Los Angeles Hawks along with The Full Force Basketball Academy operates year round offering clinics for boys and girls ages 7-17. All clinics are offered at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Players will be evaluated by our staff and placed at the appropriate level so that each aspiring athlete is able to achieve the highest level of personal success. All Clinics focus on the fundamentals and skills necessary to achieve success at any level. Our clinicians and staff are highly qualified professionals who bring their experience and expertise. Each member of our team is committed to teaching the fundamental skills of the game while making each training session both informative and enjoyable for all athletes in attendance.
“The Los Angeles Hawks is truly a family based and family first Program. Our mission is to help our young players develop the physical and mental skills necessary for success on and off the basketball court. With our “Books & Basketball” approach we stress the equal importance of academics and athletics. We want our young players to think of themselves, early on, as Student/Athletes. We are extremely fortunate to have many parents actively coaching our travel teams. Not only do the coaches we select have a great understanding of the game, they also have that unique perspective that only a parent can offer. Our families make the LA Hawks unique and special. Everyone is pulling for and supporting each other. We want to see all of our players achieve and succeed as a team. We want our players to embrace and appreciate our 5Ds (Dedication, Desire, Drive, Discipline, and Determination) during and well after their time with the LA Hawks.
Our Instructional Clinics Focus on the following:
Basketball IQ Development
Correct Shooting Technique
Basic and Advanced Ball Handling Drills
Offensive Attack Drills (off the dribble)
Defensive Drills and Technique
Passing Drills and Strategies
Position Related Footwork
We offer Basic Beginning Level development for players as well-Advanced Elite Level Skills Programs for our more experienced players.
About Michael Gayle
In the center of Sayerville, NJ was “the cage” your typical park with tennis courts and 6 basketball courts. That and Lincoln elementary school with two baskets in the back, was where Michael Gayle spent every free moment of his childhood. It’s all Michael did played ball from morning till night. He’d go home for a bit to eat and come right back and play.
In Michael’s own words:
We didn’t want to waste time we just wanted to play and watch other guys play. It was like our place.
I learned the game. As a little kid we watched the big guys play and then we became the big guys.”
I loved the game right away. I was too small for football and baseball was too boring for me. Basketball was nonstop, I loved that. And I was good at it.
I started playing competitively when I was 7 years old. It was a Saturday morning youth league for the little kids. Uncle Chubb was our coach. Most of the games were outside.
Uncle Chubb took the team to see the Knicks at Master Square Garden Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson, Willis Reed, Dick Barnett.
That was the main event that me Michael fall in love with basketball. I was a kid in this giant arena watching these giants play. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before and I wanted to be a part of it.
Junior High we started playing CYO basketball. I played with my friends from my parish. It was my neighborhood gang, the guys I’d grown up with. It was like AAU play is today. Except it was my community. My best friend, Tim Rhatican, was the star. I was his second.
We needed a coach, so I went to find Bill Mandy.
Bill Mandy was a legend in our town. As a high school star, he was doing things that no one else was doing yet. l was ten years old, when my Dad took me to a high school basketball to see Bill play. He was the talk of the town. At that game Bill collided with the wall and his knee shattered. It ended his short and glorious career. He went on a path of despair and alcohol. “
Michael, being a natural leader, found Bill in a bar and asked him to be their coach.
Bill became Michaels coach and would become the most influential coach as a player. He was a great coach for Michael’s team. A little wild and unconventional, he fueled Michael’s passion and taught him how to play the game. They played very fast pace game and Michael’s love for the game grew as he competed.
“As kids we were basketball junkies playing on the blacktop playing day in and day out.
We got our high school legend to coach us as 8th graders.”
As a young man Michael coached the CYO basketball team. He took them from freshman players to the CYO Statewide championship.
As Michaels musical career took off he and his sister, Davie, tired of the hustle and difficulty of moving musical gear around New York city for gigs decided to move to Los Angeles. The Gayles signed a publishing deal with Scotty Brothers.
Michael lived in the South Bay, playing clubs throughout LA with a 4-piece band with his sister, her husband and friend Ron. The gigs were drying up and his agent told him to hook up with a female keyboard player who could sing and play key bass.
