Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mark Emmons/Mercury News on C.J. Webster

C.J. Webster leaves SJSU basketball to get to work
Mark Emmons
Mercury News

The NBA draft came and went, and C.J. Webster's name wasn't called. This was not a surprise.

Webster, after all, averaged only 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds for San Jose State last season. Those aren't bound-for-the-NBA numbers. And that's why it seemed odd that Webster, who had a year of eligibility remaining with the Spartans, would choose to declare for the draft.

So, what was he thinking?
Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet Matt Ballard

Matt Ballard photo courtesy of IVC athletics

At 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, Matt Ballard is the final piece in the San Jose State basketball recruiting puzzle and has definitely taken the road less traveled.

After playing at Trabuco Hills High, where he averaged 13 points and 10.3 rebounds as a 2006-2007 senior, Ballard signed on with UC Irvine. The 2007-2008 season had him on the court for 120 minutes as an Anteater freshman

He then transferred in-county to Irvine Valley College. IVC Coach Jerry Hernandez said this of Ballard in the pre-season: "Matt is going to be a player for us. He is such a high character guy and is extremely unselfish and knowledgeable. The challenge with Matt sometimes is to get him to be a more selfish offensive player..."

Ballard earned a starting spot and averaged 7.7 points and 6.7 rebounds a game while battling various injuries throughout the season.

Subsequently, family matters intervened and Ballard put his involvement with college basketball on hold.

He transferred to San Jose State in 2009, enrolling as a student, his only sports involvement being pickup games.

Here's where it gets interesting.

Like Lana Turner being 'discovered' at the soda counter of Schwab's Drugstore in Hollywood, Ballard was observed by one of the SJSU basketball staff when both parties were participating in a pickup game on campus. Ballard's size was a no-brainer but his skill level also impressed.

Introductions are made, Ballard is told "you need to talk to coach" and, voilà, Ballard becomes Spartanized, adding a physical, fundamentally sound, hard-working and skilled 'big' to the frontcourt rotation.

Spartanhoops recently talked with Jerry Hernandez about Ballard and his praise was effusive. He said, "I loved the kid. He is a good piece to any team -- he makes others around him better, his basketball IQ is high -- he really understands how to play -- and he is strong and skilled. He plays passionately and is a hardworker.

Hernandez continued, "If he has a fault, it's that he doesn't allow himself to miss a shot -- he thinks he should make every one. I know he loves it at San Jose State and is excited at playing again."

We also spoke with Ballard recently. The words passion and basketball were connected and repeated.

Asked about his best basketball skills, he said, "Shooting, especially my mid-range game, defense and rebounding."

As a youngster, it was soccer, volleyball, baseball and hoops. "But my passion has always been basketball," Ballard explained, adding, "I also golf now."

Ballard credits his father, who played at Dominguez High in Compton, as his biggest basketball influence. "He taught me how to play, coached me throughout high school and gave me the opportunity to play club team basketball around the country."

What he sees as differences between himself on the court as a high school senior and now, he said, "I'm more experienced and know how to play but I still have the same passion I did back then."

What is working for him about his current setup is that "San Jose is close enough to home but far enough away for me to get the college experience" as opposed to the schools in Irvine. Ballard wanted to thank his parents and family members, characterizing them as "strong supporters who will be traveling up from southern California" for Spartan home games.

He is majoring in kinesiology with the idea of eventually becoming a university athletics director.

When queried about what Spartan basketball fans should expect to see from him in 2010-2011, Ballard offered, "what Spartan fans will see is a hardworking, unselfish player who is willing to do whatever it takes to win."

His best basketball moment is when he signed his original letter of intent with UC Irvine and, of course, there is a backstory to putting his name on the official paperwork. "I was told as a freshman that I would never make varsity and I became a starter as a sophomore," Ballard said. "I was also told I would never earn a D-1 scholarship."

