Saturday, December 26, 2009

Seasons Greetings

Season Greetings! I hope that everyone is having a happy holidays as we come to the close of the 2009 year. Everything has been going pretty well this month and the team has really picked it up. We are on a two game winning streak and you can see the confidence in the team really growing. Practices have been really competitive now that everyone is healthy and its paying dividends in the games.

Few games have gone by since I last blogged : Netayna, Nahriya and Ramat Gan. Netanya is a very fast and athletic team that likes to get up and down the floor to finish on the fast break. We had moments where we controlled the game and had out shot at the win but we could not get defensive stops. In the crucial part of the game, they were able to score on us and wound up beating us 94-87. It was a bad shooting night for me ( 7/16 fg's) and I ended the game with 19pts.
Next Game was against Nahriya at home and it was a game that we needed. From the beginning of the game we looked like a team with something to prove. We were aggressive on defense and able to get a lot of deflections to start fast breaks. We jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. We went on to win this game 78-68. I played very little in this game because I was out the previous three days of practice with a bad groin. I could have played if necessary but it was best not to increase risk of further injuring myself.
Our last game to date we had to go on the road and play against Ramat Gan. This is a team that has been struggling and is looking for their first win, so we knew they would come out fighting. Our offense came out executing in the first half but our defense wasn't at the intensity as the last game. Mid-way through the third quarter our defensive presence and we were able to stretch out lead out to 20. From there we went on to win the game 79-70, putting us on a two game win streak. I had 26pts this game but it felt good just to be back on the court and not out injured for a change.

Next game on the schedule we got Afula who has started the season very well so it should be a good game. Hope that everyone has a safe and sound New Year's and love & blessings to everyone!

Son Of The City

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Hey whats up! Sorry for the long hiatus between blogs but I will definitely catch you up to speed on whats been going on. So since my last blog we have played 3 games and gone 1-2. First game was against Galil at home, which was a must win cause we hadn't won at home. It was a good game and both teams played hard but we fell short in the end 76-64. I had 23pts but missed a couple of big shots in the 4th quater for my team.

In the second game we played away at Holon. We didn't open up the game well and I didn't last very long in it as well. On a fast break in the second quarter, I went up for a dunk attempt while a player on the other team was trying to draw the charge; I jumped pretty high but the charge took my legs from beneath me making me land hard on my back. It was a pretty scary moment for me because I laid on the floor and I really couldn't move. After 10 minutes I tried to stand but couldn't from the pain. They immediately took me to the hospital for X-rays but everything was negative and I just had a massive bone bruise. The team rallied behind my absence and came away with the win.

The Third game was against Bnei Sharon at home and we were attempting to win our first home game. They jumped up early but double figures but we responded with runs of our own to take a double figure lead in the third quarter. We were not able to sustain our lead and with 9 seconds remaining, we missed a go ahead 3 and lost 83-79. I had 17pts but this lost we really tough for me cause this is the first game we played with a healthy roster and didn't think we would lose. But thats why we play the on the schedule is Netanya!

See you guys in a few days when I'm blogging about a victory...Peace!

Son Of The City

Friday, November 13, 2009

Game 2

Whats going on everyone! I've been getting a lot of questions about Jeremy Tyler from the Louisville fans and for my comments about the recent article written on him in the media. I meant to comment on it last week in my blog after we played them but it slipped my mind. But I think it is really tough to send a 17 year old kid to another country with nobody to guide him. My parents barely let me go to camps out of state by myself, let alone another country for 9 months. I thinks thats a lot to ask of a kid and especially if his maturity level is not that of a professional. These coaches are very light on him compared to what he would've got if he would've went to U of L, so it might have been tough for him to handle Coach P. I wish the kid the best of luck in his future career.

Last week we played against Maccabi at home and it was a sold out crowd. They jumped on us early from the gate and had us down 16-1. We made a run that cut the lead to 1 but that is the closest we were able to get. We stayed within 6 to 8 points the entire game but when we had our opportunities to cut into the lead, we couldn't take advantage. Early in the 4th qtr. Maccabi went on an 11-0 run and put the game out of reach.They were just better than us at every facet from top to bottom and beat us pretty good 89-62. I finished the game with 23 pts. and 3 rebs. and felt a lil better in this game than I did last week. So that is a good sign that my wind is coming back and my game conditioning is getting better. Now I just have to get these legs stronger and keep my team positive after the slow start to the season.

