Hello basketball World;
Since we last spoke, not much has changed, but several exciting events occurred this week; I'm really excited to share them with you.
Monday: Over the weekend, we had a total of three scrimmages. As a result, a clear picture of issues that we should address developed in our minds. Monday was a little more intense than some of our previous ones. Conditioning and constant energy as well as defense were all topics of focus. We made it through; it was tough, but we made it. During a tough practice, I constantly remind myself how important it is to push when you don't want to do so. I also remind myself that in order to be successful, you have to pay the price of discomfort.
Tuesday (our last day): I did not want to get out of bed this morning, but the thought of having a five day, one more day than many, Thanksgiving break, gave me a little extra push. Overall, the school day was enjoyable besides my assessments. After school, we had practice at a community center in Corona, Queens. It was a long practice, but we pulled through. Again, my teammates and I constantly reminded each other of the end goal of winning the CHSAA championship and beyond, as we were forced out of our comfort zones. After practice, KP and I had a sleepover at her house. We spent the night chatting with her mom, our friends via FaceTime and listening to music.
Wednesday: Today, we had an optional practice, yet majority of the team showed up. Given how tough practice was the day before, we keyed in on game situations by scrimmaging. Practice was fun, but still focused. In the evening, my family and I traveled up the Pocono Mountains to my Aunt and Uncle's house. We spend both Christmas and Thanksgiving there every year. I spent the night helping my mom and aunt in the kitchen. I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of my cousins from Virginia.
Thursday: Early this morning, my cousins arrived. I hadn't seen them in over a year and we hadn't spent the a holiday together in five to seven years. It felt like the perfect day from start to finish. I helped in the kitchen, doing the little things like washing the dishes, grating potatoes, and grabbing ingredients, walked the dogs and talked to my cousins for the entire day. Later that evening, the family packed up our Thanksgiving and moved to a nearby physical rehabilitation center where my great uncle stays because of his condition. He, like the rest of my immediate family and I, hadn't seen my cousins (his son, his son's wife and their kids) in over a year. It was truly a great day.
Friday: I'd arrived home from the Poconos a little before 12, so I prepared for my 9 am practice, in Queens, as fast as possible. Again, practice was focused. Guards and post players were split up today, so we were able to do a lot of game situation shots, on the move and catch and shoot. I spent the remainder of the day lounging a little until it was time to dress up for a sweet sixteen I was attending. I'd been anticipating another occasion requiring formal wear since the last sweet sixteen. I had a great time with my friends who forced me to get on the dance floor. Although I was upset in the moment, I had fun being more involved this time around.
Saturday: I didn't have any other obligations today besides mentally preparing for our scrimmage against South Shore, the defending champions in the PSAL (Public School Athletic League). The last time we met, South Shore beat us in the championship game of the Roundball tournament, so this was our only other chance to prove that we are capable of winning a game against a tough team like them. We ended up pulling through the hard fought battle. I didn't shoot well, but I kept my head and didn't let it affect me too much. After spending more time in the gym, I'm sure I'll restore my confidence. Even though we won the scrimmage, we understand that specific things need to be done to ensure success in March and that we have to keep pushing forward as we continue to play tough teams throughout the coming month.
Sunday: Today was our "off-day", so I went over to a friend's house to watch movies and eat snacks. Later that evening, I gathered my things for practice on Monday, conditioned and completed a full body workout before hitting the shower then the bed.
The next time we speak, I will have played in my first league game, so until next time...;)