Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Diary Of A Baller: Jalen "Young One" Henriquez (New Jersey) Entry #18

Hello Basketball World,

This weekend we were at the Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam fest. This is a great tourney for exposure, there were so many schools out there looking at ball players. We all missed school Friday so we could get down there in time for our 6:15pm game. We ended up arriving in Pittsburgh around 6:00pm, which was not good. We were not mentally ready for the game and our preparation was poor. We opened up against Steel City out of PA and we came out flat. I especially had an off game. My shot wasn't dropping nor were floaters or my attempts to attack the cup. At the half we were down by 2. We didn't play well in the 2nd half either as my off game continued. Whenever I have an off game I try to do other things, rebound, play D, lead, etc. A lesson I once learned was that Jason Kidd is the one player in the NBA who is able to dominate a game scoring about 8 points. He does it by doing the other little things to help his team win so I tried to do that by passing and hustling. The game came down to a last play which was a layup by my teammate Kenny Cortes (welcome back, shout out to him for helping us this weekend after we lost our big due to selfish ego problems). We ended up winning by one and we stole that game.

Saturday morning we played Unique All Stars from NY. This was a better scoring game for me, I had about 8 or 9 points but I was still not myself. Like I said before the speed of the game at the 15U level is so much faster we lost this one. I think because they wanted it more, they out hustled us and we under estimated them. This loss put us in the silver bracket and we were very upset. We went on to the silver bracket semi final game on Sunday morning. We played a team from Ohio named Team Toledo. This team was draining threes right from the tip off and the scoring didn't stop they went up while we stood at 0. At the half we were down by over 15 and I had another off game. Our assistant coach, Barry Zeller told us at half that we had to chip away at their lead little by little. That's exactly what we did; we ended up cutting it to two points with a minute twenty left. We ended up losing by 4 points and were out the tourney.

All in all, this was not our best tournament, but we never gave up being down 19 to 1at the start of the game we played hard till the very end. It was cool to see the University of Pittsburgh which has unbelievable. I look forward to next weekend where we will be at another Hoop Group tourney down in Providence, Rhode Island. I get a small taste of what NBA players go through traveling all season long for 82 games. Hopefully next weekend we can win it all in Rhode Island we have done good in every tournament but still haven't took home the hardware in either of the last two, tourney I think we'll get this next one.

Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. –Orison Swett Marden

Young One Out...