Friday, October 16, 2009

My Italy Experience: Entry 5

Welcome to my new and improve blog site. I say improve because I tied a lot of things together to make it easier for you and definitely to make it easier for me to write and share with everybody. I also started up a google profile and linked different videos and clips I had on youtube. Videos ranging from me playing basketball to helping the kids out (you know bobby love the kids) for community service, I’m even on too. I’m still working on getting all my even better videos uploaded, so I will keep you posted on that. The reason I decided to just my own site was because I was getting so many compliments and suggestions on what to do with my writings. So I took some time out to figure how this make your own blog site thing worked (started off a little confusing but figured it out soon enough). If u didn’t know, I was posting my blogs on facebook and myspace for everybody to read and comment upon. So now everybody is together and united as one like we should be, I don’t discriminate here on my site. Make sure you subscribe as a follower so you can stay up to date when I post new entries too.

Ok, this is pretty much how my regular routine is going to work when I write my knowledge. When I write an entry I’m going to give updates on my experience in Italy (good and bad) then when I’m done with that I might drop some additional kind of knowledge that might be on my mind. I call this section, “I may possibly be wrong, but I know more than you”. If for some reason you think I’m totally wrong or have a point to make or whatever it is, you can gladly leave a comment (like you have been on facebook and myspace) at the end and let it can be heard for everybody to view. I know I can be stubborn at times (we all do it, were human right?) but I do want to know what everybody else thinks too because it is your opinion and your entitled to it even how ridiculous it make sound.

We had out first game of the season on Sunday (October 11) on the road against Basket Club Ferrara. Just so you know, each team in our league is allowed 4 Americans on their rosters (there are loop holes though to get around that). So this week the American we played against that I kind of know is Luke Jackson. He went to Oregon and was a senior when I was a freshman in college. He was the man and definitely had the best team in our conference (that year) too. But when they played us at the “Bank” for the conclusion of the regular season (for us it was because we were still weak so no tournament), I shut his ass down and we won on “senior night”. Anyways, we lost by like 5 or 6 points (we were up 7 points with like 6 minutes left too) off the ref’s making inconsistent calls on both sides but hurting us more at the end.

In the second quarter when the other team was on a fast break, Luke had the ball on the left side of the court with a defender in front of him but drove to the rim anyway to score. I was trailing the play and was timing to block his shot because that’s what I do best. On a side note real quick, I was beating dudes shots from the back (no homo) way before Lebron and Dwayne Wade was doing it too. Back to the play, of course I blocked him then Luke under cut me and I landed on the right side of my face, collarbone, shoulder and chest. It was a quick but harmful fall, here is the link: (It was the #6 play). I tried to continue to play but I soon realized after 3-4 minutes I needed to lie down and rethink my life priorities in the back while getting looked at by the trainer. Once I got in the back, they iced everything trying to rid the pain that was killing me, it even hurt to take deep breathes. I waited till halftime, walked out to shoot a little so see if I could return (I could shoot but it did hurt still so I didn’t know how productive I could be, I definitely couldn’t rebound). I should have just called it a day but the score was tied and knew it nothing wasn’t broken and said fuck it. I played better than I expected, I ended with 13 points and made some important plays in the 2nd half to keep my team in it for a while. Once the game ended, knowing them bums got away with a win because I wasn’t 100 percent leaves me uneasy so much. Taking the next 2-3 days off to rest this collarbone bruised/contusion (pretty sure that’s what it is) and go from there for Saturday’s game at home.

So my good friend told me the other day that portion of my blog was featured in the Seattle Times husky men’s basketball section. This was in result of an interview I did for a different website: I was mentioning my blog for husky basketball fans to check out and view. Here is the link of the Seattle times article: former_uw_stand.html

I was surprised and at the same time proud to find out that my spoken wisdom has made it pass the boarders of this site (facebook and myspace too) for others to gain knowledge of. But what I wasn’t expecting to see was the dim-witted comments left by people afterwards. Let me start off by saying (again) that everybody is entitled to have his or her own opinion. Just make sure you have read my entire blog or done the required research needed before you respond so brainless for others to read. There was just a snippet given for them to read right there on that site. It’s obvious that tell that they didn’t read my entire blog, which shows how unintelligent but yet lazy they are because all they had to do was click on the link that was provided right there on the site.

