Creating my brand has been in the works for a while, but recently, I felt strongly about using my platform for additional reasons, specifically to talk about my recovery journey.
In August 2019, I tore my ACL and meniscus in my right knee, and in coming to terms with this, I realized I would like to take people along my journey to recovery. The next four to six months will be physically grueling but emotionally and mentally challenging, too, and I really think people would benefit from having an inside look into the process.
For anyone who has ever experienced a significant loss or uphill battle, I hope my journey serves as an example that you, too, can overcome, and you are more resilient than you know.
Most importantly, I want my journey to reflect my faith.
People seem to shy away from talking about faith and sports. Some athletes embrace their faith and talk about their love for Jesus, whereas other people feel uncomfortable about tying the two together. For me, there are no sports without Jesus. Deeper than that, everything we have is on account of Him.
Faith translates to every part of our lives, including the basketball court, especially when it comes to injuries and on-court relationships, even with your opponents. Opponents will test you and try to get you out your game, but faith allows you to push through that. Faith also gives you the strength to battle back after an injury, a bad game, or a bad stretch of games. There’s no limit to what faith can do, and my life and career are testimonies to that.
Ironically, it seems like every time I have a breakthrough on the court, something happens right after that. Last year, I had one of the best seasons of my career. I was so excited to start this season, as I signed a two-year contract with Juvecasterta, and I’m still excited to join the team, yet I’ve learned that the real breakthrough is my mental growth. The man I am today is stronger, smarter, and more disciplined than ever before.
I’ve gone through my share of trials, on and off the court, but what has gotten me through is my faith. With faith, I’ve learned humility. I also learned not to linger in guilt or shame for past decisions because, at the end of the day, even the most disciplined person falls short and sins in some way. The key is to accept His grace, not beat yourself up and make the same mistakes, and to grow in the process. There have been moments I veered off course in life because I was selfish and self-centered, and that's directly applicable to basketball, too, because you realize that you can't be so wrapped up in yourself; otherwise, you won't create a winning culture and contribute to a successful team.
Every step of the way, God is guiding me in the right direction, and my life is a living testimony of His guidance. Sometimes, I wonder how I got to this place and how I've continued an on-court career for this long. I think to myself, "I'm not supposed to be here. I should be on the block somewhere, dead, or in jail," but I'm quickly reminded of the God I serve, and I know exactly why I'm still here - and that's because of Him. He has made it possible for me to be great and for you to be great, too. He gives you the abilities, the tools, and the ethic. I could go on and on, but what I know is that He equips you with everything and more.
As a 12-year vet, I know the reason my career has outlasted the typical life of an athlete, and that reason is Jesus. My wife dubbed me the Benjamin Button of Europe, and I laugh every time she says that, but at the same time, I know that playing professional basketball at 34 years old, and getting better in the process, isn’t exactly the standard.
I never want to stop learning, and I never want to stop growing. I want to find ways to better myself and discover different ways to compete with the younger guys so that I can compete in the coming years.
I know the next four to six months will be tough, but I know my faith is stronger.
Welcome to my website.
This is my journey.