Elevate Your Game

Basketball is Like a Cluster of Grapes

by Shawn Jones on Jul 1, 2024

I had the great pleasure to visit with Tyler Junior College (TX) Head Women’s Coach Trenia Tillis-Hoard recently. Coach T is a no nonsense, hard working coach who has earned everything she has achieved, and expects no less from her athletes.

She is no second-hand observer to the rewards of hard work. A State Champion high school standout, a Hall of Fame collegiate athlete, a NJCAA National Champion, and a highly decorated college coaching career speak volumes to the results of her hard work. In her philosophy there are no shortcuts. There is no room or time for flashy or fancy…. just fundamentals and hard work.  That’s how she wins.

On her approach to player skill development Coach T notes, “Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. I just focus on fundamentals. But we don’t just do one thing at a time. Take a cluster of grapes. You don’t eat just one grape. You take the cluster and eat several grapes. That’s the same as the game of basketball. You don’t just work on one skill at a time. You incorporate many skills in each drill because the game requires you to do many things at once. In any one drill I might be making them focus on how their feet are pointed, how their stance, what their hand placement is on the ball, where they are looking, how they step, what kind of pass they make… it all goes together like a cluster of grapes.”

That cluster of grapes has developed into a fine bottle of wine for Coach T in her career. Currently in her 25th season at TJC with high expectations, she also is in her second stint coaching with USA Basketball Junior Nationals this summer.  

Anyone who spends 5 minutes with Coach T experiences her incredible honesty and excitement for the game of basketball and young people. She will quickly admit that personal accolades do not drive her. “That National Championship trophy won’t be a hood ornament on my hearse… but the relationships I have enjoyed and the people I have helped succeed will last forever.”

All of us here at Ballogy wish Coach T and her TJC Apaches the very best of success next season as well as USA Basketball as they look to bring home gold again this summer! If you want to know how to bring your cluster of grapes together in an organized, accountable, and efficient manner for your athletes, check out and let us help you today!