Monday, January 30, 2012


Hey there everyone!

Just wanted to quickly share with you all what we had to encounter today. Above is a picture of us getting ready to practice. We are not leaving the gym -- we are warming up. It is just that cold here and the heaters..... Well let's just say we didn't feel them at all. On my way to train station to Slovakia -- talk to you all again soon.

Oh yeah, and as you can see I am very cold LOL.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I told you all that I would update you about the party. Well I am back to tell you that we had a blast. Everyone that is a part of our organization was there and our Manager Oleg had a very good birthday. Last night was a prime example of how much he is really liked and loved in this community, as well as in the sports world.

We had a great meal, a lot of toasts to great health etc, and a lot of dancing. They even got me up out of my chair to get up on the dance floor.  It was all fun and laughter and it also a night I will always remember.

The most important thing is that the birthday man who turned 50 had a blast. And I thanked him for allowing me to be a part of his celebration.

As for that picture of the fish, well lets just say it taste a whole lot better than it looks. It took me a while to get use to the head on the fish also and usually I ask for them to cut it off before it is brought out to me,but last night was an exception.

Ok, I will talk to you all again soon.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I have to tell you all that it took me a little while to send this blog, due to our loss against Orengburg. This was the most interesting defeat I have witnessed. If you recall the first game that we played, we defeated this team by 17 points. Since then both teams have been winning and they have also added some new additions to their team etc. So now it comes down to the final round of regular season and this game is the determining game on who gets the 3rd place seed. Ekaterinburg and Spartak are the number 1 and 2 teams overall and they have some really good players on their teams. Anyway going into this game we knew that we either had to beat them or not lose to them by more than 17 points. Well guess what? Orenburg jumped out on us and once they were ahead they stayed ahead, and we (for the first time this year) fell apart. It was a huge test for us and we failed. We went from trying to win the game to now not trying to lose it by 17 points. I'm here to tell you we lost by 15 points.

Now for the interesting part, as buzzer went off Orenburg began to celebrate their victory. At this same time our bench was celebrating as well. Now I was a little stunned by this although I understood.  It's just not something that I have ever really witnessed. I know that is great for us to be in 3rd place -- but still. The celebration was a bit much for me to take in at the moment. I like where we are as a team but I'll be honest, there are some things that we definitely need to clean up. We will have a little time to do that so we'll continue to progress with the other teams that we have to play until the playoffs.

I will keep you all posted.  I am now off to a get together for one of out managers who just had his 50th birthday. It should be fun

I will have a later blog on that!


Friday, January 20, 2012


Hey Everyone!

Just want to drop in and let you all know that I am finding time to stay young and keep the kid in me alive. LOL

It was so cold down there, but so much fun!

We did win our last cup game against Belarus the other day, and our team played really well. There was a lot of people that got to play and show why they are apart of our successful team. I was truly proud of all of them.

Just when I thought I was about to get settled and comfortable in my apartment, I find out that we are about to head out of town again. This will be a big one, its against Orenburg, the team that we played in our first game when I arrived to Russia. We did win the first one and it was definitely a big game. We will need those same efforts and more to get pass them again. I will keep you all posted on the outcome.

Talk to you soon,


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I could not dare go without sharing this with you all. Now this is something that we probably never see, but check this out -- yes that's right -- it is exactly what your thinking. As I was approaching this plane leaving Belarus, I started noticing that this was not only a small plane, but I could truly see the propellers. Now, I can honestly say that there were many thoughts that ran through my head, but the one that stood out the most was "oh my good I can really see the propellers of this plane." This is the view outside of my seat and yes I was very nervous. And to top it all off at first, only one side of the propellers were spinning as the others just remained on tact.

