Testimonials

Coach – Hope you are finding some warmth this cold time of the year, especially with March Madness heating up! I just wanted to touch base with you after I recently got the opportunity to watch my little brother play basketball in the state AAU tournament that was hosted at the Attack facilities. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch you as I assume you were very busy. However I was overjoyed to see the new facility, for it was the first time I was in Ames since it had been put up. (And wow does it look fantastic!) In between games I spent my time walking around reading the boards and looking at the pictures. My little brother quickly pointed out my name on the board next to all the great players who have been apart of such a neat tradition. I particularly liked the boards in the entrance that focused on various aspects beyond basketball, such as the Kingdom of God and his mercy and grace. Such a powerful story about taking advantage of all time that God has blessed us with because we never know when he will call us home.

While in the new facility watching young kids get so excited about playing in their version of “the state tournament”, I thought of the one short summer I played for you and realized how much I grew not only as a basketball player, but also as an individual. I don’t know if you know this but choosing to join Attack to learn and grow from you that one summer, in more than just a basketball sense, was one of the best decisions I have made. You used the sport of basketball to teach us valuable lessons about life and ourselves. I believe that is why God created basketball. Because in the end, life is more about glorifying God in all that we do (and I think that is exactly what the posters new gym exemplify). While in the gym with my family cheering on my little brother all the good memories of traveling from state to state with my parents, the hours of hard work put in and competing with girls who have turned into lifelong friends came rushing back and I just wanted to tell you thank you. Thank you for your positive impact on my life and thank you, Dickson, for being such a blessing to all the past, present, and future players impacted by the Attack program. If there is any thing that I can do to help further your mission/foundation or assist in any way never hesitate to contact me.  I would love to help out in any way possible!

– Ana Scmitt (AIA class of 2014 in an email to Dickson)

 

Thank you for allowing me to be part of the Attack.  Not everyone is offered such a great basketball program.  Throughout the summer I have learned to be a leader with my team through ups and downs.  I have learned so much on and off the court and will take what I have learned with Attack to my high school.

– Xary Nunez-Hiraldo (AIA class of 2016)

 

First of all, I would just like to thank you for everything you do for young, dedicated athletes. You have a way of transforming average athletes (basketball players) into outstanding, hardworking, coachable, players. You have made All Iowa Attack into an incredible program which you already know, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to play for all the coaches including yourself. I have met some amazing friends through your program, and have been able to compete at a high level to better myself.

Growing up, basketball has always been my passion; I was not “gifted” with incredible height, speed, or talent. But I was gifted with heart, and a mind full of dedication to go after what I want, and succeed at it. With that being said, I have put tremendous time and effort into the game to improve. I have bounced around from team to team to try to find the best fit. I would typically get my confidence taken away seeing players similar to myself succeed wondering why I haven’t. But that also gave me motivation to work that much harder.

I would just like to say thank you for the opportunities you have gave me through AIA, I have been able to travel the mid-west and east coast, meet new players, and watch my friends reach the same dream as myself. Some kids only wish to have done half of what I have through your program. AIA has done nothing but prepare me for what the future holds. I hope one day I can have the opportunity to mentor young athletes as you have done for me.

– Taylor Hickey (AIA class of 2015) in an email addressed to Dickson Jensen

 

2 years ago I was given the opportunity to join the Attack program.  Today, I am a better person, player and student.  Your passion as a coach, relentless pursuit to make us all better and the time and resources you give the program have allowed me to meet some great coaches such as yourself, Lyndsey, Ken, Randy, etc.  To play a sport I love in many places, and making lasting friendships with teammates.  You are a great role model and I always look forward to the messages you give so I can continue to grow as a person and player.

– Brooke Denton (AIA class of 2014)

 

I want to say thank you for all your words of wisdom last night and every night.  I appreciate the fact that the Attack is a program that works to install values, in addition to basketball, into their players.  As parents, we can preach at home about accountability, the real world, etc but having someone they look up to reinforce that is wonderful and GREATLY appreciated.  I want you coaches to know how much we greatly appreciate the life lessons that you incorporate into your practices as the girls truly do listen and apply them.  Being accountable for your actions, what you put into your body, what you are doing with your free time, what you are doing to better yourself as a person and player, how you are perceived by your coaches, teachers, teammates, etc.  These are all priceless lessons.  Thank you!!

