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.

Anton Brookshire named athlete of the week by Ozarks Sports Zone

Ozarks Sports Zone names an outstanding athlete each week, boy or girl, from any sport. This week, it was Yanders Law guard, Anton Brookshire.

To no one’s surprise, a healthy Anton Brookshire is producing plenty of buckets and wins for Kickapoo this season. After his injury contributed to their losing the final seven games of last season, so does his health contribute to their 7-3 start this year. As Mark Spillane reported in the article from the O-Zone, Anton holds averages of 18.3 points, 5.3 boards, and 4.2 assists per contest.

Anton has taken on more of a leadership role this season, following a successful, but shortened freshman campaign. Brookshire began the year with All-District aspirations, but may need even loftier goals if he continues to push the Kickapoo Chiefs.

One of the top sophomore recruits in the state, Anton is a gym rat that is not afraid to put in the work to be ready for big moments. Ozarks Sports Zone is not the only entity recognizing Anton’s talents. He holds outstanding offers from Missouri State, UWM, UNLV, Texas State, and Tennessee State as well as interest from Missouri, OSU, Tulsa, and Creighton.

We have spoken before about how Anton Brookshire exemplifies what a Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement player is all about on and off the court. Anton is a great young man with a bright future. It is good to stop and appreciate each victory and accolade as he sets his sights high.

When The Basketball Movement interviewed Anton before the season, he spoke about contributing as a scorer to the point defenses collapse on him, allowing him to become a distributor. So far, so good for Anton as he is undoubtedly at the top of opponent’s scouting reports.

Congrats to Anton for this cool shout-out that included some nice words from his coach, Mitch McHenry. Everyone that has been around Brookshire always has good things to say. We are no different and we are excited to see how high Anton can fly this season and beyond.

Yanders Law's Isaac Haney at The Basketball Movement

YANDERS LAW SOPHOMORE, ISAAC HANEY HAS BEEN DOING BIG THINGS FOR DORA AND IS LOOKING LIKE A STRONG D-1 TALENT.

Fresh off of a 48 point scoring blitz with nine assists against Lutie (Theodosia, MO) and helping Dora win the Cabool Holiday tournament, Isaac Haney just can’t help but get back in the gym. Luckily for the both of us, that gym is located in the heart of The Basketball Movement.

For a long time, Haney has been putting in crazy work at The Basketball Movement and for Yanders Law teams. His relationship with our coaches has come easily; he has the hard-working, nose to the grindstone mentality that we thrive on.

In only his second year of high school at a smaller school in Dora, Isaac “Ice” Haney has been getting plenty of collegiate attention. He has outstanding offers from Clevelend State and Grambling while receiving interest from Missouri State and Nebraska Omaha.

In speaking with The Basketball Movement, Haney says that he has been focusing on multiple areas of his game. “I’ve been refining all my skills - getting better at finding holes in the defense, improving my mid-range game, and getting more athletic and stronger.” Not only has Isaac added a few inches of height just recently, but his efforts to get stronger are clearly paying off as well.

We asked Isaac if there were any players he is modeling his game after. His initial response was “Steve Nash” because he likes to be in control, distribute, and still get his (though Nash never dropped 48). He did also mention that he has a JJ Redick mentality, highlighting his quick-trigger. The nod to Redick actually makes a lot of sense when watching Haney in action.

ISAAC HANEY AT THE BASKETBALL MOVEMENT

From the pressbox at The Basketball Movement, you can take in every bit of action in the facility. Coach Rob was working with Isaac recently (while his media crew filmed with a drone by the way... this place is next-level) and getting up jumpers. Haney’s jumper actually looked like JJ Redick’s shooting form. If you know hoops, you know that spells perfection. His follow through just screams shooter.

Coach Rob gushed about getting to help Haney grow over the years.

This kid is a great player. He has a savage mentality that always makes you feel like he can win you the game. He is making a case to be the best sophomore in Missouri right now.
— Rob Yanders

Normally when you see Rob throw an hour on the clock, you know you are about to see someone get their butt kicked. Watching Haney, you get the sense that he loves the pain. The tired forearms, the mental strain to lock into a Rob workout, and the jelly legs are things that most players dread. Haney knows that means he is improving. That is why he keeps coming back.

The Basketball Movement is easily the best place to come. Rob is one hundred percent the best in the business. In my time here I have improved by leaps and bounds in all ways.
— Isaac Haney

Isaac Haney is not going to stop improving, which means he won’t stop coming to The Basketball Movement. Haney knows where to go for the best of the best. We are simply thrilled to have gotten to know and watch as another young man betters himself everyday.