This week we have Galil at home and it is a must win for us. Gonna do all I can to make it happen.....Peace


Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Game

Ciao! (Sigh)...things have been a little tense around the team so far, simply because we have faced adversity early on in the season. Injuries, new players coming to the team and trying to play with each other all contribute to the adversity that the team is facing. On top of that we play the other top 4 teams in the league for our first four games. I think that we have a very good team this year and it will all come together very soon.

Last Monday we played an away game at Haifa and I was excited because it was really my first game and I was looking to really help the team bounce back after a tough loss last week. I was a little worried about my conditioning since I hadn't been able to run or play for a month but all that went out the door when the game started. The first half was going back and forth for both team exchanging the lead but we went in the half down by one. We didn't play well at all on defense and we didn't box out allowing them to get easy shot after easy shot. In the second half both team still played even but Haifa made a 10-0 run that really made the difference in the game and we were never really able to retake the lead. We had our opportunities in the end but we couldn't get any defensive stops or defensive rebounds. We lost 84-76 and I ended up with 19pts 3rebs & 3 stls. I really felt a lot of responsibility for letting my team down in the second half because I wasn't my normal self and I was exhausted. The lack of conditioning and only 5 days of practice really came back to haunt me.

This week I have have been doing some extra cardio and weight training to get my shape back. Regardless, each week I will get better and the team will as well. This week we face Maccabi at home and it is sure to be a tough one. Last year we let them escape with a three point win at our place, I'm going to do my hardest to not to let it happen again this year.

Its good to see that college basketball season is about to get under way. I've been able to check out my Alma Mater(University of Louisville) in their two exhibitions and its good to see the new guys in uniform after playing with them in the summer. I think they will be pretty good this year with a senior lead backcourt and dominant big man in the middle. I will be watching to see if they open the season with a three guard/two forward line-up. 'Til next week.....Peace!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Season Opener

Hey whats going on!!! The season is officially under way and the exciting part of the year is just starting. Last saturday we opened the season with a home game against Hapoel, who is loaded with talent. We jumped on them early in the game and had a 9 pt. lead because they came out a little sluggish. Both teams were playing defense really well and we went into half time tied up at 36. In the 2nd half, we started to wear down due to a short bench and fatigue set in. We were missing point blank shots and turning the ball over at an alarming rate. That gave Hapoel easy transition shots and down the stretch they hit back to back 3's to put the game away. We had our opportunites in the end but came up short 82-75.

I played only 4 minutes of the game and had to sit down because I could not move with my foot injury and with only two days of half practice. But now I have been continuing my rehab and Im nearly back to my regular self. Practice has been going well and I am able to go 100%. So I look forward our next game Nov. 1 against Haifa and helping my team get on the winning track.

Son Of The City

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Whats up...the pre-season is passing right along but without me for the past week. I have been nursing a mysterious foot injury that I attained last Sunday during practice. I believe when I came down from a lay up, it just sort of jammed when I landed. Nothing felt funny or seemed funny when I landed but sometimes enough stress on an area can cause any type of injury. The team doctor took an X-ray of my foot and everything looked normal. He diagnosed the injury as a simple bruise to the ligament in my foot. It doesn't bother me when I run in a straight line, but hinders my lateral mobility when I try to play.

The team has been doing pretty well with me out of the line-up, we won a exhibition game last tuesday and have been having decent practices. I am going to be back in the line-up tomorrow evening for practice and take it easy and work my way back up to full speed. I think the guys will enjoy my presence being back out there with them on the court and the intensity of things will go up another level. We have two more preseason games before we open up the season against Jerusalem at home October 25th. So its time to focus and keep things going in the right direction but at a steady pace for me. Peace...

Son Of The City

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Great Summer

Basketball season is around the corner and I am excited to get things kicked off in the near future. But wanted to start the first blog of the season off with a review of summer camp. This past summer we had two basketball camp sessions: one at St. Stephens and another at Mid-America sports complex. The coaching staff and myself had a great time coaching the kids this summer and it was definitely the highlight of my summer. My summer was pretty stressful trying to study for my CPA exam, so to spend a whole two weeks with the youth and take my mind off of the test was a big help for me.

We had a great time because the kids were laughing and smiling and Im not sure who had more fun during the camp week the kids or the coaches. I believe that is what makes the camp so special because not only are the kids working hard and learning but have instructors who are enjoying it just as much as they are. Both camp championships came down to the last play of the game and really made it fun. I had some funny moments giving out technical fouls during the camp sessions to the coaching staffs as well.

