Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Happy Hoildays everyone!

I come to you today with great excitement. Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Our Lady Of The Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to spend some time with the children, spreading a little H.O.P.E. The people at the hospital were such a great help in assisting me as we put the event together, and they were also open arms in welcoming me.

I love the fact that I was able to spread a little cheer this holiday season. The families that were there were so happy and also thankful for me coming through. It was awesome.

I talked a little bit about my "Meek Moments" book as well as told them a little about myself. It was such a pleasure to not only share my story but to also learn about some of their stories.

I signed and donated some of the books, prayed with one of the families, and laughed, as I mentioned before with all of them -- and smiled from my heart thinking to myself when can I do this again.

Sometime I don't think that people fully understand the great feeling that I get when putting a smile on others faces. Bringing hope is not just for the holiday season for me, it is some that I take full pride and enjoyment in doing all year round.

I have said this many times before, HOPE comes in all different shapes, sizes, and forms. It doesn't take a lot to give it either. It can be with just a few words, just a hug, just a little smile, an encouraging look, etc. I am so happy that it is in me to want to do it, but mostly that I am actually trying to do it.

I want to say Merry Christmas everyone and definitely enjoy your holidays. Take this moment to take a deep breathe and enjoy all of your loved ones. I know that I intend to do the same.

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 18, 2011


Hello Everyone!
I am coming to you with a Great Big Smile on my face. We have finished the first part of the first half of the season and I must say that we are pleased with the results. After all the games that we have played both Russian and Euro Cup games we have only lost 2 games. I think we all can live with that.

Now that we have come to this point, it now time for me to head back to the states. I am so excited to be able to see my family and friends, as well enjoy my holiday times. I hope that all of you have a very safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Don't worry I will stay in touch with you all during this time!


Sunday, December 11, 2011


I come to you today to inform you about our game against Spartak. Although we came up a few points short, our team really played well. I had a pretty good game, but that doesn't matter if our team didn't come away with the victory. Seimone Augustus, as you all know, put on a good show. Mone played very well, and with the help of her teammates, Becky Hammond, Candice Dupree, and some really good Russian players they came away with the victory.

Our coach has giving us a few days off to recooperate from that strenuous road trip -- plus this last game. I will take this time to not only rest, but also get some things together as I will be having my Christmas break soon. We have another game coming up in the Russian league, then I will get to see my family. This is something that I am looking forward to.

OK! Back to basketball -- I am so proud of our team and how well we are gelling and growing with one another. We are a good team and I am happy to be a part of them. This break that is coming up will be good for us, and once we get back it is time to go back to work.

I will be in touch with you all soon,

Thursday, December 8, 2011


After the long trip that we have endure these past 10 days, I must say that we have been successful. We have won all three of our games, and we are continuing to gel together as one. We just competed against Kayseri, a very talented Turkish team. Not only do they have some pretty good American players on their team, they also have my homie and former LSU Lady Tiger teammate Doneeks Hodges-Lewis on there team. 

Don played really well tonight and also showed great leadership for her team. She is now playing the one position and I am so proud of how well she is doing and how much she has grown into being a point guard.

After the game we went to go and get something to eat and catch up a little bit. Like always, it was a great time. Its always like we never really miss a beat.

We head back to Russia soon and have a game against Spartak where I will see another Lady tiger in Seimone Augustus. She is another Lady Tiger that I am super proud of and I am looking forward to seeing.

OK, I am off to go and do some other work, I will be back in touch really soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Hey everyone! I am here to tell you that we did win our Russian Cup game the other day, and from there we traveled back to Moscow. I will say that our coach did a great job with the game as well as gave some of my other teammates an opportunity to get some good quality minutes in. Myself? I only played the first quarter so I did get some run in, and my counterpart Michelle Snow got to rest the entire game, but it is something that she needed. After that we hopped on a plane and headed back to Moscow.

Once we got here is was definitely time to go to sleep. Well thats what I thought at least. After a nice a hot shower, I was pretty much awake, so I caught up on a new series that I am watching called Revenge. It is really interesting and truly had my attention.

After a few hours of sleep I got up and a few of my teammates and out went out to explore Moscow a little. We went to some shops, visited the Red Square, and we caught a movie. It was really a fun day and I enjoyed my teammates and am glad we had some down time.

We have another day of rest tomorrow and I'm sure that we will find something else to do to get out of the hotel.  I will keep you posted on that.

Talk to you again soon

Friday, December 2, 2011


Hey there everyone!

