Meet The Travel Ball Team

Selections for travel ball have been made!!! The month of September will be utilized as a training period preparing for October, November and December league and tourney play. There will be two teams, that consist of mainly 8th graders and some 7th graders. JC Barnett III and Danny Carrico couldn’t be anymore thrilled with the turnout. Let’s meet the young men that will be competing over the next few months.

Tyrone Bethea

Tyrone Bethea
Tyrone Bethea: Tyrone is self proclaimed fastest kid at Taylor.

Nathan Wright

Nathan Wright: Nathan plays basketball everyday. He attended Michael Jordan basketball camp the last 3 years.

Zavion Bellamy

Zavion Bellamy: Zavion loves to rap all day around the house, he even throws a little dancing in there every now and then. He loves music!

Hayden Anthony

Hayden Anthony: Hayden played basketball with Victor Oladipo a few years ago at IU camp.

Cedric Anderson Jr.

Cedric Anderson Jr.: Cedric loves math.

Jensyn Grattan

Jensyn Grattan: Jensyn made all-state Lutheran team as a 7th grader.

Jay Patterson

Jay Patterson: Jay learned to play basketball at Mendota park.

Dylon Bass

Dylon Bass: Dylon is a junior state champion in wrestling.

Patrick Hardimon

Patrick Hardimon: Patrick is kind hearted, outgoing, goofball. 3 sport athlete, football, baseball and basketball. Mows yards with papa to grow his business.

Mekhi McGee

Mekhi McGee: Mekhi has been playing basketball for less than a year. He has scored 14 points in a game.

Kaiden Blane

Kaiden Blane: Kaiden has only been playing basketball since August 2017.

Matthan McGriff

Matthan McGriff: Matthan enjoys waking up extra early to get to the Y for pickup games before school. He usually plays 2-3 games.

Tyler Carrigan

Tyler Carrigan: Tyler was born on Christmas morning.

Hunter Foland

Hunter Foland: Hunter enjoys politics.

Owen Lowe

Owen Lowe: Owen is definitely a shoe guy. He is all about his kicks!

Ethan Ennis

Ethan Ennis: Ethan is constantly down at the park playing basketball. He is a very determined kid. He enjoys playing with his 2 year old sister.

CoVieon Walker

CoVieon Walker: CoVieon likes to scare people.

Phillip Manning

Phillip Manning: Phillip likes sports in general, but basketball has always been his passion.

Cayden Greer

Cayden Greer: Cayden is an NBA encyclopedia. Knows just about every player on every team and what position they play. He knows present players and past players.

Deundre Kirby

Deundre Kirby: Deundre loves to listen to music and sing for pregame hype!

Postings will be made informing the public of league and tourney play game schedules. Come out and support this talented group of young men as the do the very best they can to make Kokomo and the surrounding area proud.

Stylish Gents Blacktop Reunion – JC Barnett School of Jump Shooting Youth 3on3

 

 

Wow, hard to believe that it’s been 3 months to the day since I’ve written my last blog. Well, here I am again 🙂 …

 

I wanted to come to everyone with some pretty exciting news! That is if you haven’t heard about it already. As a part of the ‘2nd Annual Stylish Gents Blacktop Reunion’, the JC Barnett School of Jump Shooting is hosting a FREE youth 3 on 3 basketball tournament. This is going to be such a great time!!!

 

Here are the details about the tournament itself. It will consist of grades 3-5 and 6-8. The rules and regulations will be much like any 3 on 3 tournament the kids have ever played in before. Game will be played to 15 by 1s and 2s, win by 2. Max 20 points to win the game if needed, also on a time limit of 25 minutes. Each team gets 1 time out per game. Change of possession causes for the rebounder to take the ball completely (Ball, body and feet) behind the 3pt line (or 2pt line). All other minor details of the “Rules and Regs” will be covered by the coach and the official briefly before the games starts.

 

 

Also, did I mention FREE jump shooting instruction and clinic, yes!!! I would really love to see every potential student and parent who has reached out to me about my basketball program there. Here is the opportunity to go home with a little bit of something to work with on your jump shot.

 

 

Too, I will be presenting Brandon Wood, a distinguished basketball player from Kokomo, Indiana and who does much in the community; with an honorary ‘JC Barnett School of Jump  Shooting’ Bachelors degree certificate for his accomplishments in the game of hoops.

