50 All-Stars is a Colorado nonprofit youth basketball organization centralized in Broomfield. We operate year-round and specialize in player development and training utilizing the following categories: Workouts • Team Practices • Private Sessions • Open Gyms • Games • Conditioning • Combines • Clinics • Camps • 3-5 Year Olds • Tryouts

Newsletter #8

staff@50allstars.com 925.979.5027 [ return to website ]
July 1st, 2018The Official Newsletter of 50 All-Stars BasketballIssue #8

Wow, we've come so far and I'm extremely proud of so many of our kids making it through this initial phase of our ultimate objective of creating the greatest system of developing youth basketball players in the world. Not having top-tier athletes is, of course, difficult... but I believe that makes what they've done thus far even more special. And while the next steps will have a bit of fame and glory attached, let us never forget those that began it all. Let's do this!


My wife, Tracy Sanders, has just been named the new head coach of Southern Utah University. This is obviously a great opportunity for her and our family, but it will also be a monumental chance for our program to reach new heights as well. I’ve convinced my wife to give me a year to perfect this program here before I head out to Utah with her. I’ll visit her once a month until then, and then visit here once a month afterwards. The goal is to use this as a chance to further strengthen both our program and my family.

In my pursuit of the perfect program, the next phase is nearly upon us. Our website will soon have a major upgrade in organization and features to improve everyone’s experience. Our yearly curriculum will be made public for our players to prepare themselves each day, we’ll have challenges to help push the most autonomous kids beyond their limits, and the communication between our staff and our members will be ramped up tenfold. We’ve also begun the process of creating a 50 All-Stars Headquarters (a condo) where we’ll recruit local college students to help us coach in exchange for free rent.

Maria Montessori said “The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, ’The children are now working as if I did not exist.’”, and this is our opportunity to create just that!



Dennis Pomazanov was one of the first to ever join our program. As a gangly, nerdy 7th grader (Sorry, Dennis), he expressed his desire to play in the NBA to me. I immediately began playing him up in age and Dennis began working enormously hard for what he wanted to be his. His efforts culminated in making the Varsity team as a freshman, as he delved into his new high school basketball life. The first 2 years were tough on him with limited playing time, but what I think he was missing was all the hard work that got him there in the first place.

Over this last several months, Dennis has been reinvigorated by rejoining our routine. This summer will be his last major summer for recruiting purposes, and we’re looking to go all out. He’s now the captain of our High School Elite team, which heavily features him. His 4.0 GPA and desire to go into the field of engineering do add an enormous upside to his recruiting potential, but we’ll just have to see how much. Several potential college destinations have presented themselves, and we’re very excited to see where Dennis ends up. Keep your eyes open for how this all shakes out!



Our program has a need and a duty - the need being a more desperately dedicated bunch of players to help lead the way in that regard, and the duty being to allow the amazing program we’ve built to help these players most efficiently capitalize on their desperation. To finally resolve our lack, we’ve partnered with Joaquin Miller Elementary to offer a few players a chance of a lifetime. Every year, they’ll nominate 3 students per grade to come tryout for our team. We’ll hold special tryouts in August to choose the best players they have, and we’ll provide a full scholarship for these players - including flights & hotels. This should force our current players to step up their game considerably, but it should also be a rude awakening for these Oakland players to step into the crazy hard-working world we’ve created here.

This is an exciting moment for our program, as everything we’ve done to date was designed specifically to provide this level of opportunity. There will be a much higher level of competition during practice, as the desperation I described above naturally kicks in. We’ll have a higher chance to win during games, despite continuing our extremely difficult strategy for success. But most importantly, we’ll have a more dependable roster throughout the year, as the Oakland kids tend to take far less vacations. All of this brings us a few steps closer to our ultimate goal of creating a perfect system for youth basketball development.



Elite team tryouts for next year’s team are this September. If you’d like to take part, please fill out our consideration form this August (or click here to do so right now). Tryouts are over the course of the entire month of September, where all members who’ve filled out the form may attend our Tuesday and Thursday Elite team practices in addition to the other workouts throughout the week. During the month, we’ll be measuring each player’s skill, intelligence, and dedication to the sport and our program. We’ll choose the teams in October, and then announce them early November.

In January, practices begin and all players are given their jerseys to embark on the entirety of the year. This is an enormous part of our program, as it’s these players with their believable high goals that we focus on improving the most. They’ll have games and tournaments throughout the year, but none more important than the month of July’s travel tournament. High School will travel to Houston in April and to Orlando at the beginning of July. Middle School and High School will travel to Indiana mid-July, and all 3 teams will travel to Tahoe at the end of May and to Los Angeles at the end of July. Our only two goals are to wildly improve each player on these teams by pitting them against the best this nation has to offer and to showcase our high school players around the country to increase their odds of getting recruited.