I just want to stop in during this long road trip to let you all know that after our loss to UMMC, we redeemed ourselves in Euro Cup against Macabbi Ashdod, in Israel.  It was such a nice trip -- the weather was nice, the food was good, and we came away with the win.
The part that sticks out to me the most is after our game the entire team wanted to go to Jerusalem to the visit the Praying Wall. Now this was not in the plans at all, but this is something that we all wanted to do, and we made it happen. I thought it was really great for us as well as showed a lot about each and everyone of us. We were only there long enough to really play the game and see a few things in the city that we were staying in. But we made the time to get there and visit as well as send up some prayers. AMAZING to me. We were determined to get there, we took the bus and went there after our game and team dinner so it was around 11 pm and we got back to our hotel about a quarter to 2 am. It was well worth the trip though.

The next morning we had to get up and head out. Not only did we get to the Airport 4 hours before check-in time because of customs, but we had a 4 hour flight ahead of us also.

Now, I sit in the Moscow airport updating you all, (get this -- a five hour layover) before I get on a 2 am flight to another city in Russia, that will take us yet another four hours to get there for our game that we have on the 4th. I am trying to use this time wisely before I go crazy.

This is by far one of the toughest trips that I have taken but I've got to do what I have to do right?
It is almost close to the time where we start winding down to come back to the states for Christmas so I'm not going to complain too much.

 Ok, I am off to go and find my gate Talk to you all soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Well, well, well -- I must pass on some bad news. Ye,s we got out first lost tonight against UMMC. They are one of the top ranked teams here in Russia, but we did give them a good run. You have to give them credit for pulling away with the win, they executed their game plan pretty well. Candace Parker, Cappi Pondexter, Sandrine Gruda, Jekabson, Abrisamova, Stepanova, just to name a few, played very well for their club.

I am a little disappointed in the way that I lead my teammates today, and I do take this lost to heart and will regroup and refocus as well as get back to the drawing board; for what it is that I need to do to get better. Our coaches did a great job on our game plan, I am sorry that we didn't execute it the way that we should have.

I am headed to Moscow to see my friend off to the states -- really enjoyed the company and sad to see them go. But I will be home soon for the Christmas break so that keeps me smiling, as well as makes it easy. I am so excited for Christmas and can't wait to see my family.

There is still more work to be done here -- we have to go to Israel, then back to Russia for a game then we head back out to Turkey. That will be in the first part of December and before you know it, it will be that time to almost come back for a little while.

Until next time to you again soon!


Monday, November 21, 2011


Hello everyone!
I come to you today with pure joy and happiness. Our team is still undefeated, I was able to catch the circus before we left town, and my friend made it safely. I think that is a pretty good list to be excited about. Don't you?

We recently took a trip to Novosibirsk and it was a four hour flight. On the way there I slept the entire way. We did have an eight hour train before that, so I don't think I need to express to you all how tired I was. I did feel bad for my friend though, because once she got to Kursk she dropped her bags and was back on the train the next day with us. That was kind of brutal but she was a soldier.

We did get to see the circus and it was fun. Our entire team went before we got on the train and we all had fun. I enjoyed the entire act but to my Tiger fans -- come on now--  you know that the best part for me were the tigers. I made sure everyone there knew that I was a Tiger too.  I said "you see the strength, power and discipline of those Tigers --- that's how we are -- and yes we are everywhere!" Everyone just smiled. Of course my Lady Vol didn't want to find it funny but she eventually just laughed.

Those tigers were great and there was so many of them I was kind of nervous when the man was in there because he would just turn his back on some of them, and then I thought to myself, hey we don't bother people unless they bother us. LOL -- so he will be just fine. No, no, no --  he did do a really good job with them.

I am not currently in Lithuania and will be back in Moscow tomorrow. I know it seems that the travel never really stops but it does for some days and then we are back at it again. Our next game is against UMMC it will be a very interesting as they are one the are the top team here. I am looking forward to it and yes, I will be back to let you all know how it turns out.

Ok, that's it for now talk to you all soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Hello everyone!

I come to you today sharing with you what my teammate Michelle calls an "Early Thanksgiving Dinner."  And I couldn't agree with her more. Our assistant coach Victoria put together a great feast for us and I can barely sit up straight I am so full. This was such a great time for us as a team.

We were coming off a great win against the Turkish team in the Euro-cup and we are still undefeated and we are doing things well. I did get hit in the face during the game and  I am a little soar today but overall it is well.  Our team played very well together and it was so pretty too see how things were going with us. The ball was moving around, the pace was very good, the fast break was going also. I am very proud of how it turned out.

