Monday, March 18, 2013

Diary Of A Baller: Azar “A.Z.” Swain (Boston, MA) Entry #1

Azar Swain (Middle School Team)

First of all I just want to let everybody know that I'm super nervous to be doing the diary, but at the same time I'm thankful. I never thought that I would get a chance to tell my story to Basketball Spotlight. I really am happy to share my days with you guys. By the end of these basketball diaries, hopefully everyone will have a clear picture of who I am and what I'm about. I'm not going to hold anything back because I never know when I will ever get a chance like this again. Plus my teachers and coaches will be reading these also. 

My name is Azar Marque’ Swain. I have a lot of nicknames like the Truth (because I'm from Boston, Fire (because I shoot a lot), Zig Zag (childhood name), Dula (when I was chubby), Shallah (given by a Muslim friend of my family), Lil Bazz (after Shabazz Napier) and Lil D-Will (after Deron Williams). My close friends just call me A.Z. It's simple and it fits me. I am an 8th grader at The Rivers Prep School in Weston, MA. I have never been kept back or reclassified. I am 14 years old and my birthday is December 28, 1998. I'm only 5'8"-5'9" and I weigh about 150 pounds. I am a quarterback, linebacker and defensive end on the field and I am a combo guard on the court. My parents are divorced and I spend most of my time with my dad. I played AAU basketball for Bay State Magic, MABC and CT Elite. I now play with CBC aka The Money Team. 

Sunday was a long day for me. I felt pretty sick the whole day with a bad headache. I started off by first catching up on some sleep because I definitely needed it. After that, I did my usually weekend chores (dishes, taking the trash out), you know, the usually kid chores, and errands with my dad. When I came home, I watched the Michigan vs. Indiana game. Wow, that game was crazy! The matchup between 2 top players in the country (Trey Burke and Victor Oladipo) was intense. Oladipo has a lot of energy. He was playing Burke full-court for the whole game, and I think that’s what people like about him. Burke is a crazy good playmaker, and this season, I started to watch how he plays and try to pick up and copy what he does. Later on that day, I did my daily workout of 100 pushups, 250 squats, 50 pull-ups and 250 crunches. After I worked out I did a little bit of reading to get ahead in my school work, even though we are on a 2 week break. As my day came to a close, I played NBA 2K13. My player’s name is Rashaud Kelley and he gets buckets. He’s averaging 33.2 ppg and 4 rebounds a game. He and his Knicks are on their way to the finals. That is how I past time late at night. Shout out to Harvard University for winning the IVY League Championship! 

Monday was productive and relaxing for me. I started off by waking up pretty late again, around 12. After I took care of my personal hygiene, my dad picked me up and we went to the gym for about 3 hours. At the gym, I really worked on my left hand floaters, left hand layups and left hand passes. I ran my daily miles on the treadmill. Today, we did a calf and leg workout to get stronger. After that, I went over my mom's house where I did some research for school work, so that I could get ahead. I was done with my school work for the night, so I decided to watch the Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary's game. I like the teamwork and chemistry of that Gonzaga team. Each of their talents, balance each other out, and that has been a key to their success this season. They have a great chance to make the Final Four, and possibly win a championship. As my day came to a close, I just chilled and relaxed with my dog Smudgie. He's 100% beagle, and that is like my little brother. 

Tuesday was complicated, but still like any other day. I started off by waking up around 10 to do some reading for school, then after that headed back home from my mom’s house. I watched re-runs of Sports Center for about 3 hours, until about 4:30 when my dad got home from work. Later on, around 5, my dad and I went into Boston for a workout, so that I can stay on top of my game and not fall off. When I got home around 9, I saw the highlights of the Lakers vs. Magic game. Dwight Howard had 39 points and 16 rebounds, and as kids today would say, “he went HAM” haha. The magic tried the whole “hack-a-Shaq” game plan on Dwight, but he cashed in with 25 free throws made. As my day came to a close, I played some NBA 2k13 and spent some family time with my dad. My day ended on a good note. 

