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3.17.2015

Making A Winning Team..(or is it The Process of Making A Winning Team) with Richard Chang

Who is Richard..
  • Former Cal (NCAA DI, PAC-10) played with the likes of Kevin Johnson, Byron Scott (Arizona State) Shawn Elliot, Steve Kerr (University of Arizona); according to Richard, it was a different era back then, the mid '80s 
  • Former Taiwan National Basketball Team


Q: Why did you start coaching and how was it?


So the story goes..Richard started coaching both his sons about 10 years ago, and since both of them go to Taipei American School, he's been a volunteer parent coach there ever since. It was a time for him to bond with his sons. Richard mentioned that it was the norm for his family while he was growing up that his family's weekend schedule were based upon the games, having the games being the priority.

Richard's son, Riley, was a junior in the TAS varsity, and what made this year special was that this year, according to Richard, the TAS had a legitimate opportunity to do well, if not win the tournament and there were many reasons for it. For one, the team which is the strongest team for the past 20 years that they beat, the Singaporean American School (SAS), a team made up predominantly of expats, majority being from the US, who is comparable to a US high school Basketball team (for those who aren't so familiar, that means they are of a pretty high level), a lot of their seniors have graduated last season and they had a brand new coach so they weren't as strong as previous years. Secondly, although TAS were smaller relatively in size, they have been together for a long time and plus this year the tournament venue was in Taipei (so, home court, home country). And to prepare, Richard and the coach of TAS sat down and started crafting a Game Plan as they know to win the tournament, it won't happen overnight, it had to be a one-year prior process. So, what they did was, they took the varsity to southern California last summer for a 10-day training camp just like a real training camp, the boys stayed at hotels, they got picked up, practiced in the morning, had rest at noon, practiced and scrimmaged in the afternoon - this being the beginning of it. And then before the season, every Sunday, they'd open up the gym and get the boys in there and to start to work on some drills - and all this being a new routine, more structured compared to previous years. Not only that, the varsity have always participated in summer leagues such as the Glory Days Basketball league, a Men's Basketball league in Taipei that attracts players from ex-pros, college players to amateur players of all ages. Their emphasis was to get as much playing time, as much game experience as possible, and to play against the best players they could possibly find here on the island.

Going into the tournament, the TAS lost the first 2 games of a round robin, and the boys thought this was the beginning of the end. Then the wheels turned and they won the 3rd game and ended up winning 5 games consecutively after loosing the first 2, so all in all, 5-2 for the tournament. They made it into the Final Four, and then the Finals, and won by 1 point in front of a packed home crowd (see video at the bottom of the post for the game recap, made by Qiu Xue球學).


Q: What was your goal? (Any special lessons you wanted to teach the kids?)


