Saturday, 25 September 2010

Another week another Aussie dollar

Wassup my people!! I hope everyone's life is rolling along just fine with all smiles and no major problems!

So since my last post we had a bball game Tuesday against the Warriors. They are a team with two imports (americans) and some decent local guys, but they have struggled to win games and that leaves them towards the bottom of the board. But we still had to respect them as they are a scrappy team and fight hard. Let's just say it was an UGLY game haha, but we got the win. The final score was something like 65-57. I finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Definitely didn't shoot the ball well at 5-19fg's, 0-5 from 3pt land. Lately my stroke from deep has been a little bit off and i'm trying to zero it in like when I was in Malaysia. Our next match is Tuesday night against the TV Jets. We are currently 7-2 and I believe tied for 2nd place at the moment.

As far as the NT All-Star team goes the coaches ended up being able to keep all 5 of us Import players on the team!! The coaching staff talked to the NBL management about the situation up here with not as many local guys coming out to play so they decided to let us keep more import guys on the squad. So that's exciting and we should be able to compete a lot better with more americans on the team. Our game is going to be Saturday night at 6pm and we'll be playing against the team that finishes in 8th place, so that's still to be determined at the moment. It should be a great opportunity to showcase our skills so that the coaches of the NBL teams can watch us and possibly even want us for the following season, you never know...

This past week both Bobby and I were asked to do some bball sessions at the Darwin Juvenile Detention Center. So we decided we'd give it a go and have some fun with the boys. We went on Tuesday and Thursday for around 2 hours each time. The boys there were anywhere from 14 to 17 years old and were locked up for a number of things from stealing to fighting, etc. Each kid had to wear a certain colored t-shirt based on what "level" they were classified as by the Juvenile Center. Blue being the "better behaved" kids and Orange being the kids that were probably gonna move to the Prison once they hit 18yrs old. At first I'm not gonna lie, I was skeptical as to how well these kids would wanna listen and actually try in some drills, relays and games. BUT to my surprise the kids were AWESOME and probably one of the best groups I've ever done a session with! They not only listened really well, but got into every relay race and shooting competition with so much enthusiasm and even support for each other. I was happy to see them having fun and getting good exercise in at the same time. They were a good group of boys, but just had a tough up-bringing and probably not the best group of friends outside the walls of the Center. It was fun to help out and a nice change of pace for the week. Just another reason to look at my life and be thankful for the family I have and the situation I'm in. Gotta give praise to the big man upstairs aka GOD!

Work has really been going well. I'm getting a steady 4 days a week, which is perfect. I've met some good people, ate some gooooooooood food :) and really enjoyed getting to do something other than hoop 24/7. I'm looking forward to the next few months, it should be fun!

I've been in contact with some coaches over in Perth WA (western Australia) and also down in South Australia in regards to next season, which for them starts in Feb/march and goes until August. It's always exciting once recruiting starts for a new season. There's emails, phone calls and even in-person meetings that happen. It's part of the business that's really exciting to be involved in! There's nothing like knowing that a couple teams "want" YOU to play for them, it's definitely lets you know that all the hard work and grinding has paid off. So over the next few months I'll be updating everyone as to where it'll look like I'm going to end up for the next 6 months of my professional basketball career. As for now I'm loving Darwin and the situation here, it couldn't be any better (at least from what I can control anyway :) ).

I miss everyone tons at home. Soooooooooo much seems to be happening with the family its crazy! I can't wait to be able to see everyone and get caught up. Thanks to all for following me and this crazy journey i'm on. I would love to get updates on what's going on in your life too!! Hit me up on Skype or by email at any time. All the best until my next post! Cheers :)

Until tomorrow...
"Make it Happen"

Friday, 17 September 2010

NBL first cut...

