Wichita State guard Tyson Etienne shares how he taps into the zone

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Tyson Etienne

Tyson Etienne took his game to another level last season at Wichita State. The 6’2 guard went from averaging nine points his freshman year to over 17 points per game in his second season.

He was named the AAC Co-Player of the Year and is currently declared for the 2021 NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility.

Tyson takes pride in is his routine and rituals, which he spoke more about on Holistic Talks: Tapping Into The Zone.

Specifically, he practices consistent meditation and mindfulness. He talks about the “comfort space” he looks to reach before games.

On how he got started meditating:

I was really trying to find something that I could anchor myself to. My faith is big in who I am but, I just needed to develop routines that kept me in rhythm; that kept me secure and safe and I just learned and started researching on the habits of billionaires and what they did and I tried to find themes and meditation was a common thread.

Tyson on what being in the zone means to him:

The zone for me is a knowing. It’s a feeling, it’s a rhythm. It’s like when your favorite song comes on. You’re not thinking about what the next word is, you KNOW what the next word is! You’re in that moment every verse, every word you KNOW what it is!

With a strong feel and pursuit of his purpose, Tyson knows that his mindfulness practice has had an impact on those around him, especially his teammates.

I’m just doing things to get myself better and put myself in position to achieve the intentions that I have but my intentions in this game will bring me a lot of financial success but, that’s not my purpose.

Describing self-care as an intrinsic process, it’s become something that helps Etienne tap into the zone and perform at the level he’s reached.

George Hill the X-Factor | The Atlantic Files Ep179

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George Hill
George Hill the X-Factor | The Atlantic Files Ep179

The most wonderful time of the year is really here and it’s been great so far. NBA Playoffs heading into the great summer weather are something that just can uplift any basketball fan. Even ones that would be watching to see if George Hill is an x-factor.

In this week’s episode of the Atlantic Files, we dive into the first round of the playoffs as four Atlantic teams are all currently in the midst of some battles and even some easy series.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been breezing through the Washington Wizards so far. Bradley Beal sure has been cooking, but the rest of the team, even Russell Westbrook, has not quite gotten up to his level just yet.

Brooklyn and Boston are going through a series that really looks like an easy sweep, especially if Jayson Tatum isn’t 100% healthy for the rest of this. Kevin Durant is in playoff mode right now and has just been ridiculously efficient!

Finally, we have the New York Knicks in a tough battle against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. After dropping a game at home, the Knicks are going to have to dig deep and get at least one win in Atlanta now to keep the home-court advantage.

This week, we also introduce a new segment! We call this one Rant of the Week as we talk about the crazy fans that all made the news for some disgusting and disrespectful acts this week.

Hear all of that and more on the latest episode below!

Timestamps:

2:05 – Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics Series

9:35 – Philadelphia 76ers vs Washington Wizards series and George Hill being an x-factor

17:10 – New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks series

25:20 – Rant of the Week: Dumb Fans at NBA Games

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NBA Playoffs are here! | The Atlantic Files Ep178

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The Atlantic Files
Property of Basketball Society and Alex Fischbein

The NBA Playoffs are here, everyone can rejoice! It does mark the end of the season, which is saddening, but at least the crazy schedule is done. Next season will bring a more normal type of season and hopefully fewer injuries as well.

A lot of people are lamenting the play-in tournament, but we love it! These extra games make the regular season more important to those playoff teams and it even makes it more exciting to the ones who may have slipped due to whatever reasons. The fact that they introduced it during one of the tightest packed schedules is the main issue, but with a regular type of schedule, this would work beautifully.

Either way, four Atlantic teams have moved on to the postseason, but two of them have to face off during the first round.

The Boston Celtics vs the Brooklyn Nets should be somewhat interesting of a series, but especially with Jaylen Brown out we all know the outcome of this one. Then, the Sixers and Knicks could be on a crash course if they both win their own first-round matchups.

Check out our predictions and more on the latest episode below!

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Diamond Johnson, Caitlin Clark named to 2021 USA Women’s 19U World Cup Team

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Diamond Johnson Caitlin Clark

After competing against each other in the Big Ten, Diamond Johnson and Caitlin Clark will be teammates this summer.

Two of the country’s top freshmen have been named to the 2021 USA 19U World Cup Team.

The USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Selection Committee announced the nine players including five finalists who will compete in training camp for the final three roster spots.

Clark was the nation’s leading scorer in her freshman season at Iowa. She had eleven 30-point games, the most by a freshman in Division 1 basketball since 2000. Clark was the only player in the country averaging over 25 points, six assists, and six rebounds.

Johnson made her presence felt at Rutgers averaging 17 points and six assists as a freshman. After an iconic Philadelphia high school career, she translated her dynamic and dominant guard play right into college. Johnson, who has since announced her transfer to North Carolina State, scored in double figures in the first 14 games of the season.

 

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USA19 and UCLA head coach Cori Close said,

 “I’m very thankful that I’m not having to make the decisions for the team. I’m really pleased with the versatility of this group, with the ability to shoot the ball, with the physicality of it. So, I’m excited to get this group back together to start practicing because this is a really hard tournament to win and we’re going to have to dig deep to do it. I think the committee selected a group that can get it done.”

Johnson and Clark’s teammates will include the likes of UConn bound Azi Fudd and Stanford commit Lauren Betts.

The 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup will take place August 7-19 in Hungary.

Stephen Curry, Warriors play with rare joy says mental performance coach

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Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry is dangerously familiar with the zone and he’s been setting up shop there as of late.

After last night, a 36-point performance against the Utah Jazz, Curry now has seven straight games scoring 30 or more points.

Curry has 37 games this season with 30+ points, passing Kobe Bryant last night for most 30-point games by a player in their 12th season or later. Michael Jordan now only has more with 44.

Earlier this season he set a new career-high of 62 points.

Laura Mitchell Wilde helps basketball players and everyday people tap into the zone.

She’s a mental performance coach who teaches people how to surrender to the best version of themselves.

 

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In her recent interview on Holistic Talks: Tapping Into The Zone, Laura talked about playing the game with a sense of gratitude. She mentioned Curry as a prime example.

She referenced the game when Curry broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record to become the Golden State Warriors’ all-time leading scorer. The announcers said how Curry was just full of joy.

“Steph’s in touch with joy”, as Laura went on to make the connection between Curry’s head coach Steve Kerr and NBA coaching legend, Phil Jackson.

Jackson was known to incorporate meditation and mindfulness with his championship Bulls and Lakers teams. Kerr won three titles with Jackson in Chicago.

Laura also gave credit to Warriors forward Draymond Green for exhibiting that kind of joy and “child-like state” while playing.

It’s no secret to Laura why teams like the Warriors thrive. Their mindful environment creates their own culture that is unique to every sports team and franchise.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle in February highlighted Warriors newcomer Kelly Oubre and how meditation helped him find his rhythm with the team.

“So many of the NBA teams don’t get it,” says Laura.

Sports Betting on Basketball is King in New Jersey

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Sports betting
photo via: The Basketball Tournament

New Jersey Sports betting has been a driving force since in-person and online sports betting became legal in 2018. 

New Jersey sports betting revenue stands at more than $189 million, with sportsbooks posting a win percentage around 7.4%. 

Moreover, NCAA’s March Madness accounted for more than $434 million for the month of March.

A panel of experts predicted in 2019 that 90% of sports betting in the United States will be done over mobile phones or the internet in the next five to 10 years.

NJ.com notes that in the state of New Jersey, the largest sports betting market in the nation, 92% of bets last year were made online. There are also many online betting sites like https://www.bettingnews.com/legal/nj/ where sports betting is made easier for people to enjoy and place bets.

Here’s how much New Jersey generates via betting:

  • Basketball: $1.087 billion
  • Football: $269 million
  • Baseball: $4.5 million
  • Other sports (golf, hockey. etc:) $641 million
  • Parlays: $560 million

That’s a big deal! 

Sports betting is the future. New Jersey has been enjoying steady growth since its launch in June 2018. 

After recording more than $4.5 billion wagered in 2019 – the first full calendar year of legal betting – New Jersey finished 2020 with the highest total handle in America with over $6 billion in wagers placed. This is a full 28 percent of the entire annual US sports betting handle in one state.

With tons of revenue to spread, sports entertainers and sports personalities are joining the fold. 

