Wednesday, 28 July 2010

week 3 games down, playoffs this weekend...

So we bounced back really well as a team and won 2 of the 3 games this past weekend, putting us in 2nd place at the end of the regular season! I think we did much better than expected by management and the owner, so that's good so far!
We lost the first game against the #1 team on Saturday night by 15pts or so. I had 16pts and 8rebs. We then bounced back and won Sunday night by 18pts or so. I had 16pts and 9rebs. Monday night was going to be a battle and we knew that from the get go. This is the team that's most equally matched against us and was actually tied with us for 2nd place. We won a tough game by 7pts and gave our team a huge mental boost of confidence because we have to now play them in the playoff both Friday and Saturday. I finished that game with 16pts and 9rebs again hahaha! I was really happy with the way I bounced back from being sick week 2, I played big for our team and it felt great!

So now we are back in KL again we're just having practice all week until our game Friday night. We are preparing a new game scheme since we've already played this team 3 times, I think its a smart idea by coach and that it will work really well against their best lineup. This week I'm going to try and get around the city a little bit and possibly see some things that are big "tourist attractions" hahaha. We don't have too much time since we practice twice a day but we'll make it work. I'm thinking maybe I can at least make it up the KL tower and get a birds eye view of KL.

The advertising for the Finals weekend here in KL has been pretty cool. As soon as we got off the bus from Ipoh we saw these huge banners that were put up near the gym. They had shots of each one of the imports from each team as well as some of the best local players from each team too. It's pretty crazy to see yourself up on a huge banner/billboard but obviously it's a big deal out here and they are trying to promote this weekend to the fullest. Now my next mission is to make sure I get a hold of that banner to take home!!! hahaha.

Just one more week here then I'll be flying off to Darwin. It's crazy how fast this month went by, but I can't say how happy and blessed I feel for being able to have this opportunity to play ball in a country where I'm pretty sure I'd never of traveled too. The experience I've had here and the friends I've made was really a huge surprise. Getting off that plane I had NO IDEA what to expect, but it's really been another eye opener for how big this world is and how spoiled we are in the U.S. haha. Overall my first trip to Asia has been a huge success!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Week 2 of games...

So coming into week 2 I definitely wasn't 100% from the food poisoning and de-hydration, but I knew that I still had to play (#1 cuz my team needed me and #2 cuz that's what you do when you're an import player. You don't miss games! haha but no joke really!) So game one I actually suprised myself and came out and played 37minutes. We lost by 12pts to KL Dragons but gave them a good game. I played well and had 17pts and 5 rebs. Saturday night we played against the host team Kinasabah. I could feel that I had lost a lot of my energy from the night before but still fought hard. We won by 3! I had 9pts and 10rebs. Sunday night was a tough one, partially because one of their imports is 6'10" and probably 260lbs! After the first two games the nights before my energy level was really low and I knew this was gonna be a struggle as he's a REAL physical player. We ended up losing by 12pts or so and it was definitely my worst performance yet. I got absolutely manhandled defensively and couldn't hold my ground against him at all. Without much energy and strength it was really tough to compete to full potential against such a big physical guy. I am really looking forward to this weekends game so that I can redeem myself and play better for our club! It feels great to be back to 100%! thank you Lord!

We are currently in Kuala Lumpor. The main city of Malaysia. It's really nice here so far and there are a lot of things to do for entertainment. It's like any big city really, shopping, food, movies and nightlife. Hopefully we will have some down time to get to look around and explore a little bit. My other import teammate Chris played for the Kuala Lumpor team here during their ABL (Asian Basketball League) season so he is really familiar with the area and things to do, which is nice. As of right now we're practicing 2 times a day and preparing for this weekends games, so not too much down time. We are leaving on Saturday for Ipoh which is the location for this weekends games. It's a 1 1/2 hour drive North of Kuala Lumpor. It should be an interesting weekend and I think we've prepared well enough to take a couple wins this weekend. We are currently in 3rd place at 3 wins and 3 losses. There are two teams tied for first at 4 wins and 2 losses. So we are only 1 win out of at least second place. Not bad for having a young and inexperienced team! This will be our last full weekend of games as next weekend is the playoffs, so its time to buckle down.

