Sunday, 28 February 2010

Time flies when you're having fun...

Monday 22nd - Friday 26th

This week really flew by, especially after our busy weekend we had with our trip to London! There wasn't too much coaching to do this week, I think I ended up having maybe 5 sessions or so which was ok as it meant I never had to be in too much of a rush as occasionally it can get.
My main focuses for this week were to get in some good morning workouts with John as we had a tough game coming up on Saturday, to keep using my free time well with reading and emails to friends/family, to fight off this cold that had crept up on me, to challenge myself and my teammates more in practice sessions so that we can get the intensity up and become better, and finally to pray more often...
Looking back at the week I'd say I did a decent job on most things but there is always room for improvement!

Today was game day and that was all that I was concerned with. We played against the Manchester Magic who were currently in fourth place. This was one of only two home games we have left so it was crucial to get a win and increase our chances of getting into the playoffs.
The game was tight allllll the way through, as we were down only 2points with 2 minutes left to play! We had a couple minor breakdowns and they hit a couple tough shots and we ended up losing by 10. It was a tough loss, but it was the best we'd played as a team in about 4 games so that was promising to see improvement. I had 15pts 10rebs 2asts and 2blks. We now have 6 games left, 5 of them being road games. The next few weeks of training will be very important!
SOOO even though we lost I had told the guys mid-week that we would be going out saturday night, win or lose. It's important for us to get to spend together off the court so we can get to know each other better and also gain some trust between one another. We had yet to spend any time together as a group since I'd been here so it was nice to finally see something happen.
We went to a nightclub called LAVA which was huge! It was two floors and actually had 3 separate rooms to dance/chill in. The bottom floor had a little disco feeling to it with a dance floor that lit up. The music downstairs was popish with some British stuff I've never heard and also some Britney Spears and what not. So needless to say, not quite my cup of tea :).

So we progressed upstairs which was a totally different ball game. As soon as we turned the corner and entered the doorway all I saw was the smoke and green strobe lights and knew this was the "techno room" haha! We immediately hit the dance floor and owned it!!!

That was good times for about 30minutes until we'd had enough of the overally fast paced remixed music! We then made our way to the 3rd and final room that was called the VIP... now this already sounded like my type of joint ;). It wasn't even a minute before I knew this was my official spot!! The jams were rolling one after another and we found ourselves a little spot to dance it up. The music was right up my alley with some hip hop, R & B, reggaeton and some British grime music! We stayed in the VIP room for the rest of the night and had a blast just clowning around with the fellas.

Me, Dan, John and Chase

Ben, Me and Simon

LAVA shut down around 2:40am and we finally got to bed around 3:30am. It was definitely the best night I've had so far getting to spend it wit my teammates! I was impressed overall with the Coventry night life and there will be more of these nights to come soon!

Today was an amazing day as Sundays usually have a tendency to be since I've been in Coventry. At church today there were 3 baptisms and it wasn't quite like any baptisms I've really ever experienced before, mainly because Mosaic church is so much smaller than any other church I've attended and because of that it's so much more intimate and personal. It was touching to witness these 3 ladies give their testimonies of how God has intervened and changed their life for the better. You could see in their faces that God had breaken them down and now is ready to build them up with a fresh new beginning. It was inspiring!
John and I were once again invited to lunch after church, this time by the Parson family. Julie is a single mom of two, Lucy and Jamie. Lucy is a baller haha! She is 12 years old and is always at any coaching clinic thing we do and of course all home games as well. She schools the boys ALL the time on the court and on top of her being a hooper she's a sweetheart and a good kid. Jamie is 8 years old and doesn't participate yet in our coaching stuff but he's always there to support Lucy and is a nice kid as well. We had an amazing "thanksgiving" type of lunch with chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, vegetables etc! Then of course to wrap it up Julie had made some trifle with Ben and Jerry's ice cream on the side :). Hit the spot! We spent the rest of the time playing the Wii and just having fun! Once again I feel blessed to have been taken in for another great meal by someone who didn't have to, but went out of their way to make us feel more at home...
John and I had both forgotten but it was the day that Vidale (another Crusader volunteer who does some coaching stuff) was to be baptised as well! So we headed over to Christian LIfe Ministry and proceeded to witness 4 more batisms. It was quite the day, but amazing to see God at work in so many different people's lives.

