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Monday, 21 June 2010

The 2010- guide to proper use of slang

This is serious business, think it isn't? Well you just try being out with a family member who tries to liven up the conversation with an off the cuff use of hip-hop slang, and does so improperly. Or uses an out of date term that cringes faces, and sparks laughter in the opposite way it was supposed to. Last night I was out with my father who chose to say," I'M BOUT-IT". A term from the late 1990's made famous by rapper Master P. aka Percy Miller, pictured below

If you are looking for some help with use of slang here are a few things that may help you.

1. If it was last decade IT'S NOT OK TO USE

2. Yes at one time these terms were the so called "cream of the crop" but those crops have spoiled.

3. Not sure how to use a term? Just ask someone, or listen and pay attention to the context it is used.
    (nothing worse than someone that tries to be 'cool' and ends up looking utterly foolish)

4. Hip-hop slang is a lot like the English language, words have different meanings. BE ADVISED.
    (i.e. Eight ball- the last ball you hit in pool. STREET DEFINITION- 8 oz of cocaine)

5. If you have any questions  you can always refer to the urban dictionary!

As you an see in this photo, my clip on tie and and spider-man book bag make me a specialist.

"Think positive, be positive, see positive results" -M.Dub

Do you always eat?

This is a question I get a lot. The short answer, YES! The long answer...well that would be a drawn out version of YES! Listen it is quite simple. I eat around 4-6 times a day. Three of those meals are full meals. Ala breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The others are normally healthy snacks that get me to the next meal. I do a lot of meal replacements in the form of protein shakes. Normally I try to keep it healthy.  Being 6'8' and 235 lbs did not happen easy for me. Not until about age 22 was I able to maintain a weight over 215lbs. Tough stuff when you are playing CENTER/ POWER FORWARD in college basketball. Looks its simple, if you want to be big you have to eat big. Here are a few things that might help.

1. VITAMINS- You must be on some type, your body can NOT do it on its own.

2. TRAIN THEN REPLENISH- When you train, lift, run, or whatever you are doing to improve you are tearing your muscle fibers. If you do not eat properly after exertion you actually are causing damage with the work you did.

3. WHAT DO I EAT?- Its simple, chicken, fish, turkey, lean beef. Keep it healthy to pack on the muscle.

4. DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST- When you sleep your body recovers, and is still burning calories. The first thing you eat goes directly to your muscles.

5. HYDRATE- keep water with you after hard workouts the day prior. Your body will thank you later!

Try some of these tips out for a few weeks and you will notice a change in your performance as well as how you feel day to day energy-wise. Hey I know all about food and getting ready for training. It's what I do. Train for maximum performance when the situation calls.

 *below-meal I had at CARROWS here in California on vaca. Pretty good, started my day off rt haha

 "Think positive, be positive, see positive results" -M.Dub

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Let me dust this thing off

 It has been a while since my last post, and I feel it is time get a steady pulse again. Breathe some creative life back into my blog as well as the readers that became quite fond of the postings. My life stays in an erratic state. The last nine months have been a ride, here are the TOP 10 things I have been up to in that span.

10. Playing Call of Duty (PS3)- Listen it is beyond my expectations.

9. Rehab- The worst injury I have ever had took almost 6 months to get back to full strength

8.  Family- Traveling around the world with basketball can make things a bid distant with loved ones.  this time back has been nice to see family and be around for somethings.

7. Personation- No this is not a real word, but I have enjoyed the meaning I created for it.

6. Call of duty-...... DON'T JUDGE ME

5. Learning- Researching, reading, phone calls. A goal set in and I began finding way to reach it.

4. Networking- I became a HS volunteer coach, met people in the community, and joined a Football coaching staff for a HS. Go bobcats!!

3.Call of duty- I mean I have not played since MARCH but the hours I had put in were crazy haha.

2. Growing- Learning about myself.  Questing my choices, analyzing my movements. Trying to improve every day.

1. My newest venture, my company. INFUSE ENTERPRISES LLC, a goal for years. Now materializing.

"Think positive, be positive, see positive results"

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

My team Just went 5-0!!!

  The High school team North Port HS (FL) just won our 9th game in a row dating back to last season and our 5th in a row this year. Its been a blast working with these kids as I have said before but here is an article on the team's win last night against Venice HS (FL).

"Think positive, be positive, see positive results"

Picture: Kasey Wilson our big guy 16 pts / 16 rebs  last night

Monday, 7 December 2009

Allow Me to Re-introduce myself


Since my last entry it has been a little while. Though I enjoy writing more than I can explain there are times when I do not feel the urge or means to convey my thoughts in a fashion that I feel suitable. At times like that I just step away from the keyboard and choose not to make posts. I think I will keep things a little shorter this post and slowly work my way back into a more consistent manner of writing.First, thanks to everyone that has enjoyed what I have put forth thus far. The encouragement and compliments have been extensive and I see more and more that people are surprised at the my passion for writing as well as the manner that I convey my thoughts in. Any time that I can surprise someone and be able to step outside my basketball player identity to display a more in depth look I jump at the opportunity. Maybe it is the fact that I talk too much, and enjoy interaction with others that I hold close to me as well as just about anyone that I come across that allows me to capture the attention of readers. Maybe not. Either way the writing won't stop any time soon.

Things have been a bit down for me as of late. Not in a sad sense but in a more relaxed sense. After finishing my season in Portugal last spring and a great summer filled with great friends, better memories and a strong three months of intense workouts, I was ready to get back to work. With a job opportunity playing back in South America to start in the fall I was excited and ready to show off my hard work and talent yet again. Headed off to my sixth pro team I envisioned a great season and better things to come. Unfortunately I would deal with the first injury to stop me dead in my tracks and be forced to take a seat after struggling to play through intense pain. WORD TO THE WISE: groin injuries are not a laughing matter. Missing the last month of the tournament I was brought in for, I watched my team lose in the finals as I sat and was angered at the situation.

