Tag Archives: Ballin with Barber

How to Become an MVP

by Alan Stein

Every player on the planet should have one goal for the New Year – to become an M.V.P. No, not the Most Valuable Player. There can only be one of those.Every player should strive to become a More Valuable Player! Everyone can be that type of MVP! Becoming a More Valuable Player will help you increase your playing time, make your teammates better, and improve your team’s ability to be successful. There is no excuse for not becoming a More Valuable Player. Why?

The things you need to do to add value to your game and to your team are 100% within your control. They have nothing to do with height, athleticism, or basketball talent.

 Here are 7 ways you can become a More Valuable Player immediately, whether you play 30 seconds or 30 minutes per game:

 1) Arrive at every practice early so you can put in extra work. Don’t wait for practice to start; prepare for it! Not everyone can shoot like Ray Allen. But everyone can prepare like Ray Allen:

2) Schedule a private, individual meeting with your coach. Begin the meeting by asking, ‘what do you need from me to help our team be more successful?’ Then do whatever your coach requests.

3) Play Present every practice and every game. Learn to focus on the next play (put mistakes behind you immediately), focus on what you can control (your attitude and your effort), and focus on the process (build your success ‘brick by brick’). This will allow you to maximize your ability, regardless of your role or playing time.

4) Give your absolute best effort every practice and every game. Go after loose balls. Take charges. Sprint the floor in both directions. Set solid screens. Block out every time a shot goes up. Doing these things in games will give your team a much better chance to win.

5) Communicate effectively! Communication is an invaluable trait. Talk on defense. Echo all offensive plays. This is one of the easiest, yet most effective ways you can immediately add value to yourself and your team. Just talk!!

6) Be a great teammate. Focus on making the players around you better, every practice and every game. Help your teammate up if they dive on the floor. Acknowledge them if they make a great pass. Encourage and support your teammates from the bench when they are in the game. Grab water for them during time-outs. Stand up and clap when they come out of the game.

7) Keep your circle tight. Don’t let anything penetrate your locker your room. If your season is going well, don’t allow your team to get cocky or complacent. Work to make sure your teammates stay humble and hungry. If your season isn’t going very well, don’t let negativity or jealousy become a cancer. Stay positive and continue to work hard every day.



Giving “BACK” at Home

August 1, 2012

It’s always good when you can give back. I was able to go home on the weekend of July 22nd, and participate in two basketball functions, hosted by childhood friends of mines.  Lorenzo “Lolly” Hutchinson (Jupiter H.S., Morgan State, Harlem Globetrotters) hosted the Annual Old Skool vs. New Skool game while  Eddie “Lil Eddie” Shannon (Cardinal Newman H.S., Univ of FL, Adelaide 36ers-Pro Team) hosted the Annual “Eddie Shannon Basketball Camp.”  It’s not often that I get to return home due to my own hectic basketball schedule, but they’ve held this event for 3 years now and I was finally able to find time to attend.

I was afforded an opportunity to instruct some youth from my hometown, which also gave me an opportunity to see some old friends whose sons where actually participating in the camp. While working the camp I was able to see old friends/rivals on the court such as Markee James (Palm Beach Lakes H.S., Ball St Univ), Richard Williams (Suncoast H.S., Miami Dade North C.C., Belhaven) Gary McKinnon (Suncoast H.S., Shaw Univ), and AAU Coach Randy Jones. The camp attracted nearly 150 kids.

The Old Skool game was a sight. It would be the graduates of the 90’s vs. the 2000’s…… let’s just say the young legs prevailed dramatically. However it was still fun for me to reunite with former friends/allies such as “Downtown” Freddie Brown (Palm Beach Gardens H.S., Iowa St), Terrance Reed (Forest Hills H.S., Long Island Univ, and Palm Beach Atlantic), Tony White (Dwyer H.S., Brevard C.C.), the aforementioned Gary McKinnon, Eddie Shannon, Lorenzo Hutchinson, Rolando Poochie” Hall (John I. Leonard) and many more. Other childhood friends such as Marlon Shadd (Palm Beach Lakes H.S., Kansas St) the aforementioned Markee James, Telly Andrews (Palm Beach Gardens, Indian River C.C.), William Dozier (Palm Beach Lakes H.S.) were in attendance. It felt good being back home where it all started for me; in Riviera Beach/West Palm Beach, FL. “Ballin with Barber” looks forward to bringing this type and other events to the Birmingham Area!!