So we had a game on Tuesday and we got another "W"! We ended up winning by about 30points or so. We played a team called the Razzle and they are on the bottom of the barrel in the leader board standings. They are one of 2 teams that refuse to take on import players and because of that they get the beat down every week haha. It was a fun game as a lot of our guys got some good playing time and court experience. I finished with 24pts, 15rebs and 3blocks. I also had 3 dunks, one of which was a pretty nasty tip dunk! I guess all this bike riding during the week to the gym and back is actually starting to pay off!! :)

Saturday morning we had a training session at 6:30am for the Northern Territory NBL all-star team and afterwards the coaches told us that they were going to be making a cut to 13 players later that day. The list was posted up on the website and I was on it, but there was a total of 5 import (american) players names on the list and there can only be 3 on the final roster for the tournament game. SOOO needless to say the coaches have to make another cut here soon and 2 more import names have to be cut from that list! I've been playing well and am pretty confident that I'll get a spot on the team, but I'm still working hard everyday!
One of the nice things about this NBL all-star team is that we practice like 5 times a week compared to the once a week practice for the Eagles team. We practice Saturday morning and night, Sunday night, Monday night, wednesday night and Thursday morning. So this is a great opportunity to play against good competition each practice (9 or so import players and best local players) and get in better cardio shape (cuz we run a lot at these practices). Guys are encouraged to come to every practice even if they don't make the final roster for the team, just to make practices as competetive as possible. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks with this team.

Just wanted to give everybody a quick update on our last game and the All-Star team tryouts. Hope this post finds everyone in a good healthy mood and with a smile on your face :)! Here's a little saying/quote that's been motivating me lately, maybe it will give you a litte something in your tank as well. "If it is to be, then it's up to me"

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Mid September already....

SO since my last post we've had two games. The first was last Tuesday against Ansett bball club (my buddy Colin's team). We were both tied for first place on top of the ladder. From the get go it was a bad game for us. We were down 2 of our starters from injuries, so we knew that was going to be a big problem. They jumped on us and never looked back. We ended up losing by like 30 points and never made it a game (which most people thought it was going to be a good game because our teams are pretty even). I felt like crap through the whole game and had to be subbed out numerous times to rest. I just felt like I had NO energy at all to fight and be physical (almost felt light headed at times). I figured it out and I hadn't eaten enough "pre-game" food close enough to our match!! I had eaten around noon or so earlier in the day and didn't eat again before our 6:30pm game, so I had no "fuel" for our game. I don't know what I was doing or thinking...!!! hahah obviously I wasn't thinking at all!! Anyways I was dissapointed about that game because it was against Colin's team and I wanted to take them down and be able to talk smack to him about it until we play them again :) . But that's not gonna happen quite yet. I finished the game with 14pts and 8 rebounds.
We had the second game this last weekend on Saturday night and played against the Lightning. They are a pretty good team with two import players, but they aren't the best conditioned team. So we started the run game with them and they couldn't keep up, we were up 16 points by half time and finished the game winning by 15 points. I had a slow start with 2 points in the first quarter, but found my groove and finished with 27 points and 19 rebounds. We are currently 5-2 and sitting in second place on the leader board. After 5 games I am averaging 25 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks per game.

This last Sunday a group of us went to Litchfield National Park to swim, hangout, relax and EAT!! I had yet to visit the park so this was my first trip, it's about a 1 1/2 hour car ride out there. We made our first stop at the Termite Mounds. It was crazy how many of them there were and how BIG some of them were. There was like a huge open field with these mounds sticking up out of the ground like tombstones. Reminded me of a cemetery almost.

This was probably the biggest one there! Me, coach Wombat, and JJ.

Me and coach. You can see some of the mounds sticking out of the ground.

After our quick pitstop at the Mounds to take some pics we headed up to Florence Falls to take a dip and relax under the waterfalls. It was gorgeous!

We hung out there for about and hour or so then headed up to the Buley Rockhole where people just hang out in the shallow water and relax, throw the footey around and get their grub on!

We had to get back early Sunday afternoon because Bobby and I both had to get to a try-out for an All-Star NT team. The top league (NBL) is coming to Darwin for their pre-season tournament in about a month, and the NT (Northern Territory aka Darwin) is putting together an ALL-Star team to play against the NBL team who finishes in 9th place of the tournament. We are only going to play 1 game but its still a great opportunity to get to play in front of NBL coaches and scouts. The only draw back is that our team can only have 3 import (american) players on it, out of the 11 that are in Darwin. The rest of the team is going to be local players from Darwin and also Aussie players from other areas of Australia. So it's going to be a fight for who gets those 3 spots! The trials go for a couple days then the coaches will decide who to pick for the squad. I think my chances are pretty good, I'm just staying focused and working hard!

