A new group is entering the sports scene in southeastern Colorado focused on improving the hoops—basketball—programs and players in the area. It’s being called Southeast Colorado Organization of Players (SCOOP) and will focus on forming elite basketball teams with players from around the southeastern Colorado region who are interested in improving their game and competing with—and against—top players in the state—in order to be challenged and improve their game.
Eads boys’ basketball coaches Weston Meardon and Kyle Morlan are behind the formation of this new organization. They were both standout players in high school, Meardon from Walsh and Morlan from McClave, and went on to play basketball at the college level. They both have small children who themselves are getting into the game of basketball. “Our goal is to develop a bright future for basketball players who come out of southeastern Colorado.”
According to Morlan, “We know there is a lot of basketball talent in southeastern Colorado, but the players just don’t get much time to develop their game. We want to centralize our local talent, bring them together and develop them as players. Once we build that competitive foundation, our ultimate goal is to be able to play with the northeast Colorado players and especially the ever-growing private school players coming out of the front range.”
The idea would be to find young players who want to put in the time and who already have some good skills centered around dribbling, shooting, defense and general offensive sets. The teams, both girls and boys, would practice a couple of times per week in different centralized gyms, and then during a given season go to AAU tournaments along the front range in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver. Perhaps, as Meardon and Morlan have high aspirations, one or more of the teams might qualify for a tournament in Kansas City, or even Las Vegas.
Meardon said they got inspired over the summer to start forming elite teams down in southeastern Colorado when they went to Pueblo to watch Porter Spady, who is a senior this year in Eads, play on an elite AAU team. “Porter was good down here, but up there he had to pick up his game in order to compete. That experience has put him at a whole other level and he’s a different player than what he would have been if had played pick-up ball during the summer months. This higher level of basketball is what we are trying to get to for the many talented players in the area.”
One other goal SCOOP has considered is to provide the opportunity for the elite players in southeastern Colorado to be seen by college coaches. Morlan and Meardon refer to their own college recruiting experiences saying it is very hard to get a college coach to pay attention to a 1A player unless they have seen them play AAU ball against the best in the state—and even Rocky Mountain region. “We hope to provide opportunity for our southeastern Colorado players to be seen.”
Both coaches love the game of basketball and will strive to instill that same love into their players. They know they won’t be able to handle it all on their own but are willing to put the time in the gym for any kid who has the ability and wants to get better by being challenged by stiffer competition.
“We’re hoping to form teams for boys and girls in the 10U, 13U, 15U, and 17U divisions. Then, within the AAU structure, there is the bronze, silver, or gold divisions. The elementary and middle school season will begin tournaments in December. The high school players will play through the summer.”
Both Meardon and Morlan understand there is already Elite volleyball happening in southeastern Colorado and they believe it has helped to improve greatly the competitive play in that game. They are looking for true basketball players that love the game as much as they do. “We know they’re out there. We have our eyes on a number of talented kids that could develop into exceptional ballplayers.”
The first step is to contact either Meardon (719-529-2016) or Morlan (719-691-4535) if there is a player you know, girl or boy, who would benefit from playing on any of these age-division teams. They won’t know what teams they can form until they see who is interested.
In order to begin the process of developing SCOOP, Meardon and Morlan is starting with open tryouts where players of all ages, girls and boys, are welcome to show up and see if they have the skills required to play elite basketball.
Open Tryouts will be at the Haswell Community Building in Haswell, CO on October 1st.
Please register by contacting:
If your player can’t make one of those tryout dates, contact one of the coaches in order to make other arrangements. Players are not guaranteed a spot on the team as these are competitive teams; however, the coaches hope to see kids who love basketball at the tryouts.
Once they see how many players they have and what ages they encompass, then the real work will begin as teams will be formed and practices—for the elementary and middle school especially—will begin right away.
Morlan says, “We already know that the kids in southeastern Colorado are like dogs on defense. We hope that with developing the SCOOP these players will eventually be able to shine on the offensive side of the ball, as well.” n