It’s been a very long time since I last posted on this blog. I’ve had a battle back and forth to whether I’ll even continue playing the great game of basketball as a professional. Getting to this point has been a lifelong dream of mine, one I have pictured over and over since I was a little kid, so to hang up the sneakers now seems surreal. But it appears that I may not have a choice and I’ll let what will be, be and know that it will work out. So here is why I’ve come to this point.
After hitting the deer in Hungary I thought it was best for my family and I to play somewhere else. The accident not only left me with a fear of deer on the road (or brown bushes) but cost a lot financially. The Hungarian government tried taking away my license for 3 months, making me pay for the deer I killed (up to $5,000) and also threatened to make me pay for the teammate that was riding with me hospital bill. They said I was liable because there was a deer warning sign a few KM back and because I was liable I also had to pay for the car I just totaled. Apparently insurance wouldn’t cover it.
So after that great experience I went to Finland. I wanted a change in scenery and hopefully springboard my career to where I could get a good job for next year. Unfortunately I chose the wrong situation to do so. While my team was talented, we were unfortunately not compensated in a timely matter. The financial strain on my family (wife and 2 kids) was too much after the accident and not being paid that we felt it was best to leave Finland on the flight that was already purchased from Hungary. This was a very tough decision for me but I could not put my family at risk any longer being so far from home without a reliable income.
I have now moved to plan B, C and maybe even D. I have my door wide open to continue playing for the right situation. My family and I love to travel and would jump at the opportunity to continue living abroad. That is plan A. Plan B is not so bad either. I have started a management company with my Dad which owns and operates three companies. I was able to come home and get right to work which has been a major blessing. It’s been a lot of fun putting my MBA education to work in a legitimate business. My basketball academy, Roots Basketball, has unfortunately suffered because of the other business but is starting back up next month. We will have clinics in the months of Sept and October and we are expecting over 40 kids. Lastly, if I can’t play overseas I want to start an IBL team in my hometown and run it under a European model, sponsors on jersey’s and rely on advertising for income not only ticket sales. No matter what I’m going to find a way to keep playing competitively.
As August comes to a close I get a major itch to take an offer. So far I have had Hungary, Turkey, Romania and few other small leagues make offers but nothing that will pull me away from my business endeavors. Below are updated highlight tapes and game film for those who want to check it out. I finished with 17.9 PPG and 5.9 ASST in Hungary while averaging 13.3 PPG 3.1 ASST on 55% from the field, 48% from 3 and 93% from FT in Finland. The year was a great learning experience and I look forward to whatever may be next in my life.
29 points in Finland-