Sunday, 31 January 2010

First free weekend... :)


Since our game was re-scheduled John and I decided to get in the gym for an early AM workout before our coaching session at 9. It was a cold morning but we finally warmed up and got a good solid workout in getting plenty of shots up and of course some extra cardio :)... line sprints are never fun, BUT to be the best one's gotta do the things others won't EVEN when no one is watching!!
Our coaching session was right after we finished working out, so there was no time clean up but it was good to have the kids watch us prior to their workout so they could see what things look like that we try to teach them.
Saturdays are days when the younger teams play, like the U12's, U16's and U18's. So we stayed and helped with the teams. John was a referee while I coached the U12 team! I'm not gonna lie, it was a blast and for one of the first times I could see myself as a coach... kinda weird but you never know where and when God will put signs in your life to point you in your next direction. I got to coach them for 2 games and we went 1-1 with much improvement in the 2nd game after getting blown out in the first one hahah..
After the U12 games John and I just spectated the U16 and U18 teams play. Both had tough games and lost, but it was fun to see some young kids that we help coach do good things on the court and have fun.
The rest of the day was open for once and we went home to relax for a while. Our only other plan was to head out to dinner at Nando's (a portuguese chicken style restaurant) with Lauren and Lucy. They are both associated with the Crusaders organization and John has know them since he's been here for a year now. The food was delicious, but the portions were small like most European restaurants and it seemed overpriced but who cares! This is all an experience and not time to be cheap about anything! After dinner John and I had talked about getting out on the town, but most all of our teammates were either out of town for the weekend or already doing something else. That and the fact that it was about 22degrees out, we decided to just go home, warm up and call it a night and leave going out till after our next home game next Saturday. So no worries everybody, I will be shaking my groove thang shortly haha!


We started with church at 10:30 at Mosaic. It was once again a great service with a guest speaker Joe Ramaya (originally from malaysia) who had been friends with the pastor for around 15 years. He was an absolute jokester and had me sucked in from the get go with his punchlines. His message was clear and relevant to what people needed and wanted to hear. It was very refreshing to see/hear someone preach the way he did with such passion and humor, it's the type of preaching that makes me WANT to attend service and learn more about God and become a better christian man on my journey.
After church we hurried off to meet coach and his family (wife Rebecca and 17month old daughter Selah) at his house so we could have lunch together. We headed into Birmingham, which meant this was my first train ride and also first time into Birmingham! It was a quick 20 minute train ride into the city (which is the 2nd largest in the UK) then we headed to a place called Wagamamas (pronounced waga mama's lol) to eat. It was like a japanese/curry restaurant and absolutely delish :). It was a nice time to get to spend with coach and his family outside of Coventry. Coach Scott and his fam stayed to do some shopping but John and I had to run after lunch was over because we were invited to watch the Arsenal v. Manchester United futbol game (soccer game) at someones house and it started at 4pm. I really like Birmingham a lot though and I'm glad that it's soooo close! I'm definitely going to be going back shortly to kick it and shop around :)... BTW I forgot my camera at home, so no pictures this time! Sorry, but soon again I'll be out there...
We went to a friend of John's house named Tammy, where there was about 7 of us to watch the match including Ed, who used to play for the Crusaders last year but now has a family and just refs the youth games. Tammy is from Trinidad and also had her adopted grandma living with her who is 95 and a MEAN cook!!! We had lamb, homemade macaroni, potato salad and some sord of gravy topping that was amazing! Manchester ended up winning 3-1 and everyone was upset since they all support Arsenal, but it was a great time and I can't wait for more matches and also the upcoming Rugby season!!.... So now it's time for me to pick a club to support in futbol since I've been here almost a month! I still have to do some research but soon enough I will have my team.
Now it's just chill time at the house, and I'm gonna get on my @ home workout in the living room :). Gotta stay on it! Time to prepare mentally for the week ahead..
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Friday, 29 January 2010

Chaulk up another week!

