"you win some, you lose some...yea! But what's your record though?"
Highlights from the month of February during the 2016-2017 VTB United League and Fiba Europe Cup.
Please like, share, critique, comment, etc. Thank You.
The new year came with some ups and downs for my team.
In this month of January we had 8 very tough games. Our record in those games was 4-4.
The silver lining in all that however, is that we won some key games thus earning us a spot in the Top 16 of Fiba Europe Cup. We also scored a tough victory over Unics Kazan (last year's finals runner up as well as perennial VTB League powerhouse).
Below are some highlights from the month. I left out 2 games because I tried to make the video as compact as possible, and keep it below that 5 minute threshold.
As always, thank you for your support.
December was a good month for my team.
We went 4-1, with our lone loss being against #1 CSKA Moscow on the road.
Also, we began the second stage of Fiba Europe Cup by picking 2 very crucial wins in group play.
All in all it was a good month.
Thank you for the support and Happy New Year (yea I know I’m late).
Of the many activities I like to engage in, staying home and doing absolutely nothing but watching a good show has to be top on the list. It doesn’t matter if I have company (we millennials call this Netflix & Chill) or I'm alone (we call this Netflix NO Chill...which is most of the time for me). Either way, I still enjoy it very much. Very relaxing and entertaining at the same time. However, there’s an art to doing this. Staying home and watching shows all day isn’t just something you do on whim. It is something that takes skill and preparation. One that I have thoroughly honed over the years and as such there are rules you have to follow and I’m here to share them with the world.
Before going any further let’s establish one thing, we live in the generation of right now (instant gratification) and as much as I consider myself old school in many areas of my life, show watching isn’t one of them. In my opinion, why wait a week for the next episode when I can watch the whole season today? Makes no sense. I purposefully don’t watch shows when they’re airing on television and stay off all social media when they come on for the sole purpose of having the season finish and I can watch it all at the same time (also it helps me pass time while I’m overseas).
If this is an activity you want to pick up, or you already engage in it, but it hasn’t quite been as successful or as fulfilling as you might like, or you just want to improve in general, follow these Binge-Watching Rules and I promise it will enhance your experience and you won’t be disappointed.
Rule 1 - Picking the show: This isn’t something you do on the day you decide to spend doing nothing. It’s a rookie mistake to wait until this day to make that choice, you waste precious time doing that. Imagine picking a show and 15-20 minutes into the first episode you realize it doesn’t have the power to carry you through the day. Now you have to end that and spend more time looking for and picking out another one. Or even worse you find a good show and it has only one season or just a couple of episodes (that we call No Bueno). A true pro would already have the show picked out beforehand, making sure it met all the parameters necessary to keep you entertained all day.
Some of these parameters include (but aren’t limited to) the show has to be interesting to you. It has to have enough episodes and/or seasons to carry you through the day. This varies depending on how long each episode is and how many episodes are in a season. A general guideline to this would be 10+ episodes at about 40+ minutes an episode. That could go up or down in either category depending on how advanced you are in this activity.
Rule 2 - Loading the show: This might be one of, if not the most important aspect of the whole day and experience. If it's done wrong it could kill the whole vibe. If you’re using a paid streaming service (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Showtime, Amazon, etc) you don’t really have to worry about this. As long as you have decent internet you’re good. However, not every show is available on these mediums, so an expert like myself has to resort to the bootleg versions (there are several websites for this...Google is your friend).
The tough part about this is that, every bootleg website is different. Not every link works as well as the next. So you have to develop an eye for what will work and what won’t. What also comes into play with this is method is your internet speed. You have slow internet, you don’t want to sit in front of your screen waiting for each episode to buffer. So what you do is pre-buffer the episodes ahead of time. What I usually do (being overseas, I don’t always have reliable internet), I buffer about 3 or 4 episodes ahead. For example, whenever I’m done with episode one, before I begin episode two, I start buffering episode 5, so whatever happens, I always have 3 or 4 episodes to ready to be watched.
Rule 3 - Designated Comfy Space: Since this is an all day activity, you want to be as comfortable as possible. You want to set up shop on a bed or couch preferably. Generally speaking, somewhere you already spend a lot of time and are familiar with. Also it should be spacious (we’re about to get the why of that soon) but at the same time have all your necessities within an arm’s reach. Top three necessities are your cellphone (yes your cell phone, I mean c'mon people it’s 2017), your remote control, and of course food or snacks.
