Updated: Aug 29, 2019
After 3 successful seasons directing all the athletic development services for the Saint Ignatius Boys Varsity Basketball Team, this season Murray Athletic Development will also be working with the S.I. Girls Varsity Basketball squad. Girls Varsity Head Coach Mike Mulkerins saw the value of this training early on, taking the time to observe MAD's workouts with the S.I. Boys Varsity Team, and asking insightful questions of MAD Director John Murray and of the other MAD coaches. Coach Mulkerins also noticed the marked improvement of his players who had trained with Coach Ali Thomas, who is MAD's Director of Player Development. When Mulkerins questioned these particular players about their dramatic development, both girls raved about their training with Coach Thomas. Coach Mulkerins then consulted with S.I. Boys Varsity Coach Rob Marcaletti about the viability of procuring MAD training for his girls team.
For the past several seasons, Archbishop Mitty has dominated W.C.A.L. Girls Varsity Basketball. As the season approaches, the Monarchs are once again ranked nationally, and their roster boasts one of the nation's top ranked high school players. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Coach Mulkerins is redoubling his efforts to build his program and unseat S.I.'s San Jose rival. Due to Mulkerins athletic acumen and his determination, and also to the support and vision of his brother, S.I. Athletic Director John Mulkerins, now the S.I. Girls Varsity Basketball Team will also receive the benefit of this elite basketball training.
MAD's training system is designed for basketball specific athletic development. Its main objectives are to reduce injury risk and enhance athletic ability. It focuses on breathing, high performance psychology, and active health care. An important feature of MAD's system is the tracking of objective, measurable results. Each week progress reports document the players' training performance. This enables coaches to fine tune training regimens for each individual athlete, and it allows athletes and coaches to follow the progress of individual athletes as well the team's as a whole. For example, last year, under the guidance of the MAD coaches, S.I. Boys Varsity Basketball, as a team, gained over 2000 lbs. of strength. More importantly, while at the beginning of the season, whereas 4 players were out with injuries sustained during AAU summer play, after working hard under the direction of MAD Head Coach Eric Bringas, the team sustained no new injuries during league play and returned 3 of the 4 injured players.
MAD kicked off this year's basketball, preseason training with a skills assessment combine for the girls and boys varsity teams. Each year MAD assists Basic Athletic Measurement, BAM, in administering the testing at the NBA's pre-draft events, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, and Eurocamp. BAM, the company which pioneered this type of testing, has overseen the testing at all these events for the past 10 years. MAD coaches and staff provided each Wildcat player with the exact same skills assessment that players receive at these combines. Additionally, MAD administered an injury risk assessment to each boy and girl.
S.I.'s female varsity cagers seemed enthusiastic about their new training regimen, embracing the hard work, and eagerly seeking to increase their competitive edge. Hopefully they will all reap benefits similar to two of their future teammates, Soon Ja Elzy and Emily Jones. Both trained with MAD over the summer, and both players were trainee standouts raising their games to the next level. Soon Ja increased her vertical leap by 2 ½ inches. Nothing breeds success like success, and those types of training results can be infectious. Armed with their new training system and tremendous work ethics, Coach Mulkerins and the Lady Wildcats appear to be off to a great start.