That's all for this week, thanks to all who have been following and reading along as I continue my journey in the UK! Life is good, God is great!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Our morning began at 7AM as our train was leaving at 8:15am, so it was an earllyyyyy start to our day! The weather looked as though it was going to be a beautiful day (at least sunny out, but still chilly)! Considering it had snowed 2 days ago, we were going to take whatever we could get :). The train ride was nice and relaxing and the scenery was beautiful as we made our way to London. We arrived around 10AM and proceeded to head into the depths of busy streets...
We made our way to meet up with a friend of John's from high school who was out in London for a week on vacation. She and her friend are both teachers in the Bellevue school district believe it or not so they were on mid-winter break haha. John hadn't seen Jenny since graduation day, but they had kept in touch via Facebook. So we met up with Jenny and her two friends Chase and Anne, so we could all walk around together and take in the sights and good times!
As we started our journey, I felt like I couldn't put my camera away, I wanted to take a picuture of everything! The details of the old and new buildings were amazing and the overall vibe from the people there was just welcoming and positive. It wasn't long before we ran into a pub and decided to head in for a drink.

The pub called the anchor...
We hung out for a little while, just sharing stories and getting to know eachother. We then continued on through the streets running into markets, street performers, and monuments along the way...

The monument from the "safe" ground :)

This was at the top of "the monument". It is the tallest standing stone building in the world. 211 steps to the top! Beautiful views.

At Borough Market

Big BEN!

One of the many street performers.

London Towers Bridge

Eventually we split from the group as they were headed to a museum tour and we had to go meet up with one of John's British friends he had made over the past year. So we jumped on the "tube" or subway and made our way back to the other side of town. One thing I noticed is that it seemed as if the city was ALWAYS moving! people coming and going non-stop, crazy! I guess it's probably the biggest city I've ever been too, considering I've never made it out to New York.
We made our way to a pub called Shakespears Head and met John's friend Tom for some dinner. It was a nice joint and the food was affordable (as most parts of London can be pretty expensive). The time was nice and Tom was a cool dude and let us know that if we ever wanted to come out again and stay somewhere we could do so with him.
It was now time for us to head back to the train station as our train was taking off at 8:24pm. By this time my camera had already died of battery as did I haha. I was absolutely drained and in a food coma lol! We made the train back home and arrived about 10pm, headed home and crashed out! It was an awesome day and I can't wait to get out again and spend more time on the town.

Sunday -
We had missed church the past weekend because of our game in London so it was nice to know that we were going to be in attendance this weekend! Of course it started off with a warm cup of tea before we started to worship in music :)
During worship one of the members from the church we've begun to get to know, John (older fellow), came over to me and said "geez ur such a big guy.. I bet you always have to look down a lot, at people and just in general" and I said "yah I do haha" then he continued to tell me that "God was telling him to tell me to look up more often". Maybe not just when I pray (as people often have a tendency to bow their heads), but also in life in general.
After the service I approached him to thank him for what he told me. We spoke more about what it meant in depth and that if I lift my head more often just in general I for example "won't see a woman's legs OR won't see a woman's cleavage"... It was interesting to me the way he put it into perspective as a way for me to be accountable for myself. Now by looking up he didn't mean literally, like not making eye contact with someone as that is respectful and important. BUT he meant it figuratively so as to not being tempted/distracted by looking down at a women's attributes. SOOO not only did it mean that I can keep my head lifted towards God more often but also be a reminder to myself to keep my focus "up" and not "down"...
It was an uplifting Sunday for me at Mosaic to say the least.
John and I had been invited for lunch at the Wood's house after church. Rose and Brian are a couple that usually give us a ride to our home games and they also help with the Crusaders organization and have for years. They have a daughter Nikola, who is married to Stan and attends every home game and son Matthew, who lives in London and plays for a University out there.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at their house eating and visiting! It was great and the food was awesome, they are very nice people and are part of the reason that it's been so easy to make Coventry like home.
It had been a longggg weekend, but it was great and I wouldn't of wanted it any other way!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Half Term week means Crusaders Camp