TGIF! Today was a pretty long day starting with the usual Friday AM workout followed by 2 school bball sessions and ending with helping coach the U18 crusaders team. Dinner has been made and cosumed already, now all that's left is trying to find a clean link to watch an NBA game while I chill in bed.
It was another great week in the UK and all things are going according to plan! Looking forward to more good times. This weekend is going to be farely chill because our game was re-scheduled, so we might possibly get out one of these nights to see what Coventry's nightlife has to offer! Watch out UK!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Sick day...

So I'm officially sick and just trying to fight it off! Nothing serious, just a stuffy nose and cough, but no worries our game this weekend got re-scheduled so there's no pressure to be 100% soon...
Yesterday was another day, nothing special (just in England that's all haha!). I had only one school bball session that was fun and then was able to chill for a little bit before practice which also went well! The highlight of my Tuesday was definitely the stir fry that I made for din din! (of course with some help from my roomies, who have more cooking experience than myself :)


Today was a longgg day! It started with a 7AM wake up call to get to the gym for a workout with John. From there I walked over to our Crusader headquarters to meet with coach for our once a week meeting. It went very well and once again I realized how blessed I am to be in a situation like this and be surrounded by the folks I am. I truly believe God wanted me here right now so that I can grow not only as a ball player but as a Christian man. I'm starting to see that I'm getting older and certain things are standing out to me as important issues that I maybe didn't take quite so serious in past years. Having coach and John here to talk to at any time is a blessing and this experience is definitely about a lot more than just hoops.
After my meeting I had to rush off to my first of 2 schools today. Potter's Green Primary was first, and our session was outside ( even though it was freezing!), but the kids were troopers and didn't seem to affected by the cold! 20 mins after that session ended I was on to my next and last stop for the day. Grace Academy has 2 sessions that i run one after the other for about 2 1/2 hours. The first is an after school group who come to play for fun and exercise, but the second group session is associated with our club and these kids love bball and learning new skills. I finished up around 5:30pm and luckily got a ride home from my assistant coach, otherwise it was gonna be bus time (and it was coldddd).
Now I finally get some chill time to relax and catch up with some people back home :) I'm enjoying my skype sessions with friends and family! Well i'm gonna pop in a movie and knock out for the night...ahhhh finally some rest!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Monday, 25 January 2010



It was a tough road game today but we fought hard and showed a lot of heart. We're still a young team that's improving daily! I had 18pts, 4reb, 3asts, 1blk. I got myself into foul trouble early in the third quarter and had to sit for a while which hurt us big time. This game I saw a lot of double teams and had to adjust more than the past games, they scouted us pretty well. The game was pretty much the agenda for the day, and once we got home it was pretty much time to knock out after 2 games in 2days...


Today I woke up feeling a little sick with a sore throat and a cough, but I'm fighting it off! We went to two schools today which both sessions went well, especially the "all girls" school. These were 13-15 yr old girls who were boy crazy and wanted nothing more than to hear my "American accent" haha! To wrap up the night I accompanied John to the Coventry University mens bball practice as he is the head coach. I spent most of the time watching but helped with a few of the drills when needed. It was sort of a long day, but still a great one!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Sunday, 24 January 2010


Today was game day and that's pretty much all that was really on my mind, but we did have an early coaching session @9AM that went well and was actually a lot of fun! After that we came back to the casa to grab lunch then went back down to the gym to watch the U18 (under 18yrs old) Crusaders game, which was a crazy one! We lost in OT but ended up playing 5 on 4 for the last 7 minutes of the game and even though had an advantage still managed to lose...(the pictures above are from the U18 game)
Our match was at "half seven" or as we Americans would say it 7:30..hahaha. Our opponents tonight were currently last in the league standings and have had troubles with injuries, but against us they were back to full power. It was a close match all the way up until about 8 mins in the 4th quarter, then we finally started to pull away.
I ended up with 32pts. 11rebs. 3asts and 1blk. Another good game for the Crusaders and myself! Check out the write-up about the match in our "news" section on the website below...