Quick, someone tell him that he'll never win a spot on any of the all-Western Athletic Conference squads.

Mitty and Bellarmine win Spartan team camp

The Spartan Team Camp took place this weekend at San Jose State University with a total of 32 teams participating, 24 of the varsity variety and eight junior varsity squads.

With each playing a minimum of five games over two days, Archbishop Mitty emerged as the varsity champions with Bellarmine College Preparatory winning the junior varsity section of the tourney.

Coach Tim Kennedy leads the Mitty varsity team while Vince Charlton heads the Bellarmine JV program, assisted by Mark Riese.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spartans playing abroad

Here is our most updated list of former Spartan basketballers currently playing abroad:

Gustavo Ayon 6-foot-10, Tenerife (Spanish League)

Menelik Barbary 6-foot-9 C Africain Tunisia

Demetrius Brown 6-foot-7 BBC Nitia Luxembourg

Oliver Caballero 6-foot-9 Pioneros Mexico

Marquin Chandler 6-foot-8 Dongbu Promy Korean League

Eric Walton 6'9'' Rochester R. (PBL)

Darnell Williams 6-foot-5 Rouen France

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Can you help out with the SJSU summer camps?

The Men's Basketball Program is hosting its sixth annual summer basketball camps this summer for boys ages 6-16. The camps have grown year by year and we are looking forward to another successful summer.

Part of our efforts with the summer basketball camps is community outreach and helping underprivileged youth who would not normally be able to attend camp. We have partnered with Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence which has many different services for victims of domestic violence including housing services, support groups, and much more. Our program allocates "Next Door" scholarships for summer camp for the children in their program.

I wanted to ask any willing Rebounder to help sponsor a child from "Next Door." A full sponsorship for a child is $215 and a half sponsorship is $107.50. Any help would be greatly appreciated and is put to good use.

Checks are payable to: SJSU Men's Basketball Camp and sent to:

SJSU Men's Basketball
Attn: Brent Davis
1393 S. 7th St.
San Jose, CA 95112

If you have any questions please contact Coach Davis at 408.924.1222

Thank you for your continued support.

Go Spartans!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meet Wil Carter (again)

6-foot-8 Wil Carter is going to be a frontcourter the likes of possibly never before seen by San Jose State hoops fans. That because he is of the basketball species -- minus the Latin -- forward with shooting prowess extending into three-point range.

A transfer from Coach Norm Parrish's very successful Salt Lake City College (SLCC) program, Carter first played at SLCC in 2006-2007. He then headed to Brazil for his two-year LDS mission. Note: any fans wishing to practice their Portuguese will have a willing and able partner in Carter.

He returned to Salt Lake City this past summer. In the 2009-2010 season in which the Bruins went 24-8, Carter averaged 12.2 points per game and 7.0 rebounds a contest while playing 23 minutes a game. He shot 49% overall, 75% at the foul line.

Carter was the leading rebounder for SLCC in 16 games and was especially effective on the offensive boards as he nabbed 92 off his 225 rebounds at that end.

Late in the season against Snow College, he put up a double-double of 18 points and 15 boards. Versus Colorado Northwestern, Carter totaled a 14 points/15 boards double-double.

In an earlier interview, Coach Parrish said this of his star: "Wil has a really high ceiling. He has the ability to hit the 15-to-18-foot shot and is also a good rebounder who is fairly long and can run and jump."

He added that Carter is a four, a power forward with the possibilities of playing some at the three spot. "But he could put 20 more pounds [Carter currently weighs 210] on his frame and still be effective."
In talking with Spartanhoops recently, Carter replied when asked about his best basketball skills with, "My jumpshot and ability to run the floor. My shooting range is from the three-point line in and my mid range jumper is really effective." He sees himself playing the four spot.

So why did he choose San Jose State? The answer: multiple reasons. "I really like the coaching staff, they seem like really good people," Carter explained. "I also just love San Jose, the feel of the city and the environment."

