Hoop Service Basketball: Testimonies

Players and Parents speak out!

Calvin,

 

Yesterday I went to a banquet in Topeka and one of the speakers told us to think of someone who influenced our lives and to tell them thank you.  I realized that I haven't ever formally said thank you for everything you have done for me.  Within the first year of playing with Hoop Service my basketball skills improved, my speed and strength improved (all of those sprints and burnouts at the end of practice paid off), and I gained confidence in myself on and off the court.  I learned never to give up and to work hard at everything I do. 

My goal when I started playing for Hoop Service was to get more playing time on my high school varsity basketball team.  I played some varsity minutes as a junior and as a senior I was a team captain and started varsity.  I never would have accomplished this goal without you!  I'm extremely proud to have played for you, and I have so many great memories.  I miss everything about Hoop Service; I even miss boot camp!  I was definitely in shape for school basketball season after boot camp in the fall, and for that I am also thankful. 

One more thing, thanks for taking me to my first KU basketball game.  I'll never forget it.  It just goes to show how much you care.

 

Thanks again for everything,

Laurissa Beckman a.k.a. SmileyJ

  

Calvin-
 
With boot camp over and playing my last tournament with you, its hitting me.  I'm done. I just want you to know how thankful i am to have had you as my coach as long as I did. You always pushed me to do the best that i could, you always had the answers, and you never gave up on me.  I don't know what i would of done with out you. I still remember my first practice with you in sixth grade and being really nervous. I have had many other coaches, but I give all of my thanks to you because no other coach I have had can compare to you. You would do anything for us, and you gave up a lot of time for us.  You do not get enough credit. You have done so much for me. So yes my days playing for you are done, but you are my coach and always will be. I will work to make you proud. This letter doesn't even explain how thankful I am for everything you have done for me.
 
I'll miss you.
 
Brianna

 

Coach,

I forgot to tell you that I am being recognized as a NAIA Champion of Character March 15.  This means I demonstrate respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship.  I'm not sure how many other people are getting this award, but I know I am.  Even though I'm a 4 year varsity lettermen, I have never received any other team award like MVP, best offense, best D, etc.  But at least I can say that I am a Champion of Character and a Kansas Honor Scholar. YAY!!!

Now, about college.  I think I will most likely play at Kansas City Kansas Community College. I attended a KCK basketball camp and the coaches said that they liked what they saw from me and they see a lot of potential.  Coach said she wants to help me with my aggressiveness and confidence. Other reasons why I like KCK is because it is close to home, the Mortuary Science program, and I have a KCKCC Presidential Scholarship.

I'm really excited about playing college basketball.  I just want another chance to prove that I am a good player.  I didn't score a lot of points but let me tell ya my defense has gotten so much better.  I figured if I'm not going to score, I might as well play good D.

So good luck with Hoop Service.  Man I wish I could still play with you this summer, but talk to you later. Bye Bye

Taryn Lane

Our Hoop Service experience has been extremely positive.  Calvin obviously has great knowledge and coaching ability.  He also cares about each player, and is willing to help those with different skill levels if a player will make the effort.
 
Morgan Matile, Hoop Service player
Gery and Lynne Matile, Hoop Service parents

 

Calvin, I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have had you as my coach.  There is no way I would have progressed in basketball the way that I did without you.  I know that you would have done anything to help me achieve what I wanted, and there's not many coaches who care about their players that much.  I loved the game as much as anyone could and I'm sure that a great deal of that is because of the experience you gave me.  Thank you for all the time and help you gave to me over the years.
 
Kelsey Slack
 

Calvin,
 
I want to add my voice to the parents and former players who have commented on your superb program.  I began coaching Lara in 5th grade and she played on my tournament team through the spring of her 9th grade season.   The one thing I couldn't instill in her was the confidence to score.   In her first practice with Hoop Service, the refrain which kept ringing from your deep vocal chords was, "The only shots you'll never make are the ones you don't take."  I was sold; it was exactly what she needed to hear.
 
During her senior year at Topeka High, she hit a late three point shot from the top of the key that beat Manhattan.  When a reporter asked why she, a post player, who rarely took shots beyond the arc, would attempt a trey in that situation, her reply was, "You'll never make the shots you don't take; my team needed me to step up and I did."  I was so proud of her at that moment and I was equally thankful she had heard you for two summers reminding her, "L.A., look to score."
 
