Thursday, August 29, 2013

Transitioning From Player to Coach

From the time I was six years old, all I wanted to do was play in the NBA. Like most kids who play basketball today, it was my dream to play against the best players in the world and make a living doing it. Through hard work and dedication I got to live my dream. I was drafted in the NBA in 1999 at the young age of nineteen years old. After spending three years playing with the Minnesota Timberwolves and not receiving a contract extension I thought that my career was over. But little did I know it was just beginning.

Over the next decade I would spend time playing the game I love all over the world. I was fortunate to enjoy both team and individual success during my career, having been a part of some of the most intense rivalries that one could ever imagine. We all know how intense the Duke/UNC rivalry is. Just imagine a rivalry so intense that the visiting team's fans are not allowed to be in attendance. Those were some of my greatest memories as a player. Professional basketball was great, but we all know you can't play basketball forever.

I am currently coaching the Middle School boys basketball team at GAIS. This has truly been a unique experience. I get the opportunity to spend time off the court with my players on a daily basis at the learning center. This is where some of the students in the GAIS program get extra help with their school work. My players would tell you that I coach them there as well, as I push them to do their best with their academics. This has been an easy transition for me because I am a part of a great program. It has been a joy to be around these kids. Instead of getting the satisfaction out of making step back jump shots, I get excited when Trenton Bowdre knocks down a pull up jumper going to his right. But I'm most proud when Xavier Harrison figures out how to solve an expression.

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