Friday, July 9, 2010


Hope everybody is doing well. As I write today we have only two regular season games left, and having won five out of our last six, good enough to get us back to second place in the league standings. In all likelihood this is where we are going to finish heading into playoffs which would be a good position. We'd obviously like to finish first, but regardless we would have home court advantage all the way thru the playoffs (the championship series is at a neutral site). However, like I said there are two games left and we need to finish out on a positive note headed into the playoffs and not have any letdowns.

In the past three weeks I've had a couple decent highlights in my play. Several times last season and a couple this season I had games where I scored in the upper 30's like 39 and 38. I would have gotten to 40 more than once had I just made a couple more free throws in those games. About two weeks ago I finally broke the 40 point barrier as I made my free throws. I'll be honest, it was nice to have a game like that, I ended up with 45 points. I also had another highlight just last weekend as I recorded my first double double in a long time (maybe since high school, I can't even remember). I finished that game with 21 points and 10 assists. It's always enjoyable to play well, I just hope to continue to play well throughout the rest of the season.

Being in Australia, Ben (the other American import) and I don't really have an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the festivities that accompany July 4th back home in the states. But hey that's alright, cause we organized our own little cookout and get together all the way in Perth, Australia. It was actually hosted by the family that I stay with, who btw are incredible and I'm lucky to have them looking after me, but we had a good crowd show up for burgers, hot dogs, and other things that one might find at a July 4th cookout. There are about 10 or so American players in this league that Ben and I either knew before coming out through Athletes in Action or met competing against each other, so we got most of them to all come enjoy the festivities together. It was a great opportunity to catch up with all these guys off the court and have a "happy birthday America" (as one guy kept saying) party. (Photo of some of the guys above)

Not much other than that, hopefully I'll do a better job updating this site in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Not a whole lot going on down under other than the normal, basketball, working out, and staying ready for the next ball game. Since the last time I wrote we've had a couple big wins. I think we are back even in the lost column with the two teams ahead of us in the standings. The good thing is that we have the tiebreakers over both those teams. With 8 (I think) games left we are sitting in pretty solid position but we got a tough next three weeks ahead of us. I've continued to play well for the most part. It's slightly different this year, I've continued to garner a lot of attention from opposing teams defenses, but the good thing is that we've had other players step up consistently. There isn't any pressure on me to press or force things. Ben (the other import) has played great all year and can score easily, so between the two of us, and others, we are always capable.

I wrote last time about going to the Fremantle prison to do a tour one Friday night, well Ben, me, and Bobby, who is another American playing for a different team here in Perth, all went down to check it out. Coming from someone who has never been in prison (nope, I don't have anything to hide), it may seem foolish to comment on the condition of such, but this is what we kept calling a "real" prison. It was just insanely primitive. I believe it closed down in 1992, and it would have had no plumbing (inmates were given just a bucket, you can figure out the rest), and there was no real insulation, so in the summer it would have been scorching and would also have gotten very cold at night. Was an interesting night, and like I said a very primitive look at Western Australia's most famous prison.

Also, have had a couple fun nights to head out with some of my teammates to the local casino/resort to watch a couple of the World Cup games, most notably USA and England. Being a member of the English Commonwealth and with lots of English heritage there were a lot of England supporters there. And I mean a lot. I was ridiculously outnumbered (even my teammates were pulling for England). I think I ran into one guy that was from Dallas, but he had had a few too many and was...well we'll just say he was close to seriously angering some English guys, so I had to kind of distance myself from this die hard American supporter cause basically we stood no chance if things got out of hand. I say this cause it was rowdy in the sports book, but it was a great atmosphere. Chants, songs, and cheers all night long. I loved it. We all had a heck of a good time and I suppose it was a good result for the Americans in the game.

Alright hope everybody is well and I'll update after the games this weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2nd Post

Let's see since the last time I posted a blog we have had four games. Lucky for us(well not lucky, well played), we had four wins as well. Prior to these past 2 weeks we only had one weekend where we had back to back games on following days, and a couple times last year when had them they turned out to be easy games for us. This wasn't the case in these past two weeks. These games were serious, all out battles. Guys were getting shoved and thrown all over the place. Just ridiculously physical. A lot of that is due to our opponents. Three out of the four teams had some legit size up and down the roster. I spent a lot of time guarding guys much bigger than me. This has often been the case over these past two seasons as we usually play three guards while others typically play 2 and then a small forward(who isn't so small compared to me at 6'2") but this time it was even more. For three games in a row I was playing guys that had about 5 inches on me and a further 25 plus pounds. With that said tho I think I did a good job and everybody around me did good helping.

