Santa Margarita Catholic High School
I’m a freshman on the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Varsity Basketball Team. God knew I needed to be in a Christian based school and I’m blessed to be here. SMHS plays in the Trinity League which has some of the best teams in the country. Head Coach Jeff Reinert, and his seven assistant coaches, are excellent and have brought the feel of a university to SM Basketball. He believes that grades come before basketball and I am working hard to keep my grades up so I can be a regular starter. Along with homework from seven classes, I practice three hours a day, which is two hours of practice and at least one hour of weights.
Practice usually consists of individual post moves, fast-break drills, five on five, reviewing plays, and running sprints. In the weight room we do bench, upright bench with dumbbells, squats, leg press, and we run circuits. I used to get really sore from all the work, but now I’m used to it, and getting stronger. It’s very exciting playing in front of the student section called “The Eagle’s Nest”. I have great teammates and we believe we can win Division-1 CIF, and State.
Looking back, I believe that God lead me to different teams with good Christian Coaches who taught not just skills, good sportsmanship, and character, but they constantly encouraged and believed in me and each of my teammates. If it weren’t for this positive experience and extensive training I would not have been ready to play basketball with confidence and at a high level starting as a freshman in high school.
I am very grateful for the four-five years that I played for Coach Dennis Murphy on the NJB STARS. He not only prepared me for high school basketball, but WE HAD FUN!! Besides great local basketball tournaments, we had bowling parties at least twice a year, and tournaments in Las Vegas, Reno, San Francisco, Hawaii, and then Nationals in Memphis Tennessee and Orlando Florida. We prayed before each game and after each practice and game. All of this, and the bonding that took place with my teammates and their families, is something I will never forget. God will always be a part of my life as I try to honor the Lord in everything I do, just as I tried to do when I was on the NJB STARS Team. Also, a special “Thank You” to Coaches Dennis, Jeremy, Matt, Henry, Mack, and Stu.
Woodbridge High School
Daniel Thatcher played NJB basketball from 3rd grade until 8th grade. He started on a 3rd grad rec. team called the Arizona Sun Devils and made all-stars at the end of the season. For the 4th and 5th grades, he played on the Irvne Warriors All-Net team, from 6th through 8th grades he played on the Irvine Flight All-Net team. He had a great experience during all of the years playing.
His Frosh/Soph team came in first place for league this year. He was given the MVP award for Woodbrigde HS Frosh/Soph basketball and will be playing on the varsity team for Spring league. With hard work he hopes to secure a starting spot on Varsity next season.
Stars was my first club team. I came into the program needing to improve and learn. Over the 4 years I played with Coach Murphy, (5th-8th grade), I got much better as a person and as a basketball player. I also became closer to God because coach Murphy would also tell us to read the bible and we would pray every practice and game.
Stars helped me learn the fundamentals of Basketball before all the fancy stuff that comes with it. As we got better and older, we played against better competition that helped me prepare for high school ball. Stars was a great experience and I highly encourage people to play with them.
Sonora High School
Lucas started the STARS on the green team when he was 11 and within a year began playing for the Blue team. He was willing to move back and forth playing wherever the coaches wanted him. His last year and one half in the program, he played for the ELITE, a team he loved.
Lucas remembers from STARS and ELITE, going to Las Vegas and winning and going to Orlando and all the things the boys did. He remembered all the practice and how fun it was just to be with all the guys, and how sometimes one player would be great and the next time it would be someone else and everyone would always be happy for whoever it was that had a great game.
Now at Sonora High School, Lucas is still #15 and played the season on the JV team as a starter, but has been moved up to Varsity. I think one of the highlights of his season was the game where he was injured, but he started and in 38 seconds scored 3 threes and then left the rest of the game because he was hurt. He played consistently and averaged 12-15 points a game as a small forward.
Canyon High School
I participated in the Stars program from 5th grade to 8th grade. During that time the Stars team taught me not only about the game of basketball but about teamwork and good sportsmanship. The Stars program made me into the solid basketball player that I am today.
Stars was not only a team, but also a family. I started on the Canyon High School Freshman Basketball team as a shooting guard. Our team came in 2nd place only losing 2 games in league play.
He participated in the NJB Stars program from 5th grade until 8th grade. He says, “Stars and Dennis Murphy made me the ball player that I am today. He taught me about what it meant to play as a team and to always play with Good Sportsmanship. Stars was my family for 4 years and has helped me make the Freshman Basketball team at Canyon High School. We had a tremendous year and I thank Dennis and the team for helping me get to where I am.”
Canyon High School
Justin started NJB in 3rd grade making it to Hanford with the All Star Team. Starting in 5th grade, he went to play All Net for Anaheim Hills. By 6th grade, he made it onto the Stars under Coach Murphy.
His 7th grade Stars team advanced to Memphis and placed 10th in the Nation. As a freshman at Canyon High School, Justin played JV and was awarded Defensive Player of the Year.
Laguna Hills High School
Kevin has been playing basketball since grammar school and has been a part of NJB for many years. Kevin loves sports and before basketball he played soccer, flag football, baseball and volleyball. But it was only after joining NJB that Kevin truly fell in love with the sport.
Kevin is currently a Junior on the JV Team playing for the HAWKS as a shooting guard at Laguna Hills High School where he has played all three years. This year Kevin received the “Coaches Award” for his dedication and work ethic this season. He also plays for a travel club team OC Magic playing AAU Tournaments and he continues to excel in the sport. He has truly grown with the sport and it’s wonderful NJB is where he started.