Lara has just completed her freshman season at Macalester College in St. Paul, Mn.  She is there because another Coach Thompson, the Macalester coach, saw her profile in the 2005 Ms. Basketball coaches program and asked for a tape.   I sent her a tape from a high school game of Lara hitting the treys and short jumpers you gave her the confidence to attempt. 
 
Macalester is a Division III program that is on the verge of becoming excellent.  Lara started most of the season and averaged almost 30 minutes a game, and her offensive game continually improved over the course of the season.   She was able to play so much in part because of the tough competition she faced while playing for Hoop Service.    Thanks, again, Calvin.  
 
Brad Avery
     
 

Melanie Siscos - I am a 14 year old freshman and I play Junior Varsity (JV) Basketball at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. The only reason I can say this is because for the past year and a half I have strengthen my basketball skills and my mind through the hard work and coaching of my coach, Calvin Thompson. This is mainly due to his on and off the court support and motivational coaching. He has taught me to believe in myself, by believing in me.  At practices we work hard but also have fun which creates a positive yet serious atmosphere. I believe that Hoop Service has given me the confidence and skill that I need to progress further in my basketball career. I am excited for another great season of Hoop Service basketball.

Coach, both Mike and I want to express our thanks to you for coaching Anders.  We wish we could have found you a couple of years ago. We are so impressed with how you interact with the team. This year, with your coaching, Anders is flourishing. He is confident and aggressive, and loving the game again! You have given him encouragement, support and excellent coaching - what a difference it has made.

We pray that God continues to bless you. He has truly given you a beautiful gift- coaching and molding young kids to love the game of basketball!

Mike and Helene Nelson, 7th grade parents.

 

We were fortunate our daughter had the opportunity to play ball with Hoop
Service throughout her high school years.  She always loved basketball and
began playing AAU ball for the "Dream Team" back in fourth grade.  Near the
end of the seventh grade season, her coach, Sam Ward, told her she would
never be good enough to play high school basketball.  Instead of quitting
basketball and concentrating on soccer, Kelsey decided to quit Sam.

The following year, you started the Hoop Service program, with Kelsey in
your first group.  That fall she started high school and was the only
freshman to make the varsity on a high school team that went to the state
tournament.  She was a starter by her sophomore year. Most of the credit
goes to Kelsey for her work ethic, but all of the rest of the credit goes to
you.  I am not sure she would have stayed with the game long enough to
experience high school basketball without the Hoop Service program.  Thanks
for caring about her.


Thomas H. Slack


Calvin,

I want to take a minute to express my thoughts about Cori being part of your AAU team (Hoop Service).

I believe, during her tenure with you, she has learned more about the game than with any other Coach. As you know, she played with two AAU teams including the Dayton Lady Hoop Stars and the Kansas City Belles prior to joining your organization. It seemed all the Belles were only interested in was winning. Although winning is the main objective of the game, you taught the girls many other things that are important in their young lives. Such as sportsmanship, relationships with team members, how to deal with situations that were not so pleasant, and I could go on and on. Cori is a much better person today having the knowledge of which she learned from you. She understands that competition is not only on the court but also in life. I taught her these virtues and I was happy to see that you reinforced them on a regular basis.

Today, Cori is a freshman at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  She is not playing at this time however, when we attend the games, I can see that she misses the game and she talks about getting playing again. We’ll see. We watch KU play on the weekends and she sees some of the plays of which you ran as well.

I also would like to say that it was as much fun for me as a parent. We had many great times on the road. I have many memories I will never forget. I feel the parents I met, and got to know, will always be my friends.

From Cori and myself Calvin, thank you! I feel the expense was well worth every penny!

Scott S. Davis


Morgan and I want you to know how pleased we are with the Hoop Service program.  Logan didn’t have a positive experience on his previous team the last few years and had lost his confidence on the basketball court.  On your team, we have seen not only his skills improve but also an increase in his basketball self-esteem; even after a game when he doesn’t play particularly well, because Logan knows he can continue to improve through practice and effort and you won’t give up on him.  We attribute the change in Logan’s attitude about basketball to the coaching and team environment you and Pat provide each week and we are very thankful Logan is part of your program.


