Blessings in disguise


There are few things that athletes fear more than injuries. The simple diagnosis of an 8-10 week recovery period can seem more like a death sentence to any serious athlete and competitor. Unfortunately, the injury bug has come my way. I recently fractured the orbital floor of my right eye. In lamens terms, my eye socket is messed up and I can’t play basketball. (Huge shoutout to the large Lithuanian dude who elbowed me, real class act) Fortunately for me, my sentence is only 3-4 weeks, which happens to fall right during a break in our schedule. So in terms of missing games it’s worked out as well as it possibly could. More often than not though, injuries frequently come at the most inopportune times.
More than a few friends of mine have been hit by the bug this season. Will Rackley, Charrell Mack, Jordan Borucki, Marquis hall and most recently Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum and Devon Carter.
Though their sentences may be considered long, they should both fully recover from their injuries.
Now with that being said, obviously in the short term getting injured is horrible. But in the long term a lot of good can also come as a result of an individual’s time away from the game.
I personally view injuries as acts of god. They’re his way of giving us a bit of perspective on where we have been and where we can potentially go. God has a good way of adjusting situations to workout for the best. In some cases that means slowing us down because we’re moving towards a goal too quickly, or he might simply be breaking us down to build us up further. Either way, everything happens for a reason, and it’s much easier to accept these reasons once you understand that god has your best interest in mind.

Stay blessed.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

What’s up world, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything, but I decided to make a return to the blogging world today. This is something like a Christmas present, not to you, but to myself. The primary purpose of my blog, albeit was initially a school project and a sounding board for my thoughts. It developed into more of a convenient way for me to vent and voice my frustrations about life, at my own personal expense and in a rather comedic fashion. If you’ve read previous entries I’m sure you instantly thought back to the passport and laptop issues. Yeah I’m an idiot I know, however, this entry is going to be a bit more serious, depressing and therapeutic. Well for me at least, and no I do not want any of you to pity me.

Long story short, at no point at the ripe old age of 23, although I feel 25, did I ever expect to be spending Christmas alone. Sad statement right? Yeah, but at the end of the day I brought this upon myself. I made a conscious decision and choice to be in the position that I’m in now.
What decision was that?
It was the decision for me to become a professional Basketball player. Oh, it sure might seem like one of the most glamorous and easiest jobs out there. But what many people don’t see is the sacrifice that really goes into it, ESPECIALLY in the life of an overseas player.
Don’t get me wrong now it has its benefits, being A. You get to do what you love for a living, B. You get to play a game for a living, C. You get to see the world on someone else’s bill , the list is really endless.
The drawbacks, months and months away from your loved ones. Yeah, this job isn’t for everyone. I’m not going to lie, I never thought these feelings would really bother me like this. However, I never foresaw myself missing Christmas with my family. Now before you all start over thinking I’m not talking about the kind of Christmas where I stay up all night waiting for some fat imaginary white man (We know he can’t be black, because when I was nine I would have got Jordan’s instead of Fila’s) comes down my imaginary chimney and gives me gifts. I’m talking about the jokes (Banter), food and just love that only your family can provide. At the end of the day that’s what Christmas is really about, (Other than Jesus’ Birthday and all that good stuff) it’s about who’s around your tree and not what’s under it. People generally take family for granted; I’ve been guilty of it before, but Christmas 2012 has provided me with a refreshing dose of perspective. I just hope the rest of you don’t have to experience this to understand what you’re really missing. J’s could be worth it though, not even going to lie lol.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays.



Well, I was looking for a great way to restart my blog for the summer and of course I gave myself that. Today i travel back home to Los Angeles, California, so as you all already know something was bound to go wrong on my end. But anyway let me reintroduce myself and the concept that I’m trying to push through my writing. Don’t worry we will get to my stupidity in a bit.