For more player profiles and inside looks at everything we have going on, make sure you are following The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law across all platforms.

Zach Howell and Kanon Gipson - Blue and Gold division winners

Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement’s Zach Howell and Kanon Gipson help their teams to titles in the Blue and Gold Tournament’s two divisions.

We are proud of a couple of our players that showed out in The Blue and Gold tournament this week - one of the most prominent annual tourney’s in Southwest Missouri.

In the Blue Division, Logan Rogersville took the title with the help of Yanders Law sharpshooter, Kanon Gipson. Rogersville was picked as a 6 seed and had to go through the 3, 2, AND 1 seeds on their way to the championship. Gipson says this was a big moment and the team is very happy with what they accomplished.

Kanon Gipson is a pure shooter and that shined through several times in the tournament. The biggest was a three with under a minute to play in the championship game. When asked about the confidence required for a shot like that, he gave a lot of credit to his coaches: “The coaches always tell me your time will come and they give me a green light to shoot.”

Before the championship, he had a three point barrage against Willard, hitting four in a row in the first half. He said that he knew he needed to keep shooting whenever the ball made its way to him, but knew not to force in order to do what was best for the team.

Asked how The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law helped prepare him for moments like these and stages like the championship, he brought it back to coaches once again.

I’ve learned to handle adversity and remain composed. Rob and Craig trained me so hard and it is all paying off.
— Kanon Gipson

Though he’s only a freshman, Zach Howell played a big part in taking Catholic all the way to their second consecutive championship at the Blue and Gold in the Gold Division. “It’s special to be back-to-back champions - it’s a pretty great feeling”.

Currently undefeated, Catholic is certainly off to a hot start. Zach credits the start to playing well as a team and gelling from the get-go. Of course that includes playing hard and having great team defense.

In the championship, he had one of the key plays of the game when he put back a missed dunk by a teammate late. “I saw him going up and could tell it was going to be contested.” Having his teammate’s back and being prepared for anything was a great snapshot of the player Zach is.

We also asked Zach how The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law has helped prepare him for big plays and big games:

I go to The Basketball Movement all the time. Rob has helped me so much. We’ve done so many drills and put in so much work - It has made me confident.
— Zach Howell

Coming off the bench can be a tough challenge, even on a good team. Zach Howell still found a way to put up nice numbers in this tournamnet and we asked him for advice for other players in similar situations. He said that “every player will get their moment.” In order to get a feel coming into the game cold, he says “When you have an opportunity, make sure you take it.”

These two players did a tremendous job of embodying what Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement are all about this weekend. We do our best to grow their skills, conditioning and more, but their determination and passion for the game are their own.

Congrats to Kanon Gipson, Zach Howell, and their teams. Good luck going forward to these and all other Yanders Law players as high school ball starts getting serious. We’ll be watching!

Max Preps early top 25 rankings

Prep basketball authority, MaxPreps has released their first national rankings for high school boys basketball for the young season.

Of course things around here are really focused on Yanders Law teams - one of the top grassroots basketball programs in the Midwest. With school ball underway though, we are going to shift our focus for a moment to high school ball on the national level as we examine the top teams in the country.

MaxPreps is the most diligent site there is for tracking prep sport movement. Their lists like this one are still largely subjective, but also serve as one of the best indicators we have for the top teams in the nation.

It is early in the high school basketball season, but this will still give you a good idea of who sits near the top in the nation for school ball.

All of the teams listed are undefeated, showing the margin of error that exists at this tier. Teams that have picked up losses and fallen off of the top 25 list are Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.), Guyer (Denton, Texas), Norcross (Ga.), South Garland (Garland, Texas), and defending champion Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, AZ).

Below is the full list per MaxPreps.com:

  1. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)

  2. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)

  3. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

  4. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)

  5. University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

  6. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)

  7. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)

  8. La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)

  9. McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)

  10. Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)

  11. Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)

  12. Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.)

  13. Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)

  14. Belleville West (Belleville, Ill.)

  15. Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)

  16. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)

  17. Ranney (Tinton Falls, N.J.)

  18. Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.)

  19. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)

  20. Federal Way (Wash.)

  21. Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.)

  22. Pinnacle (Phoenix, Az.)

  23. Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.)

  24. Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.)

  25. Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)

With plenty of games to go and holiday tournaments coming up, many of these rankings are subject to volatility. It is good to see a few teams on the list from the Midwest - there is a wealth of talent here and it is good to see some recognition of that.

The MaxPreps list on the girl’s side of things is a bit older than the above, resulting in few teams having played more than three games. Even so, that list can be found here.

As high school teams around the county fight to enter the fray on the national level on down to intra-conference play, we will be excitedly watching the basketball goodness unfold.