So this week was pretty different than others we've had thus far. Since the kids were off from school that meant we had no coaching jobs lined up, which was a nice change. BUT we did have our Crusaders bball camp monday thru Wednesday, which was a good time and a success in our eyes (even though attendance wasn't as much as we had hoped for)... I had the privelage of leading Wednesday's camp from 10am - 3pm, and let me tell you, it wasn't an easy task at all! We had about 12 or so kids that day and trying to keep their attention for more than 5-10 mins per drill is tricky.. So it's all about keeping them moving and interested the whole time, which means a well thought out game plan (agenda) is needed! Overall I was happy with the way it went and actually came up with some fun games and drills to do as the day went on, but it definitely isn't easy and I have much respect for coaches who run camps all the time.

Almost forgot to mention that it snowed Thursday, 3 inches within a couple of hours! Nuts!

Today was Friday and John and I went in for an early AM workout then we had decided to kick it at coaches place all day and just lounge around and spend some time together with him and Selah, that way Rebecca could get out of the house and have some alone time. It was an awesome day as he greeted us with his camera and also his legendary waffles! bomb! Then I guess he was in the cooking mood today as he then whipped us up some enchiladas with homemade guacamole for lunch, also bomb! So needless to say I wasn't the least bit hungry today at all haha. It was an awesome day of rest, good company and much laughter!

It must've been my lucky day though as both John I were invited to our friend Lauren's place for dinner that night. So I was basically getting all my meals specially cooked for the day :) God was definitely hooking me up! She made some chili with rice, it was actually her first time cooking chili as well as eating it too(funny choice to cook something you've never eaten or made, but it was great)! It was delicious and I also enjoyed hanging with her and Lucy for the night to cap off my great day. I don't know what I did to deserve all the cooked food but I surely do appreciate it!!

Since we don't have a game this weekend John and I are heading into London tomorrow for the day to visit with his friend, eat, sight see and also watch the Arsenal soccer match at a pub somewhere. We're taking the London Midlands train to get out there and I guess it's only about 1hr 40mins ride, which isn't bad at all. It'll be a longggg day of travel and walking around, but I'm excited to see the big city and take some pics to share with everyone.

Just some side notes to share with everyone:
-My hair is getting prety "european" and I'm tempted to cut it everyday but I am staying strong and letting it grow babyyyyy!
-I finally set up the drum set at the casa and I've already had a few sessions :) Love those drums!
-I'm starting to get the hang of cooking and experimenting with new things...I've been soaking some things in from John, Francious and Coach Scott as they all are pretty nice in the kitchen.
-I've been compiling a list of words and phrases that mean one thing in America and TOTALLY opposite in the UK haha.. I will be sharing this list sometime in the upcoming blogs.

That's it for now, gotta rest up for the weekend!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Disappointing weekend..

Saturday -
Crusaders- 64 Tauton Tigers- 89
This was a super disappointing game because this team was not better than us, and if they were then they definitely weren't 25pts better than us! We started the first half off great only being down 4pts, and I had 11 of our first 15pts to start off the game. So things were going well and we were moving the ball and making them work defensively.
Start of the second half they went on a 10pt run to increase their lead, and it wasn't neccessarily bad defense it was them hitting tough shots with the shot clock running down and a hand in their face. We never gave up despite the defecit and even cut the lead down to 9pts, but that was as far as we could get it. It was a tough loss as this team was only 1 win ahead of us and also fighting for the playoff race. I finished with 16pts 8rebs. 3asts and 1blk. and also two pretty nice dunks :)