 

The ‘Blacktop Reunion’ starts at 1p, the games will begin right at about that time as well. The competitive atmosphere is what I will be most proud of!! Teams will or may be co-ed, some younger some older, some bigger some smaller. There will be tournament winners that will receive hardware to take home with them. But, every single kid that comes out and competes at a high level and gives it their all, will be a winner in my book.

 

For anyone interested in coming and being a part of this youth 3 on 3, players. coaches. parents. Of course, there will be smack talk, a little friendly banter. Let’s remember who it’s about and enjoy watching these kids compete without so much as one bit of any “serious” drama. Thank you!!

 

Rgistration details need to be sent to jcleebarnett@gmail.com.
4 team members max,
Team Name:
Coach name:
Team members:
1.) Name (grade)
2.)
3.)
4.)

 

Hope to see you there!!!

Where Greatness is Surpassed

For many, many years there was nothing that you could ever say or show me that would remove Michael Jordan from the throne, “greatest basketball player of all time”. Recently that has changed, at least been matched anyway… And it has absolutely nothing to do with performance on the basketball court.

You could argue with me all day long until you’re blue in the face that, what encapsulates a great anything – is how one has proven themselves within their art. We all know that the truth is, how we measure who we believe to be the greatest extends beyond that particular person’s field of play. Who they are off the floor is just as important. I won’t get real deep into this aspect, but shoes, clothes, relationships, scandals, philanthropy, etc.; are everything to this society’s perception of public figures. When that conversation arises in reference to basketball the answer for me had always been Jordan. I’m not going to pretend that I never did like Kobe Bryant’s game, of course I did. I’d deny it for a long time but he was the closest thing to Jordan, and I did admire his game and performances.

Kobe was somebody I’d always put on the back burner in talks of greatness in basketball. As funny as it may sound, he just seemed to be too close of a reflection of Michael Jordan. I know, weird right? Honestly somehow in my mind, that disqualified him from obtaining that title because of that relationship. To me he wasn’t the original, so.

 

 

It’s not even the fact that Kobe recently won an Oscar for his new television show ‘Detail’, that changed my perspective on him. After sitting down and watching his show, I came to the realization that he was sharing his brilliance. Hmmm, that’s different… On a large scale, nationally, globally for all to see, not just to a small select group of people who paid a large amount of money. Whoa!!! A quality that I’ve always admired most about athletes especially, is their tenacious competitiveness within the lines, but then to be down to earth and humble human beings outside of the arena. Kobe, a man of legendary status, has shown me that throughout the years. And now, for him to share all the little intimate details of what made him great, his thought processes as a basketball player; that shoots his level of greatness into the galaxy.

 

 

In the grand scheme of things, Kobe’s actions and achievements may seem a bit insignificant. Though in this case he has, can and will change the lives of many young people that wish to grow up and play basketball at the next level. Even those who are already there in the NBA. The integrity of the game has been in question in recent years. Kobe with his new series has a chance to completely change the direction it’s currently going. Although nobody will ever make me feel the way I did when I watched Michael Jordan play. I cannot deny Kobe Bryant and his brilliance. Or even his imprint on shoes, apparel, media attention, fame and so on and so forth. The most honorable though, and the greatest of these is his philanthropic excellence. The passing down of knowledge is crucial to our youth in today’s society. For a man of his stature to do it so articulately, puts him for me, extremely high in the “greatest of all time” conversation. Maybe even number one!!

Autism Awareness Month Event 2018

 

When I first began my basketball program in 2016, one of the very first students I had was a young man by the name of Monjavid. This kid was truly a blessing to me! I knew in my initial meeting with Monjavid that he was a special young man. He was very shy and quiet. In his shyness, he’d turn his head away as he cut his eyes up at me, smiling from ear to ear. He brought joy to my evening meetings with him, because I knew what it meant for him to be there. Although I didn’t quite have a full understanding of what Monjavid’s emotional state was, as I didn’t make it a point to ask, I knew that there was something that made him unique.

What was undeniably evident, was that Monjavid could shoot the basketball extremely well. I mean, really well! I was amazed at the gift he had for putting the ball in the hoop. I showed him the form, and almost to a tee he could imitate exactly what I was showing him to do. I was extremely impressed that it was so easy for him. He was awesome!!!