As many of you may know last year I was inspired by a group of classmates and challenged by a former professor to write a blog post a day for 90 days. I made the decision to focus many, if not all, of my posts on basketball and my journey to signing my first professional contract. Having completed the first step of chasing my dream and completing a relatively successful rookie season I decided again to revive the concept. First of all because it was a joyful experience to write and share my thoughts, and secondly I won’t be able to play the game forever so I might as well continue to hone my journalistic skills. I hope to be able to convey the ups and downs of this process while bringing a smile to readers faces.
With that being said let the laughter (at me) begin.
On my last journey back to the US I made one of the most critical travel errors possible. The hotel in which I was residing in was 4 hours and 30 minutes from the airport I would be departing from and I decided to forget my passport, only to realize this once we were about 20 minutes from the airport. Good job, Mike. Long story short, I placed myself on a time crunch an had to make a miracle happen to arrive at the airport before my flight departed. By some act of god (Praise him), I managed to safely travel that distance back and fourth and arrive at the airport before my flight departed, only to find out that there was an issue with my passport. Yes, this issue did cause me to miss my flight, which cost an arm and a leg to reschedule.
Now with that in mind it was obvious that I would be better prepared for my next battle with the airport .
Today I arrived at the airport a full 2 hours ahead of schedule and head to check my bags in. Problem! I was misinformed by someone within the airline and thought the first two bags I check in would be free and I’d simply have to pay about 80+ dollars to check the third bag. Oh how wrong I was. The policy allowed one free bag and the following bag would be 80€ and the third would be another 160€. Yeah problems right? And no I’m not mistaking my currencies, for whatever reason my dude Martin (another Marquis Hall look alike) who worked for KLM/Delta was insistent that I pay in Euros.
Yeah, ok, can I speak with your manager bro?
So I now am directed to another counter which is conveniently about 100 feet from the check in counter. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the manager’s name so we’re just gonna call him John. John was absolutely no help at all haha, and if anything he made things worse and cost me precious time. John also was starting to act in semi condescending manner towards me so I wisely opted to walk away and went to holla at Martin again.
There is now about a 30 minute window for me to check my bags get through security and hustle on to the plane, and for anyone who has traveled internationally knows how small a window of time that is. My life was packed into these three bags, unfortunately only two were going coming with me. But luckily the third bag was all Jordan’s, anyone that knows me knows there’s no way on this planet I’m leaving J’s at some random airport. Long story short, I cut my losses and threw away clothes and some non perishable British food I was bringing back for my mom. In hind sight I should have taken a picture of the huge mess I made at the ticket counter but there wasn’t really time for that. My bags are now officially checked in and I let out a huge sigh of relief, only to be reminded by Martin that I have about eight minutes to get through security and board the plane.
Let me just say, I always used to be that guy that laughed at people sprinting balls out to make their respective flights. My how the tables had turned. I sprint from the ticket counter and talk my way to the front of the security line, take out my Laptop throw my bags on the X-ray scanner and think I’m in the clear. But of course they decide to re-scan and re-check my bag. —_____— Coincidentally as this is occurring I hear my name being called over the PA system and the woman politely telling me to move my ass and get on the plane. I grab my bag and sprint towards where I think the gate is, apparently I can’t read signs and went the wrong way. But was quickly corrected, of course Gate 10 is seemingly mles away from security, and at this point I’m sweating, which is understandable considering I’m sprinting full speed wearing a long sleeve and a hoodie. I finally get to the gate and literally run onto the tarmac to make the flight. As i board the plane to the laughter of my fellow travelers and the flight attendants. I make my way to my seat and head to put my bag in the overhead compartment. I noticed for whatever reason my bag was unzipped? And then it hits me. Yes world, I did leave my laptop with security. You’re most likely thinking, ‘wow, Mike is an Idiot’. Hey, you’re right.
I ask the flight attendant if there is anyway I can sprint back and get it, but it’s too late at this point.
Luckily I ask the flight attendants and my Mom via bbm to contact security and have them hold the computer.
At some point in the near future I’ll get the computer obviously. But this just confirms the fact that I’m travel retarded. I mean who does that? I always manage to find a way to make traveling interesting for the wrong reasons. Pray for me.

Valentine’s Day?