"It was kind of the Cinderella story that came to fruition through hard work," said Richard, "the title is Making a Winning Team, but for this experience, it was more than that. It was more of the process of making a winning team, because it really was the process." And one of Richard's goals, "The majority of these kids won't even play college ball, and that's ok, because the majority of high school athletes don't move on to the next level for many different reasons. So that's the norm. The thing is, through sports and athletics, these kids realize some of these life skills, life's lessons about planning, what it takes to win, because the process they're going through/went through is the same process they'll go through when they're applying for college, when they're going on for a job, when they get the job and they're getting ready to make a presentation for the pitch for a deal, it's the same thing. Sports is very interesting, you work all your life. Say you're an Olympic athlete, and you've worked 4 or 5 years for that 45 seconds, isn't that the same as preparing a presentation for a job? Let's say you're trying to bid for the Olympics, you're the bidding committee and you're preparing 5 years for that 1-hour presentation, it's the same in athletics. The sooner these kids understand that, the sooner they're going to be ready for "the real world". So that was one of the things I wanted to teach these kids."  And Richard thinks it really resonated with them, "Because at the end, there were a couple of themes we had, one of the themes was No Regrets. There were 5 graduating seniors, and I said, now is the time, because if you don't give your all, and you end up loosing by whatever, and then right after the game, or weeks after even years after, you're going to say, I regret it because I should have given more or I didn't give enough or whatever. So that was one of the themes, No Regrets. Do it now. Now is the time, don't wait for next year, because for many of you, there's no next year." (This theme was set early in the season) And the second theme, which was set after the season, right before the tournament started. Richard wanted to share a story with the boys, the story that he heard from the QB of last year's Super Bowl Champion, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson, for the Dreamers that aren't familiar, is not a typical NFL quarterback, at only 5-11 (180cm) of height (compared to Peyton Manning, 6-5, 196cm and Tom Brady, 6-4, 193cm). So, just a regular size guy. In high school, his dad came up to him and said to him (the exact words), "Why not you?" "Why not you be the best that you could be?" "Why not you be the quarterback? Even given your size" "Why not you be a good quarterback and why not you be an All-Star quarterback?" And that really resonated in Russell Wilson's mind and he said, "Wow, my dad said, why not you, he said, why not me. Yeah, you're right. WHY NOT ME?" So, Richard took this story to the kids and said, "Now, listen, why not you guys? Have you asked yourselves that - why not me? Because when you're on the court, there's only two teams out there, and somebody's got to win. Why not you?" Richard continue to say that maybe the kids (referring to the TAS varsity kids) might have grown accustomed to being on the other side, that it's ok to loose for them, it's ok to be not them, it's ok for the other team to be the winners, it's ok for him to get the job. Richard tells them that not only is it not ok but why shouldn't it be them (to be on the winning end). He says to the kids it's not a bad thing to win. There's nothing bad about winning if they do it fair and square and they do it with purpose and they have self-accomplishment. "Why not you?" Richard kept on saying to the kids and he tells them to ask themselves, "Why not us?" "Why shouldn't WE be the winners?" "Why should it always be us ALMOST winners?" Almost-this, almost-that. "You can't be satisfied with almost." He adds. Richard thinks that was key (if you see the video posted below, shared by Qiu Xue, you will see at the end of the video, "Why not us?" The above were really strong themes. Richard hopes that because the kids went through it, that they came out on the successful end of it, they tasted success through hard work and through all the things mentioned above, hopefully this will take them, be with them for their lifetime, so whenever they hit adversity, whatever they hit, they can go back to their days as the 2014/15 Taipei American School varsity Basketball team, because there were no way people would have thought they could have beat Singapore American School, because they (SAS) won it in the last 15 out of 16 years and for them (TAS) to have been able to achieve that really gave them the self-confidence, really taught them that yeah, through hard work that it really came to fruition especially for them (the varsity kids). Richard felt really relieved that it all came together, through parent participation, through the coaching staff, through the kids' hard work. And in a nutshell, for the parents, especially for Richard, who's been very actively involved, it was extremely gratifying. And the above concludes Richard's journey with the TAS varsity Basketball team.



Q: What were the (ups and) downs of your coaching?


Some downs included experiencing some losses early in the season, and in particular experiencing some boys making mental mistakes. "We speak of accountability," Richard stated, "and not only are you accountable for your own performance, you're also accountable because it's a team sport. You can't make mental mistakes, because you're accountable for yourself, but you're also accountable to the team." Richard tells the boys that the Coach can yell at the players all he wants, but sometimes it's more effective if the team captain steps up and says, "Hey, listen, you better get your mind into the game because you're hurting the whole team." When the boys hear that from a fellow player or a peer, that sometimes resonate deeper than a coach because (Richard believes) a coach is suppose to yell at a player, that's what he does, that's his job, but when the team says something like "Hey, you better work hard and practice, because you're not giving your all, we can see it." Richard believes those were some of the downs they experienced, but he also firmly believes that that's part of the process. "You got to hit those downs, hit those experiences to be able to come up." They had many guys making turnovers and thought they weren't big deals, and they were trying to teach those kids that every possession matters, every possession is important. "You have to treat every possession like it's the last." When you can put that altogether, you're guaranteed to have less turnovers. That's number one. Number two (on the technical side), Richard goes on to say, is that many kids these days don't understand the importance of free throw shooting, so when a kid walks into the gym, he gets the ball, throw some threes, goes to do some Eurosteps, some around the backs, all the fancy stuff, but not many practice their free throws. Richard goes on to challenge the kids why they don't practice the free throws, and he explains to them that free throw is a point and when they make both, that's equal to a basket and that it might be easier to make those 2 free throws than to have someone in their face and pull up for a jump shot. Simply looking at the percentage, if they make 50% (Richard states should be about 70-80% FT%) of their free throws, that's more than they'll ever achieve in their field goal percentage (guys who are shooting 40% from the field is considered to be pretty good already and that's when someone is guarding you). The kids realized that and started practicing their FTs. (Richard mentions further that during the last game, his son, Riley was 7/8 from the FT line, and from the team perspective, they were about 75-80% from the FT line) Richard tells the kids that the little stuff is what dictates who wins and who looses, guys who reduce their T/Os , guys who make their FTs, and guys who can get rebounds. This is all the stuff that's not sexy, doesn't make Sports Illustrated, doesn't make ESPN, but this is all the stuff that takes to win. Nobody ever won a game with a dunk, yes, you can win games with three, but Richard will take making free throws, reducing turnovers, and getting defensive rebounds anytime, because, he believes, that's what win championships. "You can win a game with a dunk, you can win a game with a three, but you aren't going to win a championship unless you do those 3 things and you know those 3 things really well" he says. Again, it came full circle. The kids did all those things well, they controlled the rebounds (see the video posted below), made FTs, and most importantly, they had very little turnovers.