Part of comfort is your attire. You should have the minimal amount of clothes on. For one, you’re not expecting any visitors so why put on unnecessary clothing. For two, you’re probably going to have a blanket of some sort, and having extra clothes on will just make you hot and NOT COMFORTABLE. For three, if you have some company for this all day activity you definitely don’t want to have too many clothes on for easy access (you never know, a scene in the one of the episodes might get you in the mood, amongst other things) but let’s move on.
Back to spaciousness...you want it to be spacious for two reasons. For me it’s mostly because I’m a big guy but the rule still applies to everyone BUT reason number one is the food. You have to have enough space for yourself to be comfortable as well as be able to eat and snack well. Trust me, you don’t know how much fun you’re having until you have to wipe your fingers real quick so you can rewind the show because you can’t believe what just happened.
The second reason you want space is for company. Trust me, as much fun as a day like this is by yourself (trust me I’d know, I do this basically 8 months out of every year), it is that much better when you have someone to do it with. So you want to make sure you have enough space for you and your company to be able to be cuddled up when need be but also get away from each other also (like when it gets too hot, when you’re both eating, or when the show is intense and you have to sit up….I’m dramatic like that).
Rule 4: Allowed Extracurriculars: This really should be Rule 3a, but for the sake of not confusing things we’ll call it Rule 4. By Allowed Extracurriculars, I’m referring to and and all activity that requires you to get up from your designated comfortable zone created for show watching. The only reasons you should be getting up should be to go to the bathroom, to go get food or drinks, to quickly clean up after you just ate, or the quick clean up necessary after you and your company had the sparks flying (see Rule 3, paragraph 2). I don’t see any other reason to get up if it isn’t related to one of the things I just mentioned. Don't be the party pooper/joke killer and ask what if there's an emergency?
Rule 5 - Company Selection: If this is the route you want to go, this is a very very very important rule. You have to pick the right partner for this. Once again trust me, there’s nothing as bad planning this day with someone who isn’t ‘bout that life’ or even worse going through the day with them. You don’t want someone that’s going to kill your vibe. You want someone that just as enthusiastic to participate and/or excited to learn (if this isn’t something the usually do). If not your day might be shot. Literally! Choose wisely.
In conclusion, binge-watching of shows is extremely fun. It’s especially fun when done right and with someone who is just as into it as you are. Add these rules that I’ve outlined above and you’re guaranteed to have a great time. So please after your read this, try it out and leave a message or comment. Let me know how it worked out for you. For my fellow experts and pros, if I left out any other rules, regulations, or key points, please share it with the people. I'm here to share the knowledge.
As always, I’m playing catch up when it comes to the highlights of the season. In this installment, as opposed to putting out one video, I’ve decided to put out two at the same time. These are highlights from the months of October and November of the 2016/2017 VTB United League Season.
In this time we played many games and were able to come up with some big wins, including one against Euroleague staple Lokomotiv Kuban. Also in this time we also managed to have a 7 game winning streak. Things are looking up but there’s a tough season ahead.
Be on the lookout for more videos to come from the rest of the season.
Please don't hesitate to leave your thoughts, comments, and feedback.
I am happy to announce the launch of MagnificentSu Productions.
Over the years I’ve taken a keen interest in producing ‘dope content’ (for lack of a better way to describe it). It started out as me writing for fun. I hated writing in school, upon graduating it became a hobby of mine. I wrote mostly about my life (in the abstract) and a lot of other topics I was interested in. I followed that up by writing about topics I wasn’t interested in as more of a challenge. That then lead me to write about topics that I knew nothing about, but the research needed to write about these topics helped me become more knowledgeable about them.
While flexing my writing muscles and writing for fun, I started taking a liking to creating videos. Unlike writing, this started as a necessity. Coming out of college I wanted to play professional basketball. If you aren’t already a big name/big time prospect (which I clearly wasn’t), it is quite difficult to get your foot in the door. In order to do so you have to be able to impress Agents, Scouts, Coaches, and GM’s across the world. Most of which are not able to see you play or workout in person. You have to rely on your game film and/or highlight videos.
At the time I didn’t have one. I tried to get several people to help make one, but they all wanted to charge me. Suffice to say that this recent college graduate didn’t have the necessary means to pay for a good quality highlight video, so I learned to do it myself. Also keep in mind that the highlight tape is in a sense part of your resume as basketball player. Updating it with new highlights of what you do against tougher competition helps in the job search. That in conjunction with my family and friends asking how they can watch me play (there aren’t always live streams/links to games overseas), resulted in me not only making videos to update my resume but also gave my family and friends somewhere they can go to get a glimpse of me at work.