Crusaders- 65 London Mets- 98
As if the day before was bad enough, today was worse! To start off we only had 6 guys who could actually play any minutes, BUT a FIBA rule states that you must bring at least 8 players in uniform otherwise you can get fined. So we brought a player thats hurt and then our coach also suited up hahah (but watch out cuz he's a hooper and played pro for 6 yrs)! We currently have 3 guys hurt and then 1 player couldn't miss work otherwise they were going to "can" him, so as if going into a tough road game on the back end of a doubleheader wasn't enough now go ahead and throw in us only having 6 guys... lol, but not really!
We started off well and I scored our first 5 points, it was a tight game and we were right there with them only down 6 at half time! BUT as we've done the past 3 games, we got stomped in the 3rd quarter and then it just carried over to the 4th as well. I'm not gonna lie and say that I wasn't absolutely beat out of gas haha. I wanted a break so bad so I could catch my breath but there were no rests to be had this game. 4 of us played all 40 minutes of "up and down" run and gun basketball with this team and I was starting to cramp up in the last few minutes.
I only finished with 8pts, 7rebs, 3asts and 2blks as I didn't nearly get as many shots as I have been in previous games. It was a disappointing match for the team and also me personally. So now we just have to put these last 2 games behind us and look on to our last 7 games, 5 of which are on the road! tough... Luckily for us we don't have a match next weekend and will get some crucial rest so hopefully we can get some of our injured guys back!
Outside of our tough loss it was nice to get to see some of London briefly. I can't wait to get back and see more of what Lodon has to offer!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Saturday, 13 February 2010

New friends and more fooooooood :)

Friday -

This was a pretty busy day, but also a restful one as we have two big games back to back this weekend! John and I got our early AM workout in so we could get some extra shots up to stay fresh, then I made my way to the office to meet with coach for our weekly meeting... We had an amazing talk and discussed some really important things about life, like the type of woman I want to marry, my plans after bball, forgiveness, friendships/relationships and just God's overall plan for my life. It's pretty cool to see things start to shape up in your life piece by piece and be able to sit back and soak it all in, life is a crazy journey! We'd been reading the past week in the Gospel of Matthew and continued to do so for this week, so we discussed some things that stood out to each of us in the word and shared feedback about it. Needless to say the meeting went well as always, and the tea never hurts either :) I'm officially hooked!
We did have one after school basketball session to teach for a school that's going to be in our March 4th tournament. They have chosen their final 10 players to play and the kids are pretty good with most skills, but we'll see how they compare to others schools.
For the evening I was invited by Coach and his family to an open house type deal at their friends house from church. There were having people pop in and out as they please from 5-10pm, that way you could come whenever, visit, and leave whenever.. worked out quite well... We all were to bring something to eat, potluck style, so I brought some ice cream :) haha. The food was great (coaches wife is a mean cook and made some BOMB lasagna!) and the fellowship was awesome as well! I got to meet a bunch of new people including Mark (who's 28, married with 2 kids) who is a sport fanatic and actually has some friends who play for the Coventry futbol club. They are in the Coca Cola championship league for soccer and attract quite the crowds so he said I could roll with him anytime to a match! PLUS he gets the VIP lounge tickets because he knows the players hahah, so of course I'm there!
This about wrapped up my Friday and it was time to cash out for the night... big weekend so rest is going to be crucial!
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Almost been a month in Coventry...

So this week has gone by pretty quick and I'm starting to feel like I'm fitting in over here really well! This week wasn't quite as busy as others because "half term" is next week so there wasn't many sessions scheduled for us this week because of that. Half term is basically like mid-winter break, they get the week off of school. So we'll be having our Crusaders bball 3 day camp, monday thru wednesday. I'm looking forward to that, it should be good times!
Today was a day off and it's starting to look like Thursdays are going to be permanent days off, which is cool! I started today off with a hearty breakfast including scrambled eggs, toast, yogut and some fruit :) gotta stay healthy. I took a look outside and it was gorgeous out (meaning sunny but still freezing cold haha! just like SeaTown) so I decided to head into town and explore/shop a little bit and see what downtown was like on a regular day. So I hopped on the bus and made my way... It was a lot of fun, as many of you may know I am a pretty good shopper :) so I was excited to find some good spots with deals out here! One of which was a department store called Primark, which had super deals on clothing. I'd compare them to probably like a JCPenny or something like that, but cheaper deals. So I had to scoop up a couple scarfs! Gotta get my scarf game up to par, that's the style for guys out here! I'm still on the search for a "proper" (proper is used allll the time out here) peacoat though, that's really a CRUCIAL piece to the wardrobe along with the scarf :)

Overall it was a nice day of shopping and exploring my home away from home of Coventry. Hopefully I'll have some time every week to get downtown and find some good food/chill spots to read and put out the "vibe" haha.

