"you win some, you lose some...yea! But what's your record though?"
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.