Tucson Buckets ABA Inc is ready to jump start this summer, we have some amazing things in the work for the Tucson basketball community. As the summer approaches and school gets ready to end we will be hosting several basketball clinics for our younger ball players to participate in. Our events will be reasonably priced and will deal with growing our young players fundamentally and mentally in the game of basketball. We have some of the best coaches and players in the city ready to get a one on one opportunity to instruct our youth in growing their game. More details provided below.
Tucson Buckets Junior Division will offer a week long basketball academy, up to 4 Coed teams spanning from 3rd-8th grade. Tryouts for our youth basketball program will be held May 17th and May 18th at Tucson Country Day Charter School. You can find more information on our Tucson Buckets Facebook page as well as our official website. Contact coach Michael Rubin at TucsonBuckets@gmail.com for more details about registration. Tryout prices will be $5 per participant and any other questions and concerns can be handled with coach Rubin.
After our last defeat to the Orange County Nova Stars 116-109 and losing one of our more productive players Mark Simmons to injury, the Buckets have had to make adjustments to keep the roster fluid and strong. As we climb into the meat of the season we have the opportunity to host our first international basketball game with the Shizouka Gymrats coming to town this week. The game will be one of the Gymrats many American competitions against ABA teams throughout the country and Tucson has the privilege of taking them on. Over the last several months the Gymrats have been traveling the United States playing team after team preparing themselves for their official regular season over in Japan. The Tucson Buckets look to get back on their winning ways with our game this Wednesday.
Tucson Buckets vs. Shizouka Gymrats will take place Wednesday January 27, 2016 at 7 P.M at Mountain View High School. Bring the family and friends out as we look to create an annual relationship with our overseas friends. Changing the culture starts with making relationships with dedicated organizations and showing the city how dedicated we are as a franchise to bringing something new to the city. We need the fans support in making these things happen!
The cost of this event will be $5 in an effort to pack the gym and welcome our friends the best way possible. Mountain View High School is a wonderful venue and we look forward to seeing all of our fans and supporters there to have a good time with us.
Coach Marc Johnson has been taking on all comers attempting to add depth to our roster. Recently we were able to pick up a needed big man to help us become more physical in the paint. Our lack of depth at the big man position has been one of the defining factors in a few of our losses, even though we believe we could be undefeated right now. Teams that have had big men to control the boards have been able to limit our smaller roster, get offensive rebounds and force us into bad shots. A remedy was needed to change that. Enter our newest addition Chris Kemp.
New aDDITION TO THE LINEUP
Take a look at our new addition-
Chris Kemp is a 6’8 Power Forward/ Center who played for the University of Montana. His skills on the court look to be a perfect marriage for our growing team. He will be introduced on the roster in our game against the Shizouka Gymrats on Wednesday. His highlight reel is below.
Tucson Buckets AZ/CAL ABA Showcase Recap- Jan 9th and 10th
Tucson Buckets came into the past weekend holding on to a not so impressive 0-4 record. Looking to add some new energy to start the year, we put together a division showcase that allowed for 4 of our top neighboring teams to come down and compete. The weekend started with our Buckets taking on the Arizona Scorpions, a team that defeated us handily up in Glendale. The next day, in our home gym, they took us down in OT in an instant classic game. We believed we were the better team, but some mistakes down the stretch helped them get the W.
Coming into Saturday’s match up, the Buckets had a month to get their minds together under the new leadership of Head Coach and GM, Marc Johnson. Coach Johnson’s effect on the team was evident as we jumped on the Scorpions early. #35, Mark Simmons, lead the way with a strong 20 points, with #30, Saul Mancinas, and #6, Marcus Campbell, helping to crash the boards. Rebounding has been an issue for our smaller team, but the new defensive scheme allowed for more team oriented rebounding efforts which played a big difference in the Saturday’s game. The Scorpions fought back in the 4th quarter, but could never get through the tough Bucket defense. Tucson Buckets won the game 107-93, holding their opponent in the fast paced ABA game to under 100 points. The result was the first official W of the Franchise.
Saturday was packed with competition. Following the Buckets win, we placed the Orange County Nova Stars up against the Las Vegas Jokers. Their first meeting of the season proved to be a tough test for the undefeated Nova Stars team. Their star player, #14 Vince Camper, put on a show netting a triple double (18 Points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds) to keep his team undefeated. Las Vegas looked much more polished than their previous performances this season. Orange County took home their first win of the showcase with a final score of 132-121.