It wasn’t until after our time together was complete, that I learned why Monjavid was such an amazing kid. His mother sent this to me, “… Because of you, my son, who is autistic, has come out of his shell this year during the basketball season. He was told by so many that he has an amazing talent when it comes to those long jump shots. Thanks to you and your classes, my son has only missed 4 out of I don’t know how many shots that he took this year. So again, thank you, and may you continue to succeed in all of your future endeavors.”

That letter touched my heart… After receiving that message, I had a much greater understanding as to why he could lock in with such intensity and shoot the basketball so exceptionally well. The repetitive nature of shooting the ball is what makes a great shooter, great!! For Monjavid, that was a gift he was blessed with at birth.

I am not naive to the fact that autism isn’t pretty. So many youth struggle with the day to day nature of this neurodevelopmental disorder. But I believe and have witnessed, that deep within those who are autistic there are extraordinary gift to be displayed. I could see Monjavid light up when he began to shoot at our lessons, there was stimulation there for him that he really loved. My encounter with him gave me an entirely new perspective. I’m just wondering how many more share this gift for shooting the basketball the way he does?

Saturday, April 28th from 4-6pm at First Baptist church on the corner of Washington and Taylor St (downtown Kokomo) I’m hosting a free basketball event for kids with autism. This will be a special opportunity to meet, and explore the gifts and talents of autistic children in basketball. I sure would love to meet so many of you who live in or around the Kokomo area. Thank you!!

To RSVP, or to receive more information, please email me at jcleebarnett@gmail.com..

 

HOF Draft Class

When I look back, basketball is woven into an unbelievable portion of the fabric of my life. I can remember just like it was yesterday, hearing Jason Kidd’s name being called.. June 29, 1994 on my 9th birthday my parents gift to me were tickets to the NBA Draft. Look at me and all my siblings, man the 90’s lol.. Oh and in addition to Jason Kidd as one of the newest members of the HOF Grant Hill was a part of this draft class. Ha, look at the jersey I’m wearing, everybody knows who the man was back in the day Glenn Robinson (Big Dog). He too was was apart of this class and will one day be in the HOF. My brother in law growing up in Gary, Indiana watched Glenn grow up on the playground, literally. He said one summer he left home to go to camp and came back, he’d grown 6 inches between his sophomore and junior year of high school. When you have a love and a passion for something, look around you, ask questions. There are amazing, and pretty cool connections to what you love closer than you think..

 

 

 

School on the Move

At this very moment, I’m in the beginning stages of actively recruiting quality young individuals who just happened to be excellent high school or college basketball players. And, particularly good at shooting the basketball!!! My vision is to bring aboard several teachers that have a passion for youth. I ask that you allow God to start working on your heart right now, as it will be a great commitment. I wish by the summer of 2019 to have teachers ready and available to begin. It’s imperative that anyone working alongside me have the same desire I possess to pass down this great tool within the game. I will use my degree program to put prospective candidates through intensive teaching, training and drills to ensure that whoever is chosen will be an extension of myself. Not only in being a capable teacher, but in keeping the proper perspective, patience and temperament to create a fun, effective learning environment. I’m extremely excited at the idea that I’ll be able to reach so many who have expressed interest in my program with minimal wait time. Potential applicants, ***Please submit your resumes to jcleebarnett@gmail.com***.. Thank you so much, and stay tuned for all the wonderful things to come from the JC Barnett School of Jump Shooting!!!

Purpose vs Purpose

What is your purpose? Not in the sense, what is my reason for being and living. I mean it in the sense, what are your intentions?

Life, it can be a funny thing. We can be so caught up in the functionality of what we do, and completely forget why we are doing it. With hand raised — I am Guilty!!! No judgement upon you by me. I simply wish to give you some perspective. In our toughest moments we tend to feel alone. Our closest friends, our family, our closest advisors willn’t be that audible voice to help guide us through. We have to be able to hear that inner voice that says in a whisper, “Remember why..”.

Basketball has given me a voice, to impact a people. To touch the lives and hearts of those who of course love basketball, but it doesn’t stop there. Also to those who may be struggling to find a way. Maybe those who need to hear or see something positive. Maybe to those who don’t even really like basketball, but need an outlet. Those who need a voice to push them, those who need attention, those who need bulit up and lifted in spirit, to those who just need… Something.

