Previous – AAU Player of the Month

Youth Basketball Player of the Month

Tanner Deal

1. How old is Tanner? – Tanner is 11 years old and turns 12 in July.

2. How long has Tanner been with Mercadel? – Tanner has been coming to Mercadel’s Basketball Skills Academy for about a year and we have been playing exclusively for Mercadel’s 5th Grade Club team for almost 9 months.

3. What was Tanner’s basketball experience prior to Mercadel? – Tanner played 2 years of NJB Basketball in both Rancho Santa Margareta and Ladera Ranch (1st and 2nd grade). Tanner played for 2 years at another Club/AAU organization on their elite team for his respective grade (3rd and 4th grade/ 9U and 10U).

4. What brought you here?

Dissatisfaction with our previous Club/Organization. We were not seeing the level of development in the other Club/AAU organization we desired. There was little, if any, individual skill development or coaching. The organization was more focused on teaching set plays versus teaching the players how to play basketball. Also, winning was the goal, period. Skill development and player improvement was much further down the list.

5. How did you start with Mercadel?

We started in bringing Tanner and his little sister, Addison, to Mercadel’s Skill Academy. We actually started doing it while we were still playing with a different Club, and we would skip their clinics/practices to come to Mercadel’s. We noticed immediate and dramatic results. Tanner’s ball handling, confidence, and aggression improved right away. In fact, the coaches/players from the other organization would say “Wow Tanner is really improving and playing great”, yes all thanks for Mercadel Skills Academy. We made the decision in Aug 2014, after trying out and being offered positions on other Club teams, to join Mercadel Basketball officially and we are on the 5th Grade Elite team.

6. What sets Mercadel apart?

First and foremost, Coach Henry Mercadel and his staff are focused on individual basketball skill development. We have been in hundreds of Skill Academys now and Coach Henry is always personally involved and provided individual direction to individual players throughout. We really haven’t seen anything like that elsewhere. Secondly, Coach Henry and his staff understand the fundamentals (footwork, ball control, shooting technique) and employ different methods to train and develop. During Skills Academy & Practice all players are literally CONSTANTLY moving and using the basketball, there is no down time waiting. The playstyle and aggression level that Coach Henry and his staff train, teach, and use is greatly amplified compared to other Orange County Club teams.

You can make a mistake at Mercadel and keep playing. You can shoot the ball at Mercadel and keep playing. As long as you are playing hard, you will be playing.

We choose Mercadel Basketball as our Club team because we saw great development in Tanner, we saw a program and playstyle that would better prepared Tanner for High School and hopefully College, and we saw a Coach that could both raise a players confidence but also discipline them when needed.

7. How is Tanner doing now?

We continue to see marvelous improvement in Tanner. His overall strength has improved greatly (Skill Academies will make you stronger!). His quickness and aggressive are top notch now (Tanner is averaging over 5 steals a game). His ability to rebound, dribble the length of the court and create a scoring opportunity have all developed (He is averaging over 11 rebounds a game). His scoring and recognition have improved dramatically as well (He is averaging 12 points a game).

8. Would you recommend Mercadel Basketball?

Absolutely, to anyone that is focused on their child’s basketball development in the future and now. Coach Henry is the best.

Congratulations Tanner! You earned it!