Hannah Hidalgo reveals Stanford, Rutgers as college contenders

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Hannah Hidalgo

Hannah Hidalgo is almost ready to announce her top ten list of college prospects. The two-time South Jersey high school girls basketball Player of the Year holds offers from a long list of high major programs, including the likes of Stanford, Notre Dame, Maryland, and Arizona.

She’s coming off of a junior season where she averaged over 26 points per game.

In her recent appearance on The Basketball Society Podcast, Hidalgo revealed that Rutgers and Stanford will both appear on her list.

Hannah talked about the process of deciding what her priority will be when choosing a school. She could stay closer to home or branch out further away, and she could join a more established winning program as opposed to helping to build one up.

The two schools she chose to reveal represent those two spectrums. Stanford is the defending national champion making their second straight Final Four appearance this weekend. Rutgers hasn’t made it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 2009. One school is in Hannah’s home state while the other is on the other side of the country.

Hannah recalled one of the highlights of her recruiting process as speaking with Rutgers Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer. Another highlight she mentioned was talking to Arizona head coach Adia Barnes, who coached the Wildcats to their best postseason run in history last season, losing to Stanford in the national championship game. Arizona was led by one of Hannah’s favorite players, Aari McDonald.

The final decision for Hannah she says will likely be announced this summer after the July live period.

 

Brooklyn Nets Still Contending For NBA Championship

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Brooklyn Nets
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Brooklyn Nets Still Contending For NBA Championship 

With a roster that includes Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, the Brooklyn Nets are looking to make some noise with the NBA Playoffs near. 

But will they?

Heading into the other night’s game against the Utah Jazz, Brooklyn was eighth in the NBA’s Eastern Conference with a 37-34 record. 

While they are in play-in tournament territory, Brooklyn’s record doesn’t match their talent and ability and according to SportsBettingDime.com, despite currently sitting at eight in the NBA’s East, the Nets remain third in the odds at +600 to win the Championship.

Brooklyn’s dealt with COVID-19 protocols that have halted Irving from playing at home due to New York City’s ruling despite New York City’s removal of their public sector mask and vaccine mandate being removed on March 7. 

It’s believed that New York City mayor, Eric Adams could revisit this before the NBA Playoffs begin next month. 

While Irving can play on the road, the Nets also have another issue. They’re without Ben Simmons. Simmons has had a history of back injuries throughout his NBA career and was diagnosed with a nerve impingement in his lower back in February of 2020 as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.

While reporting via both Bally Sports Network and his Spotify Greenroom show, NBA Insider, Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson noted that Simmons and the Nets were in a ‘comfortable place.’

“It’s a matter of when the Nets and Simmons feel comfortable,” Scoop B said via his Scoop B Intel show at Bally. 

https://twitter.com/ScoopB/status/1504142691600375810

 

A former Senior Columnist at Basketball Society, Scoop B later clarified on Spotify by stating: 

Epidural shot was received by Ben Simmons “But a lot changed since.” 

 

That’s in line with Nets head coach Steve Nash who shared on Monday that he doesn’t know how an epidural shot works, but that Simmons is healing. “I do think if I’m not speaking out of terms, there was some relief,” he said. 

“I don’t know how much or if it was a total success or how long it takes for that to be called a success. It’s just one layer if I’m not mistaken, to relieve the symptoms as much as anything.”

While the Nets are figuring things right with their stars, it is worth noting that their role players are just as important as they are on their quest to win a championship this season.

Part of the deal that brought Simmons to Brooklyn by way of the 76ers, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond are two key cogs within Brooklyn’s system. 

So has Bruce Brown Jr., Cam Thomas, Goran Dragic, LaMarcus Aldridge, James Johnson III, David Duke, Kessler Edwards, Day’Ron Sharpe and Blake Griffin. 

The free agent acquisition of Patty Mills has also been refreshing. “I keep talking about the vibe around the locker room and everyone enjoying each other’s presence,” Mills said recently.

“You can feel it in the locker room and that’s gonna carry us a long way, I believe, if we can stay tight as a group.

“It’s gonna take all of us to get the job done. It’s a massive push for us coming up.”

Rashad Phillips Explains Why We’re Watching Luka Dončić’s Ceiling Now

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Luka Dončić

Basketball evaluator Rashad “Yoda” Phillips believes that we’re seeing the ceiling of Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić right now.

