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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? :) 


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)


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. :)


"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 :)


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


"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!


"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.


Coach K Duke HOF Speech

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


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

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.



小國馬其頓雖敗尤榮 大國俄羅斯贏得勝利



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。


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!


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!


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

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!!
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!)


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.


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..

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


"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!


Coming up: EuroBasket 2011, Lithuania


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.


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!


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


22nd FIBA Asia Champions Cup, Manila, Philippines - DAY 1

[Heavy rain and thunder didn't have anything on our correspondent Amir who resides in Manila, Philippines on making it out to the openning day of the 22nd FIBA Asia Champions Cup and here's his LIVE report from the first day..]

Even the heavy rain with thunders didn't stop me from going to watch the 22nd Fiba Asia Champions Cup. When I got there the arena was almost empty except the Iranian fans at the ringside of the court. I wasn't able to watch the first game but the score was 74-66 for Jordan over the Duhok from Iraq but when the Mahram players came in the court suddenly the arena was like 10,000 people shouting IRAN IRAN, even me. I saw some Filipino fans out there, maybe because they wanna see the former NBA player Samaki Walker, player of Aljalaa Syria. It was like a dream! Anyway game started and Iran won the jump ball and Samad got the first 2 points. Iran was leading 11-4 until 6 min of first quarter and after some turnovers from both teams score got close, to 21-17 at first period in 2nd quarter. With dominant plays from team Mahram and the scary block shots from Samb Tidan who got 6 blocks, 12 points, Iran led by 18 points. Also Chris Williams was awesome, he got fouled on his 2 point shot, And-1. He was great, so fast and strong and with this way of playing, the Syria coach (of the opponent team) got mad and shouted HOW MANY TIMES??? and the fans shout back SO MANY TIMES, was really funny and the Iranian players were laughing also. Iran won by 27 points and after the game the players thanked the fans. I was so focused I didn't even notice the arena was suddenly so full of people, the Smart Gilas of the Philippines came in and from other side Al Itihad from Saudi Arabia. Philippines high flyer Japeth Aguilar had 2 alley-oops and the crowd wanted to explode, the game was so exciting but #15 from Al Itihad was not liked by the home crowd because whenever he got the ball the crowd booed him and that made him angry and affected his performance, only got 9 points. Marcus Douthit with 18 points and 2 steals from Smart Gilas helped his team to stay in the lead. This Smart Gilas was a shooting team, so dangerous and their game inside outside with their 1-2 punch Aguilar and Lassiter they did big thing and in the end won 101-69 over Al Itihad. Maybe this time Philippines will go to the finals. The 4th game was an Arabic game between Al Shabab UAE and Al Riyadi Lebanon, the game was so quiet apart from the shouting of coaches and players. Fadi Al Khatib from Lebanon had 29 points and Courtney from Al Shabab 39, the top scorer of each team and #7 Ismail from Lebanon with 17 points and 9 assists also contributed his part. Finally Lebanon got their 1st victory, 109-90 and that's my first day recap of the 22nd FIBA Asia Champions Cup here in Manila, Philippines. The fans and I are looking forward to the 2nd day, lets see wat will happen?!!

Amir h. Gharibi from Manila, Philippines