There is a circus that will be in town this week, and I as well as my teammates are planning to attend. I know this will be fun event with each other, and I know it will be great. I am also having some American company this week. One of my best friends will accompany me in Russia for awhile. I am so thankful to be able to have someone that can take some time to come over, to not only share the experience but to help with missing our loved ones. This is going to be a great week.

We also have a game coming up on the road and then to Lithuania I go. We are going to take care of some business and also enjoy Lithuania. From there we will be back in Kursk and preparing for more games. I will keep you all posted and I hope you are enjoying this as much as  I am sharing it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Hello all!

I am back to give you an update as well as ask for a few prayers for our organization.
As of right now we are still undefeated. I am loving this! There is a long way for us to go though, and we are still gelling.

But before I get into the basketball part of it. I want to share with you all what took place this week. On Sunday there was a bad car wreck and one of the Governors died. There were also three other people involved. Two are hospitalized right now and the other I am not sure what has happened to them. On Tuesday of this week we, our team went to a Church to send up some prayers for all the people involved as well as their family and loved ones. It was a sad occasion but it was also a great experience for me. I love the fact that I get to experience how other cultures do things. We all know that we all may have different values, views, etc but on this day we are all on one accord and together we sent up prayers to the people that were in need.

I did get to learn about some of my teammates and I loved it. It allowed me to see them outside of the basketball court and I am appreciative of that. After our prayerfull gathering, most of the team went down to the river which I believe is called the Beautiful River to fill it up with water which is the Holy Water and they took it back with them for their houses. Overall it was a pretty good day and I loved it. Being on one accord is such a great thing especially when it involves a group.

Now back to the basketball, We played really well against St. Petersburg and came away with that win. Now we face off with the Turkish team and I get to see my Former Teammate and Lady Tiger Doneeka Hodges-Lewis, as well as my current teammate Nakia Sanford. We will be playing them for the Euro-Cup game and it should be very fun and exciting basketball. Fast pace and uptempo. Our preparation has been very good this week and I know that we are ready for this one.
Ok, I am off to watch film -- I will be back in touch very soon.



Hello everyone!

I have to tell you that yesterday's game was a pretty close one. We went into over time against Maccabi Ashdod of Israel. Plenette Pierson and Ashley Shields played really well for their team. I am also here to tell you that it was not one of my better games, but our team pulled it through and we got the victory together. This was a Euro-Cup game so it was very important for us to come away with that victory. I also had the opportunity to meet the Governor, who graced us with his presence at our game. It was truly an honor.

Today was an off day for us, so we took it upon ourselves to get out a little bit. We took in so pool and a little bit of bowling. It was truly a fun time. Michelle and I met up with some of the people that work in the office and practically spent the entire day with them. Now I have to share with you all that I did come away with the victory in pool against Michelle (she hit the 8 ball in the wrong pocket -- lol) otherwise she might have beaten me. But Ill take the victory anyway i can. I never said I was any good at pool. Would love to learn more though, any teachers? After that we head to the bowling alley, where I did come away with a few victories and so did some of the others, I wont take all the credit for winning. From there we went to go and grab a bite to eat and had a great time with nothing but fun and laughter. I will say that today overall was a pretty good day. 

We are back at in the morning with weights and shooting in the morning, and then an evening practice to get ready for out game on the 13th against St. Petersburg. I know that we will take this time to get better and work on the things that we need to work on. Until next time everyone, I will do my best to stay warm and I hope that you all will do the same.

If your not in and area that is pretty chilled right now, I just want you to know that I am jealous.


Have a great week!


Monday, November 7, 2011


I am back and still smiling!

Yesterday we took another step towards our goal. We racked up another win in the Russian league. I have to let you all know how proud I am of our coach -- he is doing such a good job with all of us. I am speaking in terms of managing our minutes, playing everyone and getting the best out of them, as well as resting us as much as he possibly can. Yesterday we all played a good amount of minutes but he also found some quality time to rest us and play the rest of the team that was in need of some work. I think this gives all of us confidence and helps us to continue to grow together.

After that we went by one of our teammates house and she made us a great meal. We had Borsh, a great Russian soup dish, some stuffed mushrooms, baked chicken, caviar (which is a little too fishy for me), and some great desserts. We shared some great stories with one another about school, and when we were growing up as children; it was all so much fun and we believe it or not we were all doing some of the same things as children LOL. The different Nationalities didn't make a difference at all.

Today we were off, and I am looking forward to all these days with great appreciation. I am well rested, and I did go to weight room with My Russian/ Louisiana counterpart Anna and then back in the house I came. I have ate, ( some Chicken and pasta) showered and now I will watch a movie.

