Friday, July 20, 2012

Diary Of A Baller: Tyus "Kid Mamba" Battle (Edison, NJ) Entry #45

What up basketball world. Sorry I sent in the entry so late, I’ve just been really busy with basketball for the last two weeks.

Tuesday my dad woke me up early and told me to pack up because I’m going to Virginia for the Nike Skills U. I was surprised when he told me this because he never mentioned it until this day. When I asked him about the camp, he replied that it was a camp for high school players, primarily juniors and seniors, to learn and show their skills in front of college coaches. When we got to Virginia my dad dropped me off at the Crystal City Marriott where all the other players were staying. After they signed me in they took my weight, height, and wingspan. They also gave us a whole Nike bag full of clothes, socks, a pair of slides, and a pair of shoes.

Since I was at the hotel early, I sat around and waited until more people started filling in. When we finally had about 90 percent of the players at the hotel we all split up and filled two buses and headed to the gym for our first skills workout. The workout went really well and we did some good drills. For the first 40 minutes we did a lot of drills with ball handling, with one and two balls. When we finished that we ended the workout with a lot of shooting drills. I was shooting the ball well the first day, but after that day the ball would not fall.

Wednesday I woke up at 6:30 because I wanted to get to breakfast before everybody else got there. After breakfast I sat down and watched TV until it was time to go back over to the gym for our morning workout. During this workout we did a lot of shooting but this time off of screens, which was really useful because the game of basketball today is focused a lot on screen and roles. When we finished the two hour workout the coaches gave us the teams we were going to play on and I was picked to play on Missouri. We played our first game at two against Kentucky. We started the game out well, but soon lost the lead because of turnovers and we were not getting back on transition. We lost the game by 5 to a team we should have beaten. I ended up having about 8 to 10 points but I didn’t make one jump shot. Most of my points were off rebound put backs. We played again at 8 but once again lost by 7. This game I didn’t play well offensively but got a few rebounds and played solid defense.

Thursday we had another morning workout. This time they taught us how to be in help defense and how to play good transition defense. We had our third game at 12 but lost that game too. So we ended up being the only team that hasn’t won a game yet. So we were determined to win the next game. We started off the game with a 10 point lead and we were playing good defense. In the second half the game got closer and at one point they even had the lead. But we pulled it out anyway and got our first win.

Saturday was our last day of morning workouts so we took all the things we learned during the week and put it in one drill of 4 on 4. After the drills we got ready to play our first playoff game. We won the game in double overtime so at this point we were confident that we can win the whole thing. We won our second game, and this time it was an easier win, winning by over 10.

Sunday was the championship and we were playing a team that we beat earlier in the week. But this time was a different story. They came off the bench knocking down 3 after 3. Before we knew it we were down by 20 and there was no way we were able to come back. The Nike Skills U was a great experience and one that I will never forget.

This is Tyus Battle signing out Peace!