We really look forward to seeing the kids at camp in summer 2010. As the detaisl emerge for the camp in 2010, it will be updated on the Larry O'Bannon website.


Thursday, May 14, 2009


What up What up!! The season is finally over and I have made my way back to Louisville, Ky. The last time I blogged, my team was in a best of 5 playoff series and we were up 1-0. The second game proved to be a very tough game at home and Givat showed a lot of fight. We jumped on top of them early in the game but they showed character in fighting back. But in the end, our team was just hitting on all cylinders and one sign of that was a shot I made at the end of the game. I was falling out of bounds behind the backboard as the shot clock ran down; shot the ball over the backboard and hit all nets as the horn sounded. That definitely send their team into a deflation and we went on to win game two 81-67. I had 20pts, 7 rebs and 6 asst in that contest which put us up 2-0.

Game 3 was back on the road and Givat jumped on us early 21-12 after one quarter because we came out the gates very sluggish and slow. A few minutes in the second quarter the tides had turned and we had turned up the defense. this allowed us to get out in transition and get some easy dunks on te fast break. The games momentum had jumped to our side by half time as we took a 37-34 lead. After halftime, we could sense defeat and the game turned into a complete route as we won 90-64. I finished the game with 17pts, 4rebs and 6 assts, with most of the work coming in the first half. So we finished our season on a good note winning our consolation series 3-0 and feeling pretty good.

It was a good season for myself, I finished 4th in the league in scoring(17.6ppg) and 1st in free throw percentage(90.7%). Im looking forward to being home and taking a few weeks off then get into my off-season workouts.

Basketball Camp is coming up soon so make sure you register your child for camp and look forward to keeping you posted throughout the summer as the foundation has events around the city. God is Good....


Monday, April 27, 2009

Parking Tickets

What up! What up! The team trust concept that I blogged about last time out is having a positive snowball effect on our team. Our last regular season game against Ramat Gan was a good defensive game for us because our offense wasn't as sharp but we still were able to find a way to win. Our goal was to not let them score more than 17pts a quarter and we exceeded that by only allowing them score 57pts(14.25pts/qtr.) for the entire game. We came out on top 68-57 and I had 15pts and 6rebs.

Yesterday we had our first playoff game in a best of 5 series and it was on the road against Givat Schmuel. We jumped out on them from the gate and went on to win 82-72. We were able to create a lot of steals and get a lot of deflections which lead to a lot of fast break points. I had 16pts, 8rebs and 5stls during this contest. Now we must stay focused and finish out the series strong and not allow them gain any confidence back on our home court in the next game.

Besides basketball, I have just been studying and trying to familiarize myself with my accounting review books. The closer I get to taking the actual CPA exam, I think my brain! But I'm looking forward to the challenge and accomplishing another goal that I set for myself. I'm scheduling to take it in August right before I have to report back to Europe, but that means I have to pay all of my parking tickets from school(dang!) to get my transcripts. LOL! Looking forward to seeing my family and watching my niece play AAU basketball this summer. Her name is JaVonna Layfield, a 7th grader at Meyzeek Middle School, and she is growing up and developing as a ball player and young lady. She could be the best baller of the family in the end, and I rarely admit to someone being better than me:-) I think my other neice and nephews are waiting for me to come home just to jump on me and try some of their wrestling moves on me! LOL! Gotta love it....

Going to swim some of these bumps an bruises out today from the game....Gone!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Team Trust

Hey! Whats going on! The season is winding down and our team is trying to finish on a high note! The last few weeks the team has been going through some rough spots and has endured some tough losses. Its also been a very tough last couple of weeks for me personally as well because I have been battling with a really bad flu virus that had zapped all of my energy and has not had me feeling well.

The last blog that I left off with, we were coming off a tough loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv at home, and facing Jerusalem on the road. When the game came to Jerusalem, we played Jerusalem as a bunch of individuals and not as a team, so it showed for most of the game. Nobody on the team was trusting in one another, so there was frustration on the court. That attitude showed in the way we played offense and it definitely leaked to the defensive end and it cost us a very valuable game toward staying in playoff contentions. We lost to Jerusalem 74-96 and I had 15pts and 5rebs. I didn’t get a lot of shots but with the attitude we had as a team, it wouldn’t have made a difference at all.