He found Jennifer Russell, out of the union phone book, and they became the duo, Avalon.
Jennifer’s son, Andy, was playing with the YMCA and asked to play on a competitive team, the Falcons. The Falcons was a community basketball organization that was a feeder program for the Crescenta Valley High School basketball team.
Andy was placed on a team of undrafted players. The kids were not picked by any of the coaches during the draft. One of the Dad’s volunteered to coach them. He did not know basketball. They lost their first game 102 to 10. Jennifer remembered Michael talking about coaching in New Jersey and asked him to come and check out the team. He ended up coaching that young team of 10 years old.
This began 18 years of community service of coaching with the Falcons from 1990 – 2008.
The players that Michael coached loved him and the parents loved his old school approach of sticking with the fundamentals and treating their kids with respect, tough love and humor.
Once again the urge to play more and help to bring a higher standard of basketball to the community lead Michael to begin his own basketball club team.
In 2009 he formed Full Force Basketball AAU organization they very quickly changed their name of Los Angeles Hawks Basketball.
Starting with two 8th grade travel teams, LA Hawks has attracted the best coaches in the Glendale area, some of them former players for Michael. With a full house of 7 teams playing travel basketball, LA Hawks continues to be one of the premier club teams in the LA area. Highly respected and sought after, families come from miles away to be coached by Michael.
Basketball is family to Michael. Every family that comes to play in Los Angeles Hawks is immediately struck by his easy way and love for the players. If there are 80 players under his care, he knows each of their names and spends time giving them suggestions and encourages their game.
He is passionate about passing on the legacy of the game. The integrity of good basketball and the players that weave the stories give his life meaning and purpose.
Mentoring young boys to become conscious men through the vehicle of basketball gives him a lot of joy.
Passing on the stories. the family of basketball. It’s always been about community and excellent of the game for him.
Michael has mentored over a thousand boys in the Glendale area. Many of them have gone on to play High School basketball. And they love to come back and say ‘Hi’ and give ‘Coach’ a little of his own medicine. Many of Michael’s coaching phrases have become famous.
FULL FORCE / LA HAWKS ALUMNI 2011 – 2012
Michael Amerio – La Salle HS
Colin Caver – Crescenta Valley HS
Rene Derawanesian – Hoover HS
Emil Georgiev – Crescenta Valley HS
Ricardo Herrada – Burroughs HS
Cole Kenyon – St. Francis HS
Bostin Lakin – Crescenta Valley HS
Max Perez – Glendale HS
Chris Reik – Crescenta Valley HS
Dexter Ricks – Burroughs HS
Tyler Rix – La Salle HS
Max Takeda – Notre Dame HS
FULL FORCE / LA HAWKS ALUMNI 2010 – 2011
Leoni Aleksan – Verdugo Hills HS
Brody Bowers – Crescenta Valley HS
Kyle Currie – Crescenta Valley HS
Mikey Diaz – LA Lutheran, Concordia HS
Aidan Garrett – Loyola HS
Justin Jitpatima – La Salle HS
Riley Jones – Flintridge Prep
Thulani Kachingwe – Crescenta Valley HS
Brett Klein – Crescenta Valley HS
Joshua McKeever – Glendale Academy
Liana Minassian – Hillcrest Christian
John Park – Crescenta Valley HS
FULL FORCE ALUMNI 2009 – 2010
Tyler Adams – Yokohama International School – Japan
Matthew Amado – Glendale Community College
Eric Bae – USC
Jake Beck – ‘Ole Miss
Chris Bouchard – Glendale Community College
Jacob Brown – University of Miami
Nick Cabrera – Glendale Community College
Julian Chiara – Southern Oregon University
Gio De Guzman – UCSD
Nick Diaz – Glendale Community College
Jake Johnson – Paul VI HS Fairfax, Virginia
Ben Ortiz – Glendale Community College
Eric Patten – Crescenta Valley HS
Michael Payne – Crescenta Valley HS
Anthony Simeonov – UCSD
Ronald Shishido – CSUN
Bryan Wang – USC