As I promised, I finished another blog to update everyone on things that have been happening this season. So I am back! We are very busy right now so I have much to write about in this blog.
Zane…Recently was another Cesis-TTT game which TTT ended up winning by a pretty good amount. They are both very good teams and on any given day one team could be better. So it is hard to say who is better but I will go with the TTT Riga women because I know many of the girls on the team! So I always go with the team that my friends are on.
Liiva…It’s a little too late now seeing that my friend and her team were knocked out of the tournament in the 1st round but I was going for MTSU. My friend plays for their team and she leads the nation in scoring. So I am a huge MTSU fan when it comes to Women’s Basketball. Well at least this year. She will be in the WNBA draft in April and I am expecting big things for her. So look up Alysha Clark. I think she will do pretty well in the WNBA and overseas. But UConn is unbelievable!!! Always have been very very good!
I never took the time to write about the All Star game in Saldus but I can take the time to do it now. This was a very interesting day! I was appreciative that the fans voted me in the game to be amongst the best players in the LBL! So thank you to everyone who voted for me! All Star games are always fun for me. It is a time to worry less about the game and focus more on the fans and to make sure they enjoy it as much as possible. So you have to be ready to sign autographs and take pictures. Signing autographs and taking pictures always make me smile. I remember when I was younger I always wanted to get autographs of basketball players and football players and I remembered how good I used to feel when I finally got my jersey signed by those guys. So I make sure that if anyone wants my autograph or a picture I am sure to do it. I ended up winning the dunk contest which was surprising to me. I didn’t really plan what I was going to do; I just kind of decided when they called my name. Haha. But it was interesting because I did a couple things which I was too afraid to try in the past. This led to me being named the Slam Dunk Champion. I was pretty happy about that so thanks to the fans and judges for that. But the All Star game was much fun and I hope I entertained the fans a little bit. J
Just recently I was named Most Valuable Player of the BBL. This was very surprising to me. I never thought that I would receive an award of this magnitude. I know many of you do not know my basketball history but let me briefly tell you…When I was younger I was the small, skinny guy that went to tryouts and barely made the team. I never got any play time and I always doubted whether I should keep pursing basketball. I thought that maybe it was a time to focus on another sport. But as time went on I started to develop a little and things started to change. Out of high school, I only had 1 offer to play college basketball which I gladly accepted. It was not NCAA Division 1, it was a much smaller league called the NAIA. I am sure most of you have never even heard of this league. So I played in this league for two years. My basketball game progressed a lot over the next two years which allowed me to transfer from my small NAIA school to a small NCAA Div. 1 University. Belmont University was not really known for basketball. We were a very small school. But in our season we played against some huge universities such as Duke, University of Tennessee, University of Alabama, UCLA, Georgetown and Pittsburgh. Eventually after my last year of college I got a few offers to play professional basketball. According to statistics and people that ranked players in high school, I had a 0% chance to go to a NCAA Div.1 University. And an even worse percentage to be playing professional basketball. (I know you can't have less than 0% but I am going to say a -50% chance. Haha) The odds were really stacked up against me.
But somehow I am here today playing professional basketball for VEF Riga. So I must say that God has really blessed me! J To come from barely making basketball teams when I was younger to being named MVP of the BBL is amazing! Some of you may not know but I have a tattoo on my left shoulder and it reads, “Everything is possible for he who believes.” This quote is a summary of my life so I decided to get it on my arm to remind me to keep pushing and keep fighting to accomplish what I want. And most importantly, never let anyone tell you that you are not good enough to accomplish your goals. But I will not take all of the credit, the MVP award is really a team accomplishment. I know that without my teammates and my coaches that I would not be able to get this award. They put me in good situations and they expect me to do my job. They always believe in me which helps a lot. And many times I get credit for something that someone else should be getting credit for. Like when I make a bad pass but one of my teammates happens to catch it and score. But it is basketball…and if everything went the way that we planned it I don’t think that anyone could ever lose! But thank you for the award and thank you for the people who voted for me and supported me.
Now…It’s playoff time!!! We are currently participating in the BBL playoffs. This is when you really find out what teams are made of. We were seeded 6th in the tournament which resulted in us playing the #3 seed, Ventspils. We meet these guys a lot so it is usually an interesting game. In the 1st game in Ventspils, they clearly overmatched us! We didn’t play very good and they took advantage of that. In the 2nd game we played a little better but they still ended up being ahead with a few minutes left to play. But in the end, miraculously, we ended up getting the led and holding on to get the win. It’s amazing what happens when your back is against the wall and the season is on the line. If we played as we played in the last 2 minutes for the whole game I think we could advance to the next round. I can honestly say that my team has been carrying me as of lately. That is why I always say, that my award of being Most Valuable Player in the BBL is really because of my teammates and coaches. Even when I am playing bad those guys find a way to make me look good. They put me in good situations and they also believe in me to do the things that I am good at doing. But hopefully for this game on Wednesday, you all can see a real MVP performance. So I am hoping that VEF fans make the trip to Ventspils for this very important game! We need your support!!! J
***So to all VEF Riga fans- ON WEDNESDAY…GO TO SCHOOL OR WORK THEN FIND A WAY TO GET TO VENTSPILS FOR THE GAME AT 18:30!! We need your support and all the help we can get to get to the final four!! And if you can't come to Ventspils…at least try and find the time to watch on Viasat Sport Baltic. Thanks and hopefully I will be writing back soon saying we are going to the Final Four!
Thank you for reading my blog. I know it was kind of long but I thank you for taking the time to hear what was on my mind. Feel free to comment. And I will talk to you soon!