But what can you do? Complaining is not on my agenda, self pity is not allowed in my family, and excuses not in my vocabulary. Move on, get better, come back stronger. So I hopped back on a plane from Paraguay and headed through Bolivia and onto return in the Sunshine state I love so much. The warmth from the Florida sun can definitely cure your pains for a short time. "So what are you doing now that you are back and when do you get back to playing?", is something that I hear a lot of. It is hard to hear honestly, this injury takes a long time to heal and I have to go back to playing and have no lag from my current setback. Not an issue. I WILL MAKE SURE THAT DOESNT HAPPEN.

The first thing I did when I arrived home was get in contact with a high school coach nearby and offer my services in any fashion that he saw fit. Since my return it has been a blast to work with the boys basketball program at North Port High school in North Port, Florida. The team is off to a 4-0 start and I enjoy working with today's youth and passing on the lessons that made me successful player in high school, college and onto playing pro basketball overseas since 2006. With nothing but time open for healing I have found that it has been a great part of my day dealing with the kids as well as working on a business venture. On a side note they also offer worthy opponents on Playstation 3! Another of my new ways to pass the time I must say.

Coaching, recovering, relaxing, gaming, spending time with family. The last couple months back have been really nice. I am ready now to start getting back to work. Getting in shape and in a position to head back across the waters to the next stop in the "Marcus show" that is my life. I have stepped away from writing but I feel it is time to get back to it. More to come soon that is for sure. Thanks again to everyone that has had nothing but positive things to say, and even to those who have not. I feel like every thing you do is a growing opportunity, and so I welcome it all.

*Think positive, feel positive, see positive results...


Sunday, 27 September 2009

Dream Catcher

It’s another Sunday at the Yacht and Club here in Asuncion, Paraguay. The tables are yet again filled with flurries of people moving every which way. New foods and kids walking around with out a care in the world. When they see me it is always an entertaining reaction. Almost a look of, “ Um…you don’t belong here.” Or maybe its more of a, “ Geez, you’re bigger than my dad!” I get that one back home so I can easily identify the look. As my iTunes blast out my favorite music and I feel the movement around me while focusing on the task at hand, writing for your pleasure and my release. (iTunes time out, Hall & Oates- baby come back) I find it a bit harder to write this entry than normal. Honestly I have been avoiding it since last week. I have had the topic and general body composed for the most part in my thoughts.

The only task was to put thoughts imported from my erratic mind to cleanliness of a blog. Trust me, you don’t want to see what it looks like in my head. Stuttering is a habit from childhood that surfaces from time to time due to the nature of my thought processing. “Marcus! Your mouth can’t catch up with your brain!...slow down.” Something I heard for years from my mother and my best friend Gabe never lets me forget. I do have to admit it is funny to see a grown man stutter, stop, and laugh at himself. I’m off track, an example of the thoughts racing to get out of my head. Dreams are a huge part of our lives. Well, maybe they do not have an effect on the outcome of situations on a daily basis. But they play a part. We could have a discussion on dreams that could go on forever. What they mean, how they happen, if they mean something. You pick the topic and we could elaborate as far as you would like.

I love dreams. Maybe because they can differ so much form one to the other. Sometimes my dreams are vivid like I am really there. Sometimes my dreams are not, and when I wake up I can barely remember what the dream was about. Others, are as if I am there watching myself or others but I am not actually apart of the story unfolding. I am just a spectator there for the proceedings like watching a movie happen in front of you. As if you are on the set but there are no second takes. I remember I class discussion once in college while in attendance at McNeese State University. My first college after leaving my home at the time Anchorage, Alaska. The topic was actually about the different realms of sleep and what happens in them. Levels of consciousness, how aware you are of your surroundings etc. This led us to the topic of dreams, and what kind of dreams people have. Even a huge discussion about what people do in their dreams leading me to find out that not everyone has the same type of dreams.

See for the most part in my dreams I do what I choose, I control what happens and where I go or what I do. It started when I was a kid say 7 or 8 years old. I went to a friends house and for some reason we watched FRIDAY THE 13TH . Well I knew it was a scary movie from the box it was encased in. What I did not think it that when it was no longer daytime (when we watched the movie) that the scenes from the movie would seem much more real increasing the fear factor through the roof. The first question you have is what were 7-8 year olds doing watching that movie. In defense of our adult supervision we were supposed to be watching something else but when we were no longer being watched felt as if we were BIG KIDS. Needless to say by nightfall I realized I was not quite ready to be a big kid, or watch BIG KID movies! The scenes of Freddy and the terror he reaped in your dreams had me terrified! For many nights it was hard for me to sleep, and when I did he was there to let me know I had better not watch his movies any more. It began to affect my sleeping and one night my mother came to me asking what was wrong as I prepared for bed. Unable to take it any more I spilled the beans, telling my mother about my movie escapade and what it was doing to my dreams. As calm as ever my mother filled me in what would to do.

Her wise words, “ Its YOUR dream Marcus. YOU control what happens and what does not. So when you see him or feel afraid, just laugh take control of what is happening.” I thought that she was nuts are you for real!? Mom apparently had not watched the movie because controlling dreams was kind of Freddy’s whole thing!! Either way, she was my mom and they always seemed to know what was best. As I prepared for bed that night I sat there for a couple hours afraid to go to sleep and giving myself a pep talk of what to do, and how to do it when I came face to face with my villain. Well, as I knew it would my dream came. I encountered my nightmare bully, did as my mother said and realized I was not afraid any more. I laughed in his face, felt no fear, and even bullied him! It was an empowering moment for young Marcus. Developing into a new game I played with myself anytime I had a dream that I enjoyed I would plan what to do if was put in the same situation. Entertaining to say the least. It is something that I do even today

(iTunes time out John Legend- Everybody knows)

But last week I had a dream during one of my wonderful day naps that I take in between practices, and lifting to keep my body fresh. Unfortunately my body feels fresh right now but not due to naps but to the fact that I have a groin injury that has me sidelined and grounded like a Plane with a bad engine. It is quite irritating. During this particular dream I found myself with someone very close to me. We were located in a small restaurant in the backside away from people. The room was lit up pretty well and in this dream I was actually watching the proceedings happen. It was a pretty happy scene full of laughs and giggles, Inside jokes and nerdy laughs. When I think back the lights seemed bright but the room itself almost foggy a bit, like a scene was about to change in a movie, or a page was being turned in a book as a story was being read to you as a child. And so change came taking myself and my dream sidekick to a huge gathering. It is amazing how dreams can change. We now were located in the coziness of a family gathering in an apartment that had a the smell of an elderly person and I was not watching myself, now I was 1st person point of view. I saw close friends and people that I did not recognize but in my dream I was very acquainted with.

