But the team I really want to talk about is the Prostejov team now remember I told you this was a run at the National Title for 10 year olds, born in 2000 well someone forgot to the tell the Prostejov boys because they only have a few players who fit this age group all the other kids were born in 2001, many in 2002 (R. Balint, V. Veikalas, D.Kratchovile) and even one Simon Salaj who was born in 2003. You could see the size difference in many of the kids compared to the Prostejov boys and many of the players had more experience and better skills but I have to say the Prostejov boys had the most heart! They were the smallest and the youngest and lost their first game by a Whooping 79 points, against Pisek who went on the win the Title. Yet they never gave up and they played their hearts out! The second game of the tourney for PV was against NH Ostrava and as a spectator you could understand how easy it would have been after this last game to just really give up but instead the youngest and smallest team came out on the court, gave it their all and beat NH Ostrava 71:55!
Moving on to Saturday and my favorite game of the tournament was the game Prostejov vs Sokol Prague (finished 4th in the tournament) and who by the way has some great parents and fans! They had moms with Pom Poms and dad with Horns and they obviously have some great support from their parents. Now the game didnt start out so well for Prostejov, and these boys from Prague were definitely bigger, more talented and better players than Prostejov and it looked to be another loss for the Mini Prostejov Boys, as they were down by 20 points but then this amazing thing happened . Pardubice entered the stadium no reallyThe Pardubice team and fans came and sat down with the Prostejov parents, and started cheering on the boys! For those of you who dont know the Pardubice parents and fans well lets say in my book they deserve the award for most team spirit, and the best fans of the kids they had the Red scarves, the horns and THE DRUMS! They came, they saw, they cheered and they drummed FOR Prostejov .and just like that you saw these small Prostejov boys come to life! Their eyes got big when they heard the drums the smiles on their faces got brighter, they listened to the coach and most of all, believed they could win! Lubomir Ruzicka, went into full on coaching mode, using the momentum from the fans to spur on the boys! The boys had superman energy making amazing shots pulling down rebounds and running faster and harder then I had ever seen them run. The fear of being smaller was gone and they played as if they were 6 feet tall! They came back from a 20 point deficit and pulled ahead by 2! The crowd was amazed the parents were on their feet and high fiving! The kids got a feel for what it is like to be a professional player and have the crowd behind you! It was electric! In the end they lost by 2, but the boys came off the floor with smile, bright eyes and heads held high these boys will for sure be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
That being said I have to speak of the Coach, Lubomr Ricka. I have known him for about 2 years now and I have to say he is one of the most talented coaches for young people that I have ever met. This group of boys had never played together before and most of them are 2 or 3 years younger than the competition. But Lubo, took them and taught them fundamentals, taught them to play defense how to make a layup both right and left, they can dribble with both hands and cross the ball over many of these kids are in there first year of competitive basketball! Most of all Lubo taught them to have heart, love the game of basketball and never give up! In one short season he took the smallest and Youngest Czech players to the National Tournament! He has a lot of heart and passion when coaching these kids and you can tell how much he loves the game of basketball. If I could pick a coach for your kids anywhere in the world he would be my pick!. Lubo, who is finishing his 9th season of coaching, not only coaches the little guys but also has coached 5 players onto the Czech National Team 3 (from Pardubice) U16, 2 (from Pardubice) U20. He also holds one of the best basketball camps for kids every year here in Czech, he takes on 100 kids and they spend the week working on skills in Svitavy there are only 20 spots left in his camp this year so check it out because he is a amazing coach, hard working and dedicated to the game of basketball! Here is the website for more information www.basketbal.svitavy.cz
All in all it was a great weekend! There were some notable figures in the crowd one being Benas Veikalas, (BK Prostejov) who after helping his team defeat Opava on Friday night, drove 4 hours to watch his youngest son, Vincent play and cheer for Prostejov. A big surprise for many of the kids was when Levell Sanders (Bk Decin) and his beautiful significant other Pamela showed up to support the kids, handing out awards and signing autographs and taking numerous photos with the kids . It was great to see them all lined up waiting for photos and his autograph. For any of you who know Levell he is a truly good person and has a real interest in kids basketball in Czech Republic. Levell is going to be holding a training camp for the kids this summer in Novy Jicin so for those of you who want to get some more knowledge from Levell, here are the details. The camp dates are July 3rd to the 8th and the 2nd camp is August 14th to the 19th. It will be in Podhuri Beskyd, okr. Novy Jicin. ages are 9-16 Years. Levell says I would like to help the kids with the basic fundamentals. Watching the national finals I saw so many kids with talent, that just need a little more fundamentals to take it to the next level! Also what I think is good is that the kids will have an hour of English everyday learning the basic basketball terminology. If anyone wants more information, you can check out Levells camp at www.educateam.cz. I think for any of you up and coming basketball stars this camp will be well worth your time so check it out!
And the Title goes to .. Sokol Pisek
So the smallest youngest Prostejov didnt win the title, it went to Sokol Pisek, who really deserved the title and had the best player of the tournament Vitak Krejci, this kid has some crazy skills! SO no, its not a Cinderella story but in my book Prostejov were the winners of the most heart award .they came they saw and for me they conquered .. so congratulations to the Prostejov team
Kratochvil David, Benes
Martin, Balint Richard, Brothanek Petr (MVP and High scorer of the team) Pelikan Matous, Medek
Dominik, Veikalas Vincent, Muller Richard, Hajek Martin, Tabery Martin, Bukovec
Tomas, Sevik Jan, ejka Lukas, Salaj Simon!!!
And Congrats to all the teams who participated in the National Tournament it was a great weekend and a show of some really amazing and talented kids and awesome supportive parents and fans!
1st Sokol Pisek - Best player: Vitak Krejci
2nd BK Locomotive Pilsen - Best Player: Rostislav Jirak
3rd BK Snakes Ostrava - Best player: Patrik Kudry
4th Prague Sokol - Best player: Martin Tax
5th Slavoj BK Litomerice - Best player: Martin Kala
6th JBC Brno - Best player: Gianluca Proek
7th BK Pardubice - Best player: David Schmidt
8th BK Prostejov - Best player: Peter Brothnek
9th BK Trutnov - Best player: Dominik Mach
10th BK Liberec Condors - Best Player: John Student
11th BK Nymburk - Best player: Vojtech Vejvar
12th NH Ostrava - the best player Dominik Lukac
ALL STARS : Patrick Kudry (Snakes Ostrava)
Philip Hauzer (Prague Sokol)
Stephen Borovka (Falcon Sand Hornets)
Rostislav Jirak (BK Loko Pilsen)
James Trusina (BK Slavoj Litomerice)
Best shooter: Gianluca Prosek (JBC Brno)
Best free-throw shooter: Patrick Kudry (Snakes Ostrava)
The most useful PLAYER: Vit Tailor (Falcon Sand Hornets)