We play again on the 9th against one of the Israeli teams in a Euro-Cup game which will be a big one, and then we play another Russian league game on the 13th. Following that we play in the Euro-cup game against the Turkish team which I believe that my LSU Lady Tiger teammate Doneeka Hodges-Lewis play on. I will keep you all posted on all of this.

Enjoy your week ahead of you and make the most and the best of it!

Friday, November 4, 2011


I had the most amazing time ever. Me and a few of my teammates attended the International Jazz Festival. It was one of the most interesting events that I had been to in a long time. The Main guy was Nick Vintskevich who is a Russian Saxophonist. He was so amazing on that saxophone, and has a new CD that is coming out really soon. Everyone that was there was from a different nationality. Russia, USA, England, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Morocco, Armenia, Brasilia, Estonia and every last song that was played was written by Nick. I had the priviledge of hearing Russian Pianist Leonid Vintskevich who opened with Estonia Saxophonist Lembit Saarsalu and they were both pleasing to the ear. From there Nick came on with Vocalist From United States Mrs. Eve Cornelious who was amazing she was so good and the crowd loved them all.  Mrs. Eve has a website please check her out when you get a chance. Very powerful voice and knows how to entertain the crowd.   Everyone prety much got to do a solo and i was thoroughly amazed by them all.

Take a look at the list and if you get a chance please go and look them up.  Here are some of the people that I had to pleasure of hearing:

Joel Taylor - USA Drums (outstanding)

Kip Reed - USA Bass ( wow)

Rique Pantoja - Brasilia Vocal Grand Piano- So energetic and entertaining fun guy to watch

Ed Jones - England  Saxophone ( wow wow wow) so soothing to the soul he was really good
I had to save the last two for last because they brought the house down.

Jeff Young an American grand piano vocalist that mixed the jazz with the blues, 

David Kalish an American guitar player ( oooooooo weeeeeee these men were bad)

They were so talented and I promise I felt like i was at home listening to some of the best Jazz you hear. Please look them up and let me know what you think.

What I really liked most about the whole thing other than the different nationalities come together; I like the fact that they were doing all this to expand the Jazz music and to let people know how good it sounds. They wanted the Russians to adapt to it more and more and they are on a tour now throughout Russia introducing it to the different cities. I am happy that Kursk was one of those cities they choose. WOW. Mr.Leonid Vintskevich got up and spoke about expanding Jazz and how he was about the soviet time when it was forbidden to even play it, but to see how far it has come has made him proud. It is more popular in the states but they are doing everything that they can to make it popular everywhere.

After what I witness tonight I dont think they should have any problems convincing others to jump on board. This was such a fun night and a time that I will truly remember.

Once again check out these people that I have listed and let me know what you think.



Hey everyone! 
Last night was such a fun night for us. We came away with yet another victory. But what made it even more special was the team effort that was put forth. After playing last night against Belarus for the 1st round of Eurocup our coach rested the starters for game two. Usually you do not play the same team back to back, but Fiba allowed us to play our 1st and 2nd game against Belarus at our place upon their request.  So I wont be visiting Belarus this year.

Anyway the bench put on a great performance and after about three minutes of play from me I enjoyed cheering for the rest of the game. I was so proud of our team. They, not only played hard and well but they had fun in doing so, and that made it so much better. Everyone got to show how hard they have been working and what they were capable of doing -- it was great. We have a lot of game coming up so it was great for us to get some rest. We play again on the 6th, 9th, 13th, and 16th so it was definitely needed.

We had an off day today, so I had some of my teammates over for lunch. We had some sautee' shrimp with vegetables over rice with some corn on the side, and my American counterpart Michelle wanted some fried chicken. I told her that it really didn't go well with the main dish, but she insisted -- LOL. So I had her some chicken on the side.

I am also going to a Jazz concert night so I will have a lot to talk to you all about in the very near future. Ok, you have a a great day, or night and I will be back in touch very soon

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


As you all know, we stand 4-0 in the Russian league, but tomorrow starts the beginning of the Euro-cup for us. We will be opening up with Belarus. We play them here at home tomorrow night. They have also requested that we play against them this Thursday as well. This is unusual, because we usually play a team at home and away but they want to get it over with and I know that they have good reason for it because the Federation to allow this to take place. This will be another test for our team, and we will see if we can bounce back from that last game that we played. After watching the film of our last game, it showed how it was just a lack of effort on our part and we allowed them to do whatever it was that they wanted. So we definitely need to redeem ourselves from that.

We have a teammate that is from Belarus -- her name is Yuliya Rytsikava. I know that she is excited to see some of her friends as well as play against her own country. I think this is great. It is amazing to me how that orange basketball can bring so many things and people together.