The Darwin league started last Tuesday and I guess our team lost, but both myself and Bobby (the other import US player) didn't get to play, so that was probably a big reason for the loss. I'm excited to get back to AU and start playing with my team there and finally get settled in! But until then I'm going to continue to enjoy my time here in Malaysia and focus on winning this tournament!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Friday, 16 July 2010

1 Week down 3 to go

I'm gonna start this post back at last Friday's match. It was the first game for us as a team together with everyone. We played a tough 40 minutes and ended up losing by 3pts. I had 14pt and 13rebs. We should've won that game, but we learned a lot from the loss and improved drastically over the next two days. Game 2 we played a better team and after 40 minutes we won by 17pts. I had 8pt and 8rebs. Game 3 we played the favored team of the league the KL Dragons. They had already won their first two games by an average of 35pts. Their team is made up of 2 imports and then all national local players, so you can imagine they are a tough team even off the bench. We fought hard right out the gates and was down 3 pts at halftime. Minded the other coach sat his imports out the whole first half (i guess he thought he would wear us down and then blast us the 2nd half). The second half was hard fought but we made a run mid way through the 4th quarter and they never came back. We won by 13pts! I had 14pts and 6 rebs. That put us at 2 wins and 1 loss and in 1st place through the first weekend. Now we must continue to grow as a team and get better.

Funny story about the third game. It was sometime in the 3rd or 4th quarter when i went up for a shot, as I was running back on defense I noticed my shorts were falling down. I checked my drawstring and sure enough it was broken, I looked at the referee and told him but he did nothing haha. The play continued and I actually blocked a guys shot w/o my shorts falling to the ground. I then started to motion to the coach and bench that I needed a sub, but I was also pulling on my shorts (to try to show them that they were loose). I finally got a quick sub and a new pair of shorts from a teammate then checked back in to a standing ovation! After the game people were coming up to me and saying it looked like I was trying to tell them I had to use the bathroom hahahahah! Anyway it was a pretty funny situation to be a part of, I'm just happy we got the win.

One thing thats funny out here is how much we are treated like superstars after the games. I've never had to smile and pose for sooooooo many pictures in my life. Literally for about 35minutes after each game we (the imports) are taking pictures with the fans. I gotta say it's kinda cool though :)

After our game Sunday we went to eat at the owner's restaurant. It was late, around 12 midnight. There was a buffet of different food. Since I've been out here I've been open to trying new things. I know maybe that's not the smartest idea but I want to experience the culture as much as possible. Well that idea bit me in that AS* lol. As soon as we got back to the hotel to watch the World Cup finals I started to get a back headache and my stomach was acting up and I got the chills. I knew something wasn't right. Luckily we had all monday off, so I just stayed in and rested up. Come Tuesday nothing much had changed so I went and saw a doctor. He said it was probably some food poisoning and also bad de-hydration (even though I drink a ton of water and other iso-tonic drinks). So i was prescribed some medications and started to take them. I started to feel better until we got off the plane for our second weekends games. My stomach started acting up again and I was sweating while I was sleeping. Finally yesterday I went back to another doctor and he gave me some antibiotics as well as some electrolyte packets to drink every 2 hours. He said i was very de-hydrated and needed to replenish quickly. I am starting to feel better already, but I don't know if it will be enough as we play tonight.... I think for sure I will better for Saturday and sunday. As for tonights game I will play in quick spurts of 3-4 minutes rather than 10 straight hahah. It will have to work for today. I cannot push myself as I am only 75% or so right now.

Other than being sick as of late as is still going very well and I'm still having a great time. I am very thankful for this situation and being blessed with being placed on this team with other christian guys. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Since I've been here the team has given me the nickname of "Kwhy-low". They told me that's how other people would describe and call me when they see me around. It basically means "white man" hahahha! But I like the way it sounds when pronounced so I made it stick lol!

I hope everyone is well and in good spirits back home. I am praying for everyone to have a safe, fun and healthy summer!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Friday, 9 July 2010

Bintulu Rainbows

I made it in safely to Bintulu Malaysia on the 5th of July and let me tell you, man am I happy to finally get to unpack my bag after a week or so of traveling hahaha! So now down to business....

We've been practicing twice a day to get ready for this month long season. Our first 3 games are this weekend starting tonight at 9pm against Kinasabah. We will be playing 3 games a weekend until the final weekend where it will be single game elimination for the playoffs (so we will play at least 9 games and possibly 12 at the most). The league is called the NBL (National Basketball League) and I am playing for the Bintulu Rainbows. There are only 4 teams in this month long league so we will get to play each one 3-4 times. This is the only professional league that Malaysia has so it's a big deal but only lasts a month or two at times (they are really trying to make basketball bigger here in this country but it takes time). There has already been a lot of media and newspaper attention about the games this weekend and they are expecting sold out crowds, should be fun!! My team is pretty young for the most part and the club is expecting this season to be a rebuilding one, but we are going to fight to win every game possible. All the guys are really cool and most of them speak fairly good english with the exception of a few that don't speak any and a few that speak it really well. All the people here in general speak at least a little bit of English, which once again makes me feel dumb because I ONLY speak English fluently (and a little bit of Spanish, but nothing to brag about)... It reminds me of when I was visiting Luxembourg where they spoke around 4 languages. I feel like most Americans are soooo dependant on other cultures being able to speak our language, where WE never learn other languages growing up (except maybe 1 year in middle school and 1-2 years in high school, but who ever "really" remembers that stuff and trys to become fluent in it).

