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.