Q: What lessons do you think this win or rather, this process of winning taught the TAS players, the bigger TAS community, spectators, opponents etc.?



Richard read a text that Jack Denzel(#4) from the opponent team (Singapore American School) sent to one of the TAS players named MJ, it went like this: "Hey MJ, I tried to find someone from your team after the game because I wanted to say a few words, but couldn't find you guys after the ceremony. So, I was so hoping you could pass this message on to your team." And the message is as follows (see the video posted below to hear Jack himself say those words at the end of the video, for they gave me the goosebumps everytime I heard him say it):



NOTE: You're in luck, Dreamers, after speaking to Jack himself, he has graciously accepted my invitation to do a Google Hangout with all of you who are interested in hearing his side of the perspective about what he learnt from this bigger-than-basketball lesson :) More info coming up on www.facebook.com/A.Basketball.Dream.


Richard goes on to say that TAS has always been the benchmark for other international schools in their conference, because they're so strong academically, all the other schools benchmark TAS because they (TAS) are the standards relative to academic programs, but because they're so strong in academics, they have compromised their athletics (quite typical in the Chinese culture, being just school, school, school and no sports) so to be able to be successful in sports AND in academics is something that is just unbelievable. "So there is a balance of life," Richard states, "you can do both well." Richard believes that one perpetuates the other, when you do well in the classrooms, you can do well in sports; and when you do well in sports, you can do well in the classroom. "It's not a zero sum game." he continues, "It's not that I win, then you have to loose. You can do both well. And if you look at the mentality of sports in the US, it's exactly that. People want to have Team Captain on their resumes, they want to have 'I was a winner in sports' because winning in sports equates to winning in business." There's all the clichés. "When you hear about in business, the last mile, no pain no gain, there's a lot of parallels and I'm hoping that people here in Taiwan realize that, 'cause it's all about competition. No matter how you want to sugarcoat it. There's only so much money in the world and resources who can compete to get it. In education, it's competitive. There's something called curve. So how do you say that I don't want you to compete in sports, but yet you're competing in the game of life?" Richard believes that for kids to understand that (the aforementioned) at an early age is not necessarily a bad thing. "Winning cures all," Richard admits on the pragmatic side, that when you win, when you make money, everybody is happy; and when the opposite happens, people aren't happy. 


This win hopefully taught the kids who weren't as committed before that "Wow, going through the process and being an active participant through the process reaps huge rewards", and again, Richard states that committing to sports, in his opinion, does not hinder your academic performance, it's his own experience that it actually helps, "Because when you have such a tight schedule, you are so much more focused and live so much more prioritized." says Richard, "When you have a lot of time on your hands, procrastination kicks in. But when you have every minute counts and every second counts, you got to go nonstop, and that's when people do better, and that's the real world." Richard tells his staff that he is not their boss, their boss is actually the clock, because their life is based on the clock. Everything is about the clock. That's the reality. So how do you set yourself so that you make it, becomes the question, through these time constraints. Richard hopes these kids learnt these lessons through this process. (He believes that the sooner they realize that, the sooner they can embrace it and handle it, the better off they will be, that the transition would be much smoother that way.)

Q: What do you think you personally got out of coaching these kids / this team?

Richard says by his voice, it's probably easy to tell his satisfaction as a bystander and a surrogate coach and more importantly as a parent, and a former hoopster, to see all that come to fruition, and to witness it from a third-person perspective. He thought that was important, as he has done it through first-person perspective, as a player. But for him, to do that now, to be able to take a step back and looking at it from a ten thousand foot perspective, it's no. 1, more gratifying, no. 2, it's more difficult, to try to inspire from a third-person perspective because you don't have direct influence, you have indirect influence. "As a player, you may feel that you have a more direct influence. But as a parent, as a spectator, your hands are tied, all you can do is scream and wish and hope and that's much tougher," Richard says with a laugh. And now, Richard appreciate what his parents went through when he was playing because it's a different ball game, "It's tough, it's tougher, and there's a lot more stress because you're much more constrained, you're much more helpless to help your child, help your team." That's what he has learnt from this process. Overall, it was a great experience, Richard concluded. ("That one-point between winning and loosing can mean the world and it all ties back to the themes 'why not me' and 'no regrets'" he goes on to express. "It's life. The winners win, and winning is such a different animal than loosing. That's the reality. The kids will go through loosing, you can't win all the time, but how do you rebound from a loss, and how do you come back and get it back harder the next time, that's the key," Richard states. "They will loose, we can't win all the time, but it's how you come back that's the important thing and that goes back to the thing about the process, you got to loose to be a winner. You can't win all the time. You got to experience what loosing is all about. And at the same time, you can't get used to loosing either.")



