Monday, April 15, 2013

Diary of a Baller: Azar “A.Z.” Swain (Boston, MA) Entry #5

 Azar Wins Title With X-Clan

Good Morning Diary, Today is Sunday and it’s championship morning. As usual, when it comes to tournament weekends, I am very excited. In the championship, we faced BABC. BABC is another Nike EYBL team, and they have a good reputation around the Massachusetts and New England area. It was our team’s first tournament since the move to Expressions Elite, and it was good one! We ended up beating BABC 60-18 to win the Zero Gravity Championship. I’m starting to like my new team. The chemistry is getting there, and everything should fall right into place. Anyways, after we won, Coach took the team and our families out to eat. We ate and talked, and tried to pick up some good chemistry as a team. Since I didn’t have school the following day, that night I did a little bit of homework and just relaxed. I miss playing already, but we will be back at it next weekend. I am sad about one thing though. My girl, Skylar Diggins, and Notre Dame lost to Connecticut in the Women’s National Final Four. She has a bright future in front of her, so I’m not worried one bit. Today was a good day, and it was the start of a new beginning with the Expressions Elite Family. Goodnight Diary! 

What up Diary, Today is Monday, and since I didn’t have school, I just relaxed. When my dad came to pick me up around 4, we headed into Boston for a workout. The workout was from 6-8. These daily workouts that I have been having in Boston are really starting to be beneficial to me and my game. I realize a difference in my game. My weaknesses are starting to become strengths, and I am getting stronger. I’m starting to have a lot of fun with basketball now. I’m starting to shoot off of the move and finish at the rim with contact a lot better. When I’m out there, I feel comfortable, and it’s starting to come to me naturally now. During previous years, basketball wasn’t easy or fun to me. Looking back, I felt like my confidence and work ethic was low, and I started to pay the toll for it. This year, I’ve started to see a change in my confidence and in my game. I have started to take life a lot more seriously. I have learned that nothing comes easy nowadays. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle”. This is true because if you really want something, then go get it. Don’t wait around for it to come because you never know who’s trying to get it as well. Zig Zag out. 

Good Morning Diary, Today is Tuesday, and I want to talk about Rivers. When I was trying to get into Rivers 2 years ago, it felt impossible. I had to take the test to get into Independent Schools (ISEE) 3 times until I was accepted into Rivers. The Rivers School is located in Weston, Massachusetts, and has been around since 1915. It has helped me grow into a humble, confident, and smart kid. I used to get so mad at my teammates when we would lose. The coaches have taught me that winning and losing games are not as important as being a good teammate. The students, coaches, and parents at Rivers have all helped me in someway. When I came into Rivers the first day, I was very shy and uncertain where I stood with the people in the Rivers community. Soon enough, I was opened to a new, friendly, and open community. It is all love around campus, and everybody knows each other. It’s the most comfortable school setting you can think of. Rivers reminds me of a college campus. I have enjoyed my time at Rivers so far to the fullest. I have loved every minute of it, and will definitely never forget the life around campus. I felt the need to thank Rivers and the people there for building me into the person I am today. I appreciate it beyond words. Dula out. 

What up Diary, Today is Wednesday. This morning I woke up with a pretty bad cough. I had been feeling sick the whole week, but it hadn’t been anything that I couldn’t handle. Throughout the entire day, I felt sick and light-headed. After I got out of school, my baseball team and I had our first game. I’m glad it wasn’t cold or raining because that would have been the worst. We ended up winning 8-0. I have to say it did feel kind of awkward being out there. Baseball season just started, but I’m ready for Football and Basketball season. Baseball on the other hand, not so much. Once again I stink and no nothing about baseball! After I was done with my baseball game, I headed into Boston to go to an Expressions Elite workout like every Wednesday. It was one of my harder workouts due to not feeling good. It was a rough night for me. I couldn’t get any shots to fall and I was very sluggish and not communicating. This weekend, we are playing in Super Regionals. I can’t wait to be back out there with my team. I am looking forward to another exciting weekend with my Expressions Family. Hopefully I can help them win. Lil Bazz out… 