– Joni Griglione (AIA Mother)

 

In an email written to Dickson:  My wife and I have given much time, effort and treasure over the years to projects and endeavors in our community.  We have learned over time that many people think this kind of stuff “just happens”.  Well….it doesn’t. Somewhere along the line folks like you, Ken and many others had the grit and determination to say “I can do that” “why not us?” or “we can do better”.  I do know you are like me and don’t want the limelight, but it is nice to get a rare “thank you”.  I hope you and your staff have received many over the years, as you deserved them many times over.  But in the oft chance that you haven’t, I want to simply express my gratitude and admiration for what you are doing for so many young people.

– John Espenmiller (AIA Grandparent)

 

In a letter written to Coach Jensen after the final game of her career:  It seems like just yesterday I was playing for Attack and learning and growing into the leader I am today.  If I can impact as many individuals as your family and program has, I’ll consider my life successful.

– Madi Agey (AIA class of 2014)

 

In a personal letter after finishing her AIA Career:  I remember the fallout we had at the very first tournament you coached me and we both thought I was going to quite.  I’m so glad I didn’t.  I’ve been transformed as a player and as a person because of the opportunities that you have given me throughout these past years.  I’ve also gained a group of lifelong friends.  It’s such a reward to have the opportunity to play at a school like Oklahoma, but that means nothing without the bag of memories and experiences it took to get there.  I want you to know that I will always be grateful for what you and AIA has done for me.

– Shaya Kellogg (AIA class of 2013)

 

In a thank you letter written to Coach Jensen after graduating from High School:  Thank you for all that you have done for me over the last 8 years with Attack.  You’ve helped me grow as both a person and a player and have given me memories that I will have the rest of my life.

– Nate Munn (AIA class of 2014)

 

In a personal letter written to Coach Jensen after her last game with AIA:  I want to thank you for always pushing me to be better.  When I thought I reached my limit, you said try harder.  AIA has always been there for me, has always been real with me, and I appreciate everything that I have learned.  You’ve given great advice about being great at basketball, but also as being a great person.

– Haley Lorenzen (AIA class of 2014)

 

In a personal letter to Coach Jensen after accepting a Head Coaching position at the college level:  Words can not even express how grateful I am for the opportunity to have been apart of the Attack.  I was this close to staying put because I truly enjoy it so much.  You gave me a chance without even knowing me and I will be forever grateful for that.  I love what AIA does, the kids are ready for the next level of life and I will always have a place in my program for kids like AIA has.

– Angie Kristensen (AIA coach 2012-2013)

 

In a personal letter to Coach Jensen upon graduation:  I can not even begin to express how thankful I am to have played in the Attack program.  You’ve provided me with opportunities I’d never dreamed of.  Along with that, you’ve helped me reach my goal of playing Div I basketball. Thank you for all that you’ve taught me on and off the court over the past 7 years.  AIA is truly an environment to make memories that will last a lifetime!

– Myah Mellman (AIA class of 2014)

 

Kiaeem playing for Attack has been a big honor for him. He enjoys it and I have watched him grow into a good player and a better person because of Attack. Your program is great and he enjoys his teammates and coaches very much. I have watched him go from being shy and lazy to confident and determined in not only basketball but in school.

– Taletha Mosley (mother of Kiaeem Mosley, current 7th grade boy)

 

Dylan was able to achieve all 3 of his goals this past season and we give credit to a challenging tournament schedule and ultimately to the coaching he received from Coach Terrones and Coach Olson.  These 2 gentlemen diligently coached their players during practices AND games.  They were constantly teaching and guiding.   My husband and I noticed tremendous improvement in Dylan’s skills from April to July.  We are excited to come back next season!

– Jolene Rude (mother of Dylan Rude, current 10th grade boy)

 

Darryl and I appreciate all your efforts on behalf of these kids. Your passion and enthusiasm for them to succeed is true gift. I am sure you get very worn out! Thank you for all you do in this community and for being so committed to our young people!