Over the years, my skills and the quality of my videos kept getting better. It got to a point where my friends and fellow professional basketball players started asking me to make their highlights videos for them as well (and of course I obliged).
With all this writing and video creating (creative juices are flowing by now), I was in need of a platform to share this with everyone. Hence one of the sparks behind the launch of this website (MagnificentSu.com). As was the case with the highlight videos, I saw how much it would cost to hire someone to build and maintain a website for me so I decided to learn how to do it myself. That in turn helped me sharpen my web design skills.
As time passed and MagnificentSu.com kept growing (in content and in following), I started to pay closer to attention to branding. That lead me to logo designs. This was the most challenging to learn how to do on my own. However as is the case with most things in life, the better you become at something the more you’ll like doing it. The better I got at creating logos, the more I wanted to do it.
Bringing those mini-anecdotes full circle...over the years I developed these skills independently for different reasons. With MagnificentSu Productions, I’m bringing all of them together under one banner.
MagnificentSu productions will be your one stop shop for producing whatever ‘dope content’ you have in mind, at very affordable prices. What do you need? Think pieces? Copy writing? Logos? Highlight tapes? Workout videos? Flyers? Or some other multimedia production? If so then MagnificentSu Productions is definitely the place for you.
What more can I say that hasn’t already been said before. Pick an adjective to describe his greatness and I’m quite certain that I’ve heard it used by someone to describe him at some point in the last week or so. Since 2008, he has been undisputed fastest man the world. Let that sink in for a moment...
That’s just about a 9 year span. One man and one man only has had the undisputed crown as the fastest man in the world and there hasn’t been anyone close enough to challenge him and is crown. I don’t think I can quite put into words how great of an accomplishment that really is.
As with all things that interest me, especially the display of greatness by an individual in a particular field, I do research on it. I want to know more. I want to learn more. I want to put it in context. I want to see what their peers and contemporaries are saying about them. I just want to have more information in general so I can better discuss the topic and have the necessary facts to defend/promote the greatness if need be (even though I think greatness needs no defense, but then again I do wonder what Lebron James has to say about that).
In my extensive research and perusal of the internet, I stumbled upon a video I believe epitomizes the greatness of Usain Bolt. There are some things he says in the video that are simple amazing and could not have been scripted. They could only come from someone who is great and knows they’re great at what they do.
Watch this… Usain Bolt - How to Win the 100m.
In this video he describes how he runs his 100m races. Did you watch the towards the end of the video? His confidence is of supreme form and who are we to tell him any different (his competitors included). He says that in the last 10m of the race “...no matter who you are, no matter what you’re doing, no matter how focused you are, no matter how ready you think you are, you’re not going to catch me…” That’s simply greatness at its best.
There are several other points in the video that capture the greatness, but one other part that stands out to me is the part at the 1:13 mark when he talks about making his second check in the race. What stands out to me is not that he’s making a check (for the second time at that) when according to my limited but researched knowledge, you’re just supposed to focus on the finish line and run full steam ahead because checking left or right may slow you down; it’s the question he asks after making that check that puts me in awe. He says …”check to the right, check to the left, CAN I STOP RUNNING?”
Once again let that sink in...
The man is asking himself if he can coast. Everyone else is gassing themselves out trying to get to the finish line and he’s trying to determine if he can coast and start enjoying the spoils of victory.
I could go on and about Usain Bolt’s greatness but you catch my drift. Watch the video yourself and let me know what aspects stand out to you as well. Do you have any videos, articles, or anecdotes of your own you’d like to share? If so, please do. Greatness needs go be celebrated not questioned.
I’m very into videography (now photography as well). So much so that this summer I bought myself a spanking new expensive camera so I can start creating my own videos (I’m a big fan and proponent of original content). In fact, the purchase of this camera was how I stumbled upon my new affinity for photography; the camera I bought takes some bomb photographs as well (See Team Nigeria post, and Houston Pro Am post).
As far videography, this was my first time actually seeing a project through from inception through creation. Something different about this video compared to the others I've done is that it wasn’t one long recording (like a game tape). It was broken up into different looks, angles, distances, and they all show different actions. It was up to me to get the pieces to fit well together and bring to life what the vision of the project was.
