Monday, October 26, 2009

New Birth Warriors Prepare for Upcoming Season

One true sign that basketball season is right around the corner can be found in south Columbus at New Birth Ministries and the annual tryout for the Warriors. Known for years as the Westside Dolphins, Scott Bradley's 6th grade basketball team will soon take the court as the New Birth Warriors for the 3rd year. For 23 years, Bradley coached a 6th grade travel team for the Westside Boys Club located a stones throw from downtown Columbus. After significant budget cuts forced the elimination of the basketball program, Bradley turned to Paster Moore and New Birth Christian Ministries for financial assistance and a new home.

With the assistance of DeRell Sills, a long time friend, youth coach and Athletic Director at the Church, Bradley is once again preparing for the upcoming season. As he has done for 25 years, Bradley will assemble a team of some of the top 5th & 6th graders in central Ohio. Because Bradley's teams have enjoyed so much success over the years, and have dominated the local competition, they will once again be barred from the local travel basketball league where they would face the most competition. "All we want to do is teach our kids fundamentals and prepare them for middle school, high school (basketball) and beyond," said Bradley. According to Bradley, "in the inner-city, few people teach fundamentals." You only have to watch a few minutes of one of Bradley's practices to understand why his teams are so feared. In addition to skills and drills, conditioning is a must for any player who wants to see the floor. Bradley's teams play smothering man-to-man defense, which often limits their opponent's ability to run their offense, and explains why so many COBBA coaches shy away from that type of pressure.

The Central Ohio Boys Basketball Association, known as COBBA, decided several years ago that Bradley's teams were just too dominate to participate in their league and/or their post-season tournament. COBBA teams attract the best kids from suburban communities such as Dublin, Gahanna, Hilliard, Upper Arlington, Pickerington, Westerville, New Albany, Bexley and others, and compete against one another in league and tournament play in an effort to prepare their kids for school basketball. According to Bradley, because many of the COBBA league coaches complained about being beaten so soundly by his teams, and threatened to pull out of the league, administrators refuse to allow Bradley's teams, made up mostly of kids from inner-city Columbus and some surrounding communities, to participate in their final tournament. When asked to justify their decision, COBBA officials cited the fact that Bradley's program was not "community based" and represented an "AAU" team.

Rather than giving up, and depriving his kids the opportunity for travel and to compete at the highest levels, Bradley will enter his team in up to six or seven elite tournaments between December and February. In addition to picking up a couple of games against the handfull of COBBA teams willing to play them, the Warriors will travel to the Dayton area for a couple of tournaments then return to Columbus for tournaments in Hilliard and at Capital University. Not only has the Warriors been exiled from the season-ending COBBA tournament, but tournament organizers in Pickerington have also decided that Bradley's kids are too talented for their tournament and refuse to allow them to participate in their Thanksgiving event.

For as many years as I can remember, the Westside Dolphins has been the home of some of the most talented kids central Ohio has had to offer. From what I saw at the tryout tonight, this year's Warriors squad will uphold the program's rich tradition. Kids like Jelani Rogers, a 4'9 PG from Westerville, Tyrell Carter, a 4'7 PG from Groveport, Jelen Tate, 5'6 WG Pickerington and DJ Tyree, a 5'0 PG from Galloway could be future stars if they continue to work hard and develop. The Warriors will hold one more day of tryouts on Wednesday from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. If you have some time this winter and you want to watch some great youth basketball and get an early peek at some of the next great players, make your way to south Columbus and catch a Warriors game; you will be glad you did! Stay tuned, as we will introduce the 2009/2010 Warrior team and the conclusion of tryouts.


  1. Dear Coach -

    Good article. Clearly a Central Ohio Dynasty. 6th grade Dublin has not lost in two years and won the DII USSSA National Tournament again this summer. Might be a game worth checking out in two weeks and again in January. Thanks.

    Dublin Hoops

  2. This sounds like the team to beat for the 6th grade division in Central Ohio. That's unfortunate about being banned from the COBBA league. We welcome the best teams around, win or lose, everybody gets better for the experience. I know you played Dublin "B" team yesterday, how did that work out? I'm sure the other Dublin boys will have their hands full when they come to visit your place in a week or so.
    Have a great season!!

    Rocks BB !

  3. Hello Dan and Mason,

    I've always enjoyed the battles with the Dublin Rocks. A well run organization with excellent coaches. Dating back to the Chris Quinn days we have had some pretty good battles when I coached the Westside Dolphins. I will be the first to say that we are not very good right now, but we are going to get better. I knoew you guy's are the big dog on the block in the 6th grade. We lost on a last second shot to the Irish Dan. It was a lesson learned by my kids, hopefully we will give you a good game when you come to our place on the 19th. Good Luck this season, see you soon.

    Coach Scott

  4. New Birth Warriors went 4 and 2 against all three of the Dublin teams. We lost the first 2 out of 6 games and then 4 wins in a roll. It was fun I wish we could do it again but like I said we will not be playing in the COBBA tournament. So Good Luck the rest of the way to the whole Dublin basketball program.

    Coach Scott

  5. Wow, this article is loaded with inaccuracies. COBBA is for school basketball. All teams are associated with their junior high schools. Columbus and "inner-city" players are welcome in COBBA, as long as, they play by the same rules as everyone else - the players must all attend the same school. The Warriors hold tryouts (as you said) and take the best kids from everywhere (Columbus, Galloway, Pickerington, Westerville, Groveport - like you said in paragraph five). It is an all-star AAU team and shouldn't be allowed in school ball competition. There are plenty of AAU and OYB tournaments to play in for competition. They are good, but in AAU ball -they are average.

    Tru Baller.

  6. Way to go LEGEND, read this article while at work. Glad to see you are making a difference in young lives. Good luck. Come to Jax Florida and visit me someday. Your friend always James Collier.