The next game on our schedule was against Bnei Sharon, a team that is fifth in the league standing, and has a front line of shot blockers. Practice leading up to this game had been pretty well but it didn’t make any difference because our team still had the selfish state of mind once the game began. Everyone, including myself, was playing for themselves and we looked very bad on our home court. Missing lay-up after lay-up along with a running number of turnovers turned into easy baskets on the opposing end for Beni Sharon. We were out of rhythm from the tip and never threatened Bnei Sharon in this game and proceeded to lose 95-78. It was not only a loss that knocked us out of the playoffs but just made us look bad as players with the forced shots and “one on five” demeanor we all possessed. I had 9pts and 6rebs to finish the game.

After that game, we had a players meeting to discuss how bad the team was looking and how we must trust each other in order to win any more games left in the season. It was a very intense meeting but much needed and some of the players went to go bowling after to just take our minds away from the situation at hand. We laughed and had a great time, which turned out to be a very great move for us as individuals and as a team. Our next game was a road test against a team from northern Israel called Nahriya, who was coming off a huge win against Jerusalem the previous week. There was a noticeable difference from the beginning of the game about our team and it was evident our team state of mind had changed. The ball was swinging from side to side and extra passes were being made; This resulted in a higher percentage of made shots for our team. Our defense became stronger and we were ahead by 10 points the whole first half. The second half started and Nahriya made a huge run and had us down by as many as 9 in the third quarter. It was an interesting point in the game because it was a great test to see if we were going to stay together as a team and face adversity or revert back to the “one on five” mentality and have everyone try to bring us back individually. It turned out to be a great game and we were able to come away with the win in over-time. It happened because we stayed together and overcame the adversity and kept our trust in one another. I finished the game with 25pts and 8rebs....The old saying, “United we stand, divided we fall” still holds truth!

It feels good to be back on the winning side of the table and hopefully this will keep our team confident going into our regular season finale next Sunday against Ramat Gan. I have about another three weeks and I will be returning back to the Ville! Until then, back to the gym…..Peace!

Son Of The City

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Maccabi Game

Whats going on! This past week, we played Maccabi Tel Aviv, the best team in the Israeli basketball league and first in the standing. One of our key players is still out due to injury, so the team signed another player; Brian Markson to fill in that void while our teammate recovers. He is a very good slasher with great leaping ability and brings a lot of energy to the floor when he plays. It was a great atmosphere at the game and both team got out to a very good start in the game. Maccabi, who team is full of tall and athletic players, were getting out in transition and getting a lot of fast break baskets in the first half. Our team responded well, we made some runs of our own and you could really see the team growing in confidence as the game went along. With some of our main guys sitting on the bench due to foul trouble at half time, we were only down 45-50.

The start of the second half, we came out very aggressive on both ends of the floor and took a small lead. The 3rd quarter proved to be a very pivotal period for our team because we were able to get to the foul line early and often. This allowed us to put the ball inside and penetrate to the basket. At the end of the third period, we were ahead 76-75.The fourth quarter was very intense and emotional as our team could sense a big win coming on our home court. Lead changes were going back and forth but in the last 3 minutes of the game, Maccabi executed much better than we did. In a span of 40 seconds, we went from up 2 to down 4 giving up two three pointers on back to back possessions and that proved to be the difference in the game. We out played them for 35 minutes, but in the end, they were able to separate emotions from their play execution and found a way to win. This is a part of the game that our team lacks but we are getting better at. It was a hard fought game and we put up a great effort but we went down 93-96. I finished the game with 20pts, 4 rebs. & 2 ast.

Tomorrow we play Jerusalem, a similar team to Maccabi, who is 2nd in the league standings. It will be a good test for us on the road to see if we can maintain the same intensity from last game away from home. I’m sure we can and will; our full roster will be in tack so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Last night I watch the Cards play against Arizona in the Sweet 16 and it was a thing of beauty. The way they shared the ball and got everyone involved was fun to watch. Also, to watch Andre McGee harassing guards full court the entire game and having that defensive energy trickle its way down to his other teammates is enjoyable to watch. Three games left to the crown….GO CARDS! Peace…

Son Of The City

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Game Split

Hey! Hey! Hope that everyone is well back in that cold weather back home. In the previous blog I wrote you, our team was coming off a tough double over time loss to Holon on the road. So last week we hosted Ashekelon at home in a game that we needed to win. We opened the game very sluggish and were not playing in a good rhythm. Two minutes into the second quarter, one of our key players went down with a leg injury and did not return for the game. So as bad as we played and facing adversity, our team was fortunate that we were only down one point at half time 33-34.