Q: Any last words for the Dreamers on A Basketball Dream?


"There are many lessons to be learnt from athletics. It's such a great platform for kids, young adults to learn life's lessons in ways that they can really understand it, through athletics. They will be in many team situations, in terms of being in charge of a project in a team, if one guy or one girl doesn't pull his or her weight, that's going to bring the whole team down. Issues about communication, issues about teamwork, leadership, all the clichés, all translate in sports as well as in life, especially if you're doing with your family and everything else, it's all the same." 



I personally wanted to say Thank You to Richard for his help and support since the Dream started, it's his example - his learning of the process of success on the courts, that I wanted to share with you, Dreamers. He is the living proof that if you work hard and learn the lessons on the court well, you can ultimately use all these learnings and achieve your success in life (off the courts). This is one of the many thank yous from A Basketball Girl With A Basketball Dream to Richard.  Thank You, Richard!


And now, the recap of the Taipei American School's PROCESS of Winning. Feel free to comment below on your thoughts of this "Making A Winning Team"






1.18.2015

A New Year. New Era. New Dreams.

Visit www.facebook.com/A.Basketball.Dream for more! 

Thank You for the inspiration since 2010!

8.11.2013

One-on-one with Taiwan National Basketball Team member: Doug Creighton

Hi Dreamers! I promised you that I won't be gone MIA again for that long and here I am once again, AND have another interview installed for you.

As you might know (hopefully you do know and are following the exciting actions) that the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship is happening right now (in fact, TONIGHT is the Finals and consolation game) in the Philippines, and the TOP 3 teams gets to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup to be held next September in Spain! Local team Philippines (the Smart Gilas) and Iran have already qualified and won their tickets to #Spain2014 and will play it out for the champion of Asia later tonight. However, Taiwan (you might know it as Chinese Taipei), my home team, has yet to make history and beat Korea to get to Spain...that said, I caught up with one of our guys on the team and here's what he has to say...(I did ask for a photo to make it more interesting for you, however, the funny and cartoonish photo Doug sent us of him and Quincy, another member of our National Team was a bit, in my opinion, too revealing for the young Dreamers, thus no photo in this post as of now...but hey, a video might be installed for the next interview, as Doug might have promised) Just want to give Doug a quick shout out to say Thank You (謝謝) for your time and again, know that, WE ARE BEHIND YOU! YOU (WE) GOT THIS! MAKE HISTORY TAIWAN! :)

T/O I: Brief intro of yourself.
(In his own words)

Hello Dreamers, my name is Doug Creighton from the Chinese Taipei national team. I am currently playing professionally in Taiwan and have been for the last six years. I love my job! Nothing better than having your dream job.

T/O II: Talk about the game you just went through (last night against Iran) and the journey to the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

We are currently playing in the FIBA Asian Championships and are having one of the best tournaments in our teams history. We started the tournament with five straight wins(a record for Chinese Taipei). And just a couple days ago we upset China for the first time in 38 years. Arguably the biggest win in our team history. Unfortunately, we lost to a very good Iranian team last night but still have a chance to go to Spain if we can Korea.

T/O III: What is your personal attachment to Taiwan and the Taiwan National Team?

Playing for the Taiwanese national team is a great honor. It is always great to play for something bigger than yourself. It makes you proud to put on the jersey and have a whole country behind you cheering you on. It makes me proud to call myself a member of the Chinese Taipei National Team.


T/O IV: How bad do you and the guys want to go to Spain? (As a team and for you personally)

It would be unbelievable if we could go to Spain. We really do believe this is our year to make it happen and we all have faith. Playing as well as we are and our confidence riding high, don't be surprised when we beat Korea and book our tickets to Spain. I would personally love to go back to Spain. The people and atmosphere in Spain is unbelievable. They are very passionate people and I couldn't imagine playing there.


T/O V: Any last words to A Basketball Dreamers?

I just want to let all you Dreamers out there to be on the lookout for Chinese Taipei. We're ready for change and it's gonna start tonight by beating Korea. We'll see all you Dreamers in Spain. Adios!!!