Lori and Morgan Rose


Calvin,
In a couple of weeks Taylor will complete her first year of college basketball at McPherson College.  This would not have been possible without you and Hoop Service.  Taylor was never given a chance to succeed in high school, and after four years of playing in high school and working year round she was not even given the chance to start on Senior Night.  Without you as a friend and Hoop Service she would have quit playing basketball and missed out on the experience of playing college sports.  At the end of each High School basketball season her confidence was shattered; we both know that is difficult to achieve with Taylor, as that is one thing she, even as a small child, she was usually never lacking.  You would talk her through the school season and she would arrive at your practice ready to finally get an opportunity to play.  You had her believing in herself and playing without fear in no time.  I think we both agree that you were as hard on Taylor as any player you have coached but she knew that you truly cared about her and she would do anything to make you proud of her.  You have taught her more about basketball than anyone she has ever played for or will play for in the future and more than that you taught her to never give up and to her credit she didn’t.  I can’t begin to thank you for all that you have done for Taylor.  Without you taking her to the many tournaments and show casing her talents she would not have received all of the letters from colleges and your help in selecting a college was very valuable.  

The last several months of watching Taylor play at McPherson have made me very proud of her for all the hard work and never allowing anyone to push her out of the game she really loves.  I feel that her success is your success.  I have made life long friends traveling with the Hoop Service family and watching our daughters play basketball but I would have never guessed all those years ago how good of friends we would become.   There are many choices for kids to play basketball but I do not think any of them offer your level of coaching or caring about the kids.  Calvin you have made a difference and deserve great success.

Thanks for everything you have done for Taylor.


Don Plowman
Plowman Construction Company, Inc
905 East Park Street
Olathe, KS 66061
913-829-1200


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Calvin, and your Hoop Service organization for the many positive things Taylor has brought away with her.  The one that comes to mind first is perseverence.  She was coached and taught by you to never give up on yourself when striving for something you really want.  I think you are aware of how badly Taylor wished to go on to play basketball in college.  As you also know, her high school experience was a major disappointment--she knows how hard she worked and deserved much better treatment at the high school level.  Many coaches will never measure up to what you have accomplished as a coach and a respected leader to your players.  Other attributes instilled in Taylor are respect, compassion, dedication, confidence, and selflessness just to name a few. Although as a parent , I like to think I played a role in teaching Taylor these virtues; you can be proud that you were  there to reinforce and remind your players how important these things are. In addition, these qualities are not just keys to success in basketball but in all aspects of life - I believe it helped Taylor turn herself around as far as her school work was concerned.  Her last two years of high school, from an academic standpoint, were her most successful.  As you know, Taylor did achieve her dream of playing college basketball and you , my friend, are responsible for much, if not most, of her success. Without you it would not have been possible. You are a true positive role model to these young people and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
 
Jeanne Plowman


Calvin, I want to thank you for always believing in me.  From the very beginning you have been my number one fan (other than my parents, of course)!  I learned more about the game and life that I ever could have imagined.  Hoop Service opened my eyes to so many new experiences and taught me that no matter what, "never, ever give up!" My high school career (as you well know) was frustrating at best and in general  a huge letdown.  No matter how hard I worked I never got my chance; but playing for you was so very different and positive.  Without you and your encouragement I believe I might have just quit and given up my dream of playing college basketball.  If not for Hoop Service I am not sure where I would be today.  But, look at me now---I am at McPherson College playing basketball and loving every minute of it!  I have you to thank for a lot of my success.  Hoop Service has much to do with the person I have become today.  Calvin, you are one of the most caring people I know and I hope everyone who plays for you  feels as fortunate to be working with you as I do. Thanks for the memories Coach!

Taylor Plowman

Dear Calvin,

On behalf of the Patterson family, I would like to thank you for our years at HOOP Service. Amanda would not have continued to play basketball as long as she did if we had not found your program. She had just come out of a rec league where her instruction had been minimal, and in 7th grade her team disbanded. We had a very difficult time finding a new team for her at that point, and she had a bad experience with "try outs". The summer between 7th and 8th grade was a turning point for her, and even though the "White Team" struggled for a time, she really enjoyed every moment. We are so grateful that you gave her the opportunity to develop as an athlete and to truly learn the game of basketball. Her time under your instruction, guidance and encouragement not only helped her improve her game but has given her life-long skills that she uses in handling situations outside of the basketball court. Last spring, Amanda took her training to Mexico City, where she helped put on a basketball camp as part of a week-long mission trip through our church. In Spanish, Amanda taught the 5-man weave to a group of grade-school boys. It was the highlight of her experience.

Amanda is no longer able to play competitively due to a back injury, but she continues to play for enjoyment as often as possible - usually with the guys, because the girls cannot keep up with her.  She will always fondly remember "Coach Calvin" and all of the great times we had as a group of girls and parents.

Thanks again,
Kelley Patterson