The start of the second half, we looked like a totally different team. We played with more energy and possessed tenacity on defense. Our transition game picked up pace which enabled us to get out and get some easy baskets. I fouled out of the game close to the end, but my team was still able to come away with the victory. I know….I must stop fouling, this is the third game I have fouled out of. Lol! I ended the game with 19pts and 4rebs and 2stls. Felt good to get back on the winning side!

Yesterday we headed back on the road, with one of our key players still out from last game, to play Galil. They are a very good pick and roll team with great shooters from the outside. On the contrary, they opened up the game with a lot of isolation plays and were beating us off the dribble to the basket. We were not playing with any toughness and were just letting them do whatever they wanted to do on offense. The first half, they shot 94% from the field…is that even possible shooting in the gym alone? That is just an indicator of the bad defense we were playing, giving up lay-up after lay-up and still, we were only down 8 at half time 52-44. The second half we played with more courage and purpose like we wanted to win the game. Our defense was getting stops and we were getting out in transition, where we are at our best, for easy baskets. In the 4th quarter when the game was on the line, we were just not able to stop their pick and roll offense when we needed to and it cost us the victory. In zone or man, they dissected our defense with it and either got an easy shot or an open three. We put up a good fight in the second half but in the end, we just couldn’t get the stops that we needed to have. I ended the game with 20pts, 8rebs and 3assist but it was a bad shooting night….6/17 fg’s! Anybody that knows my game, knows that I thrive on efficiency! Only cure is to get back in the gym….

On another note, I wasn’t in the best of moods after losing my game yesterday but saw the Cards get the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament! It lifted my night and got me pretty excited to watch them play this week! Let the count down begin….6 games left to the crown!

Son Of The City

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Hey! Sorry, I have not been feeling well this week, so that is why I haven’t written a blog to you guys. Last weekend our team had a good week of practice and prepared to face Holon, Israeli Cup Champions, on the road in a hostile environment. It was a great game that took two over-times to decide the winner. Unfortunately, we missed the game winning shot at the buzzer and were on the losing end of the battle 107-108. I was able to help the team get out to a great start in the first half but saw only a few minutes in the second half. The Israeli rules say that two Israeli players must be on the court at all times during the game. Our coach felt we needed two American big men and one wing man on the court instead of two wing men and one big, which in turn, left little action for me in the second half. Overall, I thought that we put forth a great effort and played well as a team, but in the end we just didn’t find a way to pull it out. I ended the game with 14pts and 5rebs.

My dad is here in Tel Aviv visiting for two weeks, so it felt good to have him here and able to watch me play. The day after the game, we went on a religious retreat for a few days to site see and ease my mind from the game. Our first trip was to Jerusalem, to see and learn more about The Biblical history of Jesus Christ. It was a great experience, we got a chance to see the Crucifixion and Resurrection sites of Jesus Christ. Our second trip was to see The Sea of Galilee and The Jordan River. Seeing those sites and knowing what they represent was very powerful and something I will never forget.

This week we play a team called Ashkelon, they are one game ahead of us in the standings. They have a team with good chemistry and great shooters, but it's at our home so we look forward to getting back on the right track. Look forward to writing you after the game tomorrow and telling you about the victory from the game. Back to the gym until we get it right….Peace!

Son Of The City

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yieldings from Bad Labor

What up! There is a famous cliché " You reap what you sow" and that is exactly what happened in our game on Sunday against Givat Schumel. Leading up to the game, I didn't fell like the team was practicing very well during the week and it showed when the game arrived. We opened the game very lethargic and didn’t posses any energy in the way we played. Similar to the successful teams that have come against us, Givat switched early on from man to man defense to 2-3 zone. We didn’t have any ball movement and penetration so they were able to be very effective in the zone in the first half.

The start of the second half our team was able to build a little momentum and add a little more energy to the game. We able to get the ball in transition and get some easy shots before their zone was able to set up. But time after time Givat was able to break our momentum with big shots in key moments. Our defense allowed them to shoot a high percentage from the field and it took a mental toll on our team. Despite the terrible first 38 minutes of the game, we were in a good position down four with two minutes to go and the ball. Our team wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunities we were given and we suffered a bad home loss 88—77. It was another tough one for me with 16pts and 5rbs. So the team and myself must focus in and work hard this week because we play Holon, a very talented team who just won the Israeli Cup. The Israeli Cup is a single-game elimination tournament for the top eight teams in the mid-season.

Back to the Gym….Peace!

