I thought it might take another 3-4 weeks, but it won’t.
Wednesday morning, exactly 8 weeks following the injury that has kept me from doing any activity, I made my comeback with a 1-on-1 rematch against Virginia Tech signee and one of ESPN’s Top 100 players, Robert Brown (see our first match-up here).
Keep in mind, this was the very first time I had played basketball since my injury. Pretty intense, right?!?
My original plan was to mix in some regular players aka not monsters like Robert (more on this later) and ease back into playing over the next 3-4 weeks, but Mr. Brown happened to be in town on spring break (he attends Hargrave Military Academy) and I can never pass on an opportunity to play against the best and get better!
So early Wednesday morning, we headed to the rec center and had a rematch!!
Due to the game being set up last minute on Tuesday evening, I was unable to find someone to record the games as I had done before, but I’ll give you a brief rundown of how it went.
Before I get to how the games went, I just want to say that I am so thankful to be back on the court again and for all of the support over the weeks from each of you. Means more to me than I can ever express.
Also, through two games of me giving my all in 1-on-1, I felt absolutely no pain! Praise God!
Big shout out to Justin Cobb and Mike Ames for working with me every week on my rehab. The work I put in with them allowed me to have the confidence to take on such a player this early.
The Outcome of Me vs. Robert Brown (Round 2)
So I played Robert back at the end of November and he dominated me. I left highly impressed and the video speaks for itself. It was just plain easy for him. I couldn’t even get him to sweat.
Since that time…HE GOT BIGGER AND BETTER!
This is in no way to hype Brown, as his play speaks for itself, but I’ve never felt so helpless on a basketball court in my entire life as I did Wednesday morning.
I’ve played basketball longer than the 18-year-old Brown has been alive, but at 6’5” and with a 6’11” wingspan he is absolutely impossible for me to guard. The same will very likely be said about most DI guys he’ll play against next year.
In game one, I shot for ball, made it and then made an up and under move which prompted Robert to even say, “Nice move,” before the barrage began.
He took me to the basket, when I gave him a little room he took the three and drained it (5 of them actually), and when I then crowded him he dunked on me (hey, he did win a dunk contest just two weeks ago). He made step backs, bank shots, pull-ups, and shot a very high percentage. He owned the court.
I managed to do my best and ended game 1 with a 15-8 loss.
Game two I’m almost too embarrassed to write about, but I gave my all, so it is what it is.
Not to take anything away from him, but I was gassed this game for sure. Adrenaline carried me through game 1, but in game 2 my legs were dead, my wind was gone, it was just too much too soon.
On top of that he extended his defense on me, blocking numerous shot attempts. I guess his coach got on him about his defense the last time after he saw the video of us playing…haha.
With little effort on his end he whooped me 15-1.
I’m telling you I’ve never felt so alone on a court. It felt like he had me on a string and could do whatever he wanted.
I was actually amazed at how good he is. I have never played with anyone that is even close to as good as Robert Brown is. It’s that big of a difference.
It’s something you can never understand until you experience it. Just crazy talented.
I left last time we played thinking that if I got in better shape I could at least give him a better game. I knew Robert hadn’t put all that much into the games (remember: no sweating), but my goal was if anything to at least make him work!
This time, I’m just gonna say it. He’s the man! Watch for him next year at Virginia Tech. I won’t be the only person he dominates, that’s for sure!
Overall, I spent the rest of Wednesday smiling. I know, I know, sounds weak after getting my butt kicked, but I was just so thankful for being able to be out there and run and jump and give my all.
Sadly, it sometimes takes loosing something to fully appreciate it.
Tips and Pointers from Mr. Brown
Before we left Robert gave me some tips on how to improve my jab step, ball positioning as I attack the defender, ball fakes and even showed me some shooting drills he works on at school that have helped him a lot.
Because I think it’s so important to note, I will also add that on top of being a phenomenal player, he really is equally a great and extremely humble, young man.
I head back today for more physical therapy and will continue to work on strengthening my calf and my overall conditioning.
I am back in action here at mevsMJ.com and I love every single moment!
The announcement of my Next BIG one-on-one opponent is just around the corner. I think you’re gonna love it and I will definitely get video!
me vs. MJ…the jouney is back underway! Hope you’re getting ready for me Mr. Jorrrrrrrdannnnnn!!!
In the late Johnny “Red” Kerr’s voice…”HE IS NOW BACK!!!”
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