It was a splendid time full of laughs and more jokes. Almost like a recap of the last night’s proceedings that you do after a great night out. Sit around, laugh, and talk about the memories you made with those close to you and feel really blessed to have those people in your life. After a joke was made I looked down at my plate realizing that I was finished and proceeded to take my dishes to the kitchen. As I did so I walked past a small coffee table and out of the corner of my eye saw a woman sitting there. I did not make her out at first and as I approached the sink and replayed what had just happened I realized it was my grandmother. A feeling of shame and disrespect came over me. How could I walk past my grandmother and not stop to acknowledge her? After all, in dreams and real life I had not spoken to her in some time so I already felt bad for that. As I scrubbed the food off my plate I knew as I put my plate down I would return back to her and fix my show of disrespect. Then something happened as I turned to do so.

Turning to my right about to dry my hands on a towel hanging from the refrigerator door I saw my grandfather Osmond. I was frozen for a second and taken back to the degree of losing my breath. Even now I feel a shortness of breathe describing it for you. My grandfather plays a huge part in my life. The lessons he taught me through his words and his actions are vivid with me. Memories of situations with him are like still photos with deep seeds in my heart and soul. He was a policeman back in Kingston, Jamaica and a great man. I think my most vivid memory is of him teaching me to tie my shoes or eating fish eyes in front of a young Marcus. His visits to see us while living in Germany, and his stories he would tell of my antics running through clothes racks at department stores. His and my mother’s favorite was probably a 4 year old Marcus saying to a U.S. Army soldier at a bus stop, “Hey…hey boy!” Well that or an episode of break dancing. But I will leave that story to my mother. Well needless to say it should have been great to see him. But the thing is the only place I have seen him the last times I saw him was in a dream. Since he passed away back in 2006.

As I turned to him it was a feeling that was one of surprise and immediately came into understanding. I knew that I was in a dream and I felt blessed to actually see him. After all the last time I did was right before I made my trip to leave en route to Denmark and my first team playing overseas. He passed away and I actually did not know until a close cousin of mine told me. Everyone was quite distraught at the loss of our family icon and knowing I was away on a road trip of games they thought it best to wait and tell me. It killed me to think that as my grandfather was passing away taking his last breaths I was busy in my own world playing a game. Putting a ball into a hoop and spending time with people that after the season I would never speak to. I reached out my arms as I made my way across the tiled floor in the darkly lit kitchen and watch my grandfather do the same as we embraced. The feeling was so real from the smell of his old spice after-shave to his stubbly face brushing against my cheek. His smell, clothes, and hair all fit that of a weekend with Grandpa in North Port, FL on one of our summer trips. I can still remember arriving after a long trip driving across highways from Fort Hood, TX and running up the driveway passing his grapefruit trees and garden ready for him to answer the door and the smell of his house.

As we embraced It was a feeling of, “Enjoy this now because this is as real as it will get.” I knew it was the closest to seeing him I would come until it was time to see him again. We never know when that time card will be punched do we? I spoke out in a low muffled tone with my face in his jacket, “I miss you Grandpa.” In his strong Jamaican accent and low tone he replied, “I know my son…I know.” This is much harder to write than I thought. I have had to stop and compose myself a few times already……………. I told him, “I love you.” As he said the same and began to recite a scripture that he always told my mother when she was growing up and did the same to my brothers and I. But as he did I realized even more that this was not real. In the middle of the verse he stopped having trouble remembering it seemed. “Honor thy mother and they father…..” halting in the middle a feeling of sadness ran over me and at the second it was almost a signal to me that this dream was about to end. I closed my eyes, and felt a single tear roll down my face.

(iTunes Time out, Anthony Hamilton- Fine again)

I sunk my head down further into his jacket and finished the verse for him. “Honor thy mother and thy father…….” Chiming in, “AND THEY DAYS WILL BE LONG UPON THE EARTH.” He squeezed me trying to match the grasp I had on him and at one point, he began to let go until he realized that I was not. I held him for a while longer. Let go and wiped the saturation from my cheek. We exchanged I love you’s and I looked him over one last time. Taking it all in for a moment snapping an image of his old body and his features. As I turned to walk away I woke up from the dream. I was back in my hotel where I had rested my head in between games our team had and no longer in the presence of family, friends, or my grandfather. As I sat there taking it all in I pulled out my Mac book and let loose a detailed email to someone close to me describing what happened. As I did so I felt myself starting to break down.

I finished the email and went to the bathroom feeling overcome with emotion. Dropping my face into my hands and pressing my back against a wall with the door closed I felt the tears cloud my vision and push them selves from the wells of my eyes. It was so real! But I knew it was a dream! But I felt like I was trying to be told something. Maybe about my grandmother? Something else? I didn’t know what to think, only that I knew I missed my grandfather more than I could explain. As I composed myself wiping tears from my hands and forearms I looked down at my left bicep where a tear had dropped. I stared for a minute, at the tribute to my grandfather that lies on the inside of my arm. “OSMOND- Loved, Lost, Remembered” tattooed. Forever keeping his memory alive with each eye that rest on it. Feeling a sudden calmness I returned to my Mac book and iChat. In reply to my email about my dream I wrote, “I don’t know the last time I cried…but I know now. And what my next blog is about.