Son Of The City

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Exh. Game/ Free Time

What up!

This past weekend we had a exhibition game with Ramat Gan, a team we have already beaten once, because it was a bye week in the schedule for us. It was a good chance for us to get some practice against someone other than ourselves and work on some new things we have been implementing in practice. For me personally, I wanted to concentrate on sprinting the lanes and pushing the fastbreak whenever I got the rebound. The last game we lost against Haifa, I didn't get any easy basket or wasn't able to attack the basket in transition. The first half we did a good job of it and I was able to get easy baskets and get to the foul line often, where I often shoot a high percentage.

In the second half, Ramat Gan started to apply a soft press and dropped back into a 2-3 zone to slow us down. It worked a little to their advantage, but I was able to work on moving without the ball and getting into open spaces for shots. We won the game 86-82 and took a lot of positive things out of that game.

On another note, people ask me a lot of times what I am doing when I am not playing in games or practicing. Honestly, when I am not in the gym, I am at home brainstorming about everything. It is really the reason why I am involved in a lot of the activities that I am back home in Louisville, Ky. The Summer Basketball Classic Pro-Am, The Larry O'Bannon Foundation, Larry OBannon Basketball camp, etc.. is all brain stormed and put together during my down time while playing overseas. I wish that I could take the credit for everything but a lot of the ideas come from simple conversations with my family or an idea from a friend. I take my time on thinking it all the way through and if it is something that I want to go through with, then I start to write out the plan on paper. I try to find someone that has done a similar event in the past or has some knowledge in my area of interest so i can talk to them. If you were to walk into my european home, you would find a big desk in front on my couch with a bunch of papers scattered everywhere. But I know where everything is located and which papers go together, guess I need to buy some folder huh? lol.

I'm currently reading a book called Forty Million Dollar Slaves, it's a good book that gives a different perspectives on the athletics and where it orginated. Other than that, Im playing Madden on PS3 online or Im relaxing watching TV.

We have a big game coming up this sunday against Givet Schmuel, a team that is sitting one place ahead of us in the standings. They are also occupying the last playoff position, so it is very important that we get this victory and protect our home court. We must continue to stay intense in practice and maintain focus so that we may be sharp when game day arrives. Be back later this week to let you know how it turns out. God is Good! Peace...

Son Of The City

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tough Loss

Whats up! I just got back from a two day vacation trip to Italy to hang out and see some friends. Thats why I didn't have my normal blog up right after our game on Monday. It was a much needed and perfectly timed trip because I was really disappointed and upset from our performance after the game Saturday night. We don't have a game for two weeks, that's why our coach gave us a couple days off.

Saturday night we played a team called Haifa, from north Israel, who is currently sitting in third place in the standings. They are very athletic and have a good mix of talented American and Israeli players. From the opening tip, it was if our team were a bunch of deers in head lights. They played an aggressive man and box and 1 defense with a man face guarding me the whole game and my team didn't know how to respond. They clogged the middle with four players to keep us from driving and to help out on our big guy. We did not shoot well from the perimeter and could not get any rebounds offensively or defensively. As a result of that, we were not able to get in transition to get easy shots and my shots were very limited. It was very upsetting because they were leaving my teammates open to take shots that they normally make but they just were not falling. As I came off screens, I had a trailor and a big guy showing; Rotated to play the point guard and ran into a trap on every pick and roll. Still, I wasn't able to take a lot of shots but I could create shots for others. After all of that, we were still tied at 63 with three minutes to go in the 4th qtr. and me having fouled out in the third quarter was no help. Im not one to say this or that about referees because they do the best that they can do, but this night there was definitely some home cooking. In the third quarter, I was sprinting back on defense and it was one on one with a guy coming at me full steam. I read his crossover and picked it but the referee was anticipating a foul because typically in europe, teams foul in transition to prevent easy baskets. I was not only mad at the foul but he gave me an intention foul because I was the only man between him and the basket. Then after all of the frustration of my team playing with a lack of confidence and having limited opportunities, the referee gives me a phantom foul on a play I was nowhere near; I hadn't even crossed half court to get back on defense when the foul was called under our basket. Mistaken identity happens I guess, but after the score was tied at 63, Haifa shot free throws the rest of the game and came out on top 75-68. It was a very good game, both teams made runs throughout the game and I think the outcome would've been different had I played in the forth quarter. I had 13pts on 4/7 shooting ( 3/6 3-fg). We have two weeks of practice, so it good time for me to go over some game film and see where I can improve and keep the team going forward. Back to the gym.....Peace!