Prior to these games we had fallen from top spot in the league after a couple losses. After these four wins (5 in a row overall) we moved back on top of the ladder and defeated the team that had replaced us for a time. So all in all it has been a very good two weeks.

Outside of basketball, there wasn't a whole lot going on. It's getting to be that time of the season where I'm just really trying to stay focused and prepared for the latter half of the season. A lot of my time is left for basketball, and there is nothing wrong with that, just that there isn't anything really different to tell. Am looking forward to only having one game this weekend and hopefully that will leave some time to do something on Friday night. Ben and I have talked about going down to the port city of Fremantle where they have a very old and now non functioning prison. Apparently, there are some really cool tours that can be taken and made more interesting and creepy by doing so at night. That may be something interesting to check out.

Several weeks ago I got to check out the Red Bull Air Race while it was in its Perth stop of the tour. Don't know if you are at all familiar with this, but its acrobatic planes racing thru gates set up along the water. I have seen it on tv several times before from cities all across the world, so I thought it was cool that in was in Perth while I was here. Was definitely a fun afternoon and pretty interesting to see these planes zipping thru these inflatable gates. I think I got some pictures so like at Rottnest I'll try to get some of these up soon.

Alright, hope everybody is enjoying that summer weather on the horizon, know I'm missing that. It's getting a lil cooler here, still very pleasant, but can't go sit on the beach anymore. Take care.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Finally updating in my return trip to Perth

Alright, so it's been a while since I've updated this blog-thing or whatever, being a mixture of laziness, computer problems, and what not....but mostly being lazy and not getting around to it. With that said, I apologize (mainly to my mother who asks me every time I speak with her when I am going to start updating the blog) and am ready to start up again. So, here we go.

I've been in Perth a lil more than three months now and everything has been great. So much has happened since I've been back. It would take me ages to describe all the amazing and fun things that have been going on so I'll just give a couple highlights and then maybe touch on other things from time to time. First, it has been really good to catch up and see all the friends and people that I met last year. Leaving last August, I had made some really good friends and met some very amazing people, but with Australia being on the other side of the world, I didn't know if that would be the last time I saw them or not. To return and see everybody again has been the best experience (as well as meet many new ones).

I've also gotten to visit and experience some different areas around Perth that I didn't get to see last year. It helps to have a second chance to try and get to some places that I missed out on last season. Most notably, Ben, Al, and I made the short boat (ferry) ride over to Rottnest Island a couple months ago....ok I'll stop there for a second. Ben is the other American import from Iowa, a 6'6" post player who is a very good player and even better guy. Even being basically the same age I am, he is someone who I look up to tremendously and has a huge heart for the Lord, a great friend and one that I will keep after I leave. He's been the other half of the piece in pretty much all my excursions to the beach or wherever since I've been here.....Al is the like little brother, the 17 year old son of the family I am staying with (who have been awesome by the way, talk more on that later). Much fun to be around him....alright, so this fairly small island is about 20 km off the coast, so obviously the only way to it is by boat, and people are not allowed to have cars on the island. We went over with this plan to explore the island and do as many things as possible in the day that we were there. Well, that plan was scrapped as soon as we started snorkeling (well we still saw the island, but just snorkeled at different places). It was ridiculous, so much fun. There are lots of coral reefs surrounding the island thus lots of fish and everything.....DID NOT see any sharks tho, very thankful for that, and I was looking.....The water was also clear blue, not kidding. Definitely like something off the Travel Channel. It was all we wanted to do. A shame we never made it back as we got pretty busy and now its too cold to do that, but something I will never forget and just an amazing experience. Hopefully, I can get a couple pictures up here soon.

There has been a lot of stuff going on since I've been here and many other interesting and beautiful sites, but the thing that brought me here, basketball, has also been going on for about 2 months. It's going great. Thinking about it, its amazing to still be playing at a high level and that I'm playing in Australia, so very thankful for that. To top it off, it has once again been a great experience. The team is doing well as am I. We aren't even half way through the season yet, but I'm excited to see where and how far we can go. We got a lot of work to do to win the title again but am confident that we can. For specifics, we are sitting in third place with an 8-3 record, but are tied in the loss column. In reality, the games we lost are ones we shouldn't have but that happens and we just have to learn from them. We have 2 games this weekend that will challenge us once again.