– Annette Koudelka (mother of Lexy Koudleka, current 8th grade girl)

 

I just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity you have provided for me over the past seven years. It was a long haul full of ups and downs. It wasn’t always fun, but the good times most definitely surpass the bad. I am so glad that I stuck with it through all these years, and truly believe it has helped shape me into the person I am today. I have learned the value of hard work and determination, and also grown some thick skin. I learned how, when someone is yelling at you, to take the constructive advice and brush off the harsh words. I have made some of the best friends I will ever have, and could ever hope to have. Thanks again for the opportunities you gave me, and whether I continue to play basketball or not, it has been an experience I will never forget!

– Natalie Vance (class of 2014)

 

Just wanted to let you know that we really appreciate all that you all did to help Ryan improve as a basketball player and as a person this year. She learned a lot and that was the goal. I know how much time and energy you all put into the Attack program and that as parents we don’t always let you know how much we appreciate it.  We feel blessed that the Attack program is located five minutes from our house and that Ryan can take advantage of the first-class facilities and have access to wonderful coaches. Thanks again for a great year!

– Sue Weiss (mother of Ryan, current 9th grade girl)

 

Dickson –

I just wanted to compliment you on what an absolute phenomenal program that you have!!!! Yes, the competition at times isn’t what you would probably prefer but we see it as a testament to you and your staff.

We have received numerous comments from the other teams and their families about how wonderful these girls are, great passing, ball movement, etc etc. Many questions on the program, where its located, how its ran, etc etc. Just wanted you to know and share our thanks for allowing Jasmine and our family to be a part of this.

Thank you,

Angie Spann

 

Coach Dickson –

I cannot say thank you enough for all that you have done for me.    When I joined Attack in 6th grade I was beyond shy, (I’m sure you caught onto that right away) but the families and girls already on the team welcomed me with open arms.  I never felt like an outsider.  The experiences we went through together; the tournaments, the 3-a-day practices separated by sleepovers at your house, and the countless 17‘s created a bond between us that no one else can fully understand.  But I am most thankful for all the things you taught me.  Not only can I handle getting yelled at because of you, but I learned how to persevere through adversity and pain, work with others to accomplish goals, and most of all, the game of basketball.  I had no idea that at age 13 I was learning some qualities that would translate to whatever the future may hold for me.

I am so proud to say that I played for you and All Iowa Attack.  The reputation you have built with the program is incredible.  It’s pretty unbelievable to watch games in the NCAA tournament and say that I was once on the court with those girls.  It gives me goosebumps to think that so many of us, from small towns in Iowa, were given the opportunity to attend some of the best colleges in not only the country but the world.  There is not a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for you.

– Lizzy Stachon (class of 2010)

 

Hi Coach Jensen! I was just wondering if there was any summer training going on at the AIA gym this summer? I quit basketball here at Wartburg because I thought I didn’t love it anymore and that college basketball wasn’t for me. After I quit, I noticed I was giving up on more and more things. The first being school. I came to Wartburg because I have always wanted to be a pediatric oncologist. Wartburg has a 98% placement rate into medical school, and awesome basketball coaches. I knew it was the place for me. I failed two classes, got a D, and a C my first semester. After that, I noticed I began losing friends. I was put on academic probation and only took three classes for my second semester. My mom has always told me “thoughts become things”. She told me when I quit that if I was thinking lowly about myself in the game of basketball, it would transfer over to my life off the court. Sure enough, it did. My second semester did go better. I got an A and two Cs. My mom was not angry, but she still wasn’t happy because she knew I was an A student. Second semester I tried to form a new habit. Whenever I was stressed or tired, instead of going to bed, I’d go to the gym. I also started going to a church in Cedar Falls with my new roommate. It hit me one day at church that I was really FINDING my faith, not only at church, but on that basketball floor. I’ve got to say, Solon did not have a great coach, in fact they just got a new one this year. When I look back on high school, I am most thankful for my mom getting us involved in All Iowa Attack. Ashley Holubar and I are still friends, and we actually want to go back to Orlando this summer because we had such a blast during our last tournament of our last summer with Attack. Second semester I also started changing the accounts I was following on Twitter. I stopped following anyone who tweeted negatively, and started following people who I knew were positive. Ironically enough, I began following All Iowa Attack alums that I had always looked up to. ALL of their tweets were positive, and I notice and most of them were religious too. And of course, a lot of them were about the game of basketball.