Son Of The City

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Victory!

Well, I usually wait until the day after the game to write my blog but I am sitting here waiting for the Superbowl Game to come on TV, so I will just tell you about the game while I wait.  We won today against Kiryat Ata, a team that is dead last in the Israeli standings 108-86.  We played like we normally do, jumping to a big lead, and we were able to maintain it today.  Even though it wasn't the best team, it is still something that we need to learn how to do.

Newcomer, Demarco Johnson, made his presence felt today in the middle in his debut game.  He had 30 pts and 11 rebs.  Robert Conley, the other wingman had an excellent game as well 28pts and 9 rebs.  The game started out a lil slow for me, think the effects from last game were lingering around a little bit, but was missing some easy shots around the basket.  After a few misses, I got it going with a post up on a smaller guard and went on to drop in 21 pts and grab 6 rebs.  Went 6/11 FG's and 4/5 from 3pt. line.  Only went to the foul line four times ( 3/4) and I have been averaging ten free throws a game.  Still wasn't too pleased with my game because I am a player that thrives on efficiency and capitalizing on opportunities.  Still, I'm very happy with the fact that we won and we are on a two game winning streak.  The team is heading in the right direction and we started the second round of play with a victory.    We play a team called Haifa next Sunday and they are No. 3 in the Israeli Standings.  They are probably the most talented team in the league, so I am definitely going to have to be sharp from the gate in that game.  Tomorrow we have a day off, so Im going to hit the weight room hard and work out in the swimming pool.

The Superbowl is coming on, think Im going with Arizona because I am a big Kurt Warner fan.    Lets go Cards!  Peace..

Son of The City   

Game Day

Its game day on this Sunday morning, so I'm up doing my usual game routine. I went to practice this morning and got some shots up during the walk-thru. Cook me some breakfast while my gospel music is play( don't listen to any other music until after noon). I check sportscenter to see how my boys played yesterday and just seen that Jerry Smith and T. Jennings had a good game. Glad to see Jerry playing and shooting well and see the young guy picking up the system and growing in confidence. Now I'm about to watch church service on tv and take some notes while I have a my little devotional service. After, Im going to eat and then sleep until the game....If you have any good verses I can read drop me a comment. Hit you back after the game.....Peace

Son Of The City

Monday, January 26, 2009

Game Day

Last night we played a team called Ramat Gan on the road. We won 73-72, in another close game to a team that I didn't think was on the same level as our team. We did not play well as a team and it was not one of my better performances either. We made a lot of unforced turnovers( the stat sheet said I had 4, but I calculated 6) and our shot was everywhere but the gym last night. I think it was a direct effect from us not having a good week of practice and it showed in the game. But the main fact is that we got the win on a bad night and on the road, so that leaves me some excitement knowing that we have can still find a way to win on tough nights. Even though I had a rough game, my team depended on me at the end to ice the game away and hit the game winning free throws. My final stat line was 11pts, 5rebs, 2 stls, 2 asst.

So I'm really looking forward to practice this week because I'm a player that needs a lot of repetition on my skills. When I have a lot of repetition, my skills become sharper and confidence increases as I feel better about my game. It is tough being a leader on the team at times trying to make sure that the team is getting better and that we are heading in the right direction; At the same time I know I have to get better as well for us to grow. So this week, I will definitely be staying after practice a little longer everyday to sharpen up some moves and getting some extra shooting in.

Last night was the last game of the first half of the season and that win moved us to 3-7. Believe it or not, we are one game out of the playoffs right now with the whole second half of the season to go. I honestly predict that the team will finish around .500 and we will make the playoffs. We signed a veteran big guy named DeMarco Johnson, about 34 years old and went to University of Charlotte. A good player, may not have the athleticism that he once did, but he still has the post skills, a good rebounder and is a great passer. That will make it easier for me to get open shots, move more without the ball and be able to sprint the lanes in transition. Of course, when he walked in the locker room, he starts joking with me about what he did to U of L in his day. I told him he must not be up with the times of what is going on recently at both of our schools and he went silent(lol)! We know what Da Ville is doing but where is Charlotte these days...haha!

Got a day off today, so I'm going to head to the weight room and just get some rest. There is a big game on the women's side today between the No.1 vs. No.2. They both have some WNBA players that came to support us last night, so I will probably go show them support later and to get out the house. In the process of adding my videos to the site, but below are some highlights that some fans made from my previous team, hope you enjoy! Peace....