Rap artist, Jadakiss who has recorded with everyone from the late Notorious B.I.G., and DMX to living legends in Jay-Z and Puff Daddy, the Yonkers, NY native is an avid sports fan. The LOX group member, recently began hosting a podcast with retired New Jersey Nets big man, Kenyon Martin via the Basketball News Network. Jadakiss has also partnered with MyBookie and given his followers on Instagram his promocode to place bets before big games. 

“The madness is real,” Jadakiss said in a recent post on the gram.

“It’s that simple. 

“Get you some money. The weather is breaking. You know you gotta get you an AC or something. Fix your central air.” 

Porn star legend, turned Sirius/XM radio host, Lisa Ann joined in on the sports betting craze. She partnered with Bovada where she tweets odds and hosts a multitude of branded content on Instagram for the company. 

She also hosts an Instagram Live show every Thursday at 5 PM with NBA Insider and hoops historian, Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, a long-time friend of Basketball Society Online. 

“Sports betting is the in thing,” Scoop B, an alum of Ramsey, New Jersey’s Don Bosco Prep High School tells Basketball Society. 

“From hot takes to crypto, it seems that this is one stop shop.”

While New Jersey is king in sports betting, across the water, New York state is joining in the fun according to a recent report via The Action Network’s Darren Rovell who shared that NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that will bring mobile sports betting to New York.

Per Rovell: NY state senator Joe Addabbo estimates that first bets will come in before the end of 2021 and will be fully functional by the Super Bowl.

Hannah Hidalgo has the nation on notice after notable sophomore season

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Hannah Hidalgo


Hannah Hidalgo didn’t choose basketball.

Basketball chose Hannah.

She only went to the recreation gym with her dad as a kid for the Gatorade. Basketball wasn’t a real interest until she noticed she was better than most of the boys.

Hannah’s passion for the game now manifests in how she plays — skilled, relentless, determined, and with enthusiasm. It’s such that it stays with her even when she’s not playing.

Conversations with her parents in the kitchen at home can include the next game coming up, matchups, and strategy while watching a women’s basketball game on television.

Basketball does stop for certain traditions in the Hidalgo household. Sunday mornings are custom for gathering for church service. Since the pandemic, this has meant watching church online virtually. Hannah and her family are usually tuned into Pastor Michael Todd at Transformation Church.

“Without God, I would be nothing but without me, God would still be God”, as Hannah said in her interview.

Her sophomore season was one of the most impressive overall in the state. Hannah averaged 20 points per game as her team’s leading scorer. She was named the Olympic Conference Player of the Year and second-team All-State after leading the Eagles to a 13-2 record in a limited season.

Paul VI head coach Lisa Steele, who played her college ball at George Washington, calls it “a blessing” and “a fun experience” to coach Hannah.

“Players like her come once every couple years, or once in a career for some coaches.”

Hannah’s connection to the game is now impossible to miss or avoid.

She describes being on the court as being in a different world, a place where any troubles or tension goes away.

The way she plays shows it. She’s not just aggressive but poised. Her quick blow-by moves help her get into the lane at will to make things happen. Hannah has the ability to see the game ahead of time, which makes for some magical passing moments with either hand.

https://twitter.com/HannahHidalgo/status/1387073769676709892

How does she describe Queen Hannah?

“She’s in the opposing team’s head. Constantly energetic, clapping, talking back to the other team… knocking down threes, knocking down jump shots, dishing the ball, getting and-ones, screaming in other people’s face… stealing the ball, fastbreaks, kicking it out to the shooters, aggressive, cheering on my team when I’m on the bench… bringing that energy.”

It looks like basketball chose well.

The New York Knicks are back! | The Atlantic Files Ep177

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New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are back! | The Atlantic Files Ep177

You read that headline correctly, don’t act like you haven’t heard about it either! The New York Knicks are back, baby! Oh, they’re here to stay too!

Currently, the Knicks are the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and they even are third in the Atlantic Division only behind the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. Before this season began, we did not think the Knicks would be anywhere close to where they are right now.

The defense is brand new and very good. Coach Thibodeau has the entire culture and energy flipped upside down compared to last season. Guys are standing up and off the bench throughout the whole game cheering their teammates on at all times. Everyone has a tremendous amount of respect for each other and the coaching staff.

