Frequently Asked Questions:

1.) Q: When are practices?

A: Thursday evenings from 6:30pm-9:30pm in Rice area (1 minute from Rice University)

2.) Q: How many people make the team? Will you limit the number of teams formed if there's too many people?

A: Each team will have 3 starters 2 subs and 1 reserve (3 on 3 basketball). For 5 on 5 teams, there shall be a twelve (12) player roster with 4 reserves for a total of 16 maximum players. The more people that tryout the more teams we can form so it never hurts to bring friends to tryouts. Contrary to popular belief, NO ONE has ever not made the team because their friend made it. Typically, people that do not make the team lose the opportunity to be a part of the program because we don't have enough people of their same age and gender to form a team. Simply put, the more players you bring to tryouts with you (of same age & gender), the more likely you will be on making the team and a team being formed for your age group & gender.

3.) Q: How much does the program cost?

A: The total cost is $400.00 and this covers all team fees, uniform fees and hotel room & board at away games for players only (1 room for each team). Parents must cover their transportation/lodging costs and do carpooling to away games. Players are also required to raise at least $700 minimum (paid as monthly $100 dues) for the awards ceremony, bonus tournaments, and the nationals trip transportation and lodging costs.

4.) Q: How many tournaments are there?

A: At least 10 and a maximum of 21 to be completed in each season depending on each person's fundraising efforts and other factors.

5.) Q: How long does the season last?

A: From February until August or September

To Ask More Questions:

You can contact Coach Sean at sramey@alumni.rice.edu or 281-639-6333.

2009 World Champions Press Release:

August 14, 2009—Houston, Texas


Rice/UH Youth Basketball Team Ends Season with Two Teams Ranked #1 In the Nation

On the weekend of July 25-26th 2009, the Rice/UH Youth Basketball team, via Continental Airlines, sent three teams to compete in the 3 on 3 Hoop It Up World Championship basketball tournament located at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. Two out of the three teams left ranked #1 in the Nation. Rice Raptors (girls 12 yrs & under; division #33) and Rice Warriors (boys 16 & under; division 15) left with top seeds as shown on the website hoopitup.com. Rice Blue Storm, the boys 14 & under team of the program left ranked 7th in the Nation.

The Rice/UH Youth basketball team (Rice Youth Sports) is composed of 3-5 teams each year that compete in 3 on 3 tournaments in the Texas area. The program is unique in that it is the ONLY organized 3 on 3 youth basketball program in Houston, Texas. Players are taught hard work and discipline through basketball and have regular grade checks each season.

The program is coached by students and alumni from Rice University, University of Houston and other local schools. The program’s staff includes: Head Coach Sean Ramey (Rice Alumni and UH MBA Alumni), assistant coaches Dina Abdelsamad (Rice Alumni) and Margarita Gomez (San Jacinto College).

The success of the Rice/UH Youth Basketball team is unparalleled by any team in any sport. This is the 10th year Coach Ramey has been coaching basketball and in all 10 years his teams have won a championship in at least 1 tournament or more. Ramey played college football for Rice University and was elated with all of his basketball teams’ success this year. He commented, “I was so proud at how our girls team overcame playing against mainly boys teams to get to where they are today. Both of our boys teams put out a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make it to this point and I could not have been prouder of them too. Watching all of our teams play so well under so much pressure, was like watching my own sons and daughters develop into something spectacular over the course of only 6 months.”

The Rice/UH Youth basketball team hopes that the success from this season will not just give its players recognition but also lead to more awareness amongst Houstonian kids of the program and donations to allow for a larger expansion of the program for future seasons. Teams are formed based on the number and gender of those that show up to tryouts. Teams are formed from boys and girls ages 10-17 years and the program would like to expand to younger talent of 8 and 9 year old boys and girls next year.

Houston Chronicle Article:

Jan. 24, 2007, 10:40AM

Area players benefit from outreach efforts of Rice Youth Basketball


Chronicle Correspondent


Threes: A group of Rice and University students have started Rice Youth Basketball, a youth 3-on-3 basketball club.

Age groups: 12-16

National success: The 12-year-old Rice Blue Storm was ranked No. 5 in the nation at www.hoopitup.com last year.