Valentine’s day, one of the worst days of the year for single women and true Sidechicks, yet it really shouldn’t be. First, the definition of a “true sidekick,” is a woman or girl that is fully aware of the fact that her significant other has a truly significant other who will always be held above her and whom she cannot compete with. To the male she is just a hook up while to the female she wants to be something more and replace his main chick.    But here’s some stuff to think about if you are having or had a horrible Valentine’s Day.
Valentines Day was originally observed as a holiday to honor martyred saints of ancient Rome. The name valentine, comes from the Latin word “Valens” which means worthy, strong and powerful. This happened to be a popular name / surname between the second and eight centuries. There were a total of 14 martyred saints, which is the obviously explanation for why the “holiday” falls on the 14th day of the month.
It wasn’t until the late 1300’s that the meaning of Valentine’s Day became associated with love. We can blame all of this on Geoffrey Chaucer. To those of you who have never heard his name before Chaucer is arguably considered the greatest English poet of all time.
In 1382 he wrote a poem called “The Parliament of Foules,” which famously featured lines saying “For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”
Yeah, it’s pretty easy to connect the dots on what that was alluding to. By the 1600’s it had developed into a full on occasion where lovers gave each other flowers, greeting cards the whole nine and from that point on it evolved into the commercial holiday that we now recognize it as.
But going back to the meaning of the word “Valens”, you can also easily see how worthy, strong and powerful can be tied into how one feels for someone else. Yet in reality they should be used to describe how we feel about ourselves.
For single women Valentine’s Day should be a day about loving yourself. You don’t need someone to buy you some overpriced flowers, cheap chocolate and a corny card to know your value and worth as a person. Instead of being bitter at the fact that you don’t have someone cherish the fact that you don’t need someone. If you love yourself first it will become a whole lot easier for someone else to love you.
To all my fellow males out there I apologize in advance for blowing up your spots, but to the true Sidechicks. Not to quote Drake, but I’m just saying you really can do better. The fact that your willingly messing with a man who is in a relationship says something in its own right, but on top of that you want to become the main chick is just stupid. Know your worth and know you can go out and find someone of your own who will really make you happy. You’re probably deserving of so much more than a “Happy Valentine’s day” text message, E-Card or tweet.
To conclude, too the few and the proud who are in happy and loving relationships cherish this day and try and do something special for your significant other, and if your single it’s not the end of the world keep your heads up.





At this point, time is beginning to fly by, which is indicative of the fact that I’m finally getting settled in. Entering the middle of my second month abroad I think I have finally adjusted to this new lifestyle, albeit food is still an issue. As a team we’re doing well, 2-0 in Trophy Games and we sit atop the standings. The crazy thing is I have yet to become home sick, although I’m just a little bit America sick and I have technology to thank for this. Technology is steadily shrinking the world, while we aren’t yet at the level where we can physically touch and interact with each other over these vast distances, we can openly and easily connect with anyone at anytime. Through broadband internet and smartphones we’re virtually always accessible. It may be via BBM, skype, email, Facebook, Twitter or a myriad of other methods of social networking and communication. Many members of my generation fail to appreciate how far we have come technologically because it’s all we know and we are native to it. While many members of older generations are just fascinated and struggle to understand it. Here is a great example, .

But the bottom line is as of 2011, it is substantially easier for us to communicate with those we love and care about who are on different continents. We’ve become so accustomed to this these conveniences that we no longer know how to function without them, which leads us to expect these technologies to work perfectly. As of early this week this hasn’t been the case for one key method of networking. RIM, the manufacturing company of all blackberry’s, has been having issues with its BIS. For those of you who don’t know, BIS stands for Blackberry internet service, but all are familiar with what runs on the service.

A blackberry lover’s BBM and email access in addition to the internet browser itself. From a timing and public relations stand point this couldn’t occur at a worse time for RIM, with the recent release of IOS5 and the Iphone 4gs. Many blackberry faithful people have parted ways and jumped on the Iphone bandwagon and after this week I wouldn’t be surprised to see many more leave. But in reality, was a day without the use of our smartphones really that bad? Was it really that bad that we were forced to do what past generations had to do and seek out face to face interactions with each other? Or even just had to pick up the phone to actually use our phones to make a call? Was it really so bad that almost all blackberry users in Europe, Asia and Africa had to actually be present and handle some awkward situations they would attempt to exit by diving into a mobile digital world? I don’t think so. It really shows how dependent we now are on technology and how times have completely changed. Many of the actions that we all participate in were previously viewed as nerdy and geekish activities, but not anymore.

If anything this glitch, bug, whatever you want to call it should provide us with a little bit of perspective on the things we rely on.

