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.