Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Two losses last weekend...

We played both Saturday and Sunday against two top 5 teams and it showed as we lost both games by a fair ammount. It's definitely frustrating as I believe we have a good enough team to compete in these games but lack of focus, practice time and dedication from some of the guys seems to hold us back from ever being a contender. I had 14pts 10rebs 1blk on saturday and 16pts 6rebs on sunday. That being said we have our final game of the season this Saturday against the 11th place team (that we've already beaten by 16 earlier in the season). Unfortunately there will be no playoffs for us, so April 3rd marks the end of the season. Hopefully we can get enough guys on the same page to win this final game and go out on a good note!

In other news outside of basketball... It's been crazy how time is flying by, I really don't remember March at all, BUT that was because I've been having a great time and staying busy with coaching, friends and bball.

I've recently finished the Shane Claiborne book I was reading called "Irresistible Revolution". Funny enough this is the first book I've read all the way through and finished within a month in FOREVER! But one of my goals while being out here was/is to read more and I'm already into my next book called "Blue like Jazz". The Claiborne book was recommended to me by both Coach Scott and John who had already read it. I loved it, it was an easy read and very interesting, I would recommend it to anyone as well. Throughout the book Shane discusses/shares some of his life experiences as he grows as a Christian and realizes that he's not "living" the Christian life to the fullest. He really focuses on what it means to be a Christian and live a "Christ like" life, by being servant-minded and having a servants heart. It really puts a lot of things into perspective about life and how blessed each one of us really is, even if we don't have a lot.. There's always someone out there that has less than you (whether its money or love or self respect..), or is in a worse situation than you are in... I'm looking forward to really diving into this "Blue like Jazz" book as well as many others!

We've also been watching a lot of basketball on the internet lately since it's "March Madness" (for those of you who might not know what that is, it's the time when the NCAA division 1 schools have their post season tournament which lasts all of March and into early April). So that's been fun times as well, just late nights if you want to catch all the games! With all the upsets and close games this year the tournament has been pretty crazy and needless to say my bracket is BUSTED haha.

So now with the season winding down I'll have some free time to start traveling around England and hopefully Europe. I'm looking into visiting my old college teammate Mats who's from Sweden and moved back after he graduated. I'm also thinking of possibly hitting Germany to visit a bball buddy, Luxembourg and anywhere else possible really. So that's something I'm going to be looking forward to :)

Since my time here in Coventry I have realized I've been "slacking" in certain areas of my life and my time out here with John and Scott (and others) has been eye opening and challenging for me thus far, but I am up for a challenge and bettering my physical and spiritual life!

This week so far has been fun! We spent last night over at Coach's house after our coaching sessions were done. We just did the usual relaxing, eating and sharing of stories as always. I always have so much fun over there without the TV ever being on (unless its one of Selah's videos of course haha). We just have such good and funny conversation that we end up talking all night, aside from playing with Selah to keep her happy :) I cherish having Scott as my Head Coach and being able to spend time with him and his lovely family. Plus he makes some DE-LISH chocolate chip cookies WOOOOO WOOOO! (watch out Margaret, he's got skills on the cookies...)

Today John and I both went to a primary school for their "inspiration week" where people of all occupations were invited to come in and talk to the classes about what they do, why they do it, what inspired them to chase that career, etc... It was fun to finally see myself in the position of the person doing the inspiring and not the little kid sitting in the classroom listening and wondering what I was going to be when I got older. My how time has flown by! The best part of it all was as the end when we would do some tricks with the ball we brought in as part of our occupation/job (I love that basketball is my occupation!), because no matter what John did with his dribbling tricks for the kids as soon as I spun the ball on my finger the whole crowd went "ooooooohhhhhhhhhh" hahahah. They think that is sooooo cool to be able to spin the ball on your finger (kids back home wouldn't be that impressed haha), crazy how bball is looked at so differently over here ...

Hope everyone is well and in good spirits! I miss you all very much and appreciate all of you following me on my journey. I love catching up with people on Skype and through emails, I will see you all soon! Life is good, God is great!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Friday, 26 March 2010


So from the score you can tell that it wasn't a good game for us. It was our last home game of the year and not the exact way I wanted it to go down, but that's life ya know. Without John playing it was tough for us to really get things together and function the way they usually do as he is our main point guard and the core to the team. It personally was a frustrating game for me as I got into foul trouble and it took me out of any rhythm I had going. I really wanted to produce a lot this game because I knew I would have to for us to have a chance at winning. I finished with 13pts 10rebounds and 2 assists. With this loss we officially now cannot make the playoffs, which sucks! So our goal is still to finish the season strong with the three games we have left. Our next battle is this weekend as we have a double header Saturday and Sunday!
Other than the defeat it was a great day. We had the finals for our Hoops4Health tournament for the primary schools we've been coaching in. So there were about 4 games prior to our match with 4 primary schools in attendance playing. The top two teams then got to play for the championship during halftime of our game. It was a heated battle and actually came down to a shoot out with Potters Green primary school taking the victory and getting to move on to Nationals. So it was still a successful day with the kids having a blast and getting to play a proper match in front of their families. Most of the kids stuck around and supported us during our game, cheering and chanting! It was a fun time!

