Monday, December 10, 2007

Looking Back....Basketball Days

It seems so strange now to think how important Basketball was too me at one time. Now other than watching some college basketball on TV, I have no involvement in the game anymore. But 7 plus years ago Basketball was all I did or wanted to do. It all started in those 4th-6th grade yeas playing Biddy League. I loved Basketball and would play the game all the time...I even after watching Pistol Pete Movie would start going outside as a young kid and shooting in the rain. I remember nights when I felt I just had to play so I would throw on the outside light that barely lit the driveway up but it didn't matter I would shoot..shoot..shoot away.
In the summer's I would live in Basketball camps like Greg White's, Donnie Jones, Jayson Gee, Sports City U, and even Five Star Basketball camp one summer. My family contacted Donnie Jones while I was still in grade school and he would drive from Huntington to give me private lessons in the Beale School gym. The game came easily to me but I worked from a young age to help reach my full potential.

7th through 9th grade was all about learning and improving. The high school year's were where I really matured basketball wise. I was starting and leading the team as a sophomore and with the added strength I went from a strictly drive to the hoop guard to someone that looked for my jump shot at any opening. I finished high school scoring over a 1,000 points to become only the 3rd person in the school's history to do it. One of my biggest highlights came in a AAU out of season tournament though when I had back to back 55 point games against Beckley and Parkersburg two of the state's best teams. The wide open play of AAU really let me shine big time. The only negative through those high school basketball years were never being on a winning team.

My dream had always been to play college basketball. But I was finally starting to see my size was really going to limit my game at the next level. I had offers to play at some solid D1 programs including Winthrop, Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion, Liberty and even a Walk-On spot to go to Iowa. But I chose to come to Marshall, my childhood dream school, when the opportunity to play Basketball and Run XC/Track was presented. I was an "Invited Walk-On" for 1 year for the basketball team which was a awesome experience. Was able to say I was a teammate with a future NBA player Tamar Slay and even appeared in 5 games scoring 3 points on my first appearance and shot. I still have that national Fox Sports televised game on tape in which my 3 actual got a replay as the play by play guy went crazy with how happy my reaction was to making the first career college points.

I stepped away from the game after that season at Marshall to start focusing only on running. Today the game is completely gone for me which I found out trying to play some pick up games a few years later but Basketball was a big part of my life growing up and I'm glad it was!

So I was looking on Google today trying to see if I could find anything from my 2000-2001 season on the Marshall Basketball team and I did.

"I told them that the chain can't do its job unless each link is properly in place," (Cornelius) Jackson said. "In order for us to achieve our goal, every player must link together. From the Jason Pyles to the Tamar Slays, we all need to do our job."

So do you think Cornelius was considering me the best player or the worse player with the comparison to Tamar(future NBA player)

Also more importantly found the ESPN post game recap article of the one game I scored in with box score:

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