My purpose. My intentions are greater than just teaching basketball. My purpose is to help others find purpose. Ain’t no achievement greater than that!!

Sealed with a Promise

 

There are so many people to compete with in this world, it’s truly difficult to set yourself apart. For instance, in academia, two people can graduate with nearly identical and equally as impressive resumes. Both having obtained a 4.0 gpa, nearly perfect standardized test scores, involved in multiple clubs and invested in community service. Those are all wonderful examples of being a leader and performing at a high level. But, if one of those persons were to include in their portfolio evidence of going an extra step further, that could be the difference between failure and achievement.

Twenty plus years in hoops, I’ve experienced many different aspects of the game. What seems to be at the forefront of my observations, simply because I have compassion and an eye for it, are the inequalities those of a certain build and physical stature face. Despite them having next level skill sets, the “eye test” just doesn’t seem to favor them as much as others. I’m not saying this is always the case, of course there are those who are exceptions to the rule. But I often ponder, how do more “little guys” have a chance to succeed at moving on to play college basketball and beyond? The answer I’ve found is that they must possess an undeniable ability to score the basketball. Being able to shoot the ball at an above average level, I believe, is the ticket.

On behalf of all the little guys of the world, I express that we’ve always had to be different and had to go the extra mile to achieve. It isn’t easy, and it never will be. The future that you wish to see come to fruition for yourself, must be attacked with great tenacity. In basketball I believe, that in offering tangible evidence of one’s ability to shoot the ball at an extraordinary level, it will move a kid who otherwise may have been overlooked, into a position of elite status.

In the process of creating my new degree program, I’d never had so much fun working so hard in my life!!! Obtaining my degrees in shooting the basketball was a journey that was filled with mostly triumph. Do not assume though that I didn’t encounter a few failures along the way myself, I most certainly did. Creating a degree schedule that was challenging yet attainable was tough. I questioned myself often, “is this too tough?”; “should I make this a little more difficult?”; “what is the value of this, do people even want to be challenged?” I find more so these days, people don’t see value in anything that will not get them to the next step in life. So, I commit to you this promise:

Dear Beloved Student,

I, JC Barnett III, commit to creating relationships necessary, networking and communicating with next level basketball people and organizations to make obtaining a, ‘Bachelors in Jump Shooting’, ‘Masters in Form and Technique’ and ‘Doctorate in Precision Jump Shooting’, worthwhile. I look forward to the honor of handing you your certificate of completion upon meeting the requirements necessary. You, as one of my exceptional group of students, will have a greater chance at playing next level basketball within the state of Indiana, and the country, for believing in yourself enough to obtain a degree from the JC Barnett School of Jump Shooting. Sincerely, I thank you in advance.

Best Regards,

JC Barnett III

 

‘The Good King’ – Kace Kitchel Interview

JC: Kace Kitchel, what’s up my man!! In north central Indiana, the last name ‘Kitchel’ is synonymous with the game of basketball. Your dad Jon, who went to Purdue.. Your uncle Ted, played for IU.. You’ve now created your own identity within the game.

JC: How proud are you of that rich family history? How proud are you of the success you’ve had to add to that history?

KK: “I’m very proud of all the things my family has accomplished over years and those accomplishments push me that much more to add to our success.”

JC: I was able to come and see you play late last month, Kokomo at Cass, despite being a little sick. You put up right at about your average with 13 points, and grabbed 11 rebounds. Your really such a gentle spirit, but on that basketball court I see a fire in you.

JC: What do you feel when your out there on the court, what does basketball do to you?

KK: “When I’m on the court it changes my personality entirely. I’m usually a pretty quiet guy, but when I get on that court  I feel an extreme passion for the game.”

JC: Kace you’re 6’9″. 215 lbs.. At the next level depending on the makeup of your team you’ll be a 3, stretch 4.. In our time together, you have proved to me anyway, that you have such a soft touch on your mid range jump shot. And, have the ability to finish inside very well. I’ve been in basketball a while and it seems that to be better at one, there is a lack in the other.

JC: To be able to work inside the paint, and then to be able to pop out. How hard is that for your opponent to guard?

KK: “I always knew I’d be taller than most people and that that would give me an advantage, but I didn’t want to be a one dimensional player that was known only for his size. So developing my shot to go along with my size makes defenders have to defend me harder than they would if all I had was size.”