Last night Pete, John and I went out for a dinner at Pizza Express. Now this may sound like just a regular pizza joint BUT it was actually like a "fine dining" type of restaurant. They have a special deals on Wednesdays where you can get 2 pizzas for the price of 1, so we took up on that special offer. It was a nice night out of the house to spend with the roomies. The pizzas were delicious and really authentic, it was a nice restaurant.

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Thursday, 18 March 2010

St. Patty's Day/ Coventry University Varsity Day

So yesterday was what they call "varsity day" at Coventry University (where John is the head coach of the men's bball team, and I assistant coach). On this day every year all the team sports compete against Warwick Universities teams (Warwick is another university around 20 minutes away). So needless to say its a HUGE bragging rights day for the whole year!
John has gone back to the states in Atlanta for a week for a friends wedding so he missed varsity day, but will ALSO miss our game this Sunday which sucks! SO Scott took over as Head Coach and I assisted him. It was a tight game for the most part with Warwick going on a few runs here and there, but our boys fought hard and kept it close. We ended up losing by 7!! Which wasn't terrible since Warwick had already beaten us twice this season already, and we were without 2 key players this time around.
Afterwards Scott and I headed to the Rugby League game which was the last event for Varsity Day and was being played at Butts Arena (yes I said Butts haha). That's our home venue for Rugby. All the coaches of sports teams were invited into the VIP lounge to spectate the match. So of course this included free food and beverages(juice, no alcohol)! This was my first live Rugby match ever and all I have to say is WOW! These guys are absolutely NUTS, I would NEVER play that game, EVER! There were sooo many extra illegal things happening in those piles (punches, kick, pokes, whatever you can think of) that I couldn't imagine why someone would want to play... BUT i must say it was very exciting and entertaining to watch and I can't wait until my next opportunity to do so. The stands were packed with students from both schools and they were wild with their cheers and songs haha! It was a great time.
Right after the game I ran into Ashley who was the men's bball club President for Coventry University. He was heading out for the night with about 8 buddies and asked if I wanted to come along, that was all I needed to hear hah! I was down for whatever, and that's pretty much been my attitude this whole experience. What are you going to learn or who are going to meet if all you do is go to practice/games/coaching and then back home..?? I'm going to do/participate in as many things as possible to make this time as much fun as I can!!
We made our way towards a nightclub called Ignite, but along the way we stopped in at a few pubs for a brewsky :) The Irish spirit was in the air and everyone was alllll smiles. We made it to Ignite around 11pm and it was definitely the place to be for all the students as an after party for the day. We had a blast just dancing and clowning around, it was nice to meet some new folks and get out with a different group of guys. Hopefully we'll be doing it again sometime soon.

This weekend we have Leeds at home for our final home game. They are currently in 2nd place and are a really tough team. We will be without John and we just found out that Dan is not going to play anymore this season as his shoulder has been bugging him. So that gives us 7 guys for sunday and 8 for the rest of the season. Not ideal but we'll get along just fine. I'm ready to have a monstrous game this weekend and help lead these guys into battle!! Should be a fun one...

I hope everyone is doing well and in good spirits. I have been praying for everyone back home and all of my buddies who are in other countries playing ball! Thanks to everyone for emails/skype convo's, I appreciate the time and love! Miss you all.

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


This was a frustrating game because we were up 10-15pts almost the whole game to only have them go on a 23-0 run and take the lead! We went flat for about 9 minutes without scoring a basket and making bad decisions with the ball... We lost this game ourselves, nobody else to blame. We must now look ahead to our last home game this Sunday against a tough top 3 team. 4 games left in the regular season, man its gone quick! I had 18pts 7rebounds 2asists in this last weekends game.

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Two months in Coventry...

This past week was a good one. I had a few sessions with some schools that are going to be in our next Hoops4Health tournament and they had their "game faces" on haha. It's always funny to hold a session where there's really nothing for the kids to neccessarily get out of it (as far as a future goal for them to achieve or tournament to look forward to) compared to when I go to school's that have a game coming up to get ready for. Once I tell the kids how good the other schools are they get this face on like "well they're not gonna beat us"! It's funny how they all of a sudden want to pay attention and actually "try" haha.