For more information, call Sean Ramey at 281-639-6333 or e-mail sramey@alumni.rice.edu .

Seven years ago Sean Ramey's nephew Shyann told him he sure would like to play in the Hoop it Up 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Ramey thought it would be a great idea to put a team together and volunteered to coach his nephew's team, but the players were going to have to learn plays and do the whole drill like a real team.

Shyann got a couple of his friends together and played in the tournament, went undefeated and won the championship. The parents were telling Ramey that he should really consider coaching. From this small start a Rice University student club, Rice Youth Basketball, began with a focus on coaching youth basketball. University clubs normally revolve around student activities on campus; this club is unique in that students are reaching out into the community.

While working for his degree at Rice, Ramey happened to mention to one of his professors, Dr. Robin Sickles, about the coaching he did for his nephew and his friends.

"He asked what are you doing for the summer and I replied I was going to be coaching a little league basketball team," said Ramey. "He said Rice had money for programs like what I was doing. I applied for what they called an Envision Grant, got accepted, receiving $1,100 which was used to purchase uniforms and other things we needed. I put an ad in the Chronicle Recreation Calendar, sent out faxes to a couple of middle schools that I knew of, and it's just blown up ever since."

The 25-year-old Ramey's background includes playing football at Rice as a wide receiver. He graduated from Westfield High School in 2000, having played wide receiver and running back for the Mustangs. Now, Ramey is a Rice alumnus and working on his MBA at the University of Houston.

Three assistant coaches — Rohan Wagle, Dina Abdelsamad, and Chris Hellums — either Rice University students or Alumni, helped out last year with the coaching duties. Sickles, a professor of Economics and Statistics at Rice is the faculty sponsor for the club.

"Sean was a student of mine some years ago," said Sickles. "I had been the Rice University Athletic Committee Chairman working on the athletic and economic priorities at Rice several years ago. I recognized he had a very strong feeling of support for athletics in general. A basketball program would be an advantage and maybe something that some kids don't have access to through other means."

The number of teams is dependent on how many kids Ramey has on the waiting list.

"Last year I had four teams, a 12-year-old boys team, a 16-year-old boys team, a 14-15-year boys team, and a 14-15-year-old girls team. I put an ad in the paper and based on who responds is how I form teams. There is no age spread of more than two years on a team."

His 12-year-old team, the Rice Blue Storm, was ranked fifth in the nation last year on the Hoop it Up Web site, www.hoopitup.com. Assistant coaches Wagle, Abdelsamad and Hellums work with the different teams.

Hellums started assisting Ramey two years ago.

"We (Ramey and Hellums) had a class together, and after class one day we met at lunch time," said Hellums. "We started talking and he told me what he was doing. That sounded really interesting to me because I had played basketball in high school. I had really missed it. This was a very exciting opportunity for me."

Hellums graduated from Westwood High School in Austin. He spent most of his time last year working with kids, 15-16 years of age.

Most of the games are on the weekends. Wagle says getting out on weekends is a chance for a break from studies.

"It's nice to get outside, practices are usually outside, good weather, nice to come out and show these kids how to play basketball," he said.

The different teams practice on the Jones Courts on the north side of the Rice campus.

"The tournaments are fun because everyone is excited," said Wagle. "You can see the fire in the kids' eyes when they go to the tournaments, do their best, make Coach Sean proud, and make all the parents proud."

Abdelsamad said working with the different teams is a lot of fun.

"We actually sometimes scrimmage with them at practice. We get to show them we know a little basketball too," said Abdelsamad, who played high school basketball at W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi. When asked if the kids ever beat the coaches, a big smile and no comment was her response.

"They are pretty good," she said.

"We focus on developing skills," said Ramey. "I don't just take the best players. Sometimes I will take one or two players as reserves as a developmental player.

"We are the only program with a written and practical tryout," continued Ramey. "We have a written exam to test to see how they handle situational things. We ask what they consider team concept. It's designed to find out whether they are going to be a team player or a selfish person. We also have report card checks to make sure they are passing their classes. I do that about twice during the season."

"He and his assistant coaches' motivation is to get out into the community and provide leadership and help for kids that need it," said Sickles.

"It (club) is meant to be something more than what kids at Rice do among themselves exclusively."