We did have practice tonight, and a crucial one too! We have a doubler header this weekend against two teams that are middle of the pack, basically right above us. Both these teams are very beatable and we neeeeeeeed these wins to make a good push for the playoffs! We play Tauton on Saturday at home, then we play the London Mets Sunday on the road at their place. It's a BIG weekend, gotta be super focused to get these two wins...
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Tough home loss... CRUSADERS 75 - DERBY TRAILBLAZERS 94

Saturday -
Today started off with the usual 9AM coaching session open for all who want to attend from the community. Following that I coached the U14 team, which I am slowly taking over as the Head coach. We played 2 games and split at 1-1, but it's a good group of kids with some potential.
Our match was suppossed to start at 7:30 but didn't tip off until 8:30! SO we warmed up then cooled down, then warmed up again...It wasn't the most convienent start to a game but the other team was stuck in traffic from an accident.
It was a tough game from the get go as I was getting an automatic double team as soon as I touched the ball. It didn't change for the rest of the match as I didn't get as many touches/shots as I had been in previous games, credit to their tough defense and physical play. It wasn't much help either that I got my third foul late in the second quarter and had to sit the beginning of the 3rd quarter. That's when they took full control of the game taking the lead from 8 to 17pts. I absolutely cannot get into foul trouble anymore as it hurts the team when I'm off the floor.
We couldn't cut into the lead and ended up losing, but it was still a good game and I think we can beat them on any given night. I'm not positive of my stats yet, but I think I had around 10pts, 10reb and 3asts.

Sunday -

Today's service at church was good and I'm enjoying my time at Mosaic every sunday, especially when it starts off with a cup of tea :)
John and I then went to Tammy's house again with Ed to watch the futbol match of Arsenal vs. Chelsea. There wasn't as many people as last time and no food, but still fun to watch and get out of the house. Arsenal lost again and again it was a dissapointment! But I liked Chelsea and just might've found my club to support! haha
As for the rest of tonight, it's Super Bowl sunday and we are heading over to someones house to watch it and enjoy some food :) It doesn't start until 11pm out here so it's gonna be a late one! I'll have to take a nap manana:) haha
Until tomorrow...
"Make it happen"

Friday, 5 February 2010

First official day off


Today my schedule was absolutely free!! except for our team training at 7:30, but aside from that I had no schools scheduled or anything else that involved me leaving the house :)
SO needless to say I didn't leave the house. I stayed in and watched a movie, read a little Harry Potter and also fit in a cat nap! haha. I thought about getting downtown and walking around a bit, but the weather was actually quite "seattle-ish" with the rain and cold so I decided to just lay low indoors.
Practice went well as we are still preparing for the game on Saturday against Derby (#1 team right now). It's not going to be an easy game as we'll only have 9 players because a couple guys have other school related obligations that can't be missed. BUT if we play to our top ability we can make a "W" happen!
To cap off my night I found a website, with a little help from my housemate Tim, where I can watch tv shows and movies for free! So of course I decided I should probably catch up on my Chuck episodes haha! Because I know that if I get toooo far behind then Dad will make me have a full day marathon of Chuck when I get back, and I don't think I want to do that one again :)

That about wraps things up for me, time to get some shut eye for manana.
Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Hoops 4 Health Tournament


So this was our Hoops4Health tournament that we've been preparing these school kids for the last few weeks. There were 6 schools competing and each was to bring 10 kids they thought did best during our teaching sessions leading up to the tourney. Overall the kids did great and had a bunch of fun, they were able to do some of the things we taught them finally in a game type scenario. The tournament was a success and the winners will move on to the next stage against the winners of our next 6 school tourney. The final championship game will be played at halftime of one of our home games in March, the main goal for these schools is to possibly move on to nationals and represent Coventry!
Other than the tourney for today we just had our usual team practice. We are preparing for a tough game this weekend against the Derby Trailblazers who are currently #1 in our league.


Today was a full busy day as usual, nothing crazy to report! But here is an article write up for our game this weekend!! It's from the England Basketball official website...

Until Tomorrow...
"make it happen"