Improve Youth Basketball In Texas

So how can we improve youth basketball in Texas similar to football to where we can develop elite home grown talent to compete with the top ballers on the east coast?

Without looking I would bet there are quite a few more Texas kids in the 2025 top than “east coast “ kids….unless you include Florida but I figure your talking Northeast? Yes?

I would guess we have 10-15 guys in the top 100 which probably only California or Florida might top.

I would like to see at least 3 out of 5 starters be homegrown in the state.

I know Shead and Cryer are from Texas but Francis, Roberts, and Sharp are out of state.

But if you want to come to UH and play, I’m all for it.

Can I ask you why you would like 60% of are starters or roster come from Texas?

Different classes have different talent levels.

Also, I might have agreed several years ago but CKS has UH as not just a perennial top 25 team but a top 5 team every year.

That type of talent requires going national….and UH brand has exploded to where kids like JW with no connection to Houston came to play.

That’s the way I see it at least.

Makes it easier to develop a local and state pipeline.

Plus the in state players would be familiar with each other whether through high school or AAU similar to Cryer/Shead playing youth ball against each other.

This helps with team chemistry in the long run.

I don’t disagree with what you just said….i just don’t think it’s a big enough deal to keep you from recruiting nationally.

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Basically I want the best players in the state to have UH on the top of their lists.

I remember the Harrison twins, De Aaron Fox, Emeka Okafor, Gerald Green, Jimmy Butler etc all opting out for other out of state schools.

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Imo it’s more of Houston problem than Texas. Dallas, Austin, San Antonio areas are producing good talent but locally lately the talent has been so so. Too many AAU teams with bad coaching. The HS coaching in Houston needs to get a lot better. Not a coincidence are local recruiting has been light the last few years. The kids that are good enough tend to be bad cultural fits.

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Yeah, a lot of high schools in Houston or HISD have coaches that depend more on a player’s athleticism than skill development.


Correct, just pressing and playing Helter skelter is too common locally


Great point.

The word “coach” or “coaching” barely applies to AAU coaches.

You have to look really hard to find even a decent AAU coach….

Lord, I’ve had some of my kids over the years that will do or say something really stupid….and the answer is almost always the same when I ask who showed them that….”my AAU coach said….” Every now and then I’ll get a “my dad said….”

Unfortunately it’s trickled down to bad coaching at a lot of the Hou area high schools too. Dallas has been cleaning up in state titles most of the last 10 years

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About 10-12 years ago the wife and I almost moved back to Houston a couple of times( I was offered basketball jobs by a couple of schools and then a baseball job I didn’t even apply for).

But the wife ultimately did not want to move from our home in San Antonio…too much blood,sweat and tears put into it.

And now at 50ish there’s no way in heck….

Personally, I would have loved to have coached in Houston and had a little more talent to play with….such is life I guess.


Not sure if it is still goes on as of today but I’ve heard that some high school basketball coaches are football coaches.

Thankfully my high school had resources to have single sport coaches but I kind of feel bad for the schools below the 4A level to have coaches doing multiple sports which does hinder development.

Although my football coach did coach baseball in the spring.

That’s usually just the assistants.

At 5A and 6A schools it is a basketball only coach that should not have any football duties….you might also have one assistant to the head coach that is basketball only….the other basketball coaches( freshman, etc) are football coaches but sometimes you get a guy that was a good high school player with good basketball knowledge.

When you move down to 4A and below I can’t guarantee that because I’ve seen it both ways.

Yeah I played football at a 5A school in the 2000s that ended up bouncing up and down between 5A and 6A since 6A was established.

Our assistant football coaches during the spring either coached baseball, track, or basketball.

Our head basketball coach was a guy who played D-1 basketball and just graduated college and got the job because he was the only one to take the low salary while also teaching social studies.

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its about talent - development comes later once the talent is identified - HISD produced stars in the era when one coach did multiple sports and there was no such thing as AAU basketball - Honea at Milby got TALENT from across the city to attend Milby and he helped mold it - he may have coached less sports but in those days all coaches did multiple sports but he won at a high level as did others - look at old HISD - Greg Kite, Dwight Jones, Clyde Drexler, Cadillac Anderson

Fort Bend’s early success was due to talent but then they began having coaches coach basketball and maybe something like cross country lol - but talent alone was the reason they produced players at a high level

Too much growth in this area has diluted the system and you have kids playing basketball on competitive circuits who would NEVER see the light of day back then as there were less travel teams and the big time events were only open to a select few if they were legit.

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The thing about HISD is that coaches rarely stay more than a few years unless they are at Bellaire, Lamar, or Westside.

Eventually the bigger budget school districts in the suburbs will come calling and then the HISD schools are back to hiring fresh college grads to save money or budget constraints.

I am not well versed on all the particulars, but the State of Texas could allow athletic academies, like Florida’s IMG and Monteverde, to exist in Texas. There is strong pushback on this idea from the University Interscholastic League. That is why Texas kids go to Bradenton and Montverde Florida to enroll in these academies.

they do exist but they’re grassroots in Texas - they play in an independent league but not sure they have facilities - SWAIC is one that comes to mind

In HISD they’ll stay for basketball - there’s plenty of longetivity in that sports