The Experience








We officially completed our preseason / preseason games this past weekend, even though we randomly have to wake up to condition tomorrow morning.
But more about this weekend, on Sunday we were slated to have two games. Yes, two games in one day, AAU style. In our first game we faced the Cheshire Jets, another BBL team that we will face multiple times this season.
I woke up nervous as could be which was understandable considering this was the first meaningful professional game I was set to play in. I was also a little bit uncertain about the amount of minutes I was going to play and all that good stuff. The familiar pre-game butterflies started to set in.
Coach Love then announced his planned starters and my name was among them.
Long story short we ended up winning the game 87-68. Personally I ended up scoring 17 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out two assists.
In our second game we faced Sweden’s Sodertalje Kings. They were a much more physical and aggressive team than the Jets. We held our own early before they jumped on us in the second quarter and put us into a hole that we couldn’t climb out of.
I finished the game with 11 points and four rebounds.
One challenge I’ve met so far is adjusting to the way the games are called. A lot of the referees are very inconsistent and it’s hard to get a feel for the kinds of calls that they choose to make.
Off the court, next week I start my weekly column in one of the local papers. This will be my first official act as a journalist. Surprisingly I’m not that excited because I feel like the style of writing that I have developed in America won’t be up to British standards, but we shall see. Anyway, today was our off day, however it was different than any off day I’ve ever had before.
As a team we participated in the Land Rover experience. The experience gave us the opportunity to get behind the wheel of two Land Rovers and two Range Rovers and drive them off road to fully experience their driving capabilities. I was pretty hype to do so because I plan on owning a Range Rover at some point in my life and it is the first car I want to buy once I get financially situated.
I don’t really have the words to describe it but getting behind the wheel of a car like this in its natural element is an unreal experience. These cars are more than capable of getting their owners through anything. I never would have pictured myself being thrown around the British country side in the back of a 100,000$ fully loaded Range Rover. But anyway, back to business, and as many of you know, an off day for me really doesn’t exist without me getting some type of shots up. So on that note to the gym I go.
The grind continues.



Mr. Rogers Neighborhood


Another long day in the books. We finally reached and completed the last day of preseason training. It was relatively difficult today so I decided not to head into the gym to put shots up. Instead I decided to explore, and for those of you who kept telling me to do so finally got your wish.
Of course my main reason for venturing out was to get a hair cut. At the reference of my teammates I set out to find Rodger’s barbershop and a man by the name of Muhammad. In any random American city this task would have been simple, but as a result of my lack of an unlimited Data plan, Google maps just was not an option.
I’m sure most people would assume that I got lost on this escapade, and those of you who did were correct.
A trip that should have taken me 10 minutes at most ended up taking around two hours. It was great -_-, I ended up going in a few circles, rectangles and clipping the mirror of my car multiple times on these small british roads. Life is that much harder when you have to drive on the left hand side of the road and tackle round-a-bouts.
When I finally arrived at the barbershop it wasn’t anything that I expected. It was a very small classic looking barbershop and standing at the back of the shop was Muhammad. Long story short, he gave me one of the best hair cuts I’ve received in my entire life. The adventure was well worth it. All this ties into a nice life lesson. I learned a lot about the city of plymouth through my mistakes.
In order to grow and learn you have to take the risk of making a mistake. At the end of the day, a life without risk is not a life worth living.

The grind continues.


Work, Work


What’s up world,
So a popular saying is that the road to success is a lonely one. I believe that’s completely false. The road to success can be full of joy and support if you surround yourself with the right people. The theory around that is a simple one: if you get enough good people going in the right direction, they will push each other to be the best that they can be. If you surround yourself with “bad people” aka people who aren’t going to help you accomplish your goals, generally be negative and bring unnecessary amounts of trouble into your life, it’s gonna be that much harder to succeed. That was just a random thought though. Things are going well over here and the last week of our preseason has arrived. It was no where near as tough as I expected it to be, which is a direct result of the work I put in this summer. Knowing that your hard work is starting to pay off is one of the best feelings in the world. Yet a small amount of success really doesn’t merit celebration. So the only thing to do is continue working. Our first real games start this weekend, and I’m excited to say the least. The grind continues.



