Saturday, 16 April 2011

Almost 28 years old.....

Well it's been just about two weeks since my last post and we've had 4 games since then so bare with me as I catch you guys up on hoops!

Our third game was up in Geraldton against the Bucs, which is another country team, except they are 4 hours NORTH of Perth and we are 2 hours SOUTH of Perth haha. So we knew it was going to be a longgggggggggggg road trip, but at least we had a 52 passenger travel bus to spread out and get some rest on the way up. The whole trip took about 7 hours and we got in around noon time. We went to our hotel/condo to set up shop and chillax for a little while before hitting the gym. The Bucs were a team that had been struggling as well and they weren't at full strength quite yet, BUT not on that night... They had all their guys on the court and healthy and they are tough when at full strength. We ended up losing the game and having our worst game of the season, losing by 33points. I had an off night shooting and finished with 13points and 11rebounds.

Our next game was against the Willeton Tigers at home in Bunbury. This was last years Championship club. They also at the moment like most teams were not at full strength and had only won 2 games, that were both close. It was by far the most physical game so far and by the end I was absolutely beat up haha. We dug ourselves a hole and got down 28 points by halftime hahaha. BUT with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter we were within 4 points and the crowd was going nuts. I missed some CRUCIAL free throws down the stretch and we never got over that hump to get the win and lost by 11 points or so. I finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds, definitely not my best game but still somehow won MVP honors for the game and another $50 certificate to the Eaton Tavern.

That next day we had to travel up to Perth to play the Perry Lake Hawks. They were another team that had only won 2-3 games and was a VERY beatable team. Just from the looks of them as a team you would look at us and say "slammers should win this one", but just as in any sport you can't judge by looks. We started off great and it was tied at the end of the 1st quarter. Then we had a "brain fart" that we've often had and they outscored us 34-14 in the 2nd and we were down 20pts and halftime once again... We fought back in the 2nd half at times but still finished losing by 19points. It was a tough loss as that team wasn't super tall, talented, big or anything special but they played hard and together and that does the job a lot of the time. I played better and finished with 15points and 7 rebounds.

Just last night we had another home game against the Perth Redbacks who as of last night were in 2nd place at 4-1. A tough team that has some tough local NBL (national basketball league, top league) guys, who are basically just like import American players because they are that good as locals. We came out tough and ready to play from the get go and were down 4 or 5 points at halftime, right where we wanted to be. The second half was hard fought and the lead was back and forth at times, with them never leading by more that 11pts. We got it down to 4 or so points in the last 5 minutes as we usually do, but we once again couldn't pull it out in the end and lost by 11 or so points. It was frustrating because we were playing well and scoring when needed but we just couldn't get stops at the other end to take the lead in crunch time. We are almost there as a team and we can all taste our first win coming soon, we just have to stick together and continue to get better each day. I played well and finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists. It was enough to get me the MVP of the game honors again and yet my 3rd $50 Eaton Tavern certificate! I'm thinking I'll just take the whole team out to eat one night and use the money then, although out here in Australia $150 doesn't really go that far in a restaurant, especially for 10-11 big guys hahaha!

So after those 6 games up to this point we are 0-6 and in last place on the ladder. Fortunately for us if we can get just 2-3 wins over the next few weeks that will take us up to around 9th or 10th place. There are still about 3-4 teams who have only won 2 or so games, so we are still in the hunt!

We actually have another game tonight in Perth against the East Perth Eagles and my good buddy from Seattle Colin Matteson. He's the same friend that played up in Darwin with me as well. It's been awesome to have someone I know in the same league over the past 7 months, it really helps to talk about home and friends and family when you're feeling home sick. We are looking for a big win tonight as they are only 2-5 and have lost 3-4 straight games! This would be an ideal time to start off the "Win Train"!!! CHOOO CHOOOO!

Well enough about basketball hahaha! Everything outside of hoops has been great! The weather is absolutely amazing. It's been beautiful during the days, we're still getting to the beach about 3-4 days a week to soak in some rays :). And at night it's actually starting to get chilly, which is perfect!! I've been in my hoodie and sweats a few times now and it's awesome. It's kind of like a perfect Seattle summer honestly, hot and nice during the day and cooler at night. And this is our WINTER out here hahahaha! I really couldn't be in a better place to play ball. Definitely blessed.