– Kate Anderson (class of 2011)

 

I’ve grown so much from this program. For me, All Iowa Attack epitomizes what AAU basketball should be – Increasing my knowledge in the game of basketball and developing lifelong skills that I will use long after I take off my basketball shoes. During practices words like ‘work hard’, ‘focus’, and ‘selflessness’ were used a lot last year, but with good reason. All of this is done in such a positive environment. I feel as though Dickson’s gym is my sanctuary…

– Harrison Barnes #43 – as an 8th grader

 

Dean and I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for our girls, not to mention providing us with an opportunity to spend time with our girls and other wonderful people. We are so sad to see it come to an end with Abbey. It just seems like yesterday when Abbey and Lexi first started. They have grown so much personally and in basketball through All Iowa Attack and our family has built friendships that will last a lifetime so thank you again!

– Dean and Sara Albrecht

 

McKenzie made a great choice in the spring in choosing Attack, although at the time it was a difficult decision. You have put together a premier basketball organization and we feel fortunate to have experienced that first hand this year. The emphasis on player development, tough competition, exposure, teamwork attitude and fun are all first class. Thank you again for a great sping/summer and for allowing us to be a part of the Attack program. We look forward to next year.

-Kaki Piper

 

You probably heard that Coach Justin had THE best pep talk I have ever heard and everyone in the stands agreed. It was a life lesson that I hope no one forgets. Passion is the fuel for success in whatever we do. Thanks Dickson for a great summer of basketball. My only regret is we didn’t start 3 years earlier!

– Kelly Hutson

 

I want to thank you for your dedication to the kids who came to play for you this year. Alex (9th) had a great experience, met some fantastic kids, and learned a lot. I wish we could commute from St. Louis to continue participating, but I think the drive would wear me down!!
Seriously, we will be looking for possible clubs in the St. Louis area and the standard will be the one you have set with your organization. Hopefully we’ll at least come close.
Good luck to you on you new step forward with All Iowa Attack. We’ll be cheering for your teams anytime we run across them in our travels.

-Dana Fortmann

 

My treasure is something that is very important to me. My treasure is something that is always there when I need it. My treasure and I have been through a lot together. My treasure is very unique. The thing I treasure is my basketball teammates. My basketball teammates and I have a very special bond. I have played with four of them for over two and one-half years. The nine of us have faced difficult situations and been able to perform under the pressure. We love each other. We always support each other. If feels like we are inseparable even though we live in different towns and go to different schools. We travel together and are around each other almost all summer. We suffer together and succeed together. We always stick up for each other.  I realize that there will come a day when my teammates and I go our separate ways. I hope that day doesn’t come for awhile. I am grateful for everyday I get to spend with them. My teammates have become as close as sisters. My treasure is definitely my basketball teammates.

-Maddie Oliver – as a 7th grader

 

I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank the Attack coaches for everything they have done for Paige over this past Attack basketball season. You have succeeded in making her feel more confident in herself, her shot, and her game.  I will never forget being at East and watching her sitting between Dickson and Ken after fouling out of the game. Ken had his arm around her neck and you were talking with her and all three of you were laughing. What a sight! I wish I had a picture. She has never had someone make her feel like those two did that day. In her own words, “I just feel like they all care about me — it’s just so different from what I’m used to.” I have to agree with those words and I also believe you all do care about her – you make her feel good (that is, unless she’s giving less than 100%!!)  I just want to say thank you for making a difference in my daughter’s life — a HUGE difference that means so much to us. It isn’t often that a child is given the opportunity to spend time with people such as yourselves — thank you!

-Peggy Ochylski

 

Thank you so much for everything you have done for us and the program this year. We feel very privileged and grateful to be a part of the Attack family. We have learned many lessons from you over the years about basketball and life that continue to make us better people every day. Thank you for challenging us on and off the court and providing teaching and guidance. You are such a great person whom we hold so much respect for. We are excited to see what the future holds for the Attack program…

-Payton and Myah Mellman

 

We enjoyed this past spring/summer being part of the Attack family so much. Our team was one of the best group of kids and parents I have ever been around. And I have coached in the Des Moines area for the past 20+ years. All the girls on this team genuinely cared for each other. For whatever shortcomings they had on the court, they represented themselves and the Attack organization with dignity and class off the court. The same could be said for the parents. We all got along and enjoyed each other’s company. This is a group of girls to be proud of and if they stay together, they are not that far off from making great strides on the court.

-Randy Mauro