Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Diary Of A Baller: Azar A.Z. Swain (Boston, MA) Entry #3

Azar And His Former Teammates

Word of the Week: Grades 

You can't go anywhere without grades. If you want to make it big in basketball, you need to take school just as serious as basketball. Just how you get prepared for games by listening to music and stretching, you should be preparing for tests and quizzes the same way. I was told by many coaches and scouts that if I wanted to go somewhere in the basketball world, I would need to be focused in the classroom. Once you have the grades, everything else will fall into place, I promise you that. If basketball doesn't set you up for great things, you can always rely on school if you have good grades. So, if you are one of those people who don't feel like your game is good enough to bring you to the next level, don't worry. I've been there before. Just stay in it and try to focus. Books come before ball ALWAYS. Remember that. I never get in trouble for bad games but I get in serious trouble for bad grades! 

I woke up on Sunday in a really good mood. Last night I got a chance to hang out in NYC and just be a kid having fun in Times Square. When I woke up, I had a feeling that it was going to be a good day. I got some breakfast around 10:30 from Dunkin’ Donuts. After that, I was on my way home. We stopped in CT to get some gas, and that’s where the day got interesting. We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings. I had never had Buffalo Wild Wings before, and this was my first time trying it. While I was there, I watched the Indiana vs. Temple game. I have two words for the people reading this. Khalif Wyatt. For you people that don’t know who this is, he plays for Temple and he gets BUCKETS. It’s crazy because he isn’t fast and he isn’t the biggest or strongest player either. He is one of the craftiest and smartest players in the Nation. He knows how to use his body and how to score the ball. Temple lost but he’s definitely a high NBA prospect. Other than that, my day started and ended on good notes. 

Monday started off with about 4 hours of non-stop SportCenter re-runs. I woke up around 9. After I was done watching ESPN, I decided that it was time for me to do some more school work since I am going back to school tomorrow. It feels like I haven’t seen my friends at school in months, when in reality it was only 2 weeks. I really wish that there were more March Madness games throughout this week, but we all have to wait until Thursday. March Madness is definitely the most exciting thing in all of sports because at any moment, anyone can get beat. When I was finished reading for Humanities and studying for Math, I went to get some shots up at the gym. We took it light today, but it was definitely still productive. As my day came to a close that night, I got ready for the next day. I got to bed early that night because I had been going to bed pretty late on previous nights. 

Tuesday was nice to get back to business. It felt like the first day of school again. I have been talking to my Dad about everything lately but mostly about how important school is to my future. It seems like everything is all happening at the same time. I’m getting rid of my dog that I’ve had for 5 years, AAU season is starting and I’m trying to get prepared for High School. Also, today was the first day of baseball for me. I played last year for the middle school team, so I guess I can say that I’m somewhat of a veteran. I’m just joking, I stink at baseball. Baseball season is a season that I don’t really look forward to. After I was done with that, I took the bus to Boston, and that’s where my dad picked me up at. We went to workout from about 6-8. When that was over, we came home as fast as we could because I had to still do my homework. By this time, it was 9 o’clock, and my night was just beginning. 

Today is Wednesday. I want to talk about friendships. Friendship is the best thing you can have with a person. They are based off of a couple of things. Those things are love (for each other), trust, and loyalty. They can also be affected by different things as well, such as, gossip, jealousy, girls, or money. Through basketball, I have developed friendships with some really good people. Friendships are one of the hardest things to make last. At every point in your life, it seems like there is a distraction trying to hold you back or separate a good thing. There are so many reasons why good friendships get ruined. It’s a jealous world that we live in. Hopefully when I have kids, I’m going to teach to them to live their lives with love and never have hate in their hearts. I try to carry myself with all love, and I’m just trying to spread my lifestyle to others. Maybe I’ll have an impact on people or maybe not but at least I try. In every friendship that I have had throughout my life, I’ve tried to always take it serious. Nobody has to be going to jail or dying for me to tell a good friend that I love them. Everything and everyone in my life is important to be being successful. I have friends that live in very bad neighborhoods and I have friends that have a lot of money. I have all sorts of weird friends but no matter what color they are, they are my friends. They don’t care how good I can shoot or what school I go to, they just treat me as a friend. 

Today is Thursday and what’s your definition of a Student-Athlete? I’d say that a Student-Athlete is a person that has learned to balance sports while staying on top of their school work. Throughout the years, I have had trouble balancing sports and school. It always seemed like when I was doing good on the court, I was messing up in school, and when I was doing good in the classroom, I’d be messing up in sports. I could never get them to even each other out. I’m just starting to get the hang of it all now. Being able to balance sports and school is the key if you want to be a successful student-athlete. I’ve learned to be just as competitive in the classroom as I am on the field and the court. I’m on such a strict schedule with school work, practice, eating, sleeping and working out, that it’s really hard to find time to do anything else. I’ve been talking to some other student-athletes and they are struggling with these same things that I am struggling with. It’s not as easy as it looks. I can’t stress to people enough how important school is. 

Today is Friday and I don’t have school because it’s Good Friday. Today, I would like to discuss criticism. “Criticism is the act of passing severe judgment and finding fault in something or someone”. I learned how to deal with criticism at an early age, so now it helps me. It used to really bother me when adults use to say negative things about me but now I’ve learned how to ignore some things. That means that when someone criticizes me, I can build off of it and fix what I did wrong. You can use criticism to get better. It can also motivate you. Criticism can either build you or destroy you. You need to understand how to turn all of your negatives into positives because it will help you significantly in other life experiences. I just don’t like the criticism that some adults say that try to hurt a kid’s confidence. If you’ve experienced criticism before, I’m sure that you know exactly what I’m talking about. Trying to make someone feel bad or not good enough, is probably one of the worst things a person can do, especially if you are doing it to a child. Remember, kids never forget when you hurt their confidence. That’s I try to stay away from negative people. I’m going to go out today and try to treat other’s how I want to be treated. Goodnight Diary. 

Today is Saturday and I really wanted to be competing in Atlantic City but I’m in the middle of switching teams and did not want to be disrespectful to my boys from CT. At least I can say that I played with Keonte Lucas, Deandre Leslie, Jaecee Martin, Ismail Charles, Aaron Clarke, Tristan Patterson, Shyheim Hicks, Chaylyn Martin, Raheem Solomon, Jared Simmons, Man Man Harvin, Vincent Ruff, Derek Lamparelli, and Jermaine Samuels. We had some of the biggest names in the AAU world, all on one team. The traveling back and forth and the money, started to add up for my family and I had to make a difficult decision. Best wishes to my boys from Connecticut. Hopefully being on different basketball teams don’t mess up our friendship and memories. Brothers forever! 

Peace & 1 Love, A.Z.