As I sit back and think about it, it helps keeps families united, it brings nations, cities, countries,  together. It allows me to travel around the world and see things and different places that most people can only dream of seeing. It brings attitudes, talent, cultures, nationalities together and all for one common goal. Of course to win, but the life lessons that comes along with that is what is sometimes overlooked or not really talked about.

I love this -- as I sit here and write this to you all I reflect on my team alone. We have Russians, 2 coaches from Lithuania as well as a player from there, and two Americans all on the same team to come together for one common goal. But the friendships that are being made is priceless. Learning about others and their cultures, trying to learn their language as they learn ours another priceless moment.

Not being able to speak to one another vocally, but learning and understanding body language and gestures help you understand more and more. As crazy as this sounds, it works for all of us and through this we can also see that we all want the same things by the way that we practice and work hard together with and for one another.

This is some great stuff that I wanted to share with you. I am off to lay down like I mentioned earlier we have two games back to back this week, so I have to get my rest. Talk to you again soon.
Blessed to be where I am


Hello there everyone! As I was reading John C.Maxwell's "Teamwork 101", I came across this section on Leaders; and as a leader myself I found this part to be so fitting.  It is titled Team Leaders Don't Let Personality Overshadow Purpose. I also see how this can be both good or bad, and love how Mr. Maxwell breaks it down.

When someone you don't like or respect suggest something, what is your first reaction? I bet it's to dismiss it. You've heard the phrase " Consider the source." That's not a bad thing to do, but if you're not careful, you may very likely throw out the good with the bad.

Don't let the personality of someone you work with cause you to lose sight of the greater purpose, which is to add value to the team and advance the organization. If that means listening to the ideas of people with whom you have no chemistry, or worse, a difficult history, so be it.  Set aside your pride and listen. And in cases where you must reject the ideas of others, make sure you reject only the idea and not the person.

I think this is something that is so easy to apply to every field that requires teamwork and I thought you all would enjoy hearing it. I know that i can apply this to me as well. Even if this doesn't apply to you right now it can be a constant reminder for the future if was to ever come up.


Monday, October 31, 2011


Hey there everyone! I apologize for this late blog but I have been out of town and the internet was not my friend while I was gone.  But I am back now and here to tell you all that we are still undefeated. We played on Saturday and I will say that it was a much closer game than it was suppose to be but we did come away with the win. We did not play as well as we would have liked, but we will keep the 4-0 start right now.

After the win a few my teammates and myself went out to see some of Moscow and I will tell you we had a blast. We entertained each other as well as watched so that others entertained us. We are bonding really well with one another and it is just getting better and better as the days go by.
Well, thats all I have for now. This up coming week we have 3 games and then 2 the following week so I will be back in touch with you all very soon.

Thanks for checking in with me. Stay Tuned for more!


Monday, October 24, 2011


"Wow" is a great way to start this blog off. I am so proud of our team and the way that we played against Hope Orenburg the other night. It was a total team effort against one of the top 3 teams in Russia. This is also the team that we played against last year that beat us in 5 games for 3rd place. It was a hard fought battle then and it was not an easy one this time either. I will say that I think that we as well as other may have underestimated how talented we really are. We jumped out on Orenburg 16-0 and didnt look back after that either. We had great contributions from everyone on the team and everyone was excited about how well things are coming together for us, and there is still more growing to take place.

I really like this team and I am happy that I made the decision to come back. The team is better, the people are more helpful and funnier, and we have had a lot of fun already. Anna Petrakova  and Ekaterina Lisina have been really taking both Michelle and I to different places as well as helping us with the food menu's (LOL) so we have surpassed just eating Chicken and rice all day. Natalia Vodopyanova has been extremely helpful as well. That is just to name few, but all of my teammates are helpful and working hard with and against one another. And that showed against a complete and put together team in Orenburg. Because of our victory we were awarded two days of rest. I am jumping for joy for this and I will utilize it very much. Of course rest is on the menu, but I will also get some work done. Have a lot of things that I am working on and I am taking the time to do so.

In the mean time I am wishing you all the best and thanking you very much for the support that you show me.


