A life filled to the brim with basketball has fulfilled me in so many ways. Basketball has always been my favorite sport, even though it isn’t the one I am best at.
Growing up in North Carolina meant that basketball is in my blood. The North Carolina Tar Heels were always my inspiration to play and watch basketball. Before the Charlotte Hornets existed, there was only Tar Heel Basketball.
My Basketball Story isn’t always about me, it is a journey to make this website the go to source for everything basketball and why I have this passion to make players better.
So buckle up and get ready for the story of my passion for basketball and why I am excited to put you or your players on a path to success.
Late To The Party
Unfortunately, even though I was the biggest basketball fan in the nation, I didn’t get serious about basketball till I was 11. This put me behind my peers, but I honestly didn’t know better at the time.
The earlier you start training for basketball, the better.
My father was a baseball player, and he started me down that path to begin with. He didn’t know the first thing about basketball, so while I was a fan and loved the sport, I wasn’t given many early opportunities to play.
I didn’t get my first hoop at home till I was 12!
My first year of playing organized basketball was in 6th grade. I dribbled facing the ground, only in my right hand, and layups were a complete joke.
About this time, I met a friend who would change my life forever. Through a baseball connection, I was able to meet my friend Lorenzo, better known as Junior, who gave me the inspiration to be better at everything I did.
Having someone to challenge you and demand that you get better is what we should all strive for.
A Lot Of Work
While Junior pushed me to get the skills to play, he didn’t outright ask me to do that. I saw how much better he was than me and challenged myself to beat him one on one.
After being dominated for a year, you get pretty tired of losing.
So I worked.
And worked. Then worked some more.
I had my father put my goal up so that I could work on shooting and layups.
I ran around the block dribbling facing the sky, using that exaggerated maneuver to keep my eyes off my handles.
Another aspect of my training, I also completely over used my left hand until it was better than my right.
To this very day, I will prefer to go left, even as a right hand dominant player.
I love when defenders see me shoot right handed and then they will angle to guard me to go left. It’s the easiest buckets ever.
Junior made me want to be better, but the drive cam from inside.
How would I ever play for the Tar Heels if I can’t even keep my eyes off my dribble?
From this point on, I spent 2 hours or more a day playing and training for basketball.
Most people would call me a late bloomer because my skills and athleticism weren’t fully matched up till late in high school. Honestly, I think the majority of people need to get through puberty before they develop all of the talents and physical ability they need.
Don’t get me wrong, there are exceptions, but it takes time for your skills to match up with your physical traits.
You see this a lot with taller players who need time to adapt to their larger frame.
They will seem awkward and clumsy until it all comes together.
The earlier you start training for a life of basketball, the easier that transition will be.
Once I found my athleticism, it was too late.
I am ashamed to say my last year of organized school basketball was my 9th grade year. My parents moved us from North Carolina to Florida in between 9th and 10th grade, and it through my life into a weird tailspin.
I tell you this, because I don’t want you to repeat my mistakes. You have to face adversity and overcome it, not give in and surrender.
You be thinking that a simple move shouldn’t have affected me so much. I agree.
But this move changed everything about my world to such a degree, that I rebelled against the powers that be(my parents).
This ultimately hurt me more than it ever hurt them, but I regressed away from sports as a whole.
To this day, it is my biggest regret.
All of the talent and athleticism, coupled with a great work ethic, were discarded for a couple years. My most formative years.
By senior year, I had re-committed to playing and training to basketball I had given everything to the sport again, and the Varsity basketball coach wondered why I was dominating his players in Basketball class.
The truth is, I had conceded my dream of playing for the Tar Heels, and just wanted to be the best basketball player I could be.
I turned down the offer to play varsity and spent many years just honing my game against anyone I could find.
Pick up game after pick up game, YMCA leagues, and tournaments were my new battlegrounds.
My love for the game was reinvigorated.
The story of my life is a cautionary tale that I am hesitant to share, but you need to know what to avoid in your basketball journey.
- Don’t give up on your dreams because something changes in your life.
- Make basketball a priority as soon as you find the love for the game.
- No matter who you are, you can be a basketball player.
My passion has led me to this point in my life. This website is my shrine to basketball and helps me to relate the game to as many people as I possibly can.
Basketball is the best sport on the planet, and I want you to be the player you can be.
I will pass this passion on to my son, who is now 10, and who is light years ahead of where I was at 10.
I put him in basketball camps, and leagues, and even train him directly myself.
His passion for basketball started before he was 5.
My love for the game will never stop and I am happy that I was able to pass that love on.
Your love affair with the game of basketball starts when you see what this game means to so many people around the world.
The future is very bright. I will train my son to be the best he can be, without forcing anything on him.
Being forceful can repel players away from the sport. I let Riley play other sports, like football, and train him in those too.
Hopefully, you will stay along for the ride as I bring you everything basketball related in the coming years.
I am open to hearing where you would like to see this site go, what articles you would like to see, and learn more about you and your passion for basketball.
Even though I have given up before, at the worst possible time, I will never give up on the game of basketball again. My love runs deep, and my blood is Carolina Blue.