From A (Taiwanese) Basketball Girl With A Basketball Dream - Here's to CHANGE! And I will see YOU ALL in Spain! 
Are you with us, Dreamers? :) 

7.25.2013

One-on-One with 2012 London Olympic beach volleball bronze medalist Mārtiņš Pļaviņš (Latvia)

Hi Dreamers, I know it's been a WHILE since I posted last, sorry I have been MIA on blogging (if you have been following on "A Basketball Dream - It's More Than A Game" facebook page, then you would be updated)

To kick up a series of posts (I promise I won't disappear for so long again from now on), I caught up with the bronze medalist, Mārtiņš Pļaviņš of the beach volleyball discipline at the 2012 London Olympics (yes, I love this game too! Beach, sun, sports, my question to all is: How could you NOT love it?) and threw him a few questions and below is what he came back with. A HUGE shout out to Mārtiņš for his time and inspiration! (And wish you a speedy recovery!!)

// To start you off, here are the questions that were being asked to Mārtiņš:
1. Introduction of yourself
2. How did you get into this game?
3. How long have you been playing this game and what was your toughest challenge you had during your career?
4. Speaking about discipline, do you think your sport take a lot of discipline to be the best in the world at? (Can you give a concrete example to show how much discipline it takes, your personal example)
5. What do you plan to do after you finish playing this game professionally? And what do you think would be the best lesson (takeaway) from this game that would help you in the future? (After-sport life)//

And here's what he said,...(in his own words, SPECIALLY for the Dreamers on A Basketball Dream)



"Hi!

I'm Martins Plavins - Olympic bronze medalist in beach volleyball in 2012.
I spent a lot of time with my friends and one day volleyball coach came to our school and invited for practice in volleyball. And we all did! And then I liked this sport a lot...
I have been playing volleyball for 16 years. At the beginning I did it only for fun and because I liked it a lot but after I won U-20 European championship in beach volleyball I understood that I can achieve more. And after every year I have some challenges to beat. But toughest was to get an Olympic medal.
Discipline? I don't have such one...It is my decision to have a healthy life (without smoking and drinking etc). The most important is to realize why do you do that and when you will understand that healthy life helps you to reach your goals you will be a winner not only in sport but also in life all.
I don't want to think right now what will I do after my career because I can play (and I want) 10 more years  but the best lesson would be - it does't matter what you do, just do what you like and do it for 100%..." 

On behalf of all the Dreamers reading this post, I wanna say, THANK YOU, once again Martins. :)

11.19.2011

"Whoever wants it more, GETS IT." - How bad do you want success? (Recommended by Coach David Blatt)

Hi Dreamers! It's been a while.

Before we share with you Coach David Blatt's talk on "A Basketball Dream - Make It Real" A BBALL Talk., just want to share with you some inspiration that he passed on.

Hope you feel inspired. Wish you success - in your own definition :)



11.05.2011

"A Basketball Dream - Make It Real" A BBALL Talk. - David Rivers

10.30.2011

"A Basketball Dream - Make It Real" A BBALL Talk. - Jasonn Hannibal

From our friend, Jasonn Hannibal, a Pro Basketball player in Polzela, Slovenia, originally from across the Atlantic - Toronto, Canada. A player with a Great HEART! Hear his story of how he Made Real his Basketball Dream by himself below! If you have any questions to ask Jasonn, feel free to leave a comment below, he'd be delighted to answer them for you!

10.22.2011

"A Basketball Dream - Make It Real" A BBALL Talk. Promo Video

Just like TED Talks, A BBALL Talk. is about ideas worth sharing, and our idea is "the inspiration through Sports" and we aim at sharing that with YOU, and the rest of the World. Hope you like it! STAY TUNED for the separate talks.

9.25.2011

Coach K Duke HOF Speech

Coach K talking about Heart. Congrats Coach! For making it into the DUKE Hall of Fame. We love YOU!

9.24.2011

Our first LITHUANIAN post from "A Basketball Dream - Make It Real" A BBALL Talk interpreter (AWESOME one, too!) Henrikas Urbonas (Lietuvos/English)

[English]

A Basketball Dream, Make It Real, A Basketball Talk was something really new and at the same time known for such a long time. What do I mean by that? I am true Lithuanian, so I love basketball and I had basketball dream, however sometimes injuries change your plans. As so the dream should change with you and you must be prepared for it. That was emphasized by all the speakers, especially by Coach David Blatt. I will try to tell what I heard in that evening.
We have bunch of teachers in our childhood when we dream the most but because we are such dreamers at that time dream overcome the advices that come from the side, we think that we can do everything just by ourselves. To convince children to listen is a hard process but when you see your idol speaking with you on tv screen it is always easier. That is why I am so thankful for all those people who spoke that evening. It is really important to have right people around you to help to build a bridge to the dream. That was what A Basketball Talk in Klaipeda was all about. Kids had a chance to listen how to succeed from the best. Their eyes were burning but they tried to stay calm, they are basketball players and they know that they need to be a man because the man respects another man. You cannot stop working on your dream if you want to be the best. You need to fight for your dream.
After the talk kids had to go home and then we saw how excited they were. Nobody could hide their emotions any more: "You saw him? You heard what he said? He is amazing etc." Thank you so much for all of you!