Thursday, October 20, 2011


You all know that I have been posting blog from John C. Maxwell book "Teamwork 101," but today I want to talk about teamwork in another form; In the form of life.
As I sit back and I listen to so many people with so much that they have going on, have been through, and have experienced in the past I start to reflect on my life as well as myself. I know that these are some tough times and some trying times, but I am here to ask you all to hold on to your Faith and to keep H.O.P.E. alive.
I know you all are probably saying "how does she expect us to do that?" Or "it's easy for her to say it because of who she is or where she is!" But I am here to tell you that I have not always been here and it has been a tough struggle trying to stay where I am -- but I am Thankful.
It took a lot of people praying for me, as well as me surrounding myself with the right Team of people.  Team here doesn't mean teammates or anything pertaining to sports. This is a team that has everyone on it from all walks of life. I will start with My Grandmother (God rest her soul), my mom, my aunt, some great coaches that taught me life skills --  not just basketball skills, teachers, some strangers that you had never met before but saw you and gave you some words of encouragements; Some friends that are there for you no matter what, through the bad and the good. They don't kick you when you down, but do all that they can to help you up. People that do things for you out of love and not talking about you or looking for anything in return. My Pastor, some Mentors, my Father -- just to name a few.
Now all of this was not always there, but I stayed strong and continued to fight and get through it. Adversity comes and goes and its on us to either to surrender to it and let it win or keeping fighting against it to overcome it.
One thing that I will share is that with all that could be going on in your life, don't let pride stop you from moving forward, or accepting a helping hand; don't let past mistakes interrupt your future; and most of all don't let the spirit of FEAR stop you from taking that next step.
I hope this helps anyone that may read this. I just wanted to share with you all that you are not alone and that the road does get easier.
STAY H.O.P.E.ful

I am in the book of Proverbs right now and this book is to give a course of instruction in wisdom, preparation for life, and the ways of life in God's world.
I will tell you that it has enlightened me on a lot of things as well as helping me grow more and more.
If you so happen to go into that book and want to share anything please feel free to do so.  

Monday, October 17, 2011


Well, well, well! I come to you excited about our 2-0 start. On yesterday we came away with a victory again Vologda. This was also the team that we beat last year to advance to the Final Four. I don' think I have to tell you how intense this match-up was between the two rivals. We did come away with a 10 point victory, but again it was a grind. I am right now very pleased with our team as well as our attitudes. Now we know that there were a lot of things that we could learn from last night's game and we are not over looking that. We know that we need to continue to work on our chemistry with one another as well as grow and learn each other even more. But we are staying on the positive side and on the same page with everything is moving in the right direction. 

After the win yesterday we had another celebration -- it was Ekaterina Lisina birthday so we all went out to grab a bite to eat and sing karaoke. Now, now, now -- you all know that I didn't get up there and do anything -- LOL. But a few of my teammates did and had a ball -- and I had a ball laughing. (Unlike some of them, I know that singing was not a gift that I was blessed with - LOL). Over all we had a great night and plenty of fun moments.

Today is a resting day -- one that we have to take to try and let our bodies recuperate, and I am trying my best to take full advantage. I am also working on some things to help move the H.O.P.E. Foundation in a better direction and I am getting all the pieces together. I want you all to know that it is coming and when it does it will be a beautiful piece.

Thanks everyone please enjoy your week.


Friday, October 14, 2011


I am so getting into John Maxwell's "Team 101" -- here is yet another passage that has moved me:

Chris Hodges, a good leader who is a native of Baton Rouge, is well-known for telling Boudreaux jokes, a type of human popular in Louisiana. Recently on a trip for EQUIP, he told me this one (I'll try to capture the accent in writing as best I can-just think Justin Wilson): 

A group of Cajuns was sitting around bragging about how successful they were. Thibideaux says, " I just bought me another shrimp boat, yeah, and I got me a crew of ten people workin' for me". "Dat aint nottin'," says Landry. " I been promoted at the refinery, and now I got fifty men workin' for me."
Boudreaux hears this, and he doesnt want to look bad in front of his friends, so he says "oh yea, well I got three hundred people underme." "Dat's true," says Boudreaux, " but now i'm cuttin' da grass at the cemetery, and I got three hundred people under me."
There's nothing wrong with competition. The problem for many leaders is that they end up competing against their peers in their own organization in a way that hurts the team and them. It all depends on how you handle competition and how you channel it. In healthy working environments there is both competition and teamwork. The issue is to know when each is appropriate. When it comes to your teammates you want to compete in such a way that instead of competing with them, you are completing them. Those are two totally different mind-sets.                                             

Winning at all costs will cost you when it come to your peers. If your goal is to beat your peers, then you will never be able to influence them.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Hey Everyone!
As promised, I told you all that I will keep the blogs coming. I want to let you know that I have been adjusting very well over here, and that things are much better. Our club has made some great changes and are trying very hard to move things in the right direction. Practices have been going well and I am still learning each and everyone of my teammates. I love how the coach is challenging me to lead -- it is allowing me to grow as well as do what is natural and normal. We have a team full of passionate and eager players so that makes it all worth it.