This past week we've had a "helper" Tyler Slaymaker, who had to do his "work experience" for year 10 in school. Every student has 2 weeks off during the year to do this ordeal, not a bad idea and it seems to work well in the community. So he decided he wanted to do it with the Crusaders being as though he loves bball and wants to maybe work in a sports atmosphere later on in life. Tyler is 15 and plays for our U16 crusaders team. He was a big help this past week with my sessions as he tagged along and helped with running some drills and keeping track of all the balls we have to bring along. He also had some very helpful information on a project that I've been working on for the Crusader Organization regarding a rewards system for the youth. Similar to Karate where you start at a white belt and work your way up to a black belt, I've been creating a system for the Crusader U12/14's & 16's so that as they get older we can monitor their development and in turn they can see how well they are improving and hopefully this will push them to practice more and WANT to get to the next level. We'll see what happens as this "takes flight" and we begin to test it on some of the kids to see how it'll work.

John and I spent pretty much all day Friday over at coach's house as our good friend through Athletes in Action, John Farwell was in town briefly on his way to Kurdistan to take a tour team out there to play a few games and minister to the people. We had an awesome day filled with interesting conversations about God, bball, relationships, family and whatever else sparked interest. Scott got his game face on in the kitchen and cooked up a meannnnnnn lamb curry AND chicken curry, both BOMB.COM haha! Gotta admit it's pretty encouraging to see a "man" tear it up in the kitchen, I gotta keep stepping my game up! It was a great day and nice to finally get to know Farwell a little more as we didn't get much time to talk while in Australia on our tour in Nov/Dec. I really appreciate his knowledge of the Bible and the life of Jesus, he's an extremely motivated learner of the word and loves to share it with others so that they may spread the good news as he has. It was also nice to thank him in person for setting me up out here in Coventry as he was my connection to the Crusaders!! Funny how one situation in life leads to another.... think about it....all seems to happen for a reason, even if we don't understand how or why.

I really can't believe its already been 2 months, as it seems like its only been 2 weeks haha! I've really enjoyed my time and experience here and am looking forward each and every day to new adventures and exciting times. I miss everyone at home a lot, but I know that I'll be back in no time and thanks to emails/skype and phone calls it doesn't ever seem like I'm any further than right down the street!!

We have a big match tomorrow against the London Leopards on the road! This is a super crucial match for us as we are currently tied in 9th place with them. Here is a link for live updated stats/shot chart if you have time to watch while you're on the comp doing something else...Send your good vibes!


Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


This was a great game for us as we finally got a win after 5 consecutive losses, and this being our first "road win" of the season as well. We finally gelled as a team better than we had in most recent games and it showed with our effort and enthusiasm. Hopefully this will catapult us into a "winning frenzy" as we are now tied for 9th place and NEED to takeover 8th to make the playoffs! My moto for the rest of the season is "one game at a time"... I played well and finished with 22pts 5rebounds 2assists and 1blocked shot.

Today I was going to be on my own for most of the day as John had left for Spain to go watch his buddy Troy DeVries play a game later sunday evening. Troy plays right outside Barcelona and lives there with his wife and child. John and Troy know eachother from back in college and John was just going for the day and would be back monday afternoon. Gotta love RyanAir for CHEAP airfares!
So this morning I traveled to church with Pete (one of my other roommates who is the worship leader at church). Today was another service similar to last week with 4 more baptisms! It's been quite the eventful month at church so far with people taking new steps in their christian walk with GOD by getting baptised.
After church Me, Pete, Laura (Pete's bird), Scott (a buddy and also worship leader) and Naomi (scott's wife and bird haha) all decided to hit Pizza Hut for some lunch! We made our way into downtown City Centre and had a wonderful meal then walked around for a bit browsing through some stores.
The rest of my day was filled with R & R haha! I busted a book out I've been reading that coach gave me called "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne. I dipped into that for a good while, then I decided to hop on the phone and catch up with some people back home I haven't heard from in a while. It was definitely a very nice relaxing day for me!
This week should be pretty busy, but nothing too crazy. We have another really important game on Sunday "mothers day" out here in the UK. We are playing the team that we are tied for 9th place with, the London Leopards. It's another road game so this week's practices are very crucial to prepare for another tough much needed win to keep our post season hopes alive!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Friday, 5 March 2010

The sun is starting to show its face!

This past week went by quick like the last, that seems to be the way things are going. We had 2 good training sessions this week and should be ready for our match Saturday on the road against the Sheffield Arrows (who are currently in last place, AND we already beat before I was even here). Hopefully this game can be the turning point to our season as we make our run at the playoffs!!
Yesterday we had another Hoops4Health tournament for 3 schools that we'd been coaching in. It was a success and fun to see the kids compete and want to win! The championship match will be held at halftime of our last home game, so that'll be fun for the kids to play in front of a big crowd.
Today is pretty much a day off to rest and get ready for tomorrow's match. John and I are going to head into the gym later to get some shots up and stay loose, but other than that it'll be a nice day to just chill.
The weather this past week has really started to change for the better! The sun has been out almost every day and even though its still pretty cold, it's encouraging to at least feel that beautiful sunshine :)
Thanks to everyone for staying in touch via emails or skype and supporting me with encouragement and prayers, I appreciate everything! I hope this entry finds you in good health and spirits, loving life.

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"