Work has been good and I'm getting around 3-4 days a week. My shift is typically from 4-12 at night so I have the whole day to get my workout in and whatever else needs to be done. I like working the bar and getting to talk to the many different customers and regulars. It's typically pretty busy as the Casuarina Sports Club usually has events going on every night. Anything from trivia night to live music to raffles. It makes time fly by when its busy and drinks are pouring! The best part of my job though is when I get my FREE meal!! YES! I can order anything on the menu that's less than 16$. So i take FULL advantage of that deal hahah! I've discovered a wonderful Sausage and Mash w/ gravy dish that is the most bang for the buck and leaves me full and ready for a nap :) . I'm learning some new drinks and feeling more comfortable behind the bar with every shift.

The scooter I was planning on buying didn't work out, lets just say that... SO now i'm thinking of just possibly buying a "beater" (AKA a crappy car) to get from home to work and back. The wet season build up is really starting to hit now and its getting pretty hot and soon the rains will be here and in full effect, so a car would probably be better than a scooter anyway. I've been doing some online research and found some cars that might be "the one" but nothing yet, I'll keep ya'll updated!

Here is the official website link for our league the DBA. So you can follow our game stats and what not:

Here's my latest highlight video link from my time in Malaysia. Check it out!

I think that's about it for now. Everything is going well out here and time is flying by. I miss everyone at home a ton and hope that all is good! Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts. God Bless!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Cricket match and another "W" on the bball court!

Sunday afternoon coach Wombat(that's his nickname) gave us a call to see if Bobby and I wanted to go watch a Cricket match. There had been a three day tournament going on and our Northern Territory (NT) team was playing. So seeing as though neither one of us had seen a live game before we decided to go and check it out. I guess there's a few variations of cricket. The original game can take up to 5 days to finish one game!!! NUTS! The game we watched is called 20/20. It's the same principles as the original game but it's meant to be finished within 3-4 hours, so hopefully a little more fast paced and exciting. Well, from what we saw, it was everything but exciting and fast paced haha! The game was actually one of the worst games coach Wombat had ever been to. I guess for a good game the score would usually be like 180-160, but our game finished 111-109. At least NT got the win! Cricket is definitely a game that I think you have to grow up on to love.

As you can see Bobby thought the game was QUITE exciting lol!

Yesterday we had another game and this time it was against the Darwin Rebels. They were currently in first place and undefeated at 4-0. They are the only team with more than 2 import players on one team, they have 4. It was a close game down to the fourth quarter but we ended up pulling away and maintaining an 8point lead for the win. That puts us at 4-1 and now tied for first place with Anset t (my buddy Colin from Seattle, his team). I had another good game and came out with 20pts and 11rebs. Our next match is actually Saturday, I guess we'll be having one saturday game each month. So it'll be a quick turnaround to play another game without a practice session before hand, but that's just the way it is out here.

Everything else is going really well and I'm really feeling truly settled in. Today is going to be my second day on the job and I'm hoping that it goes well and I can have some fun at the same time. I've really been blessed to be put in this situation. It honestly feels like I'm not to far from home and I think my mum out here has a lot to do with it. Donna takes care of us (me and Bobby) like we're her own kids. She makes us feel at home more than anyone else out here. We eat dinner together, watch CSI or another detective show together every night, she's always at the gym when we are (at least for reffing and games, not working out), gives us rides to where ever we need to go, etc. She really cares about this club a lot and puts more into it than anyone else involved with the Eagles. She is definitely the "mum" of the whole team and I am thankful for her.

I hope everyones summer was good, because from what I'm hearing it sounds like the summer is longggggggggggg gone!!! Geez Seattle is weak sometimes! It's been really nice to catch up with a lot of family and friends as of late. I'm glad that someone invented Skype otherwise this whole playing ball overseas thing wouldn't be so great. I keep everyone in my prayers and thoughts all the time!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"