Hey Basketball World,
Sorry for being pretty late but I’m signing in to welcome you all to my sixth diary entry for Bballspotlight. This week went by pretty fast, and I’m most certainly exhausted after my second Track Meet. All I could think about was the first EYBL session in Virginia. It was more of time where I could learn my strengths and weaknesses while playing up grades. Also, learn from other top players from other EYBL teams on the 17u circuit.
Waking up on Monday morning felt like a refresher. I needed to let everything go that had happened last week, this was a new week, and I was in for an even better week. We started the school day a little later after watching some of my school's musical performances. Due to study hall being last, I thought I’d have lots of homework but I finished my math, and my history homework wasn’t due until Wednesday, so I had limited homework to finish. In my study hall period, I chose to relax. I watched and listened to music and videos. After school, I had to see my trainer because of my calf bothering me a lot. It turns out I strained it, but it wasn’t too bad. I iced it for the most of the Track practice and went to our outdoor basketball court to put up some shots. I used that time to put up lots of moving shots due to me missing my last second shot the day before. As frustrated as I was, I used it to get up shots and work even harder than before. After, I went to dinner and study hall. I finished my English, and Language Skills homework then had the time to watch videos and simmer down. As the day ended, I played 2k and chilled in my teammate's room for the night until lights out.
Tuesday was a real day for me. I had most of my classes starting with Science to Math out of my schedule for the day. But I had electives, so that was a mini break to my time. I had to get some of my work done while in class or at any time I had. Since I was finishing my work and didn’t have lots to do, I was going into my nightly study hall with only about two pieces of homework. After school, I had track practice to get ready for my Track Meet the next day. Also thinking about EYBL, this will get me fatigued but keep me in shape for the EYBL sessions. I finally practiced long jump for the first time and did very well at it while going at a good pace. After track practice, I got time in the gym. I worked as hard as my pairs as we did all in game moves without cones or any extra pieces. It came with lots of hard work, but I stayed on top and left my frustration to a minimum. After practice, I went back to the dorm to take a quick shower then to dinner and study hall. At study hall, I finished the rest of the pieces of work I had and relaxed. Once I got back to the dorm, I had a long talk with my EYBL coaches and gave me pointers and responsibility for the weekend. I took this into consideration because I haven’t been a real winner in my past AAU seasons. Most tournaments out of MA, I tended to lose in some ways. After the long talk, I laid in my bed and fell asleep.
5:30. My Wednesday morning started brightly before the sun came up. I went to the gym early even though I was tired as ever. I got to the weight room to run on the bike for about 5 minutes. After, I went upstairs to begin a morning workout. I stayed on concepts that I’d use in the game. Lots of shots were falling for me, and I tried to keep my handle on a rope. I then went up for a layup and bothered my calf muscle. I sat for a while but got up to put up a couple more shots until I had to leave back to the dorm for breakfast. As I got dressed for school and went through my morning routine of breakfast then assembly, I started to feel the fatigue kick in. I was drowsy and terribly exhausted. I had to push through for the day was all I could think about. Since my study hall period was second, I took that time to put my head down, listen to music and cool down. I went to the rest of my classes to finish out the day. Even with my fatigue, I still had to participate in my track meet. After school, I got on the bus to my track meet in Marlborough. I had to run the relay and 100 meters. I started with the 100 meters feeling most certainly confident. With too much confidence, I disqualified twice even with coming first by a vast margin for starting on “Go” instead of the gun. With that sad moment, I looked forward to leaving the most. My track teammate, Aidan, was tired after winning the 1,600 meters and 800 meters and asked me to finish out the relay for him and I accepted the offer. This was a way to redeem me to my team. I started first out of my four teammates participating. I ran faster than light at least 2 seconds after the gun sound came out and I still got to my teammate before anyone. Unfortunately, with my high acceleration, we still afforded to come in second in the final. After the meet, I went back to school to have dinner and headed to study hall about 15 minutes late. I finished the only piece of homework I had and went back to the dorm. My school coach informed me that we could go back to the gym for the night and I headed there for the evening until lights out.
