After a slow start to the season and some disconnect with the Tucson Buckets players and previous coaching staff, we had to take the holiday season to reevaluate our approach. We have put significant amount of energy into growing this organization but the commitment and play were becoming a concern especially losing in the manner that we did early in the season. As a first year organization discovering our identity in a new league and with a team that lacked a proper training camp has been a learning lesson to say the least. Fortunately, we were able to assemble a team that had some prior history of playing around the city with each other. Chemistry has never been an issue with our roster. Each player enjoys one another and has one goal in mind and that is to win by any means. Although our turnovers and lack of fluidity during the initial four games of the season would indicate otherwise, we believe the team is on the verge of great things.
As a start up business we were forced to make a decision on the direction we wanted our organization to go. Mario Ramirez although one hell of a coach just did not deliver the personality we expected from our players. This being said the organization decided to part ways with coach Ramirez in December. We thank him for helping us get this organization off the ground but a change was needed to spark a needed flame. Our players have responded well since the change and come this weekend we will be able to show case our next growth. 2016 AZ/CAL DIVISION ABA SHOWCASE
Coaching Change with hopes to help our growth
The new head coach and General Manager of the Tucson Buckets is Marc Johnson. Johnson played 13 years in France in European Professional League. He brings a professional attitude adjustment to our organization. We started this journey with a roster full of players who for the most part had little to no professional experience. The weekly grind of sustaining a professional career is new to our players and having someone who worked and played professionally provides our players someone with respectable experience and knows how to handle the grind. His influence has already shown in the manner of practice since he was named interim coach in late December. He had a three weeks of unrestricted practices as well as a tournament Title on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation before Christmas.
Being a Tucson bred ball player and resident with a son who plays junior college basketball right now he has been maneuvering through the Tucson basketball scene for decades. Playing at The University of Montana Billings he grew to be very solid professional player. He sees the Tucson Buckets organization as an opportunity to provide Tucson athletes an opportunity to be a part of competitive basketball on a weekly basis. We are inviting the best ball players in the city out to play/ practice for our organization. Even I you can’t play, your energy and effort can help mold a championship team. We are young and eager to attract those who can bring a positive impact to our franchise.
Coach Johnson has a big vision for the Tucson Buckets franchise. He wants to utilize his connections to help bring our players overseas to compete with teams in France. Our job is to create an opportunity for our players to reach whatever level they can. We never want to hinder their growth just because we lacked personnel that could provide a valuable platform. Practices under coach Johnson are strenuous and tedious but the players are responding well. His hunger for perfection has made a significant difference on the play of our guards, an area we needed strengthening.
This journey over the last 5-6 months since I took over the online business duties for the franchise for my big brother Brandon Miller, who is co-owner as well as a player on the team, has been one to remember. Rewind back to 1 and half year prior, I was accompanying my brother to his first ever professional tryout which was for the San Diego Surf another ABA franchise in which he actually made the team but due to some franchise deficiencies and issues the marriage just could not happen. So from there I watched my brother turn a dream of playing into this seemingly unimaginable dream to own a professional team here in Tucson. I rarely feel doubt when it comes to doing things so maybe it’s the ambition in us that made us believe in what we could accomplish. Tucson is a basketball city and even the mention of a semi-pro team coming to the city turns people ears up at us. There has been several attempts at bringing a team to the city but have not been able to garner the support and attention to make it last. We are far from the traditional professional organization we resemble more closely the people who were beat down so long and denied so much the only alternative was to do it themselves.
Brandon and I returned from that trip to San Diego and discussed his aspirations with his now Business partner and Co-owner of the Tucson Buckets Jatai Gonder who just like Brandon has pursued his professional basketball career for many years but saw the value of bringing the team to Tucson and from there the seed was planted.
Growing up in the south and having grandparents and older friends who raised cattle and cultivated many fruits and vegetables in gardens and farms we have seen the process of growth first hand. Growing something from its seed takes patience and proper nourishment. The Tucson Buckets has been a seed we have been nourishing and continue to nourish to this day and this past weekend was the perfect indication of how patience and pure organic seed planting is done. Through stormy weather and even a circumstance that could be categorized as tornadic that happened the night of our debut in the American Basketball Association we overcame and were able to provide the people who support us with a quality basketball game. High Scoring and action packed we believe we have built something that can withstand the test of time and surpass all of the negative opinion that will come our way.
Before the game, Monica Grimaldo the news correspondent from CBS 13 here in Tucson asked Brandon, Jatai and I what we thought about the people who had doubts and didn’t believe what we were attempting to do would be successful. Our response was simple, we DID NOT think about the people who didn’t support us, we only look to the people who has shown us so much support in this process. This has been a process as divine as any, we have been able to attract people who see the value of this venture through our constant work with the youth in our Junior Buckets program and our outreach into the community events. We take the roll as the underdogs very serious and as we grow we continue to have that chip on our shoulders to show people that this is much bigger than basketball but an opportunity for people to see young men who are molded by this city flourish in what they are passionate about it. If that isn’t inspiring then I don’t know what inspiring even means anymore. The Tucson ABA Journey has begun and we look forward to bringing the city something they can be proud to represent..