R.I.P. Osmond Stewart LOVES, LOST REMEMBERED. In & out of our dreams


Sunday, 13 September 2009

Video from a Summer trip in South Florida


La Misma Cosa Diferente Luga

Around these parts it means “Same thing, different place”, well that's what google translator told me at least. The story of my life I guess. Since grade school and the beginning of sports for all athletes that is a phrase all too familiar. Different cities, states, and in my case countries that we go visit to play in hostile environments against teams we have never seen or heard of for that much. Our only goal being a victory at all costs. Losing is not an option now nor has it ever been. Athletes, excuse me COMPETITORS do not live by any other creed.

Today though I sit in the restaurant of the Yacht Club and Hotel here in Asuncion, Paraguay the capital of my current country of visitation on my third trip to South America in the last year and a half. A great meal of the norm; rice, chicken and vegetables have me full. Ice cream for dessert. A treat for the healthy eating throughout the week has me counting the crunches it will take to work off the hot fudge dripping from the bowl and the mixture of chocolate, and coffee flavored deliciousness that lay before me. Looking out the window sipping water to neutralize the sweetness from dessert and holding an iphone in the other hand typing rapidly on AIM instant messenger, I glance out the window and feel an aura of relaxation take over me.

(ITunes timeout, Fabolous- “Last time” ft. Trey Songz)

It so easy to get caught up in the mix of our daily interactions. Oh trust me I know, my days are blurred. They seem the same and leave me sometimes forgetting the day, date, and last night I realized I did not know what month it was for a second while chatting on a lifeline for survival known as iChat. Daily routine? Wake up; vitamins, protein shake, walk across the street from our condo to the hotel and restaurant our team arranged for us to eat all our meals at, breakfast, practice, lunch, rest, practice, dinner, ichat/Facebook/Twitter/Skype/ Literally that’s it, we play games on the weekends and some other parts are thrown in from day to day of course but you get the gist.
Something about today is different though. The clouds outside mixed with the blue skies in a type of blend that seems sculpted by hand almost takes my breathe away. How can inside this restaurant there is such a frenzy. Sunday brunch is quite an episode in this high-class hotel that looks out on the River of Paraguay. Children run amidst the tables and parents seem care free as they take in coffees, snacks and over priced meals made to look better than they are simply for the class of guests that frequent the hotel with a stream of steady business. Not one person here knows who I am. I could sit here all day and until I stand up and people see that I am six foot eight, not a soul would notice me.

(ITunes timeout, Jay-z “Blueprint 3)

The water outside is so calm; the voices inside erupt like firecrackers from all regions of the huge ballroom turned into a buffet on Sundays. The sky is powder blue like a can of paint was splashed. The man made beach on the rear of the hotel on the river is tattered with footprints that seem to almost be in a type of order. Across the river lay Argentina. Less than fifty feet away from that side of the river you can see shacks that are inhabited. Integrated into the rough shrubs and forestry. Every day I look at it and wonder how on this side of the river can lie Yacht Clubs, Golf Courses, tennis clubs, Mercedes Benz trucks, BMW Coupes, and high class living?

I toss the thought aside, the same thing happens in my own country so who am I to question that? It has been only a month and a half but it seems so much longer than that. A month and a half of being away from family, bad Internet, practices, bruises and bumps. It has been some 43 days of driving to practices, cold gyms, twitter updates, and road trips with internet that ends up being better than in my apartment! There are a lot of things that cause issues for you us and make us want to complain. But today I do not want to do that. Seeing a father at the table across from me teach his kids to count in a different language. Watching boats float by pulling a passenger on water skis. Eyeing the son of a friend walk past me giggling out of control. Reading instant messages on my iPhone that remind me that back home across open water, and over countries all too foreign to me than the word itself that I am loved, I just feel thankful.

Thankful that my legs have been able carry me from a crib as a baby to four continents as a man using the game that I love as my vessel. Each day I wake up healthy. I am granted the ability to walk, let alone play the game I love that allows me to support myself. My family is healthy and I live a life full of planes, trains, and automobiles that most would envy. The experiences that I have gained as well as the sights my eyes have seen will last me a lifetime. And they won’t be stopping any time soon. As I sit with my now melted ice cream and my battery on my iPhone dead I crack a smile realizing two things. I need to go back to my apartment, and I truly am blessed and should never forget that.

*Basketball update: We are currently 2nd place in our league at 12-3 with all three losses coming to the 1st place team.
) for more information (under Paraguay)


Friday, 19 June 2009

Short video of just after I got back to the states! At GAME 4 Magic vs. Cavs

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

P.S. I'm a Daddy

It has been a while since my last written post. I wanted to write a piece every week but as of late I just did not have the drive to sit down and put my thoughts into action. Even though the topic I want to go over has been with me for some time. Since every post that I make is entirely off the top of my head with no thesis, outline or pre-written concept set aside to assist me, I only write when I feel compelled to spill the inner workings of my mind. With a lot on my mind lately here during our "Race for the Playoffs" on full throttle I have taken a step back in planing for my return to the states here soon. As for now I am back in the writing mood and want to thank everyone first of all that has been following. Your responses have been great, and give me more encouragement than I anticipated to continue on this road and show a different side of me. Other than the basketball playing jokester with the big smile. I hope everyone continues to enjoy.

With my itunes open and my self proclaimed writing album on shuffle, JOHN LEGEND- Evolver has me back in the mood! A topic that many of us deal with either as a family member lending support, a friend offering guidance and some first hand. Something that to me is a future episode in my life that I look to with a positive vibe and open arms when the time is right. Not to be mistaken for mislead anticipation. MEN HAVING KIDS. The debate around it and topics intertwined. I felt compelled to touch on this topic because people in my life have dealt with it with high frequency. The most recent of which a teammate of mine. It made me begin to think about my own life and the path I have taken as well as my approach to the subject. How I feel about it as far as being ready; how to deal with it, what my response would be to getting news that I was a father to be. The factors that play into how people take the news could take forever to be compiled. But here are a few that I feel surface immediately. Again, this is a man writing this so we are looking from a man's perspective. Though we do understand that there is a whole other side to respect. That of the woman.