[Lietuvos]
Pokalbis apie krepšinio svajonę ir kaip jos pasiekti, man buvo kažkas naujo ir tuo pačiu metu labai pažystama. Esu Lietuvis, todėl myliu krepšinį ir tikrai turėjau krepšinio svajonę, bet gyvenimas yra nenuspėjamas, todėl kartai dėl tokių įvykių kaip traumos svajonė turi šiek tiek pasikeisti. Todėl visada turi būti pasiruošęs tokiems pasikeitimams ir turėti planą B. Visą tai buvo galima išgirsti iš visų tą vakarą šnėkėjusių krepšininkų ir trenerių. Pabandysiu viską trumpai apibendrinti ką tą vakarą visi išgirdome.
Mes turime tiek daug gerų žmonių, tokių kaip tėvai, mokytojai, treneriai kurie mus gali išmokyti tiek daug dalykų, bet kadangi mes esame tokie svajotojai dažniausiai tuos žmonės ignoruojame ir galvojame, kad viską galime pasiekti patys. Pasiekti, kad januolis išgirstų tavo patarimą yra labai sunku, bet kai su jaunuoliu šneką jo idealas arba žmogus kuris yra gerai žinomas visuomenėje, būna daug lengviau. Todėl aš esu labai dėkingas tiems žmonėms kurie sutiko papasakoti jaunuoliams kaip jie pasiekė savo svajonės. Aš net neabejoju, kad tai padės jiems siekti savo krepšinio svajonės. Manau, kiekvienas jų suprato, kad reikia labai sunkiai ir daug dirbti, kad būtum geriausias. Niekada negali sustoti kovoti dėl savo svajonės, nes niekada nebus lengva.
Net jei ir visi pokalbių metu buvo ramus ir susikaupę, bet akyse buvo matyti, kad tai jiems labai svarbu. Po pokalbių jaunieji sportininkai jau nesugėbėjo tvardyti emocijų ir tuoj pat pradėjo analizuoti ką jie tą vakarą išgirdo. Šito vakaro jie tikrai nepamirš kai jie tiesiogiai galėjo pasišnėkėti ar tiesiog nusifotografuoti su tokiais žmonėmis kaip David Rivers, Jasonn Hannibal, Coach David Blatt, Marko Popovic, Omar Samhan, and last but not least, Josh Childress.

9.23.2011

中國時報運動天地最後一篇(僅在一個籃球夢)UNEDITED


小國馬其頓雖敗尤榮 大國俄羅斯贏得勝利

馬其頓打進歐洲前四強已是一個奇蹟,在這場第三名之爭,馬其頓的實力讓俄羅斯不敢小覷。

其實在座的14,500名球迷(除了那少許的俄羅斯球迷外)大家心底都很想看到小國再度創造奇蹟。只可惜,俄羅斯這場全隊表現太好,打得很堅決,表現出一副我來就是要贏的模樣。

賽後,被俄羅斯總教練David Blatt邀去跟俄羅斯隊共進慶祝勝利的晚餐。
教練偷偷跟我說其實他根本沒想到他們會得到獎牌,我笑笑跟他說我覺得這次俄羅斯隊的表現令我刮目相看(跟去年在土耳其世錦賽比較起來)
在桌子的另一方,球員正在舉杯慶祝。David說:“會一起喝酒的隊友會一起打球(打起球來像一個隊伍而不是一人球隊)

歐洲最強西班牙與法國之三分及防守大戰

可憐的法國,儘管靠Tony Parker得了26分,依然敵不過籃球強國西班牙。MVP Juan Carlos Navarro可能是歐洲當今最強的後衛。UNSTOPPABLE!

其實我覺得這場法國隊絕對可以打得更好,分數可以更接近。但,因為只要在此次歐錦賽前兩名的球隊就能取得前進明年倫敦奧運的門票,導致Tony沒有盡全力去打(但不怪他,畢竟在打完NBA整個賽季還要在夏天馬不停蹄的繼續為自己國家效力打球,這不是一般人能或想要做到的),甚至有幾次運球過半場後丟球(被抄走),連回防都不做。有點可惜。畢竟這是歐錦賽的冠軍賽,心裡對比賽的期待總是會較高。

這趟立陶宛之行,就在這個擁有三百萬人口的籃球國家的籃球首都Kaunas的Zalgris Arena劃上了一個句點。當地的朋友及球隊問我何時還會回來,我笑笑說我不知道。只能說下屆歐錦賽斯洛維尼亞見!See you all at EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia!