On top of that, you have Julius Randle playing like the Most Improved Player of the Year and Immanuel Quickley playing like the Rookie of the Year if only he got some more minutes. At this point of the season, if you don’t have either of these guys on your radar or ladders for the awards, you’re sadly mistaken.

PLUS, RJ Barrett is really playing like a future All-Star and maybe even an All-NBA level.

Throw all of that together and you have a recipe for a very dangerous team to face in the playoffs. We would not be surprised at all if they won a first-round matchup and even pushed their second-round opponent to the brink of elimination. This is a serious worst-to-first type of story, and the state of the NBA is just better when the New York Knicks are better.

Hear the full episode below!

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Arella Guirantes embraces new challenge with LA Sparks

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WNBA

One of the head-scratchers of the 2021 WNBA Draft was Arella Guirantes falling to the second round. The two-time All-American out of Rutgers was a projected lottery pick.

The Los Angeles Sparks selected Guirantes at no. 22 overall when the head coach and general manager Derek Fisher said she was the best player on the board by far.

“To have a lottery talent available at 22 was an opportunity that we could not pass. We’ve already gotten the opportunity to connect with her a little bit and we’re ecstatic to see how this plays out on the court.”

Los Angeles used the no. 7 overall pick to select forward Jasmine Walker out of Alabama.

Their next selection at no. 10 was North Carolina guard Stephanie Watts.

Arella talked with the media on Friday in a live press conference to discuss her being drafted by the Sparks and motivation going forward.

Guirantes is known for her competitive drive and killer instinct. She’s a proud Kobe Bryant fan, and will now have a chance to play for one of his former teammates.

At one point during the season, she sported a green hair look which she said was in tribute to the Kim Possible Disney villain, Shego.

Not unlike her idol, Arella doesn’t have a problem being the bad guy.

Offensively this is a player who can be special because she possesses high-level fundamentals and creativity.

She won’t be shying away from the moment at the next level as she makes her transition to the WNBA.

While she’ll be fighting for her time, she knows what she can bring to the table offensively.

The lineage of Rutgers players in the WNBA is well-known. Arella referenced Sparks member and former Scarlet Knight Erica Wheeler who went undrafted only to eventually become the All-Star Game MVP in 2019.

Betnijah Laney, another Scarlet Knight who was drafted in the second round in 2015, was named the league’s Most Improved Player last year.

Arella embraces the notion of channeling that lineage in her own journey. She says it has been since she arrived at Rutgers. She called it being “CViv Tough”, making mention of the Hall of Fame Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer.

More than anything, Arella Guirantes will be embracing this next challenge in her career the only way she knows how.

And when the time comes those GMs and coaches might be scratching their own heads questioning how they could have possibly passed on her.

Diamond Johnson on transfer to North Carolina State: “Platform”

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Diamond Johnson
Rutgers guard Diamond Johnson will transfer to NC State (Photo: Martin Soaries / Basketball Society)

Rutgers freshman guard Diamond Johnson will transfer to North Carolina State, she announced via social media last week.

The first thing she responded to me by text was one word, “Platform.”

Johnson recently entered her name into the transfer portal after having one of the most impressive freshman campaigns in Rutgers history. She averaged 17 points and six rebounds per game, with a 40/50/90 shooting split.

Rutgers had one of the top-ranked recruiting classes this season, headlined by Johnson. They went into the Big Ten Tournament on a nine-game win streak but fell to Iowa and star freshman Caitlin Clark in the quarterfinal round.

Ranked as a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Scarlet Knights were then upset by 11-seed BYU in the first round.

Johnson finished as the team’s second-leading scorer behind senior Arella Guirantes. The WNBA Draft awaits Guirantes this week as a projected top-10 pick.

This may have confused Rutgers fans after learning of Johnson’s plans to transfer since the program would undoubtedly be hers to lead into the future.

Being the face of the program clearly wasn’t the sole priority for Diamond.

North Carolina State won the ACC this season and was a no. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They finished with a 22-3 overall record and lost to no. 4 seed Indiana in the Sweet 16.

Diamond Johnson can attract attention anywhere she goes. Basketball is the only platform she really needs.

But the women’s basketball platform is surging as we speak. NCAA Tournament ratings and engagement from last month speak to that.

Diamond now gives herself an instant chance at a Final Four appearance and contending for a national championship, both of which I’d expect from the Wolfpack next season.

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