One-on-One: Twilah Carrasquillo

Yanders Law’s Twilah Carrasquillo continues to do big things for Verona High School and is poised to carry over her success to the collegiate level.

Another staple of The Basketball Movement and a Yanders Law veteran, Twilah Carrasquillo is continuing her basketball career in style, breaking records along the way. We got to catch up with her in the middle of a great season for Verona High, where she recently broke the women’s scoring record - held by her sister.

She eclipsed the 2,000 point mark and is continuing to build upon a Verona women’s career scoring record. Asked if her sister was upset about her record being broken, Carrasquillo said “She would have been mad if I didn’t break it.” Not surprising then, that she credited her school, friends, and family for the support that helped her achieve this goal. She acknowledged the rarity of this scoring mark in her sport, but is determined to stay focused on team wins.

As Verona advances through their season, accolades will undoubtedly pile up for the Ozarks Sports Zone Player of the Week, who has already committed to continuing her hoops career at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

For Twilah, attending Benedictine is as much about lifestyle as it is about hoops. Many athletes forget that it is okay to remain passionate about more than just the sport you play - Twilah is a shining example of staying true to yourself.

“The coaching staff and girls were very welcoming” said Carrasquillo. “Benedictine is strongly Christian as a historic Catholic school. I knew it was the place to be because I could fit in as a teammate and also as a person.”

We have seen Twilah in action enough to know that she will be one of the team’s hardest workers right away. Her character and convictions will carry her through no-matter what.

Twilah Carrasquillo with Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement

Asked how she originally fell in with Robert Yanders and Yanders Law, Twilah recalled playing against his team. Her Dad was coaching against Rob in Springfield and was approached by Rob and Sly Yanders to discuss a change of scenery. The instincts of Rob to invite the Carraquillo’s into his organization were spot-on, as they have all been shining examples of basketball the Rob Yanders way.

Aside from playing for Yanders Law, Twilah has put in many hours at The Basketball Movement, honing her craft. She is a gifted scorer inside and out and is continuing to expand her range, shore up her handles, and round into a fantastic all-around player.

My biggest takeaways from working with Rob have a lot to do with having a better and deeper knowledge of the game. Knowing so many circumstances helps you see plays before they happen.
— Twilah Carrasquillo

After a successful Yanders Law tenure and as she winds down a fantastic high school career, we asked Twilah what advice she would give other players as they go through the process of picking a college. “Don’t get overwhelmed with what division school it is, just pick whatever is the best decision for you” Carrasquillo said. “Choose what fits with your life. You can’t play ball forever, so always pick something you love.”

With priorities in order, determination, and basketball skills for days, Twilah Carrasquillo is blazing into the next chapter of life armed to the teeth. Her time with us has been a pleasure, hopefully on both ends. We hope that when she makes trips back to see her family and friends that we can still put in some work together when possible.

We thrive on helping outstanding young players like Twilah along their journey. We wish her the absolute best and can’t wait to see what she’ll do next!

Never be ashamed of where you are from

Towns no one has heard of, cities where it is tough to stand out from the crowd; everyone is from somewhere. Embrace your journey.

Everyone has a story. Guys and girls from all over may share passions for things like basketball, but no one is quite the same as you. Embracing yourself as a person or player means you must own every part of your life. Never be ashamed of where you come from.

For better or for worse, you are the culmination of all of your experiences in life. Some of them were great experiences that you could see making you stronger right in front of your eyes. Some experiences really hurt at the time, but they still altered your path to make you the unique individual you are today.

Be the best version of yourself in anything that you do. You don’t have to live anybody else’s story.
— Stephen Curry

Look back at the toughest times that you have had in your life. In the end, they made you much stronger in many ways, right? The best parts of your story couldn't have happened without the early chapters.

On the court, you are not the only player that wants to win and dominate the competition. You will often have to bring your very best to achieve your goals. Your very best means drawing on experiences, hard work, and an understanding of what makes you uniquely you.

Embrace your personal history, even if there are things you would rather forget. You do not have to dwell on those things, but do not be afraid to think back and recognize the ways that it made you a stronger person. Even if you have been lucky enough to avoid major hardships, there are always experiences to reflect back on when striving to be great.

Yanders Law aims to push players and people at all levels to be the very best they can be. Do not be afraid to approach our coaches or anyone else with any tough times you are going through. Just remember, it is all another chapter in the story of your greatness.

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!

Merry Christmas from Yanders Law!

Merry Christmas, everyone! We talk a lot about using holidays and weekends to outwork your opponents, but maybe hang with family on this one.

At Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement, we are serious about hoops. However, we are also well-aware that there are plenty of things that are bigger than basketball. Over at The Basketball Movement blog, we have discussed doing inside work on rainy days, getting in a gym on holiday weekends, and more. That said, Christmas is one of the most important times of the year for stepping away from work, school, and play to focus on what is important.

We were thrilled to partner with The Basketball Movement and Jones Family YMCA to show the power of basketball with our Angels of the Hardwood event. It was great to show that even as basketball organizations, there are still ways to get involved in the true reason for the Christmas season.

To all of the players, parents, fans, and Yanders Law coaches and staff - Merry Christmas! This is an excellent time to reflect on a year’s worth of accomplishments, hardships overcome, and great things on the horizon.

Thank you to everyone that helped us to make 2018 successful. We are proud of everything that has been accomplished and proud to have worked with everyone who helped to make it happen.

Enjoy this time with family and friends and remember what Christmas is all about. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tips for parents or other fans

Playing the game can be tough, as can coaching. Watching the games? As invested fans, that can be tough at times too.

As fans of youth basketball, it can be all too easy at times to get involved in everything that goes on on the court - especially for parents. You are taking your kids to camps, practices, and games as well as footing the bills for leagues, equipment, and so on. This gives a deep feeling of involvement with your player and the program.

This is a good thing! You should be active and engaged in what is going on in your son or daughter’s lives. However, this involvement can also make things a bit difficult when you see your athlete placed in tough situations or under-performing.

Just remember - it is often best to address these situations according to the time and place. On the way to or from games are terrific times for constructive discussions, as everything is fresh in the player’s head. At practices, that is the coach’s jurisdiction. Let the coaching staff handle everything on the floor.

Where things often get tough for parents is where it is toughest for all parties - during games.

There are fine lines to walk during games. On the one hand, you are encouraged to cheer on your players and team, to praise them during their successes, and to build them back up when they make mistakes. As such an invested individual though, you may sometimes make mistakes.

Encouragement is always helpful, there is no limit on that. Where things can go wrong though lies in criticism, whether it is of your player, the coach, or even referees. Shouting at the refs will build bad blood between that ref and your team, no matter where it comes from. It also sets a poor example for the players, leading them to believe referees are a scapegoat for their shortcomings.

Criticizing coaches or your player’s teammates is of course discouraged as well. It will distract all of the players and take away from the important focuses of playing the sport.

Finally, save constructive criticism of your own player for another time. Your son, daughter, or otherwise is already going to be aware when they make a mistake. Compounding that with a public disappointment of their parents is going to get in their head in a big way. During game time, just remember - encourage, encourage, encourage. Let the coaches and team handle the rest.

Being an involved parent or fan is important, just do your best to go about it in the best way possible. Yanders Law is a tight-knit group, and we have faith that our parents, players, and coaches can set great examples for each other.

First annual Angels of the Hardwood a success

Our first annual Angels of the Hardwood event was a success, using basketball to make plenty of smiles and memories.

A big thank you to all of our coaches, players, families, and kids that came out to make Angels of the Hardwood a success. It was beautiful to see basketball bring together individuals from so many backgrounds, uniting in an effort to give back to this great community.

As our Yanders Law players handed out basketballs, Nike shoes, and more on Sunday, it was incredible to see the smiles on the faces of the young players at the Jones Family YMCA.

The event included some patented pep talks and workout guidance from Rob Yanders and his staff, but it was clear that Sunday was focused heavily on fun, family, and giving. The amount of love that came from an event centered around that little orange ball was truly a sight to behold.

Special thanks to the YMCA, The Basketball Movement, Nike, and Gatorade for helping to make everything possible.

The goals that Founder Rob Yanders envisioned for Angels of the Hardwood were achieved. The Yanders Law players learned valuable lessons about using their platform and privilege to give back to those in need. Rob and some of the Yanders Law players know about needing basketball as an escape not only during the holidays, but year-round. Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement will continue to seek out ways to give back to the community - especially kids.

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Angels of the Hardwood 🙏🙏🏀🏀🏀🎉🎉🎉

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Helping these kids was a fantastic experience. Helping their parents through the holidays was also big. When we help others, great things happen. There are many ways to do this, but the international language of sports is a great way to get the message of love across. Basketball is our thing, but if it isn’t yours, do your best to find other ways to give back.

If you weren’t able to make it this year, keep your eye out going forward for more ways to get involved with Yanders Law. Whether you are a player, parent, fan, whatever, there is always room to grow and give back with Yanders Law.

To see more images and videos of this fantastic event, check us out on Instagram and give us a follow.