Phillips gave his analysis on Dončić to Chris Broussard years ago before his NBA career debuted. He called his feet, “slower than rush hour traffic”, and projected that Dončić would not be a lottery pick.

That doesn’t stop Phillips from giving Dončić his credit for how he’s performed in his first four seasons, averaging no less than 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists each year. Phillips compliments Dončić on The Basketball Society Podcast by saying that we’re seeing his ceiling right now.

The main reason being that Dončić has been playing professional basketball since he was a teenager.

“When Trae (Young) and Ja Morant and a lot of these guys were just playing AAU basketball, Luka was being paid to be a professional. So right now, even though Luka is young, he’s already a proven superstar. Luka’s been a superstar since he was 17 years old.”

Phillips, like many, now likens the Mavericks star’s game to the likes of LeBron James and James Harden, saying that he’s “an unguardable guy” who will be an NBA MVP one day. He adds that once he cleans up his efficiency and Dallas has the right pieces around him, he should be able to reach another level.

There’s still room for the 23-year-old star to improve. Dončić has yet to shoot 50 percent from the field or 80 percent from the free throw line in a season. He’s only shot 35 percent from three one time.

Dončić won Rookie of the Year and has been an All-Star in three of his first four seasons. He averaged 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists this past February and has the Mavericks in a solid playoff position without anything close to a super team assembled in Dallas. This season he’s averaging 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists per game.

Anthony Edwards gives you “Michael Jordan vibe” says Rashad Phillips

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Anthony Edwards
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Calling someone the next Michael Jordan is an enormous order for anyone in basketball, and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards has been inspiring the conversation.

The 20-year-old guard is averaging over 20 points per game this season in powerful fashion. His strength, confidence, and aerial prowess at such a young age has the 2020 no. 1 overall pick drawing comparisons to His Airness himself.

In his appearance on The Basketball Society Podcast, prospect specialist Rashad Phillips says Edwards is “cut from that shooting guard cloth” and it gives you “that Michael Jordan vibe.”

That’s like saying there’s only one Drake, right? But you may hear an artist and say he kind of has that Drake vibe. Doesn’t mean that he’s going to be Drake. But it’s the fact that he kind of carries a little bit of that aura that gives you some Drake thoughts.

Phillips, known to the basketball world as Yoda for his insight and foresight when it comes to evaluating prospects, has put together his own basketball Position Manual. The former University of Detroit-Mercy standout said watching players like LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and Stephen Curry led him to believe that we shouldn’t call untraditional basketball players traditional positions anymore.

Rashad Phillips

Even though Edwards lost out on Rookie of the Year to LaMelo Ball, he has MVP aspirations for the future.

Phillips received a call before the 2020 NBA Draft from a former NBA player who insisted that Edwards would become a superstar in the league.

After admittedly being on the fence, Phillips now claims that Edwards has only two more years before we start calling him a legitimate superstar.

Basketball Society founder Martin Soaries launches new podcast on YouTube

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This weekend Basketball Society founder Martin Soaries releases the first episode of The Basketball Society Podcast on YouTube, a new show that he announced and teased via his Instagram.

Soaries will host the podcast which will feature an array of basketball segments and commentary, including interviews with some of the most talented players, creatives, trainers, and influencers in the country. The podcast will connect people with compelling conversations and concepts in the game of basketball today. The first episode of the show airs on YouTube this Saturday at 10 AM EST, where Soaries introduces the podcast and tells the backstory of how Basketball Society started.

Basketball Society is an independent media and lifestyle brand that has grown and evolved organically since 2014. The platform has been credentialed for numerous venues, including the Big East Tournament, Big Ten Tournament, the BIG3, McDonald’s High School All-American Game, and more. Based in New Jersey, it has hosted community events such as the March Madness Tip-Off and the Spread Love Invitational Camp.

As the head of Basketball Society, Soaries has navigated a career in media and as a skills development trainer. He has worked with top players in the state of New Jersey over the years. In 2020, he collaborated on a new platform called Holistic Hooper. It was established to help players form healthy mindfulness habits and stretching routines. Soaries is a self-taught video producer and content creator.

New episodes of The Basketball Society Podcast can be expected weekly on YouTube.