Troy Rickman began as a super sad kid that never spoke and was very non-aggressive, then all of a sudden he became a kinda sad kid that spoke with authority who was extremely aggressive... and now he's the captain of our 3rd/4th grade local team! He's still not the most skilled player in the world, but his determination might be number one in our entire program. His mom and I are continually hoping he never gets burnt out, but so far this kid has a fire that doesn't seem like it's gonna stop. Here's this quarter's FOUR QUESTIONS FOR OUR FOURTH GRADE FOCUS:

Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF THE SPORT AND OUR PROGRAM? A. I like to get rebounds, and I love when you teach new moves.

Q. ARE THERE ANY PLAYERS IN OUR PROGRAM YOU LOOK UP TO? A. Finley Chastain because she's so professional.

Q. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OUR BOOT CAMPS? A. I like to wake up early and do the workouts without too many others there.

Q. ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT 2018'S ELITE TEAM? A. Yes, because we get to travel and play against really good teams.



Our elite team is always looking for ways to improve. We recently added the task of each player breaking down their own game film. This replaces our previous method where they would have it done for them. We gave the kids a week to look at the game footage broken down into 12 segments containing about 4 clips a piece, and they had to write at least a sentence describing why any given clip was in that particular segment/focus. I wasn't sure how it would take, but the results were astonishing.

We did it for our Oakland tournament breakdown (watch here). 80% of the players turned in their homework within a week, including the little bitty 1st graders whose handwriting was adorable! Finley Chastain, of course, did hers the very first night… and it came out to as many pages as a solid college essay. Because this process and project helped us a ton for our following San Diego tournament, we’re planning to repeat it after every major tournament from now on. Making our players better is our primary objective, and this is one of the most effective steps we’ve created to date.



Communication is the key to all of this. For us, we’ve chosen Twitter because it’s public and it’s been known to work for the majority of the free world. The 40404 text option Twitter had was great, but the company decided to end this facet of their service for anyone not yet opted in a few months back. We still need this platform, however, to alert you of gym changes, program updates, and a bunch more. The fix is easy, but perhaps painful for some of you: You must GET TWITTER.

Download Twitter on your phone for free, and then follow us at either @fiftyallstars, @fiftyelem, @fiftymiddle, and/or @fiftyhigh. Even if it's just for our updates and even if you’re totally against social media in every way, just get the service so we can best serve you. Set push notifications by opening up your phone’s settings and choosing the app on the next screen to have the alerts pop up like text messages. Our apologies for going a route you might’ve never wanted to go down, but it's a hugely popular tool used by over half the world that we would be foolish to not take advantage of. Communication is crucial, and using one of the best communication services this world has ever known should be a given. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!

Every team needs a leader, and every leader needs a team. For us, we assign our team captains during our June fundraiser party. Since summer time is our primary span of games that matter the most, we wait as long as we can to assign captains so that the title is truly earned. From a combination of skill, dedication, ability to communication, and much more, we select one player from each team to wear the leadership hat. Although their prize is literally just a cap that says CAPTAIN on it, it’s a ton more in terms of who’s responsible for each team’s well-being and shows who’s most willing to carry the weight of the entire team. Caring, Courageous, and Consistent are written on each hat and expected of each player.

The captains for our local teams is as follows: 1st/2nd grade: Gabby Rickman, 3rd/4th: Troy Rickman, 5th/6th: Ian Salmon, 7th/8th: Momo Gage. Our elite travel teams are led by the following players: Elementary: Finley Chastain, Middle School: Morgan Gutzwiller, High School: Dennis Pomazanov. While announcing our captains will be a yearly event which we hope all players look forward to, we hope that being a captain lasts a lifetime for each and every player.



Summer camps are great for many reasons. They help spread the word about our program, as we give the public a small taste of what we do throughout the year. It’s an opportunity for our members to bond in a way that is nearly impossible throughout the busy school year. And it’s a great chance for us to work on a ton of detailed stuff in a short amount of time. Summer camp time is definitely the best part of the year, and moments we experience during this period tend to last forever.

The 3 weeks of camp we just embarked on went extremely well. During the 13-18 year old session, we intensely went through every single drill our program has ever done while filming each one to eventually display on our site’s curriculum section to help future players. During our 8-13 year old session, we played a ton of full court games mixed in with side strength & conditioning workouts for the losing teams as they excitingly cycled in game after game after game. For the 3-8 year old session, we had fun learning the basics but also mastered a dribbling routine that was orchestrated by an 8-part mashup of songs broken down into 15 second portions for the kids to hypnotically improve their ball handling skills. Three completely different weeks with three completely different goals, but our program is the better for each and every one of them.