Their eyes kept jetting back and forth looking at the large building they were invited to. Not knowing where to go the athletes grabbed their bags and walked cautiously to the door. The agency who was helping with the logistics of the tournament met them in the lobby and took them to the table where they were able to sign in. "This is where it begins." They thought.
This team and many others were individually selected by the Jr. NBA coaches to showcase and represent their region or city at the NBA Academy in Greater Noida. It was an opportunity of a lifetime for many and also a chance for them to get selected for an even greater accomplishment, the global championship in the USA. During this week and a half at the NBA Academy the Jr. NBA National Tournament was happening along with the JR. NBA global championship tryouts and the NBA Academy tryouts. A whole lot of action and talent in a small time frame. For myself, this week was the grand finale of my trip in India. The Jr. NBA coaches were able to see all of our chosen players and coaches under one roof competing for a trophy and for a spot on the global team. Not only was this exciting, but the front office personnel, Jr. NBA coaches, NBA Academy coaches, agency staff and international guests were able to meet up in one spot. We were able to build relationships, talk life and discuss basketball. I was able to meet some great people that I will stay connected with for a long time.
I could not hold the bat like I was supposed to. Swoooooosh! Clink!
'It hit the wicket, You LOSE!' those watching from outside the cage proclaimed.
'Who said that and what is a wicket?' I said to myself as I turned around with a snarling grin on my face.
Cricket is obviously not my sport. People say it is similar to baseball, so I should be perfectly fine with it. Well, news to the bystanders, I never played baseball lol. I swung at the ball and hit it. Yes!!! Another ball was pitched. I swung, stumbled forward to my knees, but again, hit this one as well. I turned around as everyone was chuckling.
'I feel like I am hitting like a wimp,' I grinned, but actually was a bit ashamed on the inside.
The guys agreed to my statement while videoing this new and embarrassing moment. I was having a lot of fun, but my competitive juices were definitely flowing.
We were at the end party for the Jr. NBA coaches. Everyone was eating and dancing in one area and outside of that was a cricket batting cage that kept catching my eye. I just had to go and try it, professional clothes and all. A couple of others and I went out to play and had an exceptional time. By the end of the night, I had eaten, snacked, danced and played so much, I wished I would have worn my athletic shorts with the elastic band. That is how you know you had fun.
Now that I am back from my trip, many ask if I am glad to be back. Of course, I am glad to be back home seeing family, friends and eating way too much of the food I wasn't able to get over there. But honestly, I loved what I was doing and enjoyed my time there. I was never in a rush to leave, I just lived each day to its fullest. No matter where you are in life or what you are doing, don't be in a rush to exit. Sometimes each place we go to is priming us for our next journey and adventure. Whether we are here or there, it's easy or tough, make a difference where you are. I am not sure what is in store for me next, but I am ready for whatever God has in His plans.
*I want to give a special thanks to the ones who brought me to India as a JR. NBA Coach. To everyone in the office and on the courts, you have been such a blessing. I appreciate having the opportunity to work with you all. Thank you!*