JC: To me, there is nothing like Indiana basketball. To say that I got the opportunity to play in this state, against the best talent at that time means the world to me. Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Eric Gordon, Josh McRoberts etc..

JC: Who would you say you’ve been blessed to play against? Did being out on the court with them raise your level of play?

KK: “My aau team this summer really helped my game. They liked to play at a very fast pace and it forced me to speed my game up or else I’d get left behind. That really helped me prepare for the next level  because I know that the pace will be much faster than it is in high school.”

JC: With this being your senior season and all, when you think back on all the times you’ve had here at Lewis Cass.. the games, the crowds, the atmospheres, relationships with coaches and teammates. Trust me I know the feeling of wanting to extend this thing as far as possible.

JC: Number one, what kind of heart and desire are you taking into the post season to make a push for the sectional title and to go beyond? And then at whatever point the season comes to a close for you, how hard do you think that moment will be for you?

KK: “Once the post season begins heart is more important than talent. If you have a desire to go far in the tournament, then you’ll have a huge advantage over a team that has talent but no heart. Being my senior year and all, it’s going to be rough once the season comes to an end. This is the last sport that I’ll ever play with my buddies here at Cass, but we have made some pretty great memories along the way!”

JC: It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you, and working with you. Thank you again man.

Klair Merrell Interview: ‘NW Lady Tigers State Bound’

Photo credit: Mike Wise Photography

JC: Klair!!! Oh my goodness, what an amazing season you young ladies at Northwestern are having. State, wow!!! I can only imagine how excited you must be feeling.

JC: Klair, first and foremost thank you for taking the time to talk with me, I really do appreciate it… I remember when we did our training back in May of last year, there was an excitement and a buzz in the air about how good the Northwestern girls basketball team was going to be. And it was the truth!! Everything you ladies were expected to be has become a reality, congratulations!

JC: Can you tell me, what has been your role and contribution to this team?

KM: “Thank you for taking the time to interview me. My main role on the team this year has been defense. Our team really works well together and does a great job at shutting down our opponents.”

Photo credit: Mike Wise Photography

JC: High school hoops is not easy, at any level. As for the mental aspect of the game, there is certainly a learning curve. As a sophomore, how do you feel about the fact that your able to contribute to a team of this calibur so early in your career?

KM: “I feel very blessed to be a part of this team. We have all put in a lot time and hard work in the off season to make it to this point. My dad always says that anyone can try but those that try harder win and our coaches really push us to do that.”

JC: When we were training, I believe it was volleyball practices you’d just be finishing up with — and it was an all day thing. I thought, man, she is a dedicated young lady to jump right into a shooting workout. Before school even started your focus was basketball. Do you have a passion for basketball? Is it your dedication to the game that gives you an edge?

KM: “Yes, I have a passion for basketball. I love how it has taught us to work as a team to achieve a common goal. We are all very dedicated to the game.”

Photo credit: Mike Wise Photgraphy

JC: Klair, I think… Forgive me I don’t think, I know, as a student of mine you have as natural a feel for shooting the basketball as anyone I’ve ever worked with. At times it seemed effortless for you. Have you found that any of the things we’ve worked on together transferred to your game time shooting? What lesson from our time together stands out the most in your mind?

KM: “My lessons with you helped me to realize that no matter how much experience you have there is always room to improve your shot and make it better.”

Photo credit: Mike Wise Photography

JC: It is such a cool thing to see you succeeding as a Northwestern Lady Tiger. If it was ever a dream for you at all to play high school basketball and make it to the state finals, that dream has come to fruition for you. Express to me what you are feeling at this very moment?

KM: “At this very moment I’m feeling very excited and blessed that God gave me this opportunity to play with such a great team. I can’t wait for next weekend! Thank you so much!”

Photo credit: Mike Wise Photography

JC: No, thank you!!! My goal was to gain perspective on your journey playing hoops this year, and to hear your thoughts and feelings. And I believe that was accomplished… Once again, congrats to you and your teammates on a wonderful season, and I can’t wait to see you competing for the state championship next weekend!! Go Lady Tigers!!!

***Special thank you to Mike Wise Photography for being gracious enough to allow me to use his photos. Excellent work my friend!!!