Sunday brought the Tucson Buckets players into a new position as an ABA organization. They were winners looking to start a streak as they took on the Las Vegas Jokers to close their showcase. The Jokers got off to a great start pushing the buckets early. They had a 37-30 lead after the first quarter. The Buckets were able to stabilize the Jokers in the 2nd quarter with a strong defensive effort. The Buckets scored 41 points in the 2nd quarter to take a 5 point lead with #22 Chad Carter hitting a buzzer beater before the half to give the Buckets a 71-66 lead.
After climbing their way back, the Buckets took control putting up the franchise’s highest point total to date - 153 points! #35 Mark Simmons once again lead the way with a strong 30 points and 6 assists. #24 Donte Williams ended the day with a double double (24 points and 10 rebounds). #20 Dimitri Chonis chipped in 20 and 5. #9 Jatai Gonder had 15 coming off of the bench when the team needed it most. Good game, fellas! The Buckets took home their 2nd win of the season, 153-127.
Game #2 on Sunday put the Arizona Scorpions up against the Orange County Nova Stars. These are the 2 veteran programs of our division, and it proved to be a classic game. #14 Vince Camper of the NovaStars came to play once again. The Scorpions did a pretty good job on him for most of the game. Scorpions controlled the pace and had the undefeated Novastars team on the ropes late. They continued to fight back, getting a tough five second backing down call to give them the ball with 6 seconds remaining on the clock. They threw the ball in, swung it to the far corner for a wide open 3 as time expired, dropping nothing but net, and lifting the Novastars over the Scorpions 94-93 in an instant ABA Classic. This undefeated run to Tucson for Orange County will be tested this SUNDAY as they travel back to Tucson to take us on at Pima Community College West campus. Game starts at 2 PM, so bring the family, and let’s show the ABA what type of support we have as we continue to build this rivalry.
The ABA Showcase was an amazing event, and we look forward to organizing more events of this caliber in the near future. Thank you to Mountain View High School for hosting our weekend ABA Showcase.
We will be posting pictures and the highlight reels that our partners at Local E magazine helped to create for us throughout the week. See you Sunday!
Tucson buckets VS. oRANGE coUNTY nOVA STARS Tip off at 2 pm- Pima COMMUNITY college-west campus
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.
The Tucson Basketball community is a large one. A city littered with basketball enthusiast and parents who played the sport at some point in their lives. Fast forward 15 years and they are now seeing an atmosphere where their children can thrive but exposure is limited. How do we change that? For most basketball has been an alternative to the negative things that our young boys and girls encounter daily. Growing up basketball kept me out of trouble and turned day to day successes into incentives that allowed me to continue to play the sport I loved. This week I have been able to see some of the Tucson basketball community live in action at the 1st Annual FAST MED Urgent Care Holiday Basketball Tournament that has been going on since Monday afternoon at Sabino High School. Sabino has a beautiful gym that has served as an amazing basketball atmosphere the past few days. The Tournament has five teams from the Phoenix area to go with seven teams from Tucson, from my perspective this has been a unique opportunity to showcase some of the talent that this city and state has to offer.
Over the past two days, I have been able to see where our organization can make a large impact in the city. The youth sports platforms that we are currently connected with pertain to our Junior Buckets program, as well as having several of our players and staff serving on coaching staffs for various high school and middle school programs we believe we can help in highlighting the cities talent. We want to focus on growing the basketball culture organically; through collaboration we can develop a platform that opens the doors for success on and off of the basketball court specifically tailored to players inside our city. I see a lot of talent but there is much development that needs to be made just the same. Tucson Buckets offers a dedication to elite basketball and as we work to display it on the court we will impact everything we encounter. Basketball is such a universal sport that the boundaries are endless with the right approach and attention to detail. Hopefully having a professional team offers a unique opportunity for our young ballers to see well played, competitive basketball on a regular basis. As we sharpen our swords in the professional ranks they will sharpen theirs in their respective leagues.
Supporting our youth programs is a vital part of maturing the basketball culture. Tucson Buckets wants to show our face at as many basketball events as we can. Share to our supporters the opportunity to attend those same events. Get in contact with us and we can figure out where our services will be useful.