Whats up guys?
Hope everyone is having a great week so far! The last 24 hours for me have been really good as I have been invited to join the Jordan National Team for my 4th year in a row. I am really looking forward to this opportunity as it is our qualifying year for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. It is kinda funny because everyone I talk to at home are saying if we qualify they are flying out to London to support me. That means a lot coming from teachers, coaches and peers to hear that kind of support. Everyone who I have talked means well and I want to personally say I appreciate the support especially from the Grand River faculty as well as Central Arkansas faculty. I will always definitely look back at my college years as enjoyable ones but now it is on to the next chapter, next step, next dream.
I leave to the Kingdom of Jordan in 2 days and I couldn’t be more excited to represent this nation on a world stage in international competition. I have been working really hard and am grateful for this opportunity the Jordan Basketball Federation has presented me. My mother will also be there visiting family, she left a week ago and I look forward to seeing her there as she is going to watch me for the first time play basketball since my freshman year in college. This time it is on an international stage, so it means a lot. The Jordanian fans have been great and I can’t wait to get over there and realize what their support is really about. The arena will be packed and I am sure I will be swamped when I head over there. I love interacting with kids, especially kids who look up to the national team players, means a lot. I felt like I was one of those kids itching to get better any way I could.
I am really confident going into this years team. It’s a mix of veterans and younger players. They always tease me that I am the baby of the team but I am really looking forward to playing with them and learning from one of the best point guards in the world and on this side of the planet, Sam Daghlas. Everytime I go over throughout my college career, I always soak up as much advice as I could from Sam and it has paid off. People are looking to me to take over when he is done and lead the future of Jordan basketball. That would honestly be amazing to be considered one of the best Point guards in Euroasia/Middle east, definitely an honor and a goal of mine. Our coach is Tab Baldwin, who has been to 2 Olympic Games and has recently coached the New Zealand National Team to the FIBA World Championships. He is originally from Jacksonville, Florida and has coached on the NCAA Division 1 level, so he knows the level of competition I will be coming from and succeeded from.
In any way, I am looking forward to playing for him and le
arning the triangle offense. This offense may sound familiar because former Laker coach Phil Jackson ran it with them and the Chicago Bulls. So right now after I am done writing this I am back to studying this offense and watching some gametape. I feel super focused and ready to go. I got to wake up tomorrow at 6 am for a run then head to the gym after that for a shooting workout with one of my coaches. I am preparing this way because Thursday will be a travelling day for me as well as early Friday morning. I want to be fresh and ready to go. I will arrive Thursday for the King Abdullah Cup but will sit out the first few games to get acclimated with the team and learn the offense, which is important from the point guard position,which I will be learning in practice. The sooner I learn it the faster I am on the court and ready to play. I feel bad for the next person I have to guard or has to guard me because I am simply going to go after him from the get go and not let off at all. My American friends and teammates from the U.S will probably get a chance to see me play on ESPN this summer as the William Jones Cup in Taiwan will be broadcasted on the host of networks. I am pretty sure it is ESPN Deportes, which is easy to access.
Well guys, I am off to bed, I got a long day ahead of me tomorrow and will definitely drop another blog when I arrive in Jordan, my flight arrangement looks like this HOME–>Chicago–>Italy–>Amman, Jordan.
Schedule looks like this for the summer:
*King Abdullah Cup (Amman, Jordan): July 21-26
*Ukraine International Cup (Ukraine): July 29-31
*Russia International Tournament: (Moscow, Russia) August 7-9
*William Jones Cup (Taipei, Taiwan): August 15-23 **(BROADCASTED ON ESPN Deportes) **
**FIBA Asia Championships 2011** (Qualification Tournament): China (September 15-25)
Possible Camp in the U.S in between.
Have a great week and wish me safe travels to the kingdom!
Yours in basketball,