So since I love to eat I gotta talk about the food!! It's basically AMAZING hahaha. Not only is it super cheap (at least to me cuz the US dollar exchange rate is so good, although the club is paying for my meals so its not like i gotta worry about spending money anyway) but it's really authentic and de-lish :) . I've already had numerous dishes and have tried some new things as well, but coming from Seattle where there is already such a big Asian cultural background and plenty of Chinese food to go around I pretty much am used to it. Still though, nothing like the "real deal"!

This month is really going to fly by with practices and/or games basically everyday, but I think it will be a lot of fun and I'll have many memories from my time here. If all goes good then maybe I'll be back next season, you never know. Our other import player is Chris Keate and he's played in this league tournament 3 times already. He's originally from Camaroon, Africa and is a really chill cool guy but a great basketball player and has won the MVP 2 out of the 3 times he's played, so he'll be a very valuable asset to us winning. It'll be nice to have him here since he's been around for a while and knows the routine with things.

The weather has been hot for the most part, and pretty humid too. It reminds me a lot of Florida summers. It rains about twice a day, but only for around 15minutes then it's done and it's all dry after about another 30minutes. The scenery of what I've seen so far is definitely tropical, but where I am in East Malaysia is definitely more rural than other regions. So more Jungle-ish, but still really nice and green. The downfall to the hot weather is practicing in it!!! The gym has no A/C and because of that it gets pretty damn hot at times hahaha. By the end of our 2 hour practices I am absolutely drenched and can just wring out my shirt and shorts into a puddle of sweat hahaha! It's crazy but I'm going to have to deal with it because that's just the way it is out here. Chris has already told me that ball and court during the games can get pretty slippery and to not get mad/upset if when i go to shoot that the ball just slips out of my hands hahah! Should be an experience once again to say the least, but that's what I'm here for and I'm looking forward to it!!

We will be traveling each week which is pretty cool, so that way I'll be able to see different areas of Malaysia. This past week and of course this weekend we are in Bintulu (east Malaysia) but on Wednesday the 14th we fly to Kota Kinabalu and are there until the 20th where we then fly to Kuala Lumpor (which is the main city of Malaysia). Basically we are going to play a weekend of games in each teams city so that each team has a fair ammount of "home" games.

As for today, we had a AM shoot around and now I'm just chilling in our hotel room. We have a pre-game dinner and meeting in a couple hours then we'll head over to the gym for the tournaments opening ceremony. Our game isn't until 9pm though!!! Which is really late for a game but hopefully by then the heat will have worn off a little bit. I will be updating the blog over the month with game scores from each weekend.

Here is the leagues website if you want to check it out (it is mostly in chinese but you can get it translated by Google translation if you want to)

I hope this reaches everyone in good spirits and all is well back home. I miss everyone a ton! Can't wait to be home in December already hahaha!

Until tomorrow...
"Make it Happen"

Friday, 2 July 2010


Hey Hey everybody!!

Well that wasn't a very long break was it...???!!! I'm back on the grind again and this time I'm DOWN UNDAAA in Darwin Australia!!
I just arrived yesterday the 1st of July and so far so good! I'm going to be here until the 4th then I'm off to Kuala Lumpor, Malaysia for a tournament for just one month (with a team called the Bintulu Rainbows) then I'll be back in Darwin for their season here until December with The Eagles.

There was no time to waste yesterday, as soon as i got off the plane we came home to drop my stuff off then we were off to Donna's sons house to celebrate "Territory Day" which is like our 4th of July. So we had some fireworks, food and drinks! It was a fun time and nice to already meet some new people. I was pooped though and once we got home I knocked out at like 10pm and slept in till about 8am.
I'm staying with the other American player Bobbby at our team Secretary's house Donna (she's been with the Eagles since the club started and is like the team mom and is an awesome lady and loves bball). I can already tell we'll be having a lot of fun here at the house over the next 6 months!
Today we're off to get me set up with a bank account for when i get back from Malaysia. Plus Donna and Bobby are gonna show me around the city of Darwin so I can see what exactly goes on around here, should be a fun day! Tomorrow we are headed out on a 3hour cruise with both the men's and women's team and the management of the Eagles so we can all get to meet eachother and hang out. That will be a lot of fun and great to finally meet everyone!
Well that's all i got for now...
I know GOD has some awesome things planned for me while i'm out here and I'm ready to attack them head on! A new adventure.. Here we go!
Thanks to all my friends and family for the past month and a half! I know it went by super quick, but it was A LOT of fun and really great to see everyone!!! I miss all you guys tons and will be updating my FB with pictures and what not all the time. Much love to you all!
Until tomorrow...
"Make it Happen"