Rule No.1 You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped

Rule No.2 You can’t take on other peoples’ problems

Rule No.3 Don’t live in the past or you will miss your present

Rule No. 4 Words have no meaning unless you believe what’s behind them

Rule No. 5 Money Doesn’t guarantee happiness

Rule No. 6 Trust few and love less

Rule No.7 A Second Chance is taking responsibility for the mess you made in the first place

Rule No. 8 God doesn’t make mistakes

Rule No. 9 Forgive but never forget

Rule No. 10 Don’t get bitter, just get better

Rule No. 11 You can survive without love, but you will die with hate

Rule No. 12 Family always comes first

Rule No. 13 You can’t buy swag

Rule No.14 Hard work can take you a long way

Rule No. 15 Friends come and go but family is forever

Rule No. 16 Just be you

Rule No. 17 Never forget where you come from

Rule No. 18 Good things come to those who help others

Rule No. 19 Wise Words come from decent men

Rule No. 20 Don’t let go of your dreams

Rule No. 21 Love conquers all

Rule No. 22 Get comfortable being uncomfortable

Rule No. 23 just because he has fresh gear on that doesn’t mean he can hoop

Rule No. 24 Don’t Talk about it, be about it

Rule No. 25 Love > Logic

Rule No. 26 Mind > Heart

Rule No. 27 Think before you speak

Rule No. 28 Age definitely doesn’t indicate wisdom or maturity

Rule No. 29 Learn from your mistakes and grow from your misfortunes

Rule No. 30 A first impression can also give you a second chance

Rule No. 31 Allow each day to be better then the last by letting some things go and learning from the past.

Rule No. 32 A lot of people talk but few people really say anything.. Listen > Speech

Rule No. 33 If you don’t know, don’t judge

Rule No. 34 Nothing is impossible to a willing heart

Rule No. 35 Keep it …

Rule No. 36 If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it

Rule No. 37 Value you yourself otherwise no one else will

Rule No. 38 If you text someone and they don’t text you back don’t send three more texts to them

Rule No. 39 Don’t criticize things that you don’t understand

Rule No. 40 A hoe will always make up an excuse to justify why she isn’t a hoe

Rule No. 41 Sometimes an apology is 2 much 2 ask for from certain people. That alone should be a sign that they aren’t worth your time

Rule No. 42 Things will Change

Rule No. 43  Half these hoes aren’t worth the lies told to get them

Rule No. 44 Loving what you do is the key to achievement

Rule No. 45 Be instructed by reason, yet inspired by passion

Rule No. 46 Let many things catch your eye, but let few things catch your heart

Rule No. 47 Live through the pain of risk instead of the pain of regret

Rule No. 48 Be intentional

Rule No.49 Recognize the difference between moving and moving in the right direction

Rule No. 50 Don’t let your yesterday take up too much of your today

Rule No. 51 Everyone has something to hide

Rule No. 52 All’s well that’s begins well

Rule No. 53 Act grown or stay home






So just to catch up I’m more than likely going to throw up another post today. Things are going well out here. I have finally adjusted to the time difference, the inconsistent weather, and almost to the food. But today I had a pretty interesting experience. We had another team scrimmage / friendly against another U.S.A. select team. The only twist came with the game being played at a local middle / high school. I was excited to visit one of the schools out here (No Chris Hansen), primarily because I recently read an article that stated that Britain has one of the worst teenage drop-out rates of any “Developed” country. (   About one in ten of those aged 15 to 19 are not in school, work or training. That’s insane, and seeing this statistic I would have assumed the school was going to be empty, run down and unorganized. But that was not remotely the case. The school was in superb condition, organized and the kids had a weird Hogwarts swag about themselves. Yes they were all wearing black coats and Gryffindor colored ties lol.  But the funniest part about the whole experience was having all the kids assume that I was a gang member. Yep, British kids + Youtube = a horrible representation of America. But you can always count on kids to give you a good laugh.  The actual game itself was interesting. I got my first start and ended up playing well individually, but as a team we played down to the level of our competition. As many athletes know, the longer you let a sub-par team hang around the more confident they become and the harder they become to beat. Ask Kansas. Luckily for us, eventually we did dig in and close out the game.
7 a.m wake up call tomorrow.. excited?