Thursday was the most abstract day. I started the school day off by getting to my classes and staying entertained until I was picked up to go home. As the day went on, I left right before sports to get home and relax until we needed to travel to Virginia. I stayed at my friend's house with my boys until about 10 o'clock, the time we left to meet at the bus from Braintree Mall. We were there for about an hour waiting for the bus at our starting point. The bus came right before 12 midnight, and we boarded to head to VA.
The most different, crazy and unexpected day of my life most likely was Friday. The day started with me falling asleep until about 7:30-8 o'clock in the morning. Our bus broke down, and we were stuck on the highway for a while. We had a little photo shoot in between the time. Once the bus started moving again, we stopped at a pit stop for McDonald's in Maryland. This turned into about three to four hours of waiting for the bus to get power. After this time, we were back on the road to Virginia. I got to Virginia at about three hours before my first game at Boo Williams. We got to the hotel to drop our extra bags to our rooms and left to check in. We got to the Boo Williams gym and was immediately flabbergasted by the 17u EYBL media, players and fans. Just thinking about it gave me chills. As we got dressed for our first game, you can see the nerves getting to me as I looked around and looked like I didn't belong, but I stuck in the thought process of me being the next one. Our game started at 9:30. As the game started very slow for my teammates and me, I began to pick it up at the end of the first half and the start of the second half. Unfortunately, I got into an altercation and couldn't play for the rest of the game, but I still cheered my teammates on. As the game was very close, the action went back and forth. The game went into overtime, and we lost by a few points. I took the blame for the game because my attitude wasn't so great. After, we went back to the hotel to get rest for our next game the next day.
Saturday started pretty well. We knew we were playing a decent team which meant we needed to lock in. After breakfast, we had to head to our game at 11 against All-Ohio Red. The game started the same way as yesterday's game, trailed by some and had to battle back. As the game went on, our opponents went on a huge run to put them up lots. As we battled in the second half, the crunch time moments mattered the most. As a team, we didn't battle it out together and gave up a game we could have won by far. Next game was against The New York Rens. This contest was a battle in the first half. It was a close game until they went on a huge run and before you know it, it was a far game. Our next game put us in the copper division to compete for the championship, and our first game started at 9:30 PM. We played a decent team but wasn't very good. After losing too much in my mind, I started the game at a fast pace. As the game went on, I began to play hard and smarter. This lead to my points and different playmaking points. The game went to overtime, and I took the game over to end it. I had layups and clutch free throws to put the game out of reach. Our next matchup was in the morning at 9:30.
Sunday was the time to get the money. We started the day very late and didn’t get up in time for our game against the AOT Running Rebels and to pack our clothes, so we were on the clock. Once we got to the gym, the game was starting in six minutes, and no had stretched or taken a layup. But when the game started, it looked like I was used to it. I came out the first half jumping with assists and points quickly. The first half, we were still down by a couple of points. The second half started with a bang. I hit two threes, and my teammates had mid-range jump shots and layups. This put us up by double-digit points. As the game was ending, the game became a back and forth action, but we controlled the game by hitting free throws and ended the game. This game was my best game because I had exactly 40 points to end the game. Our next game was at 1:30 against Team Durant. We watched some EYBL games then got stretched for our own. Once the game started, the game became a long contest early. As we fought back, we were only down a small margin. As we got stops and scores, Team Durant did the same and went on a run. As the clutch came to the test, we folded and turned the ball over three times while only down less than six points. We lost the game, and everyone hung their heads down. We were back on the road to Boston with no win once again. Put it wasn’t as bad as we thought. This was our first real tournament together, so we didn’t expect to win as much. We are going to get in the gym and collaborate to become a superb team. As the weekends and I probably will be missing a day of school since I won’t be getting home until five in the morning, I’ll be back on my school routine and get ready for my next tournament in Pittsburgh for 15u. Tune back in next week as I’ll update you all on how my week goes into my next tournament. Until then, stay into the books and be easy!