My friend Tommy Hines called me up a couple of months ago and said, "Max, I think it's time we take my son's team over to your organization. They're at the right age and they're pretty good. Would you have us?"
I felt honored. I get approached by many people that always act like they're doing me a favor. What can we get for free, etc etc. It's refreshing to be approached by a grown up and a professional who respects the D1 Nation's body of work and understands the legacy and what it means for a player to wear our uniform and the opportunities it opens up for them in the exposure and recruiting world. What's most important to me is to have a man who is a trusted friend, who has integrity and is loyal I'm excited to have this group joining the D1 Nation Family and to have Coach Hines lead this group of young men. Thank you, Coach Tommy.
Coach Hines and I first met going back almost 15 years ago when he was an assistant at San Antonio Jay High School which at that time was a power house. They had just won a Texas 5A State Championship by hitting a legendary half court buzzer beater to win the Chip over Dallas Kimball.. That game was an upset and has gone down in Texas High School folk lore as the time David bet Goliath.
I'd gone over to meet Coach Romy Vela and to seek his approval about adding one of his very promising players, Sean Rouse (who went on to play at Boise State). At the time, Coach Hines was dubious about AAU basketball and most of the people in it. He sat there during the meeting sizing me up and I thought, "wow, this dude doesn't like or trust me"...lol We laugh about it now as we've become good friends. It's always an honor when high school coaches bring their son's to the program, as well as prominent college coaches such as Wayne Tinkle (Oregon State) and Steve Alford (UCLA).
Shortly thereafter our initial meeting, Coach Hines became the Head Coach at San Antonio Lee and San Antonio Brennan (where he also made the Texas Final Four). Along the way I've had his greatest players. All time San Antonio scoring leader, Paul Garnica (Northern Colorado), Johnny Azzinaro (Bucknell), Jordan Murphy (Minnesota) and George King (Colorado).
"I'd like to thank Coach Hines and welcome all the families to the D1 Nation. I wish you much success and look forward to helping your sons in the future.."-Coach Ivany
This core of this current 7th grade team (Class of 2023) has been playing together for 4 years. The team is based out of Boerne, Texas a San Antonio suburb. Under the direction of Coach Hines the focus has been on skill building and raising the basketball IQ of the players, rather than going out and finding the "next kid". They have won countless local tournaments over the years. Highlights include:
2015 Excel State Championship
2017 Hype Sports Tournament Finalist ( Dallas )
2017 Spurs State Tournament Series Finalist
2017 AAS National Tournament Semi Finalist
2017 BigfootLas Vegas Classic National Tournament Semi Finalist in Gold Division
2017 Excel Summer jump Off Champions
2017 Excel Summer Explosion Champions
#5 Braden Baum 5'9" Boerne, TX/South
#11 Dakarai Hodge 6'2" Boerne, TX/South
#12 Koen Wolff 5'3" Boerne, TX/North
#13 Joshua Hines 5'4" Smithson Valley, TX
#14 Roman Chase 5'4" Boerne, TX/Geneva
#15 Kannon Brooks 5'3" Boerne, TX/South
#20 Cody Cross 5'9" Smithson Valley, TX
#21 Spencer Yarbrough 5'4" Boerne, TX/Geneva
#22 Jackson Johnston 6'4" Kerrville, TX/Pertson
#23 Aden Mendez 5'3" San Antonio, TX/Stevenson
#24 Luke Johnston 5'11" Kerrville, TX/Peterson
#30 Michael Swoyer
#30 Ryan Gilmore 6'2" Smithson Valley, TX
#42 Jason Schwarz 5'5" New Braunfels, TX/Oak Run
#55 Jake Darling 6'2" Boerne, TX/South
I thought my friends Coach Romy Vela, Coach Tommy Hines, Texas D1 Ambassadors 2023 and the entire San Antonio basketball community would enjoy this trip down memory lane with the 2002 5A State Champions, San Antonio John Jay. Note the skinny bespectacled Coach Hines coming out of the time out. :-)