I want to share something with you all that I read in John Maxwell's "Team Work 101:"
Each Team Member Plays A Special Role
As the team fit becomes stronger and each person is willing to put the team first, people begin to recognize their different roles on the team. They can do this because they know what must be accomplished to win, and they know their teammates' capabilities. With that knowledge and some encouragement from the team leader, people will gladly assume appropriate roles. Phillip Van Auken, in  The Well-Managed Ministry, recognizes this as the Niche Principle. He say " People who occupy a special place on the team feel special and perform in a special way. Team niches humanize teamwork."

In an ideal situation each person's role is built on his or her greatest strengths. That way each person's talent can be maximized. But it doesn't always work exactly that way. Because the teams success is what is most important, sometimes the team members must be flexible. For example anyone who follows professional basketball has heard of Magic Johnson. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1980's, when they were one of the best teams. His greatest talent was his ability to make plays happen, especially assists using incredible look-away passes. But Johnson was a player who was always willing to fill whatever role the team needed. Over several seasons he started in the NBA Championship games as a guard, forward, and center. He may be the only professional basketball player who has ever done that.

The most important thing is that all the team members take a role that fits the goal and needs of the organization as well as their own personal talents and abilities. When any role is not filled, the whole team suffers.

If you are a team leader, you must recognize what roles need to be filled by your team members for the team to accomplish its goal. And when you see a role not being filled, you must make adjustments to the team to make sure the job gets done.

I hope you all enjoyed what I just shared.  


Monday, October 10, 2011


Hey there everyone!

Well as you can see I have gotten a little settled in Russia. We are on the road for our first game coming on Monday in Moscow. After a long train ride throughout the night I had enough energy to get out of the hotel and go and view some of the things that were around our hotel.

As you can see there were a few good pictures that I was able to take. We are staying at the Radisson and I must admit this is a pretty nice hotel.  A lot different than some of the ones that we have stayed at in the past. 

I am excited about our season here. We have made a few changes to our team so there are a few new faces. We also have a new head coach and assistant as well but so far all the pieces are going together just fine. We have some teammates that have played in the states, so their english is very good. One of them in particular played at UL Lafayette --  her name is Anna Petrakova. Its a small world because she also told me that she tried out for LSU in 2001 but she was only 16 at the time. Now here we are 10 years later sharing stories about Louisiana, the crawfish festivals, and of course Mardi Gras and Bourbon street. LOL

Again I look forward to a lot of fun and some good basketball this Winter season. And I have made a commitment to get out and get you all more pics. I will make the best out of this season even out there in all the snow once it starts to come LOL. I wont let it stop me. Strap up everyone and come along for the ride. I will do my best to make it a good, fun, and enjoyable one.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Good morning everyone! I know that it has been some time since I spoke with you but I really needed to take a little time after our season. I know you all don't like that but trust me when I say I needed it.

Anyway, I am writing to let you all know that I am about to get on a plane and head over to Russia. But before I do that I started my morning off by going to read my book "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions" to a group of kids at Wildwood Elementary. Their teacher, Mrs. Williams, was just as excited as her kids, and it was also Michael Hale's birthday. That is my soon-to-be God Son and he was excited and loved the attention from his classmates. I think he will have a really great 7th birthday. He told me that it was "the best birthday ever" so I am happy with that. I signed the book and left it for the teacher and she jumped and screamed it was really funny. Overall I had a really great time and was happy that the kids had fun.

It was such a great way to start my morning, now my day has shifted to saying good bye and getting last minute things together. Russia here I come.

I want to thank all of you for your understanding and still supporting me throughout everything.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Wow! What an exciting finish!

We are so happy with the outcome of course, but what we are most proud of is the team effort that was showcased. It took all eleven of us to get through a tough Seattle team and that's what we did.  I'm so proud of each and everyone of my teammates for the fight and grit that we displayed.

With that said, we still have more work to do. We will take the little time that we have to get some things correct and then we will look forward to whomever we will have I'm the next round.

Thank you for all of your support it really helps and I truly appreciate it.


Monday, September 19, 2011


Wow! What a total team effort that we had last night. I am so proud of each and everyone of my teammates for their efforts tonight. Like mentioned before it was win or go home and we weren't ready. That definitely showed in our performance. Candace Dupree stepped up big for us and I am so happy that she was able to do so -- I am very proud of her. We all went to war today, and the best part about it is that we went TOGETHER. We know that is not easy and its not going to be easy, but nothing that's worth fighting for never is anyway right?  We are now back in Seattle and have to do it all over again. We have to strap up those laces and play for forty minutes. I believe that we are ready for the task. Thank you all so much for all the love and support. It truly mean a lot.