Upon news that a man is in the new future will be welcoming a child into the world what are the variables that SOME WOULD SAY come directly into the thought process:

1. Are you sure?/........WHAT?

Now ladies don't jump the gun, neither of these are disrespectful in ANY way. You have to understand that this is just as much news to us as it was to you. Only difference is that you knew already because it is your body, so you had time to prepare your response for us to see. Though there are cases where that is taken for what it is lack of enthusiasm. Even then that is not a completely a bad thing since it could be because we are real about the future endeavors and know it will not be easy. But ARE READY to do what it takes to be a good father to the child, and supporter to you. Then again, there is the lackluster side that some men will have. The "Are you sure" part of that is because a woman's body is complex and the monthly cycles can be thrown off for many reasons. The "What" part, simply to buy time to make the next sentence and not say something regrettable later.

2. How you feel about the woman

The relationship between the man and the woman is probably the biggest and most important variable of all that you could mention. With a strong relationship this topic is still a serious issue. That is not to be downplayed at all, but this makes the conversation take a different turn for better or for worse. Hopefully you can work through the ups and downs that come with any relationship to see eye to eye and do what is best for the child and understand that the two of you being together could provide a strong front and more stability for the child. Though that is not always the best thing in some situation. All you can really hope is that you can coincide at the least and play an equal part in the life of the child. A man should handle his responsibilities to say the least.

3. M-O-N-E-Y

Babies cost money, so this is always an issue. Some may see it as bigger than others. To me regardless of my monetary situation when this time comes in my life I am ready to tackle it head on. If you are not financially where you want to be as a man to provide for you future family then you should make progressive steps to do so. Easier said than done of course. But I was brought up to believe a man does not make excuses, he finds solutions. Get another job, get back into school, do research and look for ways to amplify your current situation and enable opportunities in the future. If you call yourself a man you may not be able to accomplish this on the time table you wish to. However you will have a plan of action, and find solutions in the end.

*itunes Timeout, Jamie Foxx-INTUITION (PLAY)

4. We used protection/ weren't you on the pill?

*Again, this is just a possible thought process so to all women who read this please do not be offended. This is simply put, typical things you may hear from a guy. I DO NOT WANT TO GET LYNCHED OVER THIS!

Ok from the man's side, in the heat of this moment we may forget that condoms are not 100% effective and may have an assumption that there is no way possible that if a condom was involved a woman could get pregnant. Listen, we know that it is not true. This is also probably a possible line to buy some thinking time. I mean you did have this already planned out when you knew/thought you may be pregnant so as aforementioned give us a little bit of a break? "The Pill" is always the next in this question-answer dance of the sexes. Again leaving us with the same answer as in the condom talk. We know many variables come into play with this topic. So thinking it is a kind of GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card is mislead. Nothing is 100% effective. 

5. Adoption/ Abortion

This is the most controversial part of this whole topic if you ask me. Because I feel that it depends on the WOMAN'S situation. First, adoption may be best for a woman that is very very young. With the age of teenage girls having children becoming younger and younger some young girls just are not ready to embark on that walk. Bad decisions and a lack of guidance could play into it in some cases leaving a young girl to be ill prepared for a portion of what is coming. In cases like this who am I to say what is wrong? Or those where a woman does not believe in abortion I think that adoption may allow the child an opportunity for a better life. Though that is not ALWAYS  the case. Some would argue that the best life for a child is with it's mother that loves them. 

Abortion is something that I do not believe in. But there are some variables on the woman's side that could come into play. The age topic again is one. Another is a woman that was sexually assaulted and as a direct result becomes pregnant. Who are we to tell this woman anything? It is her body and her decision regardless, but this I think allows special circumstances. As for a man suggesting it to a woman as a viable option after hearing she is pregnant, I don't think that is something that I would ever do. That is not to say that some people just are not ready and for this step and it ends up being the best choice for all involved. This is life altering not everyone can make the same choice, or do what you think is right.

Some friends made some remarks on my Facebook to a status I left about writing this blog. In response to the topic Damond Williams who was a HUGE influence on me as a freshmen in college said, "For would be after he has gained something to give." Making reference to what makes a man ready to have a child. Another good friend Juliann Di Benedetto who is a proud mother in waiting said, "No one is ever ready, you can't prepare enough! But most people don't have a choice when it comes to being ready because there are so many unplanned pregnancies now."  Both have great points and I agree 100% with what they had to say on the topic. In the end I fell like there is no right answer/way to handle becoming a father. Everyone has a different set of circumstances that make the events in their life special to them on a different level from anyone else. Who are we to say what IS and IS NOT the way to handle anything like this?

To say there is a rule book on the do's and don'ts  is ridiculous. The right thing to do when placed in this situation is to assess all angles and be sensitive to all parties. As a man, I have my own set of ideals and principles that make me who I am. No matter the situation good or bad, I consider myself a man. When I was a boy I could not wait for the chance to be a man. Do as I please with no chaperones, stay up as late as I wish. Eat what I choose and see who I may. Live my life by my rules. For the longest I wanted to get my tattoos, and pierce my ears. Have a drink when I chose and do the things I was always warned not to just to see what the fuss was all about. Along the road I dealt with a lot and for all the reasons I was warned.  

I know what it is to look adversity in the face as if you leaning over the edge of a cliff and slip, unsure of how far u will fall. Only to realize its was just a small drop and you can simply dust off or clothes and live with the scars you endured as a reminder of the lesson you learned. From family issues; getting cut as a CAPTAIN from my college team my senior year, learning life overseas as a ball player, family deaths, and more. We all have tough roads.  Considering myself a man I have worked through my issues as we all do. But living like a man I see this topic as my friends and family deal with it and I approach it in a different manner than I think most do.

First, I feel that anyone MAN ENOUGH to have sex had better be MAN ENOUGH to handle the responsibilities that come with it. Many of my friends have done just that and for that I am proud of them. When the day comes and I have a son that may face this situation I want to be able to look him in the eye and not just tell him what is right. But give him advice that I followed myself. As a man that had a great role model in my father I look forward to passing on the lessons I learned in my life as they were passed to me. Watching those close to me raise children through tough times I find one constant. Not one of my friends with a child can envision his life without his child in it. Hopefully there are more people out there like my close friends and I that feel the same. way. 

