I pushed the door open and felt the cool air of night as I exited the gym. Soaked with hard work from head to toe, I made my way to my car and thought about what Coach Kevin Sutton had said to me just days before when we met for the first time.
Raising his right hand he gestured by making about a one-inch space between his thumb and pointer finger last Wednesday and said, “It’s about getting a little better each time. That’s what we’re looking for.”
It was after 10pm on Tuesday evening and I had just finished my first workout with Coach Sutton. Over two hours of two ball dribbling drills, shooting between and blasting around chairs as if they were defenders, working on Kevin Durant and Paul Pierce moves, one-on-one drills, and at the end of it all, there is no doubt that Coach Sutton and the other coaches made me at the very least a “little better.”
In a group of 17 elite players that featured James Bell (Villanova), Eric Griffin (Campbell), Adam Jones (Fairfield), Pierre Bakinde (undecided) and Morgan Jones (Northwestern/#9 Ranked Girl in USA by ESPN) to name a few, I was definitely lost at times, but I did what I do and gave my all.
On top of all of the basketball, stapled to the heart of the workout was a genuine sense of comradery amongst players and coaches that I haven’t seen in quite some time. On the makes I heard, “Great finish, nice shot, way to shoot it!” and on the misses, “You’ll get it next time, come on you got this.” At one point players and coaches were actually cheering me on as I pushed through the fatigue I was feeling! Amongst the high fives, encouragement and high level of competition was a true feeling of desire from each and every player that we all get better and improve.
Near the end of the workout as I was doing some shooting work with 6’8″ Eric Griffin (he’s really good!), I heard someone right next to me say, “Hold on a second, look how you’re lined up.” I looked over and it was none other than former Orlando Magic player, Anthony Bowie! There to support his kids, he had made his way all the way across the court, to stop me and show me the proper way to set up to receive the pass. He then encouraged me and later even gave me some tips for my 1-on-1 battles! (Watch out MJ! ;-)) So, very cool!
As workout #1 came to a close (yes, there will be more!) Coach Sutton gathered the players and told them about how we met, mevsMJ.com, and about my journey to play Michael Jordan, before closing it out with a prayer.
Life is Amazing, If You Allow It To Be!
OK, I know I’ve been saying it over and over again lately, but LIFE IS AMAZING, IF YOU ALLOW IT TO BE! (My 2011 Slogan)
A week ago Coach Sutton walked underneath the basket at which I was shooting free throws in a gym that was completely empty. Less than a week later, I was being instructed and inspired by one of the top basketball coaches in the country!
He allowed a soon to be 34 year old with a rather large dream to come in and work with his group and treated me like I belonged.
The kindness and willingness of people like Kevin Sutton to HELP ME continues to blow me away and I am forever thankful.
I’m Sore and Can’t Wait For More! (Pictures and Video Coming Soon!)
I woke up Wednesday morning sore and hungry. Hungry to get back on the court. Hungry to improve just a little more each time.
I plan on going back next week for more training and will do my best to get pictures and video of some of the things I’m doing with Coach Sutton.
I’m having a blast here at mevsMJ.com and I thank each and every one of you for following along and for your support!
me vs. MJ…the journey continues! I hope you’re getting ready Mr. Jordan! 😀
I want to give a special thanks to Coach Sutton, Coach Alton Clark and Sean Russell of FAAZ Magazine, as well as all of the players for making me feel welcome and pushing me to get better! So very much appreciated! See ya next week!!!!
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