As well as working on my videography skills, this video also served another purpose...to show what I do with my offseason/summer time. During the basketball season, it’s pretty clear what I do with my time. I play basketball (lol...insert crying laughing emoji). That entails long bus rides, long practices, and a bunch of down time that I use to create my monthly highlights from the games we played that month (yea I know I didn’t quite create a video every month this season, but I caught up by the time the summer started and that’s what counts).
However, not a lot of people are clear on what I do with my summers. Besides the having fun, exploring my hobbies and other passions, playing basketball for fun, summer hang outs, and other fun activities...there is something I do pretty much every day all summer long and that is...WORKOUT/TRAIN. Every summer day for me consists of some sort of workout, whether it be on the court, in the weight room, on the track/field, in the sand, something. I try to do something to help me get better at basketball every day during the summer.
My most common workout over the course of the summer is of course on the court. This is where I try to perfect some of the skills and talents I already have, as well as improving the ones I’m shaky on. One of my favorite things about these summer workouts, is that I get to develop and get comfortable doing new things on the court as well. Add something new to my game so when the season starts, I’m even better prepared than the previous season.
Afterall … “they say the biggest threat to your future success is your current success, that’s why I go hard.”
All in all, the summer grind consists mostly of my workouts, and then supplemented with my work on my other hobbies and passions (blogging, videography, photography, etc).
Let’s start with I love the city of Houston. Not as much as I love NYC but Houston is definitely top 3 on my favorite US cities. One of the many reasons I love Houston so much is the summer basketball circuit. Through my later college years and post college years I noticed that there was never a shortage of good competitive basketball runs to participate in. They were all over the city. I was always a couple of phone calls away from getting a good workout in or getting a good game going.
Over the last few summers, it seemed like that was dying down. Last summer it was taken back up a notch with all the runs being in my backyard (the runs were at Rice University). It got so good last summer that even the best of basketball players had to arrive at a decent time in order to guarantee a spot to play. Even with that I couldn’t help but be disappointed in Houston last summer. The flagship of competitive basketball in Houston (in my opinion of course) was the Houston Pro Am and it was nowhere to be found last summer.
The Houston Pro Am, to me, is a staple of summer hoops in the city. It was something that I looked forward to over the course of the year. This enthusiasm is something that I’ve had since college. Besides the games itself, that atmosphere is just one that I always enjoyed being a part of. I was deprived of that last summer and a couple summers ago as well.
Enter Summer 2016 or as Drake would say “Summer 16.” The Houston Pro Am is back. The atmosphere is great and the games are of course competitive and fun, and of course I’m playing in it. Last week, my team had a bye. So instead of just going to watch like I usually do, or even worse staying home and not doing anything, I decided to put my camera to good use. I went to watch and take a few pics of the action as well.
Below are some of the best ones.
Please bear with me people. I’m still getting the hang of this photography thing.
The first slide show is from game 2 on Wednesday July 27. The second slide show is from game 3 on Wednesday July 27.
Most of the people who know or are around me are aware that I was one of the 20 guys selected to participate in training camp with the Nigerian National Basketball Team this summer. This training camp was for us to compete and earn a spot on the final roster of 12 players. These 12 players selected would be representing the country in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the 12 players selected to the final roster, however, I cannot begin to describe how much of an amazing experience it was. From the coaching staff, to the trainer Dayo (who is world class), and players as well. I can’t think of one day where I didn’t enjoy being around them. The comradery between the guys is unparalleled. It’s truly a brotherhood; I’m proud and honored to be a part of it. All that doesn’t even factor in the enormous patriotism displayed by all the individuals that were a part of the #RoadToRio journey.
As well as enjoying myself and feeling privileged to have been a part of the preparation process, I learned a lot about myself as a person and as a player. I learned about a lot of the things that I need to work on both mentally and physically to take my game to the next level. So all in all, even though I didn’t achieve my goal which was to make the team and be on my way to Rio, I still feel like I’m better for the experience and I’m thankful for it.
As is to be expected, even though I’m not going to Rio, that doesn’t take away from the love I have for my country and it definitely will not change the level of support that I will be showing for my team and my brothers as they go to battle in Rio and take a shot at history. Afterall, I’m a Naija boy for life.
Below is a slideshow of pictures I took during my time with the team. From California to Vegas and back to California. I’ll try and add a short description to as many of the photos as possible so you know when, where, and what is going on in the photograph.
For the fellas, I'm sorry that I missed some of you. I tried to get a picture of everyone at some point but we were all always on the move.
As always, thank you all for the love and support. It doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.