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Adversity is Nothing #2

Up until the friendly match that Avery and I played last Sunday against a Croatian team that is participating in the actual basketball tournament, my time in Malaysia has been cool. The two other import players from America are really good basketball players. The food has been amazing, with the exception of the food served at the resort we were staying in, during our time in Port Dickson.

Great food, seafood/bbq pork fried rice, Mongolian fried chicken, lemon chicken, sweet and sour fish, fried squid, and deer meat that tasted like Mongolian beef. Avery didnt like it.

Great food, seafood/bbq pork fried rice, Mongolian fried chicken, lemon chicken, sweet and sour fish, fried squid, and deer meat that tasted like Mongolian beef. Avery didnt like it.

One of the meals that was amazing BBQ pork and roasted pork. Hole in the wall type of a place had some of the best Chinese food I have ever tasted. The shumai were sweet and delicious.

One of the meals that was amazing BBQ pork and roasted pork. Hole in the wall type of a place had some of the best Chinese food I have ever tasted. The shumai were sweet and delicious.

The team has been more than hospitable, which is not always the case overseas.

The food was awful at the resort we stayed at. This was my view from our living room. No complaints about the scenery.

The food was awful at the resort we stayed at. This was my view from our living room. No complaints about the scenery.

When Americans go overseas there is always a certain level of mystery involved. A lot of times, the country is new, which means you are dealing with a totally new culture, as well as new teammates. The American import players are cool, Darius Rice is a veteran ball player that has played all over the world, while Akeem Richmond is experiencing overseas basketball for the first time.
I first heard the name Darius Rice, when I was in high school. Back then, Slam magazine was a big deal for basketball players, and I read the magazine religiously. There was an edition that featured Rice on the cover, as one of the best prep basketball players in the nation. After high school, he played at the University of Miami. From Miami, he had stints in the NBA, and has had a very successful basketball career overseas.
It is always cool to play with notable ball players that came up around the same time as I did. Although years later, he is still a very talented player. At 6’10” he plays on the perimeter, which is always going to be something that impresses me as I am 6’10” as well, but I play more inside, with the ability to shoot from outside.

We take pride in our alma maters. It felt good letting D Rice, a Miami Hurricane wear my Purple UW gear. What a beautiful sight. :)

We take pride in our alma maters. It felt good letting D Rice, a Miami Hurricane wear my Purple UW gear. What a beautiful sight. 🙂

Akeem Richmond played at East Carolina University, and went on to play in the NBDL, which is the farm league for the NBA. He played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and the Reno Big Horns the last two years. This is his first year playing international basketball, and based on how he played in the friendly match on last Sunday, you would never know that. He is a scorer, with a nice outside shot, with the ability to get to the cup when needed.

Keen and D Rice

Keen and D Rice

Last Sunday was our first time playing together, and based on the skill sets, we can definitely mesh. It was unfortunate, because my cousin Avery, Rice, and Richmond all contributed last night. If I would have played better, there is no way that we would have lost the game. I am just thankful that it was a friendly match and that game does not actually count against us.
According to Darius Rice, I was pacing prior to the game. I didn’t even realize it. So nervous, I played one of the worst games of my basketball career, as I air balled my first shot, and eventually fouled out of a match that was ten minutes shorter than an actually basketball game.

As you can see my cousin and teammates played well. Me, not so much. Yikes.

As you can see my cousin and teammates played well. Me, not so much. Yikes.

Now if I play like that tonight, I will not only be upset, but the team will be upset at me as well. I don’t anticipate playing that poorly tonight. We have had some really good practices since the game, that have allowed me to get the rust out of my game. It has also allowed my cousin Avery to chew me out, helping me get my mind right. He has always challenged me, and I have always appreciated it, even though at times, I have had urges to ring his neck while in the moment. I love him to death, and I can’t believe the time has finally come to play together.

This is something that we will be able to tell our sons. This is priceless. We our in another country and we are teammates. We have memories that will last way longer than this experience.

This is something that we will be able to tell our sons. This is priceless. We our in another country and we are teammates. We have memories that will last way longer than this experience.

Not nearly as much time as I would have thought to write, I have been busy staying hydrated and making sure that I am eating correctly, and most importantly getting the proper rest necessary to be a professional athlete. Next time I write, I will have at the least one game under my belt. It feels like I am a rookie all over again, but the only difference I know exactly what to expect, and I have done a better job preparing for it. first-game-friendly


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