That's all for now. There is a lot to write about and don't think I could do it all. Miss you all. Take care

Monday, August 24, 2009

SBL Champions and Return Trip Home

In reading the headline of the post you can figure that we won the league title. However, I'll backtrack a little bit and give you more of an idea about how we got there since my last post was some time ago. The last update I gave mentioned that I had been sick and missed the first game of the semi final series against a very tough opponent, but we were still able to come away with a win.

The following week that Geraldton team came down to our place trying to force a third and deciding game. It was a Saturday night game in our home gym, and wow did the people come out to support us. I think it was easily our biggest crowd of the year and the people were packed in tight. I remember taking a look up at the fans at one point during the game and saw people sitting in the aisles, standing two or three deep at the top of the stands, and people pulling chairs into the far corners. All this energy translated into an electric and loud crowd (gym holds less than 1000 people). I think this really helped us in the game. The game could best be described as back and forth. I don't think either team led by more than 7 or 8 points at any point in the game. It was just close the whole way thru. With under a minute and a half the game was tied and we were able to make a couple big plays (I hit a three and another player scored a basket, got fouled, and made the free throw) that gave us the lead by 6 with about 50 seconds left. After some free throws on our part and a made three or so thrown in there by the opposition we were able to come away with a 4 point win. It was a good win, gave us a berth in the championship game, and everybody was loving it. I was ridiculously happy that we won, but just as much so that we won that Saturday night in game 2. If Geraldton had beaten us and forced a game 3. It would have been the following afternoon, about 18 hours later. I would have been STRUGGGLINNG. Saturday's night game was another physical contest and I took many hits and shots thru out the course of the game (nothing necessarily dirty, just a hard fought game). It would have taken a while to get going had we played on Sunday.

Everybody on the team, and again many supporters, were so anxious for the championship game the next Saturday night. This story may put it in perspective (for the interest in the game as a whole). When the tickets went on sale to the public on the Tuesday leading up to the game, they sold out in ten minutes. Granted, the site of the championship game is again, not a very large venue with just a little more that a grand capacity probably, but I mean c'mon TEN MINUTES. People all over were fired up for this game. Even more so that the team we were playing were I guess like the face of the league - they play there home games at the venue - so it was basically a home game for them. Only it wasn't a home game for them when Saturday rolled around, I'll touch on this in a moment.

Leading up to the game, we had a great week of preparation and really worked hard to be ready to go. Finally, Saturday came around. It felt like an eternity waiting as we were all so ready to go out and get things going. When we rocked up to the game about and hour and a half before tip off there were already fans lining up waiting to get in. Not just a few fans, I mean a serious number. What made it great was that I think just about all were Lakeside people, so we walked thru the crowd and everybody just started cheering and getting fired up. By the time I had gotten dressed and ready to go onto the floor to get some pregame shots up, the doors had been opened and our fans were quickly filling up the bleachers on both sides. This is probably at least an hour before tip off and a majority of all the Lakeside people were already getting in. By the time the game started I think both bleachers were filled with about 2/3 Lakeside people compared to the rest for the opposition. It was absolutely great. Such a great following and atmosphere by our fans....I know I've gotten on quite a roll about our fans, but really they deserve it, and was an atmosphere and interest that I personally have never experienced before. All this did was just help us and fuel us even farther. And did it show once the game started. We jumped all over the other team, Mike Tyson style back in his prime. Before they knew what happened we were up double digits and led by 12 at quarter time. If you were watching I think you would have thought the other team looked lost and didn't know what hit them. Maybe they weren't quite ready to play, maybe they were. But regardless, we were and we came out hard, really hard. In the first half we got the lead up to as much as 28 points. It would have been easy to think this was the game, and in reality maybe we did a little bit and they got it to 18 at the half. The second half got even more interesting. They played much better, I think we got a little tired after the amount of energy we expended early, and they made the game very close down the stretch, cutting the deficit all the way down to 3!! Honestly, I'll admit that this was kind of a shock. Suddenly, the atmosphere in the stadium was going crazy again and they were feeling very good about their position, and rightfully so. Personally, I'm not going to say that yea I wanted this to happen (it would have been just as sweet to get an easier title game, a blow out), but really, I was seriously enjoying every minute of this. The game got close and there was just the rush of adrenaline, and just realized how fun it was. The atmosphere, what was happening, ect. However, like we've done all season, we responded very well and just kept defending and getting some key stops and made a couple big buckets and were able to get an 8 point victory. Once the buzzer sounded, everybody - players and fans - erupted. It was a good time, and a good celebration. Just feels real good to have put in hard work the whole season, and to have won the regular season title and the league championship (or Grand Final as it's called) was super satisfying. We took pictures, got the trophy, sang our team song, cut down the nets, did all the things a team does after winning a title, and it felt great. It was also nice that the supporters (who have been there the whole season) were able to come onto the floor following the presentation and share the moment while we cut down the nets. This means just about all the Lakeside people who were there joined on the floor. After that, it was out for a little bit to celebrate with the guys and enjoy my last couple nights in Australia.