Can't celebrate for long though as we have another game tomorrow (sunday) @4 on the road against the Reading Rockets. So I will hopefully be upating you about another win tomorrow night!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Friday, 22 January 2010


So the week has finally come to an end!! It was a very busy week and went by super fast! But i'm glad because we have 2 games this weekend and its super crucial to get two wins, that would put us in about 6th place from the now 9th that we're currently in. So after just 2 weeks of being on the team hopefully we can jump from 10th to 6th, not bad!!
Today was a long and eventful day. We started again @ 7:30AM for a workout at the City Centre gym then came home for some quick lunch before we had to head out to our first school of the day. We had 2 sessions to teach today, both at primary schools and both for about an hour each just working on basketball skills and rules.
Once we finished at the schools there was a little bit of down time where I watched the movie "the taking of pelham 123" with Denzel Washington and John Travolta. My housemate Tim has a sweet deal @ the local blockbuster because he knows the manager, he's allowed 10 free rentals a week!! So now whatever I want to see I just tell him and he'll get it for me :) hhahaha! No more movies online babyyyyy!
To finish up the night John and I were invited to a concert for christian rap group called "the 29th chapter". They were good and their message was also very positive to hear! Now I'm finally back home and tired as ever... gotta rest up for this weekends games!!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Hump day aka Wednesday!

Since I didn't blog yesterday I'll go ahead and fill in what happened for my Tuesday...
I met with Coach Scott in the AM for about 1 1/2 hours going over some short and long term goals while I'm here in Coventry as well as we just talked to get to know eachother better. The goals were not just bball related eiter but also included things that I can try to accomplish in the community and spiritually. Needless to say it was a great meeting and it also gave me time to get to know him better as a person and not just a coach. After our meeting was over it was time to head out to the schools, this was going to be my first session solo. I made my way out to a primary school and ran a bball session for a group of yr. 6 kids (as they say it). Everything went great and the kids are very polite, they are really starting to love learning and playing basketball. The only other thing on my schedule for the day was our team training (or what we americans call practice). We practiced from 8pm to around 930pm, it went very well and we worked on some critical things for this weekends matches (or games as we Americans call them). We have two games this weekend, back to back so it will be very crucial to get both these wins out of the way! Once home I cooked another pretty fabulous meal consisting of scrambled eggs with cheese, ham and mixed chopped peppers, accompanied by some 4cheese tortellini! Not bad if i must say :)
Now for today, Wednesday...
John and I got another early 8AM workout in on the court at the City Centre where we play our games. It was a really cold morning today!! After our workout we had a couple hours to chill before heading out to a primary school for a session regarding out Hoops4Health program. It went very well with their yr.6 kids and my duty for that session was to teach the bball section as well as teach them about the heart and how to keep it healthy regarding exercise and basketball. I had one other coaching responsibility for the day at Grace Academy which wasn't far away from the first school and which is actually where we do our team trainings at. This session was an after school type of deal and all the kids that attend this want to be there and are usually more interested in bball than just regular school kids. This makes coaching it much easier with more options for drills and games!
Now my day is pretty much done and its about 7pm. So i'm going to lay low and chill out then eventually make some dinner and cash out for the night. It's been a pretty long day today but all is going as good as ever to this point!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Monday, 18 January 2010

Let the week begin :)

