North Dallas fielded a boys freshman basketball team last season for first time in quite a while. The boys, under coach Byron Boyd, went on to post a winning record.
But the boys’ success can be traced back to playing Select basketball during the summer, and the efforts of coaches Mickel Lampkin and Chris Harris. The boys teams are part of the Nemesis Worldwide basketball program.
Lampkin and the teams of 8th-graders and 9th-graders are playing Select basketball again this summer. Lampkin said the seventh- and eighth-graders play on the ninth-grade level and the ninth-graders play on the 10th-grade level. The teams compete in tournaments.
“The most important thing about summer ball is understanding situations,” Lampkin said during practice this week at Spence Middle School. “A lot of these kids don’t know game situations. You’re in as many games as you can play in summer. It gives you all different types of defenses, offenses, how to run fast breaks. … As many games as you play, that’s just more experience.”
Lampkin attributed the North Dallas freshman boys’ success to summer ball.
“They played well. It was because of the summer,” Lampkin said of the North Dallas freshman team. “ We do a lot of ball handling, we do a lot of film study, we show them all the mistakes they made.”
Besides basketball, the boys also have study time for SAT test because “if they don’t make it in basketball, at least they will be able to pass the SAT test,” Lampkin said.
“Our main thing is that it’s just not about basketball,” he said. “It’s teaching them everything about basketball, but you have to have the educational background. If you do get to college on an athletic level, then you have to pass the SAT. We have them set up for SAT training at least twice a month.”
Lampkin said most of his players are sophomores, and he’s not sure how many will make next season’s North Dallas varsity basketball team.
“If the squad stays together for junior varsity, they are going to be good,” Lampkin said. “A lot of them are familiar with each other. They run plays well. The only thing they need to focus on is being unselfish. When they become unselfish, then the team works. That’s what we talked about all summer long.”
The Nemesis basketball teams haven’t won any tournaments this summer, but Lampkin said they’ve played well.
“My two main rules in basketball are defense, first and foremost, and ball movement,” Lampkin said. “Without defense, you can’t get the ball back. Play good defense, you get the ball back. Make sure the ball is moving. Everybody has to be able to touch the ball, and score when it’s there. But when it’s not, be willing to give up the ball for somebody else to score.
“It all goes back to trying to get them consistently thinking on the level of sharing the ball and not worried about what’s happening as far as fouls, or not getting your calls, or just continue to play. If you learn how to continue to play, everything falls into place.”
When is comes to sports, especially basketball, Lampkin is trying to teach the boys to play under control.
“Boys are more emotional over sports than girls. They’re more emotionally attached to whatever sport they like,” he said. “They get passionate about it. Girls, not so much. Sports is like their bravado, their challenge and they don’t know how to balance the two. Just keep it under control. But if you can’t keep it under control, then you begin to lose and it shows. That’s why we do the film sessions.
“It’s a chain reaction of your choices. And it all works as far as life skills. When we have any kid make a mistake, the whole team makes a mistake. The punishment is fit for all. You got to be on point here and on point out of here. It does’t make sense to be on point here, and you’re not on point out of here. … I might yell a lot but I say don’t listen to the bark, listen to the words because you’re missing what I’m trying to tell you. And a lot of them start getting it and they get in line, and start making things better for themselves.”
For Lampkin, building camaraderie is part of building a program.
“After we end practice, we have a thing, where we go 1-2-3, and everybody says ‘team,’ and then we say 4-5-6 ‘family.’ That’s our motto,” he said. “And when we’re in a game, we get in a circle and everybody holds each other, and I’ll say, ‘We’re all we got,’ and everybody will say, ‘We’re all we need.’ We’re trying to give them that camaraderie, and they like it.”
Lampkin said the North Dallas community has lacked a summer basketball program and he’s trying to build a program.
“That’s one thing this community never really had,” he said. “Somebody to start something for these kids to keep them going in the summer. Without having somebody on their side, especially males, they’re not trying. It’s not just basketball, it’s about making sure they go to the next level. Not just high school. We don’t really train on the high school level, we train as if we’re trying to get them to college.”
Lampkin assists with North Dallas Coach Erik Grayson on girls varsity and ND Coach Jeremy Mason on the boys varsity during the season. He said summer ball is the best time to learn basketball skills.
“Any student that is going to North Dallas, we hope they come through the program if they’re going to play basketball,” he said. “That way when they get to high school, Coach Mason doesn’t have to teach them all the fundamentals because you have the whole summer to work on your fundamentals. Any kid going through Rusk or Spence, we want them to come through the program. That way, they can always have an easier transition going from middle school basketball to high school basketball.”
- Khaleb Belk, going into 10th grade, school: Hillcrest High
- Zivan Gonzalez, going into the 9th grade, school: Richardson High
- Nathaniel Chambers, going into the 10th grade, school: North Dallas High
- Latrone Turner, going into the 10th grade, school: Desoto High
- Cinqué Lampkin, going into the 10th grade, school: North Dallas High
- Terry Smith, going into the 10th grade, school: Undetermined
- Dionnta Adams, going into the 10th grade, school: North Dallas High
- Cedric Bryant, going into the 10th grade, school: North Dallas High
- Jorge Villalobos, going into the 10th grade, school: Newman Smith
- Chandler DeVeaux, going into the 10th grade, school: North Dallas High
- Jaymere Labbe, going into the 7th grade, school: JL Long Middle School
- Donovan Duncan, going into the 8th grade, school: Undetermined
- Marquez Frost, going into the 9th grade, school: North Dallas High
- Javhon Hanson, going into the 8th grade, school: Rusk Middle School
- Michael Coleman, going into the 8th grade, school: Life School Oak Cliff
- Joshua Jones, going into the 9th grade, school: North Dallas High
- Trenton Heard, going into the 9th grade, school: North Dallas High