Yep, I'm finally headed home. It doesn't really seem like finally, as the whole experience seemed to go by really fast. Once that last game was played, those final two days went by extremely fast. So here I am now, 2:30 AM sitting in the Melbourne airport waiting on my 6 AM flight to LA bored as I don't know what. That's why if you're reading this you're probably asking when this post is ever going to end? I got nothing else to do and seemingly all the time in the world. I am glad to be going home, but this journey home is going to absolutely nightmare. Anyways, I'll be home one day in the future - reality, Tuesday night, hopefully. Once I get home I think I'll give a little bit more of a run down on the whole Australian experience, but for now I got to go find some bloody (see more Australian/English slang) food in this deserted airport. See you soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Semi Final and Sick Recovery

This past week or so has been pretty uneventful for me minus getting pretty sick and trying to deal with that. About a week ago I came down pretty sick. I'm pretty sure I didn't get the flu but was just floored by a cold. I struggled so much that I was unable to play in our first semifinal game last weekend. That was real tough to take but it turned out great for the team and me. Even tho I wasn't playing the team played an unbelievable game and were able to come away with a big road win. This definitely lifted my spirits as I would have been feeling even worse if we had lost and I knew that I wasn't able to help my guys out. That gives us a slight edge this weekend, but still know that it's going to be a very tough task and we'll have to play our best. As for being sick, I'm good now. No real lingering effects. The only thing that I noticed was that my conditioning and stamina took a hit as I didn't really do anything for a week, and was practically in bed for about 3 of those days doing absolutely nothing.

Other than that there isn't really much else happening. Everything is just winding down. Simply put, I'll be on my way heading home in about 10 days or so. Crazy to think all 6 months of work and so far away is coming down to this last week of basketball. Hopefully, we'll be able to close it out right.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Playoff Win

Hello again. We were able to win our first playoff series in three games (best of three series). It did turn out to be a fairly tough series. We started the round off with our backs against the wall as we lost the first game and were thus facing elimination from there on out. However, following the first game, we had a good week of practice and preparation featuring hard work and good adjustments. The next weekend both games (if needed the 2nd) would be at our home facility. In the 2nd game of the series we jumped all over them and basically crushed them. We won by 25 or 30. It wasn't really even close past the 2nd quarter. Obviously, this was good momentum going into the deciding game the following night, and we used this to cruise to another fairly easy win. Again, in this game we came out and hammered them early, leading as much as nearly 30. In the end they made it somewhat interesting and I think the final difference was 12. Funny incident at the end of the game that pretty much sums up what we did to the other team in the final two games was that I had the ball at the end of the game with maybe a 7 second deferential between the shot clock and game clock. Basically meant that we could get one more shot up or take the shot clock violation but the game wouldn't end with the ball in our hands. As the shot clock ran down I had the ball at the top of the floor right around the mid court circle, and had decided that I was going to shoot it or pass to someone else who could shoot it rather than take the shot clock violation. The defense had already given up the game and weren't going to foul so the guy that was guarding me was a good ten feet off of me. With maybe 2 seconds on the shot clock I took one dribble in from the circle and just let it fly. It's strange, cause when I shot it, it was one of those moments where the ball just seemed to suspend in space for a time, and then it went thru nothing but net and the place just erupted. It was a deep shot....really deep. I think everyone in the gym was kind of shocked that I would shoot it so far out and then almost even more so when it went in. I remember thinking before I shot it that a. I was too tired to drive it or make some kind of play, and b. the games over what the heck just let it go. I guess it was a good exclamation point to finish out the series and definitely created some good laughs. I don't know how many people came up to me after the game and said "great shot" or sarcastically and with a smile on his or her face "that was rude". Definitely capped of a very strong two game performance by our team. 

On to the next task, and a tough task it will be. Our next opponent is the Geraldton team that we split with during the regular season and who also beat us by 35 at there place (5 hours up the road). It's going to be a very tough series and we'll have our work cut out deep for us. 

In other bad news it's about 2 days before the first game against them, and I'm coming down pretty hard with a cold (hopefully just that and not flu). Other teammates are also having similar problems so we're not getting any favors before hand. 

Wish us luck, I'll check in soon.