Saturday, September 17, 2011


Today's game is a win or go home one.  I don't think that we ready to go home just yet so that leaves us no other choice but to win.  We have had enough time to reflect on the things that we didn't do correctly, now we have to put it behind us and are now focusing on what's ahead of us. 

As I was reading John Maxwell's book "Teamwork 101," I came across some things that  I thought were interesting and I added some stuff with is well.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Can my team accomplish the Dream?

There are two questions that I would like to share with you all today.  The first is what is my dream?

It all starts with that question because your answer reveals what could be.  Robert Greenleaf remarked, "Nothing must happens without a dream.  For something really great to happen, it takes a really great dream."

What lies in your heart?  What do you see as a possibility for your life?  What would you like to accomplish during your time on this earth?  Only a dream can properly set you on that path.

As Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes wrote:

Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die
Life is broken -- winged birds that cannot fly;
Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go
Life is a barren field frozen with snow.

If you want to do something great, you must have a dream.  But a dream is not enough.  You can fulfill a dream only if you are a part of a team.

When I read this I couldn't help but to think about where I am now.  I am a part of a great team, a team that works hard and strives to be better everyday.  As a team we will have one common goal and one dream and that is to win the ultimate prize in our game -- which is a championship.  We know that we need everyone to believe in this dream for it to come to pass.  It can't just be one of us believing it has to be all of us.  From top to bottom, head to toe, from the coach to the last person on the bench.  I believe in our team and believe that we accomplish our dreams.

The next question is who is on my team?

This question tells you what is.  It measures your current situation.  Your potential is only as good as your current team.  Thart's why you must examine who is joining you on your journey.  A great dream with a bad team is nothing more than a nightmare.

I think this is absolutely correct.  It is true that one bad apple can spoil the entire bunch.  But I am fortunate to be one a team that has:

Diana Taurasi
Penny TaylorDeWanna Bonner
Candace Dupree
Nakia Snaford
Ketia Swanier
Alexis Grey-Lawson
Sidney Spender
Marie Ferdinand-Harris
Krystal Thomas
And me -- Temeka Johnson

Also there is:
Corey Gaines (head coach)
Julie Hargrove (assistant coach)
Bridget Pettis
Ben Hadley (strength and conditioning)
Tamara Poole (trainer)

This is who is on my team and I am happy that we all want the same thing and have the same goal.


But we know that this is a "take one game at a time" so our eyes will definitely be on our game with Seattle tonight.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I am reading another book and I think this one is real fitting for what it is that I do and  I also think It is fitting to you all that work with others as well. It is called "Teamwork 101" By John C. Maxwell. I can remember getting one of his books when were in school and I absolutely loved it.

The first question is why is Teamwork important? And I would like to start with the part that is Title The Value of Teamwork.

A Chinese proverb states, “Behind an able man there are always other able men.” The truth is that teamwork is at the heart of great achievement. The question isn’t whether teams have value. The question is whether we acknowledge that fact and become better team players. That’s why I assert that one is too small a number to achieve greatness. You cant do anything of real value alone.

I challenge you to think of one act of genuine significance in the history of humankind that was performed by a lone human being. No matter what you name, you will find that a team of people was involved. That is why President Lyndon Johnson said, “ There are no problems that we can not solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.”

C. Gene Wilkes, in his book Jesus on Leadership, observed that the power of teams not only is evident in today’s modern business world, but it also has a deep history that is evident even in biblical times. Wilkes assert

·    Team involve more people, thus affording more resources, ideas, and energy than would an individual.
·    Teams maximize a leader’s potential and minimize her weakness. Strength and weaknesses are more exposed in individuals.
·    Teams provide multiple perspectives on how to meet a need or reach a goal, thus devising several alternatives for each situation. Individual insight is seldom as broad and deep as a group’s when it takes on a Problem
·    Teams share the credit for victories and the blame for losses. This fosters genuine humility and authentic community. Individuals take credit and blame alone. This fosters pride and sometimes a sense of failure
·    Teams Keep leaders accountable for the goal. Individuals connected to no one can change the goal without accountability.
·   Teams can simply do more than an individual.

If you want to reach your potential or strive for the seemingly impossible Рsuch as communicating your message two thousand years after you are gone- you need to become a team player. It may be clich̩, but it is nonetheless true; Individuals play the game but teams win championships.