The school clinics have been put on pause for the next 2-3 weeks because of the break, so that just means that there's more free time for us to hit the gym and beach :) which is fine by us of course. I am currently looking to get a job here shortly and it's pretty much up to me where I want to work. My work visa runs until around June 20th or so, so that leaves me about roughly 2 months to have a job (which is nothing) and I'm cool with that. I think I'm going to look into working at this sports store on the main strip downtown called Sports First, where my teammate Cory works right now. It'd be easy selling sports apparell and what not, definitely stuff i've done before.

Last weekend when we played up in Perth we (Nick, Lavesa and myself) ended up staying that Saturday night at my buddy Ben Beran's place. Nick was entered into a dunk contest for the league on Sunday at the Perth Wildcat's game (top league team) and we were there to support him and watch the game. It was awesome first of all because my really good buddy and AIA alum Jason Faulknor was in town on his way home from Taiwan!! I hadn't seen that guy since our last AIA tour in 07' but we've kept in really good contact while we're both overseas and it was great to finally get to catch up! He'll be in Seattle for our mutual friend Austin Yuen's wedding August 7th so I'm hoping to be home for that, but depending on how far our playoff run goes out here I may miss that... That's the business though... It was another great weekend to see Ben and Jason and a few other buddies in Perth. It always makes me feel like I'm not that far from home when I have so many good friends here!

Sunday morning Ben and I went to church early at Lakeside (the church that sponsors his team the Lakeside Lightning). I really enjoy spending time with Ben because he is really deep in his faith and has a good understanding of the Bible. He's always a good person I can go to to ask questions about my faith and also for advice on how to improve my relationship with God. He has challenged me to get into the Bible more recently and to really take notes on what I'm reading so that things will stick with me. I've started with the Gospels, just reading one chapter a day and things are going well. I'm feeling like the more I get into the word each day the better day I have and more focused I am as well. It's always a never ending walk with faith but it's about growing along the way and not being content with where you're at. I try to give thanks for everything in my life and tend to forget quickly how blessed we all are. Life can be taken away at a blink of an eye.

After Church we headed to the stadium for the game. We had to be there early as the 1st round of the Dunk contest was prior to the game even starting. There were 5 guys from different teams in the league including Nick. He ended up easily being one of the two finalists pretty easy. He then continued to totally dominate the championship round and easily took home 1st place and a reward of $1,000 of And 1 hoop gear (which has yet to come...). The dude can flat out fly and didn't even really get to show what he can do, but it was a fun time as the finals was at the end of the 1st quarter and the house was packed out!

My family back home was moving out of our house and into the new one in Lynnwood this weekend!!! I can't believe it's actually happening after 16 years... That was our 2nd house that we'd lived in since I was born and most of my memories are from that house. I am excited for a new change though, and my parents both deserve a new place. They have both worked hard to have a nice brand new place to start another chapter of their life in, I just can't wait to get home and check it out for myself!

My Bday is coming up on April 26th and it's crazy how time is flying by. I really can't believe it's already been another year! I swear time goes faster the older you get hahah. I'm going to be 28, but I still feel 21 haha! Definitely in my prime BABYYYYY!! I gotta say it's been a great year though. I've spent time in England, Malaysia, Darwin and now Bunbury all over this past year and it's been because of basketball. I've met and am dating an amazing girl that I love and am SOOO thankful for! My family and friends are always supportive and loving. My faith has grown and continues to grow. God has really shown me that the more you pursue him and let him guide your life, that he takes care of you and puts you in the right situation at the right time. They say timing is everything, I think I agree with that one...

Well I think that's about it for now. We have our game tonight and are getting ready to leave here soon. I'm going to be staying up in Perth for the night with my buddy Colin Matteson, so that should be fun times! I hope all is well with everyone back home. I love and miss you all! Thanks so much for following my blog and taking the time to share my experiences with me. Life is good, but God is great.

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

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