Monday, March 25, 2013

Diary Of A Baller: Azar “A.Z.” Swain (Boston, MA) Entry #2

 Kyle Casey and A.Z.
Thought of the Week: Buckets 

I realized that the game of basketball has changed a little bit since I first started playing. It seems like in order to get noticed by scouts and coaches, you have to get buckets. The game revolves around buckets. You can't just be a good defender and good teammate any longer. Don't get me wrong, those things are very good but in order to really get noticed, you MUST get buckets. Personally, my game really elevated when I started trying to put the ball in the hoop. I just added that attack to the other things that I already did. I was talking to my coach about this topic. All of the great players that you see in the NCAA and NBA can score the ball at will. That's what people like and want to see. Nobody makes a highlight reel of a nice kid playing good defense or showing good effort. The people that can score and put the ball in the rim get the recognition over those who can't. So, for all of the people that are reading this, if you want to do big things as far as basketball goes, then start working on ways to score the ball. You will see a huge jump in the exposure that you get. Still be a good teammate, and most importantly, BE COACHABLE. If you are a good person, good things will come to you. Karma exists. It's as simple as that. 

This Sunday, was one of the busiest days that I can remember. It started off with a video session and discussion to get prepared for the HoopRootz Elite 75 camp. We had our usual talk about things that I should be focusing on to get better. Today I was looking to be aggressive on both sides of the ball. Sometimes I forced the issue today but it worked out well. It was a good experience for me because I saw a lot of old friends. I also got a chance to joke and see a lot of new coaches. I love the way coaches really appreciate my game because I’m not a very flashy player. It felt good this weekend to be able to compete. After I was finished at the camp around 3 o’clock, I headed around the corner to Mass Premier with my boy Jermaine Samuels to watch his little brother Jalen play for the travel basketball state championship. They ended up winning the 6th grade championship, and Jalen had 31 points in the OT win. It was an exciting game! I spent today with my family and friends, so it was great day for me. 

Monday started off pretty late around 12:30. After I took care of showering and getting ready for the day, I chilled and watched about 3 hours of SportCenter. Then, around 4, my dad got home from work. We went to the gym and worked out there for 2 hours. I took it light today and just tried to get my left hand better. I'm slowly working on all of my weaknesses to turn them into strengths. After I was finished at the gym, my mom picked me up. I watched the Heat vs. Celtics game. That LeBron dunk over Jason Terry was crazy! It kind of looked like the DeAndre Jordan dunk over Brandon Knight, LOL. I just don't know how to describe it. I am in love with Sports! 

I started Tuesday off with reading a couple of chapters in the book “Freedom’s Children”. It tells the stories and point of views of different people during the times of racial exclusivity for African-Americans from the 1960’s-1980’s. I think that it is a pretty interesting book. When I’m reading it, I try to put myself in their shoes. When my Dad came to pick me up at 3:30 from my mom’s house, we headed to the gym until about 6:30. Today, it was really crowded in there, so I just got a bunch of shots up. When we were finished at the gym, I went home and did my core workout. I really concentrated tonight on my Abs. The leg raises kill me every time! As my day started to come to a close, I watched NBA TV and just talked to some friends. 

Wednesday was dedicated to a lot of school work and 2 on 2 games at the gym with my dad. I got in trouble and had to sit through a lecture about how serious school is to my future, so I really got after it this morning. Those talks are never fun. Anyways, I did about 3 hours of schoolwork to get back on track. I looked up Martin Luther King Jr’s last days in 1968, Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964, and Busing in Boston. I tried to just sit down and educate myself on how life was back then. It’s kind of sad to look back and see all of the racial separation in the U.S. back then. I couldn’t imagine living in a place where I couldn’t have friends of every race. Games at the gym with my dad are the best. There’s something about my dad’s game that separates him from others. He can just take over a game. It’s pretty crazy because he doesn’t look like he has the ability to do all of that. No workout tonight. I text my strawberry and hit the sack on a good note. 

Thursday was one of those days that just flew by. It started off around 12 when I woke up. I honestly have to say that I watched March Madness from about 1-3:30. I headed into Boston to do my personal workout. We were there from about 4:30-7, and my body was dead when we left. After the Oak Hill Academy Shooting Camp; Defensive drills, I worked on my legs by doing my rim touches, and worked on my arms by doing push-ups and dips. I posted a picture on Instagram to show my progress. I don’t like how it feels during my workouts but I love the feeling after. I grabbed a chicken wrap and kicked back for the night. 

Since it was Friday, I woke up with a lot of energy. I was excited for the weekend because I get to see my CT boys and go to New York. Around 4 o’clock, after I did school work for science, I headed to the gym to play some pick up games. Today’s focus was help defense and shooting off the dribble. I went back to the house and updated my March Madness brackets and got ready for tomorrow. 

This Saturday was much different from last Saturday because I was in Connecticut in the morning and New York at night. We were on the road, bright and early in the morning heading to CT. It was good to see some of the team today. I feel like I haven’t seen them in months! I rocked with Ismail Charles and Vincent Ruff. It was good to see Ismail back on the court. He's like my big brother and I wish he get's healthy real soon. After I was finished there, we drove down to New York for the night. I love Times Square. Basically, I’m a city boy and I love the city life. Also, I have to shout out Harvard for winning their first NCAA tournament game in history. I wish my boy Kyle Casey was able to play. He’s a problem! I can almost bet anything that nobody had them upsetting New Mexico. Anyways, I had a great time today, both in Connecticut and New York. I love days like this, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. There was no stress at all. It was just me, my family, my friends and good hard competition. Sometimes it’s more than just a game. I want to take the time to thank all of the people that have inboxed me about how much they have enjoyed my 1st diary entry. I’ll try not to bore you guys again next week! I’ll see most of you in Atlantic City, NJ. (God Willin’) 
A. Z. 

Quote of the week: “If you want a child to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others” – Haim Ginott