9.12.2011

A Day in a Player's life: Konstantinos Kaimakoglou, Greek National Team - On Tournament Ed.

video
Hi Dreamers, this' Konstantinos Kaimakoglou. This is my daily schedule during my stay here (in Lithuania)!! The time that happens each activity depends of the time of the game!!
When i wake up in the morning i go straight to breakfast,when i'm done with this i return to the room and get ready for the morning practice!!
Usually it takes about 45 minutes(because it's the game day)! Most of the practice includes shootings drills-stretching and some plays of the opponent...that we have to know how we will face them!
After that we go back to the hotel,take a shower and we go to have lunch,pre game meal is ordinary....spaghetti with red sauce and grilled chicken!!
Then it's time to talk to my fiance,family,friends and check the news on the internet or watch a movie before i take my favorite nap!
Noon time includes coffee and snack and then meeting with the whole team(players and coaches) to refresh the way we will play!
Departure for the gym!!
GAME TIME!!!
Back to the hotel,again a quick shower and dinner!!
Before i go to sleep it's time to relax and do what i did before my nap!!
That's it. Not that exciting as you thought, right? ;)



From A Basketball Girl With A Basketball Dream to our friend Kostas: First of all, EFHARISTO friend. Welcome on board the Dream. Thank you for sharing your daily life with our Dreamers. We wish you nothing but the best things, for your personal life and for HELLAS. 


To our Dreamers: Like the video? Kostas filmed it himself (with the help of another friend of ours on the team, Vasileios Xanthopoulos. EFHARISTO!)

9.11.2011

Quote of the Day (Coach Igor Kokoskov, Head Coach, Georgia @ EuroBasket 2011, Lithuania)

"If you're not upset after loosing a game, you're in the wrong business."

And we TOTALLY agree! If you don't feel upset after loosing a deal, you're not fit for being a sales; if you dont' feel upset after not being able to achieve the goals you and your boss set, then you're probably in the wrong business. If that's the case every day, or every now and then, THEN SWITCH JOBS! Find something that you'll be upset after loosing it.


9.10.2011

Quote of the Day (Coach Kemzura, Head Coach, Lithuania @ EuroBasket 2011, Lithuania)

In the post-game press conference last night after France defeated home team Lithuania and left the stadium just a little quieter than normal, Coach Kemzura said (after a longer-than-usual pause), after being asked by a journalist "Coach, what do you think about the possibility of having to LEAVE home this Sunday?" (Sunday will be the deciding match against Germany on who advances to the QF to be held in Kaunas)

"We will not leave. We will WIN." 

Dreamers, don't quit just yet. 

"A Basketball Dream - Make It Real" A BBALL Talk PREVIEW - Jasonn Hannibal..

video
Jasonn Hannibal..Pro Ball Player..Travelled the World playing BBALL!

9.09.2011

"A Basketball Dream - Ballin' Lithuania" - An Update

Hi all! Privet from Moscow, Russia. Almost out of battery, waiting for connecting flight to Riga, Latvia. Then will take the bus to Vilnius! FEEL FREE TO LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW telling us who you want us to interview at the EUROBASKET and what you would like to know. Out!


9.03.2011

Coming up: EuroBasket 2011, Lithuania

8.02.2011

DUKE Blue Devils in CHINA - Reason the Dream is here.



Coach K & The Blue Devils will be touring QunShan, Shanghai & Beijing later this month.
  More info coming up....STAY TUNED.

6.02.2011

22nd FIBA Asia Champions Cup - Day 3

[Day 3 recap from our correspondent from Manila, Philippines]

Hi A Basketball Dream-ers, this' Amir. Today is Monday, May 30 - DAY 3 of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Manila.

First game was an Arabic game between Al Itihad from Saudi Arabia and ASU from Jordan and the winner of this game is ASU from Jordan. Mousa Alawadi had game-high 26 points and Sam Daghles had 14 points and 9 assist, a good performance and team Jordan have rest day tomorrow.

Second game was between young and talented players from Malaysia and Duhok from Iraq and one more time the center from KL Dragons from Malaysia had another nice performance with 22 points and 14 rebounds and on the other side Giles from Iraq had 28 points and 15 rebounds, he exploded. What a nice game for him! Even 11 3-pointers didnt help the Dragons win the game but they did well in the 2nd quarter, 25-12 but still lost in the end, what a shame!

In the 3rd game and the game for what could be an early final was between two strong pole of Asia, Mahram from Iran and Al Riyadi from Lebanon.

