The new year is here, and we are excited to build on the success of our teams and our program from last year! All of our teams grew in skills, experience, and knowledge and are looking forward to the upcoming AAU basketball season.
For 2018, the Van Hoozer Basketball Academy will be supporting 3 teams:
There is a chance that we will have a fourth team as well. Our focus is to develop the whole player – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our mission is to develop leaders on and off the court and to prepare all of our players to perform at the next level. For 2018, we will accomplish this mission by continuing to offer these unique programs and opportunities:
- Playing in the most competitive basketball tournaments
- Organized basketball and skill development practices through the AAU season
- “Leadership Moments” during practices where we focus on leadership skill development with all of our players
- Mental Game Training to help all of our players becoming mentally tough and develop skills and techniques to be resilient and determined
- NEW: Individual Skill Development – We will also be offering individual skill development for players that want further basketball training including shooting, ball handling, and position player development. Email me if you are interested in reserving a spot for individual training.
While we are not holding open tryouts for our teams, you can still inquire about opportunities to play for one of our teams or to sign up for individual skill development training by emailing me.
We completed our first season as an official basketball academy with all 3 teams (4th grade, 5th grade, and 7th grade) having success, impact, and growth. I am so proud of each and every player and family that participated in our programs this year!
Our Katy Raptors 7th grade team finished their season playing in the Prime Time National Basketball Championship in Dallas July 24-30, 2017. We received an invitation to play in this tournament based on our success in other tournaments and had a great experience. As we had done in many of our tournaments, we won our Pool Play on the first 2 days going 3-0 to advance to the championship tournament bracket. In tournament play, we went 2-1, losing a very close game to a team that went on to finish 3rd overall. Overall, we went 5-1 and made it to the Sweet Sixteen out of about 100 very good teams. Our boys demonstrated that they can play with anyone and showed tenacity, grit, and leadership.
Throughout our season, everyone who played against us or watched our team play consistently commented that they loved how we played as a team including our tenacious defense and constantly moving the basketball and trusting each other on offense. To me, this is what basketball is all about and how basketball was meant to be played. It’s also what we are striving to teach all of the players across the teams in our academy. We also want to develop them as leaders on and off the court and help them grow in all dimensions of their lives – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Thanks to everyone who supported us this year, and we look forward to another great season next year! If you are interested in supporting our leadership and basketball academy, we are a non-profit organization, and you can donate to our mission here. You can also email me to find out more about our program including the opportunity to sponsor our organization.
by Coach Mike Van Hoozer
Hard work, discipline, preparation, and focus are necessary ingredients for the recipe for success. The willingness to compete is the temperature that is needed to make these ingredients come to life. As we entered the month of May, our 7th grade Katy Raptors team knew it had what it takes to have success both on and off the court. Their confidence had been developed through practice and tournaments in April and led to more wins against some great teams in May and June.
We played in the Houston Hoops “Summer Prep Showcase” in May. Our team went 2-0 in Pool Play, winning in decisive fashion in both of our games. We then advanced to the tournament bracket and went 3-0 in tournament play winning the overall tournament with an overall weekend record of 5-0. We beat some great teams in both the semifinals and the championship game and did it with only 6 players!
In June, we played in a Prime Time Sports Tournament going 5-0 and winning the whole tournament, again with only 6 players due to some injuries. We earned a ton of respect from opposing teams, coaches, players, and people who watched us play in both our May and June tournaments!
Overall, we are 17-4 through 5 tournaments. Our success as a team led to an at large invitation to play in the Prime Time Sports National Basketball Championship in Dallas July 26-30, 2017. We are really looking forward to this opportunity and are preparing to represent our school and community well! If you want to make a donation to our Basketball Academy to offset the costs of practice facilities, tournament fees, and travel costs, you can make a donation here.
by Coach Mike Van Hoozer
Whether it is building a house, a basketball team, or your life, you must have a solid foundation. For our 7th grade Katy Raptors team, we invested the month of March and part of April in practices to build the solid foundation based on sound offensive principles, a commitment to a tenacious defensive system, and an intense will to get better and compete every day.
This foundation paid off for us as we had a very successful beginning to our tournament season! We have played in the most competitive tournaments in Houston advancing to the Championship Tournament Bracket in each of our April tournaments. Our first tournament was a very competitive Houston Hoops “Off Da Hook” Tournament. There were over 30 teams in this tournament, and we made it to the quarterfinals losing to the eventual champion of the overall tournament.
Our 2nd tournament was the Pearland Classic, which also had over 30 teams in our age group. We went 2-0 in Pool Play and won our Pool to advance to the Championship Tournament Bracket. We advanced to the semifinals losing to the eventual champion of the tournament, who is one of the top teams in the country. Our 3rd tournament in April was the Kingwood Classic. Again, we went 2-0 in Pool Play and lost a close game in the quarterfinals, after one of our key players could not play due to an injury.
We are so proud of our team and the resiliency they have shown to go out and play against any team and demonstrate the talent and the teamwork they possess. These guys have earned a ton of respect from other teams and their coaches as well as the people who watch us play! The recurring comments include that “they love the way we move the ball,” “we play basketball the way it was meant to be played,” and “we have a tenacious defense!” Our focus as coaches continues to be to help them develop individually and collectively and to develop them as leaders on and off the court.
By Coach Kevin Lopardo
As the head coach of the 4th grade Katy Raptors team, I have been extremely pleased with the development, growth, and focus of our players. Each player has dedicated themselves to becoming a better overall player. Physically, each player is unique and brings their own talents to the basketball floor. Within our program, we stress the mental part of the game and how to maximize each player’s talent for the betterment of the team. This buy-in attitude has created an atmosphere of togetherness and pride for our program. Although each player is unique, it is the collective attitude of the Raptors which creates a winning culture.
As our season began, many of our players had played together at some point before. The continuity of the program took some time to come together as new players were introduced into our system. After a month of practice, we were ready for tournament action. Our first tournament was a learning curve for our players as it was their first experience with AAU basketball. After the first game (in a loss), we immediately saw a difference in our players. A renewed confidence and peace came over the team as they settled into the second game. We won against a very good team serving as a springboard to our season. We finished the day 1-2 ; however, the results of the games were less important than the experience. After that weekend, our players knew they could compete with other programs.
As our tournament season progressed, we were a .500 program while improving every week. As we invested in our players, their growth became limitless. Heading into mid-May we won our first tournament of the season going 3-0 at an Alodia tournament. Our players played two extremely hard fought games back-to-back. The team needed all their mental toughness to gut out the final two games. Our program took a major leap that day and our players belief within themselves and their teammates won the day. This year has been a clear stepping stone for years to come. For our first full experience, I could not have been more proud of each player. I’m excited for the future and growth of these young men!
Welcome to the Van Hoozer Basketball Academy web site! We have begun practice with our teams and are very excited about the upcoming 2017 Spring and Summer season!
I have been playing and coaching basketball for a long time and believe this sport serves as a great analogy for life. Basketball teaches lessons on leadership, teamwork, and performance, which can be leveraged in school and other areas of life. I am so excited about the players that have joined our teams at the 4th, 5th, and 7th grade levels and look forward to working with these athletes to develop them as leaders on and off the court.
Thanks also to all of the people who have helped to get this academy started as well as parents and students who have joined one of our teams. Let us know how we can help you in your journey to become YOUR best!