Son Of The City

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Play in Europe

I have been getting a lot of questions about how the European Leagues work and how many games you play. So thought I would take this blog and explain a little bit of how it works.

Each country in Europe has their own basketball league to begin with. Some of the bigger countries like France and Germany for example, have more teams than other countries such as Israel. Typically you will find between 16 to 18 professional teams within a country. It varies from country to country about how many americans are allowed on the team, but it is either two or four. The league I just explained to you, we call the the local league cause you only play within your country. You play one game a week(usually on Sat. or Sun.) and you play each team twice, once home and away. After the end of both rounds, you have a playoff that consist of the top 8 teams to see who will be crowned champions. Also, the top three teams qualify for the right to play in the Euro League and Euro Cup for the next season.

Next, you have Euroleague and Euro Cup, which are leagues composed of the champions, second place and third place teams from each country. Euroleague is the top league of europe because it mostly consist of the champions from each country. The Italian League and Spanish League, arguably the two best leagues in europe, have 3 or 4 teams in Euroleague along with Russia. The strength of the league and the traditional powerhouses teams in these leagues are what give them more teams in the european competition. In the other countries, that don't match up in league strength, only the champion of that country gets the right to play in Euroleague. The Euro Cup is pretty much the exact same league as Euroleague, except that it consist of the runner-up champions from each leaague. But back to league strength, the Italian, Spanish and Russian league have their top 3 or 4 teams in Euroleague so they have their 5th and 6th place teams in this league.

So now if you play on a team that plays in one of the european competitions, you play two games a week. Euro Cup games are played on Tuesdays and Euroleague games are played on Wednesday and Thursdays. In the European competitions, you are placed in pools. Each team plays one another twice and the top four teams from each pool go to the playoff rounds. In the playoffs you play a two game series with the team you are matched up with. If both teams win one game apiece then the team with the biggest margin of victory advances. For example, if my team lost the first game by 8 points and then won the second game by 9 points, we would advance because we have a one point advance in margin of victory. If we ended the second game only up 8 points, then the margin would be the same and we would play overtime to determine the outcome. Once you reach the final four for the playoffs, then it becomes single game elimination until you have a champion.

Usually the teams make you report at the end of August for training camp and the preseason games start the first week of September. Regular season typically start first or second week of October and last until middle of May. The european competitions last until the first of April and then you just play local league after that. In a given year, I would say you can play up to 70 games if you play in both leagues, thats including the preseason games as well. Its a long season...TRUST ME!

Well, I'm about to head out to practice, its the last practice before the game tomorrow so got to make sure I'm sharp! Peace....God is Good!

Son of The City

Thursday, January 22, 2009


What up! Like to welcome yall to the new website. Glad that you could make it through and check out the site! Guess i will use this first post to tell you a little bit about me and what i am doing now.

I am in my 4th year of playing basketball in Europe now and Loving it. I have played in Serbia, Italy, Greece and this year i moved to Israel after the Christmas break. It is completely different than what you see on cnn and other news channels. I am in the city of Tel Aviv and it is in Northern Israel and is not anywhere near the Gaza strip, so there is no danger. The city of Tel Aviv is great, the weather is 70 degrees and they have beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean Sea. The Jews speak hebrew and i havent even tried to pick up the language yet. My teammates try to teach me some but it only last about a day in my memory. It is very americanized when it comes to trying to adapt to the food and restaurants and going to the grocery store. A lot of the same brands and products that we have at home in the US, they have here. So that makes transition easier for me!

My basketball team is names Rishon Lezion, you can find it if you go to and click Israel. My team isnt doing so well this year and we are 2-7, toward the bottom of the standings. There are 12 teams in the Israeli league and each team is allowed to have four americans on a team. On the team, we only have two now, Robert Conley and myself. We could easily be 5-4 or 6-3 but we have to learn how to win games in the end. we have had 3 0r 4 games where we have lost in the last seconds from buzzer beaters or missed free throws. We play one game a week (Sundays) and have two games left in the first round of playing all the teams in the league. Right now i am leading the league in scoring at 24ppg and 6rpg, but i think that may have to increase for us to be successful in the next rounds.

There is a 7 hour time between Tel Aviv time and eastern standard time ( with me being ahead)! Dont want to get carried away with everything tonight, so im going to get some water and rest because i have early practice tomorrow! Its almost 10:30pm (3:30pm in Louisville) and time to lay it down....peace!