The game after first quarter finished with 24-12 with Lebanon leading but with the playbooks from Mr. Shahin Tab, head coach of Mahram and nice defensive plays by the Mahram players they won the 2nd quarter 25-13. Third quarter Lebanon won 22-17 and the last quarter was so stressful for both teams and hard to breathe for all the fans in the arena..

With the 3-pointer from Aren Davoodi from Mahram, he put the Iranian team ahead, 74-73 and 50 seconds remaining, a foul from Sam Cheikh gave Lebanon the chance to be in the lead with 2 FTs. Fadi El Khatib who got 25 points missed the first free throw, and gave hope to Mahram. But when he missed the last free throw, Aren from Mahram tried to grab the rebound but the ball touched his hand and went out of bounds. At that moment, all the Mahram fans got nervous and were heart-broken. After the ball was inbounded, Fadi El Khatib again drew another foul and this time he made both free throws and the score was 76-73. Team Mahram later tried to tie the match by shooting a 3 but strong full court pressure by Lebanon didn't allow them to succeed and Mahram lost the game in the end. It was such a close match!

Chris Williams had 32 points with 6 rebounds, while Samad Nikkhahd Bahrami from Mahram had 18 points.
On Lebanon side, the scoring machine Fadi Al Khatib had 25 points and 2 steals, successfully lead his team to the win over Iran.

Fourth and last game was a very quiet game between UAE and Qatar and the arena was almost empty..

Qatar won 78-60. Ngombo from Qatar had 21 points and Courtney from UAE 19 points, were the high scorers of the game.

Tomorrow Day 4 will be rest day for team Mahram and team Jordan but home team Smart Gilas will play  Iraq and we expect the arean to be full of Basketball fans.

Thanks for reading!

6.01.2011

22nd FIBA Asia Champions Cup, Manila, Philippines - DAY 2

[From our correspondent in Manila, Philippines]


Hi A Basketball Dream-ers! This is Amir from Manila and today is Sunday May 29. Just got to the Philsport Complex at Pasig where the FIBA games are.


I missed the first and second game but the first game was between Al Itihad from Saudi Arabia and Duhok from Iraq and Al Itihad won the game 83-75 and in the second game another Arabic match between Al Rayyan from Qatar and Al Jalaa Syria. Chauncey Leslie had 30 points and Ngombo with 17 rebounds, both helped their team in their victory.

NOW the third game im excited to explain about this game before the game started the KL Dragons from Malaysia came in the court and the arena was almost full of Filipino fans and guess what?

#9 from Dragons with his hiphop moves and headphone came in and all the people were looking at him and he started to shoot and warm up and I saw the people were laughing at him and after few minutes Smart Gilas from the Philippines came in and the crowd made some noise and I was waiting to see #9 AGUILAR again, who have at least 2 alley-oops each game, he is such a talent. Ok moving along. Lets talk about the game.

Team Malaysia did a great job. A regular team with young players and not so much height but they did something that shocked everybody because they won the first half 40-39. #15 from Malaysia was a great center and with basic moves and simple jump shots he got double double with 31 points and 13 rebounds. However, in the 3rd and fourth quarters Smart Gilas with their strong defensive plays and nice shooting from outside gain the lead to 36 points! 5 players from Smart Gilas had 10 points each with 11 points from Chris Tiu and dominant rebounds from Marcus Douthit and Pauliasi Taulava with 26 rebounds, together they dominated inside the paint.

Smart Gilas beat the Dragons in the end. What I want to share with those of you who weren't there is that # 9 Marcus from Malaysia had 1 technical foul because of what he did and what he showed the crowd to make them be quiet after the Filipino fans made noise against him and booed him. It was a good job by the referee to notice that.

The 4th and final game was between Mahram from Iran and Al Shabab from UAE.

Imagine the Iranian fans there were only around 15 people but what they did to cheer their home team Mahram was more than what all the Filipino fans did together. Even the local fans were all taking picture of the Iranian fans, and also the TV zoomed on them. It was great! The players from Mahram came in and smiled at their fans and Al Shabab also came in the court after the warm up and so begane the game.

First quarter UAE won 24-23 but Mahram overcame in the 2nd quarter and lead by 4 by halftime, 45-41.

In the 3rd quarter UAE came back strong with many 3 pointers, however wasnt enough to overcome the Mahram because of the outstanding performance from Chris Williams, Samb Cheikh, and Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, with 31, 24, 16 points each. Team Iran in the 4th quarter won 26-11 and the final score was 90-73.

After the game, as usual, the Mahram players thanked the fans for what they did and their continuous support.

DAY 2 was even better than DAY 1 in my opinion and I believe DAY 3 will be the best..we'll see! I'm so excited!
Amir H. Gharibi
Manila, Philippines