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View Full Version : Tbird Topics: A personal update, a sectional preview, and kudos the Pacers marketing department



thunderbird1245
02-24-2012, 12:39 PM
Hello everyone! It is good to carve out sometime today to post something on the best NBA fan site in the world!

As some of you know, I used to be a constant contributor to this site, but when I got back into coaching high school basketball three years ago I rarely have the time to make my typical long, drawn out 10k word manifestos on whatever Pacer topics happen to strike my fancy that day. But I still check the site every day, and still believe this is by far the best place to get in depth Pacers analysis and news that exists.

As my name has come up in the nominating of awards a few times in the last week, I thought it might be good to give you all an update on how things are going basketball wise down here, and to tell you all about a great thing the Pacers organization did for my basketball program and community just a few days ago.

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First, a Tbird basketball update.....and I am sorry, but I am going to have to brag a little today!

Our EG Thunderbirds currently stand with a record of 19-1, and ranked number 3 in class 2A both by the Associated Press and by the Sagarin computer rating. After losing our opener by 2 points late, we've peeled off 19 straight victories (a school record). After a year last season where we finished 23-3, a sectional championship team, and regional runners up, it was thought by many that we might regress somewhat this year, but that has not been the case.

In fact, for the second consecutive year we lead the state (all 403 schools) in margin of victory. That total includes a 22 point pasting of 17-2 Martinsville (which has been in the news for other more sinister reasons lately sadly) and a 15 point win over Bedford North Lawrence.

Tonight is our senior night, and like many of you know or perhaps experienced as players/coaches/parents, you know that tonight is bittersweet.....proud of the accomplishments you've done together so far, hopeful for what the future may bring, and yet wistful and melancholy for the knowledge that starting next week, it could all be over with one bad game.

All of my seniors will be ending their careers after this season but 1, who will move on to play college basketball at Wright State. We have high hopes that we have our schools first ever Indiana All Star, but we will see how that process plays out after the season.

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Next week begins what is in my opinion the single greatest week to be a native Hoosier and basketball fan, the 103rd IHSAA basketball tournament.

Yes, I know all of the class basketball arguments, some of which I may even agree with. But putting that aside, don't let your stubborness deprive you of the opportunity to see your local teams play next week. The ultimate 1 and done scenario, with community pride, school traditions, and the dreams of hoosier teenagers all on the line on an 84 by 50 court.

Do what your fathers and grandfathers all did and go out and take in a sectional championship game next week. Hunt and find a game in a great atmosphere with sold out crowds in prideful Indiana small towns. Often, you have to get out of the major metro areas to enjoy the still burning fires of Hoosier Hysteria, but for those reading this you'll be able to see great games in the Indy/Fort Wayne/Evansville areas as well....if you want recommendations on where to see a great game potentially, just ask me or post them in this thread for discussion.

My own sectional has 2 ranked teams, Sullivan at 19-2 ranked #6 (with one game to go tonight) and our own EG Thunderbirds at 19-1 (with one game still to be played tonight as well) ranked #3. A long road for us both to get there though, as the other local rivals can make their own memories for a lifetime by pulling an upset of one of us along the way.

There are many other great matchups to watch next week. The sectional with Hamilton SouthEastern is unbelievably stacked. The 1A sectional at Odon with long time bitter rivals North Daviess, Barr Reeve and Loogootee will be fun. The fued that stretches back almost a century between Jasper and Vincennes will likely be renewed in the Washington sectional.

For IU fans, the sectional involving 2A #1 Park Tudor (Yogi Ferrell likely is Mr Basketball) and Ron Patterson's Broad Ripple Rockets will be fun to watch. And Butler fans will want to check out Pendleton Heights and the out standing Kellen Dunham.

But no matter where you are in Indiana, from Auburn to Evansville, or from Lawrenceburg to Attica, you should check out the high school kids in the month of March. Don't listen the naysayers and negativity out there telling you Hoosier Hysteria is dead...because I know everywhere my own team may play starting next week is likely to be packed, and I know it is that way in many venues all across the state.

Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

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The Pacers helped give my program and community a great taste of Pacers basketball last weekend, in what is the kind of creative marketing that done over time I believe can help generate a new era of fans for years to come.

Along with a marketing firm the Pacers hired to help them drive ticket sales, they invited our entire high school basketball program to last Sunday's home game against the Bobcats. In exchange for selling VIP tickets to the game, the Pacers provided lots of little perks to our program, which I wanted to tell you about today.

