July 26th, 2012
It's been a busy couple of weeks out on the road recruiting during the July 'live evaluation period'. I've been in Indianapolis, Augusta, Las Vegas and will be flying to Toronto tomorrow. As per NCAA rules, I can't say which specific Tournaments I went to, or which teams I watched, but it's been a great month so far. Very happy and proud of our Canadian AAU programs that are continuing to put Canadian basketball on the map! Big congratulations on a phenomenal month of July (again can't talk about specific programs...LOL)!
One of the highlights of the month was getting to check out the final day of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas after my recruiting work was done. Pretty much every player on the summer league rosters were All-Conference or All-American type guys. The fact that only a handful of them will make an NBA roster goes to show how difficult it really is to make NBA dreams come true.
The standout guy for me was Adam Morrison (former Gonzaga Bulldog). He didn't pass the eye test at first glance, and has a very awkward style of movement, but man can he ever shoot the rock. With seemingly unlimited range, and a shooting stroke as pure as I've ever seen, it was obvious how he was the NCAA leading scorer his Junior year & Naismith Co-Player of the Year!
Didn't get to see him play but Cory Joseph (Spurs), one of my former players, was named an NBA Summer League All-Star, so big congrats to him as well!
Next up on the trail, my hometown...T-Dot! Can't wait to eat some Jerk chicken + rice & peas!
July 13th, 2012
Up early on the road in Indianapolis for the July recruiting period and had to take time out to talk about a phenomenal article written earlier this week by Myron Medcalf on ESPN.com...here is a link if you haven't read it yet: ESPN.com/From Canada to College Basketball
This was an extremely well researched and well written article that digs deeper than most articles have to the history and evolution of Canadian Basketball, and what has led us to where we are now. It is an extremely exciting time for everyone connected to the game in our Country, and people are finally starting to wake up and realize the unbelievable level of talent and potential our young players have!
What the article doesn't talk about is the fact that the level of talent in Canada has been there for a long period and it's just now that American and Canadian media, coaches, fans etc are starting to realize it.
Even back in my High School days (I graduated in the Class of 1997), I had the opportunity to play against guys like Jamaal Magloire (UK, NBA All-Star), Samuel Dalembert (Seton Hall, NBA), Juan Mendez (Niagara 2nd All-Time leading scorer), Denham Brown (UConn Nat'l Champ), Wayne Smith (Duquesne, 2-time All-Conf A10) etc. Even long before them, Leo Rautins starred at Syracuse and was Canada's 1st NBA First Round Draft pick. Of course Steve Nash (Canadian Icon), Todd MacCulloch (NBA), Bill Wennigton (NBA Champ), and Rowan Barrett (St. Johns), need no introduction.
What would these guys have been ranked with today's media coverage...who knows, and at the end of the day it matters as much as talking about if this year's USA Nat'l team could beat the Dream Team in '92.
Bottom line, it's extremely exciting that Canadian Basketball is finally being recognized on both sides of the border, the level of excitement is through the roof, and the future is extremely bright! Sitting in gyms at AAU Tournaments across America, I am so proud of our Canadian homegrown talent and how far we've truly come. Good luck to all of our homegrown programs this month as they continue to take Canadian Basketball to even higher levels!
July 10th, 2012
Big week this week as I get to celebrate two of the most precious people on the planet to me! My brother & best friend Quddus was born today and my phenomenal wife Toni was born tomorrow!
I can't say enough about how important they both are to me, and how amazing they both are as people.
Quddus has been the best brother and friend anyone could ever ask for and I am so blessed to have him as my brother. He has always been there for me through thick & thin, and I do my best to do the same for him.
Toni is a gift from God without a doubt and she has added so much to my life over the years. She was my college sweetheart, and I'm so lucky she has given me the opportunity to build a life with her.
So a Big Happy Birthday to 2 amazing, special & loving people...love you both so much!
July 5th, 2012
What a phenomenal week this week as I got a chance to celebrate both Canada Day (July 1st for my American friends) and Independence Day (July 4th for my Canadian friends) : ).
Went up to Halifax, Nova Scotia for Canada Day weekend with the family and had a great time. For those who don't know, I've got strong ties to Halifax as that's where I spent 3 years of College at St. Mary's University and it is also my wife's hometown. As a Canadian born & raised, I love Canada with all my heart, and it's always a great time to celebrate our amazing country.
I also got to celebrate the 4th of July here in Bangor, and it was actually one of the most impressive fireworks displays I've ever seen. Although I love my home country, I am also a huge fan of the U.S. and am so appreciative that America has given me the opportunity to do what I love to do full-time and make a living coaching, which I didn't have the opportunity to do in Canada.
I've been blessed to live in two of the greatest countries on the planet, what a great week to get the opportunity to celebrate them both!