What is a VFL, anyway?

Vol For Life

Do you remember when you first became a fan of your favorite team? Born in the heart of Memphis, I grew up in an ocean of blue. The University of Memphis is the city’s golden child. There is no such thing as split loyalties. Yet, there was always that one team that kept me so mentally, physically, and emotionally engaged that I’ve been willing to fight for them over and over again. When I think about the University of Tennessee, I think about championship celebrations, tailgates, and, most important, brotherhood. Even though I am Memphis by birth, I became a Vol by choice.

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25 Secrets to Success to my Younger Self – 1/2

Dear Younger Self,

Think about what you could’ve done differently as a kid with even a glimmer of the knowledge you have now (cringe-worthy, I know!). Rather, you think back to something you could have improved in your professional career, past relationships, career, health or spirit; there’s probably a range of good and bad thoughts that crossed your mind that lead to positive and negative situations. As is life, though, right?

In my career as a professional athlete, I have had unique life experiences and it’s an honor to share my experiences with you all. Believe me when I say a lot of the superficial shiny exterior of that lifestyle is not as important as my transformation (attach link) as a human being, just like you. I truly hope that you can take something from my experience and apply it to your life. Continue reading “25 Secrets to Success to my Younger Self – 1/2”

What I Actually Needed – 3/3

“We learn something from everyone who passes through our lives.. Some lessons are painful, some are painless.. but, all are priceless.” – Unknown

How much does a dream cost? I kept thinking about a quote my mom always told me growing up which was, “money comes and money goes but wisdom evolves and wisdom grows.” I didn’t think about it very hard until I was faced with this identity crisis.  These words further resonated with me when, on a whim, I met an old man in a downtown Denver bar. He was sharply dressed, like a Detroit bad boy, and spoke with an accent and vocabulary that made me think of the mafia. He was a war veteran. I could tell by the the way he moved that he had been through a lot. Continue reading “What I Actually Needed – 3/3”

What I Got Instead Pt 2/3

“The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. For every challenge encountered there is opportunity for growth.” – Unknown

I could hear my heart beating. I could sense the worry from my teammates. “Stay positive” is what I’d tell myself but my actions showed otherwise. My foot was bothering me more than it should have.  In sports, there is ‘hurt’ and then there is ‘injured’ and this felt worse than just hurt.  Hurt is the kind that you can walk off and injured is something that ends seasons and careers. After the game and my 6 minutes of glory, I went in to get an X-ray from the team doctor.  Upon review, the doctor told me I had a fracture. I was sure that couldn’t be true, my foot couldn’t be fractured.  I begged him over and over to do another X-Ray.  After all, a fracture is extremely easy to misread in an X-ray and I prayed that he was reading it wrong.  I was praying his diagnosis was wrong.  I was praying that I could just walk this hurt off and go back to playing like nothing was wrong.  I prayed that the X-ray came back fine the second time. Praying was the only thing I could do.

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A Painstaking Transformation to Remember Pt 1/3

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a professional basketball player and until recently my entire life was built around my passion of basketball.  More than stories of NBA perks, groupies, riches, fame and achieving dreams this is a series about Transformation and finding yourself through deeper things in life than surface extravagance.  At the end of the day, I think we all struggle to find the things which make us happy and complete and many times the things we think that will make us happy do not until we open up to bigger experiences.

I am a better man today because of my mindfulness through my unique experiences. This past year in Denver was a dream come true.  Not only was I surrounded by young talented players and coaches I also loved the people in the front office and I vibed very well with the city.  As a matter of fact, the city of Denver oozes potential in so many ways that I’ve yet to see anywhere else. Yes, that includes Miami. This third year in the NBA was the best yet because the young jitters were gone and now people in the league had gotten a chance to see what I can do. Continue reading “A Painstaking Transformation to Remember Pt 1/3”