Some more thoughts began to run through my head, as my teammates looked at me with smiles on their faces and laughter in their voices. I asked the question -- "Well, is the other one going to start spinning?"   One laughed and said it will be ok. I dropped my head and immediately started praying. As they laughed and smiled, and I was truly serious, I somehow understood that they were used to this and that's why they were so calm. I strapped that seat belt tight and just tried to relax. I thought to myself maybe I should close the shutters so I couldn't see what was going on. So I did and here comes a stewardess asking me to please raise them back up for take off. I almost screamed LOL, but did as she asked and my teammate fell out laughing. Now as we got in the air it was a little bumpy, my stomach was of course tight, and I wasn't sure if I should be happy that I couldn't see the propellers anymore due to the ray of snow that I was able to witness. Or should I have wanted to see the propellers and not all the snow? At that point I think it didn't matter I was just really ready to land. And thankfully, 1 hour and some change later we did. 


Hey there! Today is my coach Fredis birthday and after our close victory against Vologda 61-60 we celebrated. We left out on the train last night. When we got to Moscow this morning we presented this gift to him. It says "Best Coach." At the break when we went home for Christmas, there was a poll that came out, and he was named Coach of the Year on it. This is his first year as a head coach, and we are very proud of him. We have been doing well as a team, and it is definitely his game plan that is helping get us where we are. I wish him a great Birthday and many more to come.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Hello world!

After finally getting back with our team, I am excited to let you know that we did win both of games; and for me it was definitely a journey that I will never forget. I went from Russia, back to Baton Rouge, laid over in Houston on the way back, then heading out to Amsterdam and finally making it to Minsk Belarus before heading to Vologda another City in Russia. I can now say that I am here and we are still sitting in a good place with our rankings.

I also come to you today wanted to take this time out to wish Dr. Martin Luther King a Happy Birthday.

As I reflect back on all the things that so many Civil Rights Leaders did to pave the way for me to be where I am today, I can only say thank you. This picture of me with Dr. King's Monument brings me great pleasure in knowing that we have acknowledged and accepted the things that he once preached and talked about for us as a nation. And although there is still a ways for us to go, the progress makes me think that if Dr. King was still here today he could at least smile at the things that have changed from his bravery and profound words thus far -- from him standing up for equality, for freedom, for our rights, for HOPE, for change. I am fortunate to have been able to go to Washington and see the acknowledgement, and gratitude of Dr. King and his fight. It brought me great joy to witness such a wonderful thing.

Again I want to say Happy Birthday, and most importantly thank you!


Sunday, January 15, 2012


My foundation is titled the H.O.P.E. Foundation and today, here are some words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., someone who gave so many hope in some of our nation's most turbulent times:

“A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise
above the narrow confines of his individualistic
concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do
that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you
don't see the whole staircase.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is
too great a burden to bear.

“In justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become
silent about things that matter.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I know that I have not been in touch for the last two weeks, but I took it upon myself to dedicate me time to my family. I know that you all can understand that. They mean the world to me and given that I don't get to see them that much it is becoming more and more difficult for me to be away from them. So although it may seem that I pushed my fans and supporters to the side, that's not what it was. Just needed that family time, and guess what -- IT WAS GREAT!  We had the time of our lives, I had everyone over for Christmas to my house and we ate tons of food and played games, watched games, took family pictures, the kids played, and everyone sat around and laughed. It was probably one of the best Christmas's that I/ We have had since my Grandmother Passed away.
One of the best things that happen for me was the joy and excitement that I got to see on everyone's face. The gratitude, the relief, the smiles, the laughter, the hugs, the peace, etc. That was the best part of it for me. Not the gifts, or anything like that (although I did get some pretty good gifts), but more importantly again, the smiles.
Seeing others happy brings so much joy to my life. I am so happy that I was able to be home, be around love ones, and friends and have a great great time.
For the New Year I popped a few fire works and then before the clock struck midnight, I was on my knees praying to God and thanking Him for not only bringing me through last year but blessing me to see another one. I have asked many people this before, "What is your New Years Resolution?" I want to let you all know that mine is to "Become Closer to God," and the be happy in life no matter what. I have seen how fast things pass and nothing is promised, so I want to do all that I can to make the best of my life and time here and BE happy while doing.
It take more muscles to frown than it do yo smile. Smile everyone and smile big -- you just never know what it can do for you, but more importantly what it can do for others.