We want to take the time to thank everyone who helped us pull off our first official game in the ABA this weekend. Despite the issues we handled everything like champions and made it work. Our volunteers and our staff did an amazing job. Sporting Chance Center took an amazing gamble by opening their doors for us on minutes notice to provide our fans and supporters with quick and easy location change. These things happened so fast that it was nearly overwhelming to see people take ownership of our franchise. It was powerful and everyone who made it possible, Tucson Buckets organization, Jatai, Brandon and I really do appreciate it. The pictures of the crowd will be with us for the rest of our lives and we hope to add to those numbers and bring a lot of wins to the city. If you have pictures or video please send them over to Tucsonbucketsaba@gmail.com when you get a chance. Post them to your blog and send us a link and we will share it on our page. Let’s continue to build something powerful for the city of Tucson!! #GetBuckets
High Flyer Club Cards
The growth of our organization starts with the communities support. We have been able to move pretty well so far with the help of some great people and we really do appreciate any and all support sent our way. We are closing in on our first ABA game this season on Saturday and we want to extend our welcome to those who want to make the season investment into our organization. We have a great offer for those who want to take advantage of our season tickets prices.
What is the High Flyer Club Card?
The High Flyer Cards are our way of rewarding people who invest in our season ticket packages. The package includes 15% off Tucson Buckets Merchandise, 5% percent off Concessions, A special appearance by a Tucson Buckets player at your social or community event, Invitation to closed practices and tryouts, Updates and invitations on ALL Tucson Buckets Events, Instantly quality for special drawings on our social and at our home games.
Each High Flyer Club Card Member will receive 2 game day tickets to ALL Home Games. This is $200 value that you can get for $70 right now. The price will go back to its original place next week so take advantage now. Join our High Flyer Club today and watch us as we build this franchise to the next level.
Interested in getting a High Flyer Card? Contact us today @ TucsonBucketsaba@gmail.com or text 520-314-1382 and we will get you all set up for a great season.
Buy Your Tickets NOW
We have been working tirelessly to bring a unique experience to the Tucson Basketball community. Basketball is a sport that garners much attention in this city and we feel we have the players and tools to create something that can last a very long time. We are dedicated to creating a family oriented entertainment experience that will engrave itself into the minds of a generation. We understand our biggest allies are the children and adolescence of this city who have never been able to interact one on one with professional athletes whenever they want. That was a goal of ours from the start. We wanted to embody a community oriented team that built its foundation on how we affect the people who support us.
Our online ticket sales offer a great opportunity for you and your family to purchase tickets in the comfort of your home. You will be able to plan a great evening together with our inexpensive game prices. Online tickets also provide opportunities for discounts and other specials that we provide on our website. Join our Buckets Connect and receive even more information on discounts and special coupons at our local sponsors.
Our first game will be held at Lead Athletics on November 7, 2015. The doors will open at 7:30 and Online Ticket Sales will be cut off as the doors open. Game will start promptly at 8 PM. You will be required to bring confirmation email or printed ticket to the entrance prior to event. If any inaccuracies are found you will not be allowed entrance to the game. If you have any problems with printing the ticket receipt please contact us via email at Tucsonbucketsaba@gmail.com. Ticket Prices are below..
$70 and includes 2 game day tickets for all of our Home games. This price subject to change November 6, 2015 8:00 PM.
10-20 people- $90-$190 (Depends on kids/adult ratio)
20-30 people- $200-275 (Depends on kids/adult ratio)
Game Day Ticket Prices
Kids under age 16- $5
Military/ College ID- $7
Steady Growing our Community Outreach
We have been building our community ties over the last several weeks in an effort to mobilize our movement. As you all know this has been a growing process for us and wanting to engrave our values and mission into the fabric of the city is a vision we set out from the beginning. Weekly work with the Junior Buckets allows us ample opportunities to communicate and engage with young people in the city and have personally been able to understand some of the problems this generation deals with on a daily basis. As role models and coaches we feel like we have a responsibility to help keep kids focus on things that are productive to their lives and builds character. So in collaboration with the ABA we have started our Bullies are Cowards program which will gives a true opportunity to speak directly to the children of Tucson about the dangers of bullying and how to keep yourself away from it.
Our Bullies for Cowards Program emphasizes the 3 R’s. Respect, Responsibility, and Reputation. We believe all three of these aspects play a significant role in building character and keeping our youth out of trouble. We understand bullying is a part of growing up but if we can stop 1 or 2 people from becoming bullies just think about all of the kids we can stop from dealing with insecurities and fear of being different. As the new professional athletes in the city it is our responsibility to set the example and standard on how to treat people no matter the differences we possess.
Our first installment of this program we took a few of our players to Tucson Country Day Charter School. We popped up with the help of our event sponsor Eegee who happily donated a few buckets of Eegee flavor of the months to accompany our presentation. We introduced the Tucson Buckets 3 keys to success in a creative way. Played a few games with the middle school kids and allowed to enjoy being out of class while learning some valuable information about Respect, Responsibility and Reputation. Take a look at the footage and pictures from the event. We are looking to implement this program across the city at middle schools and elementary schools. If you think your child’s school would enjoy and benefit from our Bullies are Cowards program give us a call or email to set up a date.