Carter is familiar with Utah State's Brady Jardine. The latter played for Twin Falls High (Idaho) and the pair were on the same team a couple of times during spring and summer play. This pairing will be an interesting matchup come Western Athletic Conference play.
Carter is looking to major in communications, with a business minor. More importantly, he is getting married on July 7 and he and his wife will arrive in San Jose around the end of July or early August.

As for his best moments on the court, Carter offered a couple. Playing for Highland High in Pocatello (Idaho) against a rival squad, "I was running the break, got the ball, went up and dunked over three guys." His other highlight: "As a freshman for Salt Lake City College, I hit a game-winning three against Snow College."

But it was almost another sport for Carter and his dreams. "I played baseball for a long time and was thinking I would eventually be a college baseball player. But right before my freshman year [in high school], I broke one of my arms and then I also broke the other."

That obviously limited his participation in any sport and by the time his junior year rolled around, it was basketball and a new direction for him.

He acknowledges his biggest basketball influences as "my Dad, my fiancée, Bill Green and his sons Tony and Joe Green and Coach Parrish." Carter's fiancée aided him in his decision to sign with San Jose State and provided support last season at SLCC, Bill Green is the assistant coach of Carter's high school team in Pocatello and he and his sons worked very hard with Carter. As for Norm Parrish, Carter recalled "he looked me in the eye on my recruiting visit and said 'you can make your dreams happen if you come here [SLCC].'" Carter lauds Parrish with this compliment: "He taught me how to be a college basketball player."

Now, Carter is continuing the dream in San Jose.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meet Coach Hester

We will offer a Q-and-A with Coach Hester in the near future.

Talvin Hester - New Men's Assistant Basketball Coach
San Jose State Athletics

San Jose, Calif.-----Talvin Hester, formerly the associate head coach of the Prairie View A&M University men's basketball program, has accepted a men's basketball assistant coaching position at San Jose State University. George Nessman, the Spartans' head coach, made the announcement.

Hester spent five seasons (2006 through 2010) at Prairie View A&M and helped the Panthers to winning records in 2009 and 2010. Prior to 2009, Prairie View suffered five consecutive losing seasons, failed to win at least 10 games in each of those seasons and did not have back-to-back winning records for a 50-year span.

"Talvin Hester will be a great asset in many phases of our program. We are excited and pleased that he has made the decision to become a Spartan. Talvin did outstanding work at Prairie View as the Associate Head Coach," Nessman says about Hester who helped the Panthers finish in the top-15 nationally in field goal percentage defense (14th) and three-point field goal percentage defense (11th) last season.

"He is a proven coach who helped direct Prairie View's rise up the SWAC (Southwest Athletic Conference) standings in large measure due to their dramatic improvement on the defensive end. Talvin is a skilled recruiter who will be counted upon to bring us into some new recruiting territories. He is a personable and gregarious individual who connects well with young people.

"Talvin shares common values with our staff and should be a great fit for us as we press forward with the continued growth and development of Spartan basketball."

The new San Jose State assistant broke into coaching in 2002 at North Lake College in Irving, Texas. His wide-ranging coaching resume includes stops with the Texas Rim Rockers of the United States Basketball League as an assistant coaching intern and the Dallas Mustangs AAU team for one season. He was an assistant coach at Texas College in Tyler, Texas for the 2005 season before going to Prairie View A&M.

A 2003 Texas Wesleyan University graduate, he majored in interdisciplinary studies. Hester played his college basketball at Dallas Christian College.

"It's exciting to take on a new job in a new league (the Western Athletic Conference) in a new area for my family and me. I'm happy to work for Coach Nessman. For him to believe in me is a big thing. I'm ready to work as hard as I can to help this program," says the new San Jose State assistant coach who will be 32-years old in July.

The Toledo, Ohio native and his wife, Jamieka, an elementary school teacher who specializes in teaching English as a second language, are in the process of relocating to California.