* Photos above area all family and friends kids and not my own by the way!
photo 1. My nieces 
photo 2. youngest brother
photo 3. My god son
photo 4. children of some close friends
photo 5. Just a few of my many cousins


Monday, 27 April 2009

Game update 4/18/09


Monday, 20 April 2009

April Fool's Prank!

This was I joke i played on my friends earlier this month. It also is my first video I have ever edited so bear with me! Thanks!


Monday, 30 March 2009

Week In Review: Fc Porto Hoops

This is the first in my video chronicles. All game recaps will be in video form for now on. I hope everyone enjoys and thanks to everyone following!


Cribs: Porto, Portugal

Hey everyone,
I thought that it was about time to change things up and add a few new ideas to let all the readers get a different perspective. Rather than just writing and posting photos I am going to start with videos. This first one is our apartment on the eight floor of our building. Our team provides it for us. Take a look! Some of you may have already seen this if you are friends with me on facebook. (The sound cuts out at times, SORRY!!) Enjoy


Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Rocks and Sand

are two things that are a common fixture on the gorgeous beaches off the coast's of Portugal. They give definition to the churning waters that thunder against the coast. It is an incredible sight to see. When the water turns furious during the night, as if a struggle for power between land and sea had erupted, the coast becomes engulfed and upper regions of the beach are no longer dry-zones. The rock formations are at times minute and barely noticeable. As fast as a world class sprinter can run a 100 meters, a look further up the coast can give way to enormous structures. Surely unconquerable water for a vessel. This was in part the reason the Portuguese coast was impenetrable for many, many years. With the Portuguese being world class sailors that they were; in their time. When Christopher Columbus was in search of backing his quest to find the Americas he turned to the Portuguese who vetoed his plan. Leading Columbus to trek north to neighboring Spain for a second opinion. 

The coast was dominated by the Forts that are strategically placed to ensure the Portuguese waters, people and prized possessions within her land were safely Protected from would be wrong doers. The rock formations around the Forts have sunken many ships due to the lack of visibility. They lie at points so high, and other times resting just beneath the tide. Portuguese will tell you that the amount of victims their water and Forts have taken are uncountable. Visiting one of these Forts over the past weekend was a blast from the past of sorts. The preservation of the artifacts were incredible. You could feel a sense of how it used. Places where canons would lie, and where few still rested, placed at strategic points to allow offense from all angles, outposts for lookouts, that could not have been the most entertaining job to have. 

This was a time spent without ipod's or portable dvd players or cell phones! Just think of the times you sit and are bored somewhere with a few minutes on your hand and were able to occupy yourself with electronics. We live off them! Now imagine sitting in a cold brick lookout post for hours at time fighting to protect your country while canons chimed off all around you. Barely eighteen years old, surrounded by eruptions and turmoil.  Looking to your left seeing a fallen comrade. To your right, a shattered fortress wall. Staring out only to see the enemy closing in on your position ready to key in and finish off the job. My imagination can tend to run wild more than I could possibly explain, and I wondered to myself. In those waning seconds as the enemy closed in making the end no longer a possibility or a sentence punctuated with a question mark, and now a sure thing. What would be flowing through the one's mind?

Fear? Maybe a feeling of content? Solace? Regret over past relationships or words unspoken to loved ones? What would be left of you when you no longer took a gasp of air? When you did not walk through the doors of your home to greet your family after a long days work? How would the day go when you were not there for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Would the laughs still be as loud? Would the nieces and nephews that you watched grow from a seed that could not hold a bottle, to a vigorous train wreck waiting to happen at every corner remember you? When my time comes what will be left of me? After I stop dribbling a basketball to the delight of fans and team owners how loud will the crowd cheer when I am six feet under and my remains wither?

What happens when the end hurricanes through our lives leaving a wake of sadness and tears. Sooner or later we all become nothing but "Shadows and Dust" (Proximo- GLADIATOR the motion picture). As I sat on the beach thinking back on my life realizing how lucky I am to live my life in other countries pursuing my dream playing basketball. I came over the answer to all these questions. That being the two things that regardless of time, days, weeks, months, years, and so on, remains constant on the glistening coasts of western Europe......THE ROCKS AND  SAND.

The tide was just strong enough on this day of self-reflection for surfers off in the distance to combat the rocks of the coast, and the churning waters to catch waves.  As I held a hardback journal in one hand & pen in the other critiquing my performance in our match the day prior, I stared out on the beach. The two images I could not get away from remained intriguing me. A particular set of rocks sat lay just where the reach of the tide would totally cover them. Kept my fascination. I was with a group of friends that must have thought I was antisocial. My eyes steady. My left and right brain sparked with astonishment at one simple fact, these rocks. Picture a shark's teeth and imagine it turned into a rock  about the size of a basketball. Jutting from the sands. Spaced out perfectly as only mother nature could so that the tide would rush around the rocks covering them entirely. Each tide would retreat and leave a new formation. A new mark in the sand. What caught my eye most was  that though we go to beaches and we leave footprints. We watch the tide rush and retreat we laugh as kids, we run from the cold water. Each new tide erasing all signs that anyone was ever there.

Millions of people came to this beach, the footprints had to be unthinkable. But you would never know that anyone had ever been except for those I witnessed that day. Yet the rocks stood as a steady reminder of the past and history of this foreign land I now call HOME AWAY FROM HOME.  One day I will be called, my number will be up and I will go onto a better place. When I do what will be left of me? Of you? Will I be the sand, washed  away to sea and trampled by tourists?Lost due to red tide like the beaches in my native Florida. Will I be lost? In the years that I live I hope that my life will leave a mark so that when my end comes and I become shadows and dust my friends and family will celebrate my life. Not shed a tear. Crack open a bottle of E & J Brandy and tell all the embarrassing and crazy stories that defined my life and made me who I am. 