Ben Simmons Trade Update: 76ers PG Options Include Warriors, Kings

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Ben Simmons

Will Ben Simmons leave the city of Philadelphia and take his talents elsewhere?

Recently, Bally Sport Network’s analyst Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson reported that the 76ers and the Golden State Warriors re-engaged in discussions to make a deal with Simmons happen.

https://twitter.com/ScoopB/status/1423030327749001224

KRON4 News’ Jason Dumas noted that the Aussie point guard has “cut off communication with basically everyone in the Sixers organization” and shared that Simmons’ agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports is mediating the situation.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey noted that Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey proposed a hefty offer for Simmons that included first-round picks, as well as Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman — which the Warriors found laughable.

Many have criticized Simmons’ ability to shoot the three-pointer efficiently.

Apparently he’s making changes.

Scoop B noted today that Simmons, the 76ers’ first-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft has been working out in LA with Clippers players Rajon Rondo and teammate Brandon Boston Jr.

https://twitter.com/ScoopB/status/1424816647655809026

Will the 76ers actually trade Simmons? Some experts and Vegas oddsmakers have noted teams like the Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings as trade suitors.

Betters in Pennsylvania are getting into the action in determining Simmons’ next spot.

Rightly so! Sports betting in Pennsylvania is legal and live at casinos, racetracks and satellite locations spread throughout the state.

Pennsylvania sports betting is where it’s at. According to a report from multiple outlets, the month of June saw the sports betting revenue jump 15% month-on-month to $42.5 million.

That’s a big deal!

Pennsylvania was one of the earliest states to embrace legal sports betting. Of the hundreds of online sportsbooks around the world we have reviewed, the legal options available in Pennsylvania are among the best.

The state was buzzing since last year when it set a then-record for $348.4 million in Jan. 2020 due to NFL and college football action according to Play Pennsylvania.

Worth noting: That uptick was powered by a healthy hold rate, with books holding 10.1% of all wagers for the month.

The mobile betting market first arrived via SugarHouse the last day of May in 2019 and has since grown to over a dozen operators competing for the interest of sports bettors in the Keystone State.

The state of Pennsylvania has seven teams from the ‘Big Four’ sports leagues, including two hockey teams, two football teams, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

BLOG: How do basketball and meditation connect?

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basketball meditation

The joy that Stephen Curry plays basketball with is the kind of joy you feel when practicing meditation.

In his book, Mindfulness For The Ultimate Athlete: Mastering the Balance Between Power and Peace, former NFL running back Prince Daniels Jr. writes,

“The zone you reach in advanced meditation is no different from the zone you aspire to as an athlete. The experience is essentially the same.”

Not only did this make perfect sense to me recently reading it about a year into my meditation practice, but I can confirm the statement based on my experiences meditating and playing basketball.

The energy of basketball can be a lot to handle as a player. So many things can cross your mind throughout the course of one game, and the game itself can translate to specific circumstances in life.

Whether we know it or not, most if not all players experience those microscopic moments where the game literally feels slowed down. They can be hard to identify but even harder to ignore. It could be when you’re anticipating a steal, or the space between the ball leaving your hand for a shot and it going in, knowing full well that it’s going in.

BLOG: What it means to be a holistic hooper

These sensations don’t exclusively happen in basketball or in sports. We also experience them in life. Those heightened senses of pure knowing and happiness. When everything seems as close to perfect as you could imagine.

Meditation brings me back to that feeling to actually spend time with it. To understand how to harness and summon it again when I’ll need it.

 

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A post shared by @holistic.hooper

I don’t think any sport creates more of a pressure to perform than basketball. You’re out in the open. There are no helmets or face coverings. You play offense and defense. It’s hard to hide. Every possession has the potential to be its own epic success (you score on someone) or traumatic failure (someone scores on you).

This makes moments very critical in basketball. Whether you’re playing 1-on-1 with a friend, a game at the park, or playing with your AAU team at a weekend tournament.

Basketball players at all levels experience unique personal stressors on and off the court. Those exact stressors can consume and convince you into believing you’re not capable in those moments.

Meditation can help, and we are uniquely equipped to use it as a resource.

The Unfair Game of the WNBA and Women’s Sports

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WNBA

Many of us hear about the pay inequality gap between men and women in the context of the workplace, typically in office settings. It should come as no surprise that the same gap exists in the world of women’s sports – but is it even greater in sports?

