After an array of url options and plenty of indecisiveness, I finally 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.