Coach Barber, Markee James, Coach Randy Jones, Gary McKinnon, Lorenzo Hutchinson, Richard Williams, and Eddie Shannon







“The Shot”

This is “The Shot” seen around the world. Freshman’s Tawarren G Man Grant did the improbable, ending 28 years of frustration for the Midfield Boys Basketball Program. We earned the 4A State Title 46-45 over #1 Butler Rebels. #BELIEVE….#We All We Got, We All We Need….#Refuse to Lose…..#Passion

1st Annual Guard Academy

Ballin with Barber / Organic Hoopz Gives Back with their 1st Annual Guard Academy

Coach Darrell Barber and Ronald Steele hosted their 1st Annual Guard Academy Basketball Camp at Midfield Recreation Center. Over 30 participants showed up for the event. The camp was a huge success. Coach Darrell Barber of Midfield High School along with former Alabama standout Ronald Steele gave their time along with Coach Matthew Epps and former Grambling State Standout Taye Walker. Campers receive instruction on what it takes to be a guard in today’s game. Special shouts to Miss State’s Brittany Young, East Miss C.C.’s  Asia Bragg and Hoover’s Breion Allen for providing instruction to the campers.

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My “Little Brother”

I usually post inspirational articles from other coaching blogs. But I felt compelled to write this entry myself.

You know I always wondered what type of young man my little brother would turn out to be. He was always reserved as a kid. I often thought about “how would he defend if someone picked on him?” “Is he going to be “tough?” what type of girls would he like?” You see I was away in college chasing a basketball dream during his youth. Not to mention our age gap and my college degree which kept me in Birmingham, AL.  So my Little Brother, Kadeem Robinson was always on my mind.

Throughout his school years he immediately became a sensational student-athlete, consistently making the A honor roll; regardless of what went on in his surroundings. “Bay Bro” showed that despite what some might call obstacles or setbacks, he would only accept and expect greatness!

May 26, 2011 will forever be etched in my mind. This was the day he graduated from Summit Christian H.S. in West Palm Beach, FL. To make things even better he wasn’t expecting my family and I to attend. I told him we couldn’t get off from work.  So to see the look on his face when we walked in; Priceless!!  He was a standout athlete on the football team, a tremendous leader and point guard on the basketball team, and even ran track.  With his guidance and perseverance his basketball team was crowned state champions.

As I sat at his graduation I was truly moved to see how special and well liked he was.  He was top 5 in his class, he carried a 4.3 GPA, he won the US Army Male Student-Athlete scholarship Award, he was President of the Spanish Honor Society (yes Spanish),  member of the Honor Society, and the Valedictorian even mentioned him in her speech. It was his night!You could feel it; he had a packed house full of supporters. You could hear the excitement as the announcer announced his decision to attend the University of Florida……..on an academic scholarship. I know you were thinking I would say football or basketball. But he actually turned down offers from some small schools to play sports and pursue his passion for Computer Engineering. So in LeBron James’s words….he’s taking his talents, his AP courses, and his 4.3 GPA, to the “Swamp”.

I was pretty good at sports myself and very popular, but I did just enough to get by. But Mr. Robinson realized at an early age that it’s not always about how many touchdowns or three pointers you score, but how many points you score in class.

My “Little Brother” has showed me that he can stand on his own; he’s to cool for anyone to pick on him. His actions, leadership, and confidence defend him. I also found out that all nationalities of women would take a liking to this well rounded individual who is extremely focused on success. This was the day I saw my “Little Brother” take the first step to transforming into young man. I saw a young man do things I only dreamt of accomplishing when I was his age.

Kadeem Pharsee Robinson I just want you to know how much I Love and Admire You. Keep it up Bay Bro,

From Your Big Brother