dropping a lot of points on opponents - most of which have been supplied by Haney. “It feels like the hard work has paid off,” said Haney. “We just have to make sure we stay together and do what we’ve been doing; put an emphasis on teamwork, defend, and jump on people out of the gate.”

As Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Dora has been jumping out to big leads early and will look to continue to gain that advantage. If that doesn’t work out though, Isaac says they will be ready.

Zach Howell

Springfield Catholic (28-3) played strong right out of the gate this year. That put a target on their back, but it hasn’t mattered as they are preparing to kick off their class 3 final four appearance against St. Paul Lutheran. Two of Catholic’s losses came in the Tournament of Champions, which hosts some of the best teams in the nation. Freshman Zach Howell says that if the team locks in and plays the way they can, that they are poised to win it all.

Howell says that being on one of the few teams in the state left playing is a great feeling. Unlike most teams though, he feels that they essentially hold a home court advantage in the final four. “We have played at JQH about as much as we have played on our home court this year. We’ll be familiar with the court and space, which will be very helpful.”

After putting in so much time with Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement, Zach says he is ready for anything.

Working with Rob can be applied to anything, but on the court I am prepared skill-wise and mentally. Rob says basketball is 90 percent mental and I agree. I’ll be ready.
— Zach Howell

Kanon Gipson

The other of Springfield Catholic’s three losses came to Logan-Rogersville and sharpshooter, Kanon Gipson of The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law. LR is now preparing for their sectional tilt and Gipson says he is determined to make sure his senior teammates don’t hang up their jerseys early.

“At this point any team can get you because they are there for a reason. You just have to give it your best shot,” said Kanon. “Our mentality has been the same all season”. Gipson still has the green light from deep and says that his main takeaway from The Basketball Movement will be stepping up his defense.

I’ve learned how to apply more pressure but also how to handle pressure. I’ve learned to deal with every obstacle.
— Gipson's takeaways from Yanders Law

Good luck again to these and all of our high school athletes that are getting to continue their push towards a state title. We will be watching and hoping for the best for each of you. For those of you that are prepping for the offseason - remember the number one facility for not only staying sharp, but improving your skills on and off the floor.

Anton Brookshire wins district championship for Kickapoo

Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement’s Anton Brookshire scored three of his 23 big points as the buzzer sounded on Kickapoo’s District Championship victory over Nixa.

Whether it is a walk-off homerun in baseball, an overtime touchdown in football, or a game-winning three in basketball, there are a few plays that outdo the rest. The higher the stakes, the more exciting and memorable the play. Only a sophomore at Kickapoo High, Anton Brookshire pulled off a huge play when the lights were bright.

In the District Championship matchup between the Kickapoo Chiefs and Nixa Eagles, regulation almost did not provide enough time to reach a conclusion. Almost.

Before the buzzer could sound, a cool, collected sophomore guard called game. Anton Brookshire has been making noise for years, but this noise has blared loudly over all that have come before it. All he needed was a little daylight to hoist a game winner from deep that sealed the ship.

In a preseason interview with The Basketball Movement, Brookshire said that the team’s goal was a district title and that he wouldn’t mind being an all-district player as well. You can rest assured that he is setting new goals now, so class 5 Missouri basketball should take notice.

All of the hours spent in the gym, the practices and games that came before - this is the moment that it all lead to. The best part is that there will continue to be more big moments for years, let alone this title run for Kickapoo.

Anton already had offers on the table from Missouri State, UWM, UNLV, Texas State, Bradley, and Tennessee State in addition to interest from OSU, Tulsa, Creighton, and Missouri. That list will only continue to grow with Brookshire’s current and future level of play.

Good luck to Anton Brookshire, his Kickapoo team, and all the other Yanders Law athletes as they make the push to extend their season.

With seasons winding down, don’t forget to have a plan in place this offseason to help you stay sharp.