Wednesday was more of a relaxing than active day. It all started off by me waking up at the usual vacation time (12 o'clock). After that, I did some research to get ahead in my schoolwork. I got some lunch, and then I took some time to watch the Syracuse vs. Seton Hall game. Seton Hall almost snuck away with a win, but Syracuse persevered and recovered from the bad first half. After I watched the game with my dad, he took me to the gym. We took it light today and only got up some shots. When I was finished at the gym, I did a core workout (250 squats, 250 sit-ups, 100 push-ups, and 250 calf raises. As my day came to a close, I relaxed and watched the Knicks vs. Nuggets game. 

Thursday was a relaxing day, where we got prepared for this upcoming “all-basketball” weekend. My day started off with me waking up at 10:30. Around 12 o’clock, my dad came and picked me up from my mom’s house. When I got home, I grabbed some lunch and watched the Georgetown vs. Cincinnati game, and then the Syracuse vs. Pitt game. I think that Syracuse is looking really good right now. They are playing as a team, and basing their games off of each other. That is why they’ve had so much success in the Big East tournament so far. When it hit 4 o’clock, my dad came home from work, and took me to the gym. For today’s workout, we went over some 1 on 1 moves and went through some Oak Hill Academy shooting drills to help me work on my mid-range shot. When I was finished with my gym workout, I ran my miles on the treadmill. I usually don’t leave the gym without running. It kind of helps me relax. Later on, as my day came to a close, I relaxed with my dad and played some living room basketball and texted some friends until I fell asleep. 

Friday, I woke up to a stack of DVD’s of some of my old games. I like to study my opponent’s favorite moves and look at some of my weaknesses. Tomorrow is Hoop Group’s New England Jr. Elite Camp. I really need to see if I’ve improved as much as coaches have been saying. Some would say that I like attending camps more than tournaments. I feel free to try some new things that I have been practicing to see if they work. Plus I get to compete and chill with a lot of my friends from other teams. After writing down some key things that I need to improve on, I got dropped off at the library. I had to do some research on The Black Panthers. I learned a lot of interesting facts! I then walked to the gym where I spent about an hour getting stretched and 15 minutes in the sauna. I get dizzy if I stay in that heat too long. I got my 100 free throw makes in and then I was done for the day. My dad picked me up and we did some laundry. We then went out to eat at a nice restaurant. I can’t remember the name but I had rice, teriyaki steak and chicken. I finished the night watching Syracuse beat Georgetown. I love the way Syracuse plays the 2-3 Zone, when they trap. Once again it came down to free throw shooting. It seems like a lot of great players can’t make free throws. I can’t play video games on competition night. Friday was a very relaxing day with no worries. I feel a little better prepared and focused for camp. I fell asleep early. 

I started this Saturday at about 6 am. I always try to have breakfast on days in which I have competitions. Today’s breakfast was pancakes, english muffin and apple juice. I stretched while watching NFL Network, showered and prayed for a good day with no injuries. The Hoop Group coaches at the camp had me running the point. They ended up moving me back to the shooting guard position for obvious reasons haha. My shot was really falling today. I got a chance to try some new skills and work on some fundamentals. I was coached today by Curry College Head Coach, Malcolm Wynn. He was tough on us, but he is a really funny guy. He let me be me. I made mistakes but he challenged me in a lot of different ways. I appreciated all of the advice that I received from all of the coaches. I then went to watch some travel basketball games with my boy, Jermaine Samuels. Today was a great day because I hung out with some old friends, made some new friends and learned a few new things. I am about to soak my legs, watch the Syracuse vs. Louisville, eat some chicken lo mein and get my stuff ready for Hoop Rootz Elite 75 camp tomorrow. 

I hope everybody enjoyed my first entry because I enjoyed writing it. Peace, A.Z.