Running the numbers on overall salary cap – take a look at the New York Knicks sitting on a $109+ million budget vs the New York Liberty at barely over $1.3 million.

Yes, you read that right.

The entire New York Liberty is basically making the same as the NBA league minimum ($925,000). Overall, the WNBA players take home less than 23% of their NBA counterparts. Yet, 83% of sports are now offering the same amount of prize money for men and women.

2020 was a breakout year for many in the business of women’s sports.  Consider this:

  • Women made up 40% of sportspeople but received just 4% of sports media coverage
  • Viewership in the National Women’s Soccer League grew by nearly 300%
  • Only 0.4% of sponsorship dollars are going to women’s sports

So what can we do to change the game? More media coverage and advocacy is key. Last year out of the top 50 highest ranked players, only 1 woman was part of that elite club – Naomi Osaka.  Perhaps Naomi Osaka has used her relative status to set a precedent for us all by withdrawing from the media and taking a mental health break – which, let’s face it, we can all use after this year.

It’s obvious that women’s sports are in demand by the fans – do your part to support them. Check out more facts and stats in this visual below:

 

The Business of Women

Ben Simmons got robbed | The Atlantic Files Ep181

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Ben Simmons

Can we just take a moment to realize that the East has four of the most explosive and exciting players left in the post-season right now? The NBA Eastern Conference playoffs have been a roller coaster ride of sweeps, good games, offensive showcases, and even some defensive battles. That’s no different when it comes to the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets so far.

Before we get to the playoff updates, we have to take note that both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons ended up getting second place in the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards respectively. One due to missed games the other due to advanced statistics. Philly just gained an even bigger chip on their shoulder if it wasn’t enough to already be considered an Eastern underdog as the first seed.

Then we get to the playoffs and the Brooklyn Nets have been dominating throughout both of their series so far. This isn’t far from what everyone expected, but still pretty impressive nonetheless. Even though this podcast was recorded before the game started, we also have to point out that it was crazy that Game Three of this series ended at only 86-83. What is this, the ‘90s?!

Moving on to Philly. Game Two was more of what the Sixers have looked like all season. They controlled the tempo and the game right from the tip-off and Atlanta just could not fully catch up and take a lead. Then, all of a sudden, BAM, Shake Milton happens! His resurgence couldn’t have come at a better time and couldn’t be a better definition of ‘stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.’

We’re here for all the excitement and all the drama as the Nets try to win Game Four and the Sixers go to Atlanta and try to take back their home court advantage!

Listen to the full episode below!

Timestamps:

0:00 Intro

1:10 Milwaukee vs Brooklyn Series

1:45 Brooklyn Nets stats with Kevin Durant On/Off court

4:45 Brooklyn Nets stats with Kyrie Irving On/Off court

6:40 Brooklyn Nets stats with James Harden on/off court

10:50 Ben Simmons getting 2nd in Defensive Player of the Year to Rudy Gobert

16:05 Ben Simmons defensive Stats against Trae Young

19:00 Joel Embiid scoring stats and Sixers series vs Hawks

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Joel Embiid’s injury and impact | The Atlantic Files Ep180

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Joel Embiid
The impact of Joel Embiid and his injury | The Atlantic Files Ep180

We now move on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs! Joel Embiid has injury concerns, yet again, and the Brooklyn Nets have to take on the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Philadelphia 76ers played a great series against the Washington Wizards, but they move on from the series wounded and taking a huge hit. Joel Embiid has a small lateral tear in his meniscus and it could mean trouble for him and the team.

Trae Young kept on playing his new villain role and took over New York City. He gashed the New York Knicks and took the Hawks to a 4-1 series win that left the Knicks wondering what happened.

Finally, the Nets took out the battered and bruised Boston Celtics in five games. Their offense was high-powered, but the defense left a lot to be desired. Now, they have to take on the Milwaukee Bucks, who not only scored a ton on the Miami Heat but also shut them down defensively on top of it.

In the East, this second round is going to provide a lot of drama and two very good series depending on player health. Let’s all hope they both go seven so we get even more excitement!

Listen to the full episode below!

Timestamps:

2:10 – Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets series

3:45 – Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets series preview

9:30 – Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks series

16:05 – Philadelphia 76ers vs Washington Wizards series

17:15 – Philadelphia 76ers vs Atlanta Hawks series preview

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