I want to be remembered the way I think of the soldier in the Forts of Portugal, I want not to be the sand...but a steady reminder of power and strength...when that day comes I will be  THE ROCK.

HOOPS WEEK IN REVEIW: With 3 games left in our season spread out over the next month we are now on a 4 game win streak. We won by around 30 points over a team that before my arrival my team had lost to. Things are looking up and we traveled last night for an away game. We won a hard fought game.  Wish us luck! Fighting for sixth spot in the playoffs of the top eight teams. 

*Due to my post being a bit late this week the next post will follow in just a few days time!! 


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

So Close, Yet SOOO Far

Is an understatement to say the least. But the phrase is a great way to trick your mind into thinking your not halfway across the Atlantic Ocean. That is until you reach the comma in that phrase and realize the only reason you feel you just MIGHT be close to home, and those that make each day - breathe -tear, and laugh worth savoring is do to the incredible advances in technology. Facebook; Myspace, AOL/YAHOO/MSN Instant Messenger, SKYPE,  and now the creation of ESPN Sportscenter videos on the web at , that can almost provide us with the illusion of being in a regular home just enjoying the day. But trust me the difference is eminent as soon as you turn on the television to hear a language other than that native to you. Or you look outside the window to a sea of COMPACT DIESEL FUEL swallowing vehicles parked on congested cobble stone

Looking to the left - bite sized parallel parking spots that look as if a 10 - speed bike would not fit into if you removed the front tire. Scanning left, picture buildings that are so old you feel a sense of power emitting from them from miles away. Moss and vegetation consuming three quarters of a tower that could tell a thousand stories before it tells you the deepest stories of its region.  A simple act like walking down the street swirls into an eye popping  mind frenzy as you register each difference around you. Street signs,  nasal cavity-ISH  streets, the clothes people wear (This is a whole other topic, more on that later), traffic patterns, smells, colors, mannerisms. Suddenly you transform like Optimus Prime into semi-truck , from yourself into Dorothy trapped in OZ as you realize, " We ain't in Kansas anymore." With so many differences how do we keep sane? How do we keep touch with those important to us?

Well this topic is o
ne that ANYONE that has EVER been away from their home city let alone the hemisphere they are native to can agree with. Since we went over a few types earlier let me first break down who it is we keep touch with. So here they are by category.

These are the people that you speak to frequently/semi-frequently.  I have some friends that I speak to on Myspace, others that I only communicate with on Facebook. Rarely do I ever blur the two with one friend, the reason is really unknown but ask anyone that is in my situation or even those that are not and they will likely tell you the same thing. Most times it is just a " Hey!" or " How are you?" Other times you actually have a change of information worth putting your typing skills to good use over. It is always nice to get a message from someone you have not spoken to or heard from in a long time. To be so far from home and to see a message just saying " Miss you man, can't wait till we can catch up." Can have an uplifting effect. 

There are a few different types but I use mainly AOL (AIM), and SKYPE for my instant messaging. When I need to speak to my friends from overseas that are foreign I use MSN messenger due to the fact that the rest of the world seems to all use that form of instant messaging. Now the friends that you 
keep on these forms of mind tricking communication platforms are differently placed also. First of all when I use AIM I speak mainly to people that I went to college with. That was the time that I started the account in the first place so that makes sense. Also I use AIM to actually TEXT MESSAGE my friends/family's phones. It is free of charge and is no extra fee to the person on the receiving end. Great way to get a message to friends that can not talk on a pone call at the moment or are just on the run. Of course we have the actual friends and the people that JUST HAPPEN to be online when you are.

Let me tell you that when I say I lived off this form of communication my first two and a half months here in Portugal, I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. My computer crashed so I was left with nothing. Thanks to the use of wifi on one of my two best friends (1. iphone 2. Macbook) I was able to live on email and actually email my friends phones as text messages. If you do not know how to use this method contact your provider. Most phones come with an email hookup using your number followed by your at no extra fee as long as you have internet - i.e 

Before the news about how incredible SKYPE actually is I was at a loss at how to speak to family and friends at a price that was reasonable. I had only spoken to my mother two  times in almost three months....Not to mention I had not spoken to anyone else voice to voice due to the price of a call. I have a cell phone but making calls would run my prepaid european cell phone minutes at a rate that you would not believe. On the flip side of that making a call from a different country code is not exactly friendly for a cell phone bill that you want anyone to have to deal with just to hear from  you. With SKYPE I found a way to make life 90% better. Within minutes of downloading the program I set up a number with a Florida area code and voicemail that allows friends to call me anytime and if I am unavailable they can leave a message. 

Then I chose a plan that fit my needs. I only want to call the states so I enrolled in a plan with UNLIMITED CALLING  to North American cell phones and landlines for about  $3.oo a month. On top of that the more months you enroll in this plan the cheaper it is per month. Also with Skype I can do instant messaging and now have a group of friends I communicate through this mode new age communication evolution. But it does not end there because with SKYPE I can do telephone conferences with as many people as I choose that have SKYPE also. The other day after not speaking to anyone from home on the phone in forever, I had my two brothers in a conference at the same time. My mother spoke with; my two younger brothers, and both their girlfriends that all have SKYPE! On top of this I can do crystal clear video conversations! Technology is mind blowing to say the least. The best part about the smooth process to this was that if you have your contacts synched through your cell phone with the address book on your computer, SKYPE will automatically ask you if you want to load these contacts up onto  SKYPE. Now giving me every contact at the touch of a button. 

Now as all my friends will tell you I can talk forever. This does translate to my writing as it seems, so we will wind this down with the most intriguing part of life away from home. Friends and the magic ball that your absence provides you when looking at them. Quickly you find out what kind of friends you have. Some actually keep up with you. They know where you are. They want to know when you come back, and keep up with games to a degree. Friends can change though and over time we all do so it is not unexpected. What can be hard is going from speaking and socializing with friends every day, every other night. To not having touch with them for months or even until you return home upwards of six months later if not more. The average basketball season is 6-8 months and 10 months in other cases. Imagine not having more than a few exchanged words with someone you saw as a close friend and would have done anything for. Probably went through some tough times with even. It puts everything in perspective to say the least.