First, our kids had to sell tickets to the game itself. Most of them did very well with this and we sold over 300 tickets to our local community mainly. As part of the experience, those who bought tickets along with our team and school band all got to go on the floor for the team warmups, long before the gates opened. While I was hoping some of the Pacer players might find time to come visit with our players, all we really got during this time was a wave from Mark Boyle and a brief wave from Eduardo Najera and Bismack Biyombo of the Bobcats. (we were on their end of the floor as it turned out, another school doing the same thing we were, Triton Central, got the Pacers end for warmups). Then there was a short autograph /picture session before the gates open but after their shootaround was complete.

As coaches, we were very happy to get to meet or at least run into Slick Leonard.....but you know you are getting old when you are excited about something, and your players don't have a clue why!

Anyway, it was a great community event that our little slice of Greene County got to experience. The team graciously let our people move down to the lower levels after the game began, as there were lots of empty seats on Sunday night. Our high school band got to play in the veranda right when many of you no doubt heard them when entering. During warmups, our kids got to lineup in the tunnel and greet the players, and during the starting lineups our kids got be on the floor for introductions, and each kid got an autographed basketball. Each player autographed one ball, so we had quite the competition about who got the "Paul George" ball and who got the "Jeff Pendergraph".

Afterwards, our entire group en masse got to shootaround on the Conseco floor. I gave an impromptu talk about "the rims being the same as our gym back in Hickory" that produced alot of eyerolling from our teenagers. If any of you actually stayed til the end of that 40 point blowout and wondered who those people were shooting 3 pointers were, it was us.

By the way, there is no truth to the rumor that upon seeing one of my players fathers nail a top of key 3 pointer that the Bobcats owner Michael Jordan immediately offered him a mulit million dollar contract. :)

Anyway, I wanted to publically thank the Pacers organization for a night my little country basketball kids won't soon forget. Many of them had never been to a Pacers game and hadn't seen Bankers Life Fieldhouse (or downtown Indy even), so that was quite a thrill for them. I know after meeting some of the players many of them started following particular players on twitter (Paul George is by far our players favorite Pacer, and mine too I admit), so I think a few new fans were definitely created that night.

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It is a great time of year fans! Our Pacers are rolling, spring is in the air, and Hoosier Hysteria is about to hit its yearly zenith. Don't take for granted how good we have it!

And on a last note, I am planning again on doing the draft profiles again this spring. I missed the draft party last year to be at a basketball camp, but barring any complications I should make it this year in person, so we can argue face to face about our draft profile opinions. I have many games taped and ready to break down, and Ive been doing some during the season when time allows....it is shaping up to be a pretty strong draft I think.

As always, the above was just my opinion.

Tbird

Peck
02-24-2012, 01:02 PM
Damn Thunderbird I do miss your posts.

Congrats on the team, that is one hell of a two year record no matter what level of basketball you are playing at.

Meeting Slick right before the tourney has to be almost magical. The man is not just Pacers basketball, he is Indiana basketball.

Good luck in the sectionals and please whenever you get a chance at the end of your season give us whatever you can in terms of a post or two. Your insight to the game of basketball is second to none.

Strummer
02-24-2012, 01:27 PM
Loved the description of your teams visit to the Pacers game. I had no idea the Pacers did that sort of marketing. That sounds great.

pacergod2
02-24-2012, 01:28 PM
Great seeing you around these parts, tbird. Congratulations on the season.

I carry a very special memory from my senior year of high school where we were a bunch of kids from a small town and we went on to win the state baseball tournament in NYS (biggest division). It was an unparalleled experience in my life and it is something that everyone contributes to no matter how big or small. Your kids have a terrific opportunity in front of them, but regardless they won't forget their experience. Good luck, and may the ball bounce your way. Or maybe I should say... Great defense, and may your makes be timely.

PG2

vapacersfan
02-24-2012, 01:31 PM
Thank you for the post!

After the talk of Pacers marketing (or lack there of), it is awesome to see how the Pacers are giving back and trying to build relationships with the younger fans.

AesopRockOn
02-24-2012, 03:43 PM
Great Harvey Weinstein post! :D

Mackey_Rose
02-24-2012, 03:51 PM
Next week begins what is in my opinion the single greatest week to be a native Hoosier and basketball fan, the 103rd IHSAA basketball tournament.

