Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Over the years I have had the opportunity to play with some incredible basketball players. All of my old teammates from Marquette have at one point played professional basketball either overseas or in the NBA. Some of them have entered the coaching ranks and are sharing their knowledge and experiences with young basketball players and making them better.

As good at basketball as these guys are, they are even better people and I have formed great friendships with them. I try and talk to my old teammates as often as I can. Being so far away from home I have to use various forms of communication like Twitter, Facebook, e mail and BBM. When I haven't talked to someone in awhile, we just pick up where we left off.

Since we are located all over the country and all over the world we don't see each other very much. The summer of 2009 was definitely wedding season for my former teammates as 3 of us got married. Weddings are a great chance for us all to re connect and reminisce about the old times and talk about what's going on in the present and what is in store for the future.

As most of you know I was married on June 26, 2009 to my beautiful wife Liz. It was such an amazing day and I wanted a group shot of all of my old teammates that were at the wedding. These guys are like family to me and I wanted a picture with them.

Here it is. I just wanted to wish them all good luck as the season is fast approaching and the school year is starting back up.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pre Season- Running, running and some more running

A frequent conversation between Dan Fitzgerald and me last year was if we would ever be able to go through a Marquette practice again. We were very happy with our practice schedule last year and we thought we wouldn't be able to practice like we were 21 again. I now know that I was wrong.

Pre season here has been great but it has been pretty rough. Our coach has been testing our limits as far as how hard we can go. We started the first 3 weeks going to the track every morning and running sprints. I'm not talking about easy sprints either, I'm talking about multiple 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 meter sprints. My legs were completely dead the first couple weeks. Those sprints were just in the morning session too. During the afternoon we reported to the gym for team practice.

In the afternoon session Coach had a pre season conditioning test known as the beep test. I am familiar with this test because we used to do it at Marquette but unlike at MU, we had to reach a certain level for the test. For those who don't know, the beep test is a test in which you run 20 meters and have to touch the line on every beep. Each level is 1 minute and the beeps get faster every minute. The big guys had to get to level 12 and the guards had to get to level 14. On my first try I got to 8. It wasn't so much that I was winded as it was the terrible pain I felt in my legs. Coach had us run this test every day before practice until you passed your level. It took me 2 weeks to do it but when I finally did it, I was the happiest guy in the gym. My teammate Zaka also told me I was the luckiest guy in the gym.

I feel great physically here in Blois and I think that I will be in the best shape of my life. I am just glad that we have not been on the track in over a week. I don't know if we are done with it yet but I do know that if we go back, I will be able to handle it even if I don't like it.

If you go to the team website and click on the video "en piste" you can enjoy watching us run.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Swiss Hoop Dreams

We had a great view from our balcony last year in Massagno, Switzerland. We could see the beautiful Swiss Alps that included Mt. Bre and San Salvatore as well as great sunsets. If you looked down from our balcony, there was a very nice park with a basketball court and playground equipment. While kids were always on the swings or the slides, they barely ever played on the basketball court.

One day we saw a young boy playing some basketball. I guess that's what you would call it anyways. He was playing with a soccer ball and he kicked it more than he shot it.

Swiss Hoop Dreams baby.

New Season, New Country, New Opportunity

What's going on guys? It has been a long time. If there is anyone that is reading this and waits in anticipation for blogs then I'm sorry. I have been on summer vacation but the time has finally come to get back to work. I had a great summer and I plan on doing a few blogs about it over the next couple weeks while I am going through pre season.

I am currently sitting on the couch in my new apartment in Blois, France. I managed to finally make it out of Switzerland and take my game to another country. My new team is ADA Blois Basket and I am very excited about the opportunity to play in France. It has always been my opinion that France is one of the top basketball countries in Europe and now I am playing here. ADA Blois is not in the top French league (Pro A) but actually in the 3rd league (NM1.) The team wants to move up into Pro B (2nd league in France) and they hired me to help them to achieve their goal.

The team is very serious and professional as opposed to last year. In Massagno we only had 5 professional players and they were all Americans. My new team is made up entirely of professionals players and staff. NM1 rules state though that there can only be 1 American on the roster and that is me. The rest of the team is made up of French players. The guys are extremely nice and I have been very fortunate to have played with some great guys over the years and this appears to be the case again.

I arrived in Blois on July 27 and on July 28 we got down to business. The practices here feel more like Marquette practices than anything I have experienced so far in my professional career. Today for instance we went to the track to run sprints, then went to the gym to play 3 on 3 for an hour. After a 4 hour break we had a full team practice for 2 hours. Needless to say I have been very sore for the past 2 weeks. Even though it is a lot of work, our coach seems really good. He works us hard but he doesn't yell and scream. He seems like he genuinely cares about the team and it is easy to work for a coach like that.

The first week and a half here have been good even though Liz is not with me. We thought I was leaving in late August so she was going to come with me then. Unfortunately the team wanted me out here earlier and she had prior commitments to attend too. I can not wait for her to come out here and experience French life. I went downtown for the first time on Wednesday night and the whole time I kept thinking about how I can show Liz all these new things. It is going to be a good year.

That's all for now guys. I am excited about blogging again and I have some good stuff coming up.

Until next time.