At first you feel a bit angered when you think about it. It is human. You bled with some of these people. Cried with even. Laughed and dined with on more occasions than you can recollect. You look back on pictures of back
 home (another Vulcan mind trick ala  STAR TREK) when times got tough or you were really 
down. My first term playing was really tough in Denmark. I lived on myspace and FACEBOOK constantly reaching out to people. Trying anything to keep a piece of home. You just come to realize that it is a part of growing up and you can not expect everyone to put you in the center of their universe when you are off making your dreams come true. 

Relationships are a WHOLE other topic. Imagine having a significant other, or what you thought was that to you or worthy of future inauguration into a higher role even.That person being out of sight but NOT out of mind for months at a time. Stressful to say the least. How can you make it work? How can you keep touch with the people that matter most and care most about your well being. Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, godsons/daughters, grandparents, moms/dads, business associates and more? It takes effort that is for sure. Without the correct balance some will feel left out, others will feel let down. Some will forget about you and you will do the same. Relationships will be bent to the point of fracture, and possibly sustain a crucial relationship-ending break. Hopefully a clean one, that allows the wounds to heal in full. Though sometimes you do not want them to. Just to have the memory of that time when things were easy. When you were not halfway across the world while you leave those behind that matter most. Forcing them to find means of replacing the void you left them with. 

Life away from home can be tough, FOREIGN to say the least. You can only hope that the people that you mean the most to, remember they mean the most to you.

Hoops Week in Review: We are on a current two game wining streak sitting in 6th place in our league standings. Top 8 teams make the playoffs, and we are just fighting to stay alive.  I played well last week and started for the second week in a row after many line-up changes by our coach. Coach actually had me start against a 7 footer who I went right at to show my team we would not back down to anyone. We have played inspired basketball these last two weeks so we will see what our future holds. 


GAMES REMAINING - 5 (league info and standings) (Team website)


Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Epsiode 1- "Is This Thing On?"

After an array of url options and plenty of indecisiveness, I finalAdd Imagely am writing my first blog! I have to say It is a breathe of fresh air to get a platform that allows me to both inform the important 
people in my life back home, and express a side of me that has been in a dormant state over the last few years. Everyone has heard of blogs, what they are about. I probably know more people than I think that actually run a blog. Overseas I read them on sports websites all the time to get a feel for the thoughts of my favorite analysts and writers. Whenever I want to know about a new artist or a particular album recently released back home I tu
rn to blogs for the simple reason that they give information from a perspective that is always honest.

 Also because the comments posted can definitely be entertaining, and that is a huge bonus when you are overseas playing ball as I am right now. Let me get a bit more into that. First of all this is my life, and it has been since I can remember. Some people think that sports are a waste of time except for the act of keeping kids active and from getting a bit overweight. We all know that exercise and activity is the supposed key to a healthy life and I am not here to disagree. But, sports has always been more than that to me. From jump-street I saw a challenge; kids bigger than myself that provided a barrier to crumble; moves that had been mastered and I could not come close to performing. I saw opportunity. 

My first memories of basketball are slightly scattered. The first being When I could not have been more than  3 years old. At the time we were stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. A perk, and for some a negative of being 
an ARMY BRAT as I am, are the places throughout the world you can end up. The gym was dimly lit in the corners as I remember but the light shined brightly through glass pained windows directly onto the court. As my father and his friends let loose the frustrations of a surely long week, I remember looking out and being in complete awe at everything around me. Sounds of the shoes squeaking frantically against the dingy floor. 

The smell of old bleachers and the mass stored underneath them. Yelling and communicative phrases foreign to me at the time but that would later become apart of my basketball DNA. Everything around me was so new...but I do believe even then
 I had a sense that there was much more to this world than my frantic brown eyes could survey. I have seen pictures actually from this particular day. Each time I come upon them it feels like a bit more comes back to me not as images but almost as a feeling of  purpose, and the origin was that moment.  Almost eerie to think about.

 As for my first actual encounter in which I was old enough to experiment under my own supervision, and minus potty training for that much, was in Tampa, Florida. Visiting my grandparents en route to our next duty station which was to be a different city in Germany where we would spend three years before making the short transit to yet another base in Germany for the next four years. Yes, moving has been apart of my life.... More on that later. The day was flaming hot as most are in Tampa during the summers. I remember standing in the driveway of my Grandparents house and being able to look the entire way down the street to where the park was located containing playgrounds, sports fields and a court.
Glaring down the street that had to be all of about three-hundred yards I began to wonder to myself. On television I saw guys go between their legs with a basketball. It was a long way for my 7 year old legs to walk with my mini-Marcus strides. I have not always been 6'8" as some people are shocked to hear! But I made a challenge to myself and decided to try, the entire way...between the legs with the ball. Needless to say it took me forever, the ball must have rolled and bounced off my feet and legs a hundred times. But finally, I made it to the gates of the park. Looking up at burning son I felt a brisk breeze of accomplishment flow over me. It was the first of many challenges that I would test myself with. Even today that habit has yet to subside. 

The memories are endless and throughout my chronicals I will surely let loose a more than a few of them. Would you expect anything less? From a man that has been playing since age 7; has always been the tallest in his class, (except for that freakishly huge JACKIE in my 5th grade class) who's father is 6'6" & mother is 5'10", was happily grounded at least once a month for going straight to the courts and not coming home for hours after school Only to repeat the same offense within days of release. You're talking about a guy that at age 9 was riding bikes to other towns in Germany just to pay against kids from other countries because he heard that were good.  Again leading to  "house arrest" and an abundance of chores imposed by his parents. 

From being coached by my father as a kid, and growing up watching every sports highlight alongside him. To high school championships in the frozen tundra of the LAST FRONTIER Anchorage, Alaska. Moving onto Division I & II Basketball that would eventually land me in places like; Denmark, New Zealand, South America, and now Portugal to play a game that started so long ago for me. This is who I am....this is what I do....i'm a Ball Player.

Welcome to my life.