What’s up Diary, Today is Thursday, and I want to talk about sacrifices. I heard a great quote recently that said “Think about giving up a few things that you like in order to chase the one thing that you love”. This quote really speaks to me. I heard a couple years ago from a family friend Cornell Mills to “Do what you have to do now, so that you can do what you want to do later”. Both of those quotes ring true in my life. Every since the Pre-school days, I was pushed to work hard. I used to despise working out, and I used to think of it as some kind of punishment. Looking back on those days, I am ashamed that I would think something like that. Back then, I didn’t understand the significance that hard work has if you dream to succeed. I know I dream to succeed, so I have to work for it. Nothing comes easy in life. I have realized over time, that if you want to gain something, you have to lose something. Do what you have to do now, so that you can do what you want to do later. Peace Diary. 

Good Morning Diary, Today is Friday, and I am so glad that it is the last day of the week. I was wondering, what’s your definition of a leader? I believe that a Leader is a person who has the mind of a general, and the heart of a soldier. That means that their minds think ahead, but they also aren’t afraid to fight for what they want. They know what they want, and they will get it no matter what. My other definition of leader is one who helps build trust in each of his/her teammates. It is almost a proven fact that no championships are won when the team doesn’t have faith and trust in each other. From a young age, I took on the responsible of being the leader on teams. I never really fully embraced that role until about 6th grade, when I started making the transfer over to a point guard. Switching from a slasher and a main scorer to a point guard who looks to get his teammates involved first was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I have taken a HUGE step since 6th grade to now. I am still not at the point guard level that I want yet, but I think that I am starting to get there. I have learned to put my teammates in front of myself, and I would do anything for them. No matter what team I’m on. Once again, I will sacrifice something just so that my team can come out on top and victorious. Good Night Diary! 

Today is Saturday, and I woke in a happy mood and very excited. There is usually only one way to explain me waking up in a good mood, and this is when it is game day. This weekend, we are participating in the Massachusetts Super Regionals. I ate a bowl of Wheaties, a banana, and toast. I could tell that today was going to be a good day. Before I went to my games, I watched about 3 hours of Sports Center from 10am-1pm, until it was time to leave. The day was good for my Expressions Family and I. In all of our games today, we scored more than 100 points in each game. We are starting to put up around 100 every game. The first game’s score was 106-9, the second game’s score was 100-39, and the third game’s score was 107-23. Everyday, my brothers and I are getting better. The chemistry is really starting to click, and the pieces are starting to fit into the big puzzle. I just want to see how we look up against some better competition. Not talking bad about the teams we have played but we need a better team to push us to the limit so we can see if we have what it takes or not. 

What up Diary, Sunday was a special day in Massachusetts for bragging rights. It was the Massachusetts Super Regional playoffs. In the main game of the day was a rematch between my Expressions Elite team and BABC in the semifinals. They got out to a pretty good start in the first half. I heard that they spent over 2 hours practicing how to beat our press, so we had to make an adjustment. We changed to a defense that we never used nor practiced before, and it worked. They were up by 2 at the half 34-32. We came out and controlled the second half. The whole time we were down in the first half, I had no doubt that we were going to win. I had faith that we were more athletic, and a better team. We ended up winning 73-61. The gym was packed for that game and the crowd was turned up! I love those kinds of games. We stuck together when it got tough. I was happy to see that. We played a very big and smart Boston Warriors team in the championship. We came out strong to a 12-0 run, but they fought back and it was never easy. They battled us to the final buzzer and never gave up. They did a great job moving the ball around to get shots. The score at halftime was 45-28. The ending score was 76-48. I don’t want anybody to think that we are a great team yet. The chemistry is starting to come along, and we are starting to understand our roles. We are the Mass Super Regional 2013 Champions, and nobody can take that away from us.

Peace, PG #7 / A.Z.