Yes, I know all of the class basketball arguments, some of which I may even agree with. But putting that aside, don't let your stubborness deprive you of the opportunity to see your local teams play next week. The ultimate 1 and done scenario, with community pride, school traditions, and the dreams of hoosier teenagers all on the line on an 84 by 50 court.

Do what your fathers and grandfathers all did and go out and take in a sectional championship game next week. Hunt and find a game in a great atmosphere with sold out crowds in prideful Indiana small towns. Often, you have to get out of the major metro areas to enjoy the still burning fires of Hoosier Hysteria, but for those reading this you'll be able to see great games in the Indy/Fort Wayne/Evansville areas as well....if you want recommendations on where to see a great game potentially, just ask me or post them in this thread for discussion.

My own sectional has 2 ranked teams, Sullivan at 19-2 ranked #6 (with one game to go tonight) and our own EG Thunderbirds at 19-1 (with one game still to be played tonight as well) ranked #3. A long road for us both to get there though, as the other local rivals can make their own memories for a lifetime by pulling an upset of one of us along the way.

There are many other great matchups to watch next week. The sectional with Hamilton SouthEastern is unbelievably stacked. The 1A sectional at Odon with long time bitter rivals North Daviess, Barr Reeve and Loogootee will be fun. The fued that stretches back almost a century between Jasper and Vincennes will likely be renewed in the Washington sectional.

For IU fans, the sectional involving 2A #1 Park Tudor (Yogi Ferrell likely is Mr Basketball) and Ron Patterson's Broad Ripple Rockets will be fun to watch. And Butler fans will want to check out Pendleton Heights and the out standing Kellen Dunham.

But no matter where you are in Indiana, from Auburn to Evansville, or from Lawrenceburg to Attica, you should check out the high school kids in the month of March. Don't listen the naysayers and negativity out there telling you Hoosier Hysteria is dead...because I know everywhere my own team may play starting next week is likely to be packed, and I know it is that way in many venues all across the state.

Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Am I right to make the assumption that you are a fan of class basketball? I'd like to hear your opinions on the subject.

duke dynamite
02-24-2012, 03:58 PM
T-Bird, it doesn't take much to beat BNL, man. But it is good to see that they have a bye for the sectional. Living down here you already know we hear about EG Thunderbirds being only one county away and that is an impressive team no doubt. Congratulations, man!

BTW, Loogootee was 16-4 this year, lost a heartbreaker at Barr-Reeve but they FINALLY beat Washington!

To add to T-Bird's plea to get folks out to see the games, you absolutely have to come down to Seymour to see their gym. It's the 4th largest in the nation (Also the 4th largest in Indiana) but the atmosphere there for Sectional games is unlike no other!

danman
02-24-2012, 05:46 PM
Best wishes T bird. Since you're involved with kids and basketball, mad props.

imawhat
02-24-2012, 05:57 PM
Congrats on the record, that's great! Weren't they under .500 two seasons ago?

SycamoreKen
02-24-2012, 08:45 PM
Congrats on the great season and opportunity to get up close and personal at the game!

travmil
03-04-2012, 10:34 AM
Congrats to T-Bird and the Eastern Greene Thunderbirds. They won their sectional last night over Sullivan. I would imagine he has a few things going on right now and might not be able to update. According to this article they will play the winner of the Southridge sectional at the first game of the regional next weekend, which was Forest Park. I don't know anything about that team at all.

http://tribstar.com/highschoolsports/x1888226669/Eastern-eliminates-Sullivan

Slick Pinkham
03-05-2012, 12:13 PM
23 wins in a row for the Thunderbirds!

http://indianahsbasketball.homestead.com/files/boyslogs78.htm

:woot:

travmil
03-11-2012, 02:10 PM
Eastern Greene lost in the championship game of the regional last night. They won the day game against Forest Park, then lost in the night game to Providence in the championship 46-43. I don't know anything about Providence, but their record was excellent and full of wins against 3A ranked teams. They only had three losses on the season and ended up beating two of those three later in their schedule. Now they get a date with Park Tudor and Yogi Ferrell.

Good luck to them, and congrats to Eastern Greene and T-Bird on the great season!

Bball
03-11-2012, 02:15 PM
Great season for the T-Birds.

Slick Pinkham
03-12-2012, 12:43 PM
24 wins in a row- what an amazing run!

Sorry it came to an end, thunderbird, but congratulations on the successful season. 24-2! Hopefully you have some top talent back for next year.