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