So today started with an early 7:3AM gym workout!! John and I went into the City Centre gym where we play our home games and got a good hour and a half workout in on the court, before the "over 60yr old" group had the gym reserved for badmitten haha! The gym times are pretty funky so it looks like to get extra work in its gonna have to be early in the AM's :( which is not my favorite but to be the best one has to usually sacrifice something they love...
After our brilliant morning we chilled just for a little bit and then headed out to run some errands. One of which was getting some house keys made for me to the house, another was getting me set up with a cell phone while im in the UK. We went to TMOBILE where for 10pounds(basically 15bucks) a month I get unlimited texting (which u know i love! haha) and unlimited internet plus 10pounds worth of phone calls. So it'll be nice to be able to stay in touch with teammates and Coach Scott as I'm in Coventry. That's a hell of a deal too, you won't find that in the states from any company! We then headed to a bank to try to get an account for me, but this might take a little longer than expected since i'm here on a special sports visa.
The rest of our day consisted of going to 2 schools for 1hr sessions at each place. We first headed out to a primary school (elementary) for a bball session (class). It was fun, the kids are learning the basic fundamentals and rules of basketball while also having fun playing games to implement what we teach them. After that was up we headed off to the second school for a similar session. This was a secondary school (middle) and there was only 8 kids today so it was little tough to keep them interested but it was still productive. These sessions are what we will be doing daily throughout the week as part of what the Crusaders club/foundation is all about beyond basketball.
For the end of the night we went over to Coach's house to grab a bite to eat and visit with him, his wife and daughter. It was good to get some quality time with him and get to know him better as a person off the court. It's going to be a good 3 1/2 months out here for sure!
My last task for the day was to get home via bus!! This was my first experience with the bus system out here and no worries, I made it home safe and sound :). It wasn't a double decker though but I've got plenty more bus rides ahead of me haha.
Until tomorrow...
"Make it Happen"

Sunday fun day!

Today was my first Sunday in England and it was just about the same as anywhere in the states, a day to relax and chill out! I went with John Olinger (who is the other american player on our team, from Portland) to a Christian church this AM @ a place called Mosaic (which is where our other roommate Pete is the worship leader). It was a very nice service, the people here in Coventry are very passionate about life and the Lord. For being a smaller church they still rocked out for the worship time! The pastor had some good word this morning and challenged the people of the church to make 2010 their year by believing whats meant to happen, will. He also talked about divine appointments, and how lets say if you randomly run into someone you maybe haven't seen for years and they are struggling in their life but then you get to help them out or give them advice that they critically needed. OR maybe you experience something you think is random but it really isn't random at all. In fact its all part of God's plan in your life!
After the service we went to IKEA for lunch haha! yes i said IKEA, the warehouse full of house supplies and odds and ends of things... They have a nice little restaurant up on the sixth floor, which was packed! I guess a lot of stores and restaurants aren't open on sundays, the people really like to take sundays off :)
I must say though, everyone recommended the Swedish Meatballs and they were off the chain!! came with chips (french fries out here) as well which i thought at first was a weird combo, BUT it ended up working quite brilliantly together! p.s. the word brilliantly is used here all the time lol, thought i'd get in the habit too!
The rest of my day was spent emailing friends and family and making a couple phone and skype calls. Of course I did sneak in a cat nap as well... why not! haha
Tomorrow should be a busy day with an early AM workout and some activities at a few schools!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Sunday, 17 January 2010


1st game for me with the Coventry Crusaders and the result is an upset over the Leicester warriors who are currently tied for third place!! Here is a write up about the game from our offical website below (just go to the "news" section)... I had 25pts, 12rebounds, 2blks and 3assits

Today was pretty much all about the game. I didn't get into too much, but i did manage to watch most of Avatar online haha... Although I'm still going to see it in the theaters in 3D! The bootleg online version just doesn't do it any justice.
After our match(thats what they call games out here) two of my roommates and a couple other friends went out to a pub for a celebratory beer! It was a pretty dead night but we went on a small walk around afterwards so I could check out the City Centre area as they called it. A lot of nice little stores and what not, including a Subway (Chuck supporters haha), FootLocker and of course a Starbucks LOL!
Well that's about it for today... it's 2AM now so I'm gonna head off to bed, I'm still trying to get on schedule out here with this time zone. Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"