Then if they did read it, you really don't see the point I was just trying to make in my blog. Obviously some people are only able to see things presented to them on the surface and aren’t capable to see the deeper implications of "my point of view" in my blog. Yeah everybody, I really think being a student-athlete is a direct comparison to being a slave (you can’t be serious). I’m about to give you the link to the comments but let me advise you though. Make sure you click the link and read it. If not, then you would doing the same lazy thing they did when reading the excerpt from my blog on the Seattle times website. I don’t want the same uninformed mistake to happen again when it comes to not reading someone’s entire statement:

One person went as far as questioning my intelligence because I sounded so ridiculous with my similarities comparing certain characteristic in a student-athlete life in college to slavery. First of all, I never said it was “slavery” but gave points on how sometimes it does resembled the acts being carried out in certain ways, that was it. Let me offer a different example and then maybe they will comprehend this time around, pay attention now. While living in Italy on many different occasions, I feel I’m incarcerated because I have so much alone time to myself in my apartment. I get bored and often catch myself staring at the walls like I’m in prison. Now, I’m not saying living in Italy is just like living in prison because it’s not. I can go wherever I want when I want. Unlike a person in prison who doesn’t control what they do on an everyday basis, let alone what time they can eat and go to bed. If a person in the military wants to make a comparison to something they did or saw or heard about while being there. I cannot say that it isn’t a legit comparison or say that isn’t true. I never been in the military and don’t know what they go through either.

Another site said I called my experience at Washington slavery. Now I’m so confused here, when did I make that comment? I never even put that sentence together in my blog. Unless I actually said it verbatim (this is what happened to me in college), when I gave a scenario or a circumstance in my last blog entry, some of it may come from a personal experience. It could of came from a friend I know that plays another sport at my college. It may come from a friend that plays a sport at a different college. It might even get it from a person that played sports in college 5 years ago. For the future, if I compare certain points in a student-athlete experience and put them side by side with a theory. I wish people didn’t go on a limb saying I totally think one thing or the other. Me saying, "Sounds like modern-day slavery to me" was having a little bit of sense of humor but still trying to make a point at the same time. Maybe that is my fault for not making that clearer, next time I will do a even better job. I thought the overall tone of my blogs have a sense of humor to it (that’s what people tell me and I think at least). I know this; if I did feel like I was in slavery I wouldn’t stay there that’s for sure. Other than that little mishap, it was still a good article just like the Seattle times. Here’s the link to that one:

My experience in college was absolutely fantastic. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything in the world; it made me the person I am today. I was just giving a point of view from a person that went to college and played sports there and known many that have done the same. For those that commented on the Seattle times blog board, if you never played college sports, how can you say what physical and mental demands are needed to perform on and off the court? How do you know the pressures student-athletes face in college? How do you know if a past college athlete doesn’t have anything to show from college besides the memories and past injuries that will affect them more as they get older? What if student-athletes (for whatever reason) didn’t get to graduate from college? Those memories and injuries don’t get you a job or pays the bills after college. Believe it or not a lot of past college athletes don’t have anything to show once they leave college, I was blessed that I did graduate. I have seen and heard good and bad situations from college athletes. I’m sorry, but all of them aren’t success stories. Then again, all people look at are the perks athletes receive anyway because that’s all they notice and care about usually. Funny thing, I did touch on that in was my last entry as well, so hopefully people go back and read it this time and not a snippet from another site. I’m not being snobbish, more like trying to shed light on the situation some college athletes do go through and enlighten people that don’t know how it is. If you don’t know something fully or never been in that position then it isn’t good to assume you do. Remember when you judge another, you don’t define them; you define yourself.


  1. As a former UW athlete, I totally agree with your point of view. I was in a non-revenue sport and didn't think I should get paid more, but I hate watching you guys work so hard, bring in so much money (which is used to cover our scholarships and cossts in non-revenue sports) and all you haev to show for it is perhaps some nicer gear. It is sad to see some people so clos- minded and bitter. Sure it was a great opportunity for us to get a free college education and they may be jealous of that, but that shouldn't prevent them from seeing that you guys should be able to get a larger part of the cash flow you bring into the school. At least enough to pay all your bills while in school since you can't really work.

    It's like saying a doctor should be satisfied with a $40,000 salary while the hospital can keep the rest of his profits because that's enough money to feed his family and he is stupid for asking for more money.

  2. Another former non-revenue sport UWer here. I read both the Times article and comments following it before making my way here.

    To me it seemed most people were taking issue with your language as opposed to idea behind it. Throw out the "slavery" mention and the race issues disappear and I bet you'll find most people out there agree that the revenue sport athletes should be given extra compensation beyond their scholarship.

    Of course that opens up a whole new can of worms on how much compensation they should receive. I always thought it odd that the scholarship football players I knew couldn't get an outside job and yet I could. People need money for entertainment, too! Hmmmm.

    Good luck getting back to the NBA! We'll be rooting for you!


  3. Bobby,
    I'm a faculty member at UW and a huge basketball fan. I had deep admiration for you as a player (no one defended every position like you did, with your implausibly fast feet), and I find this blog very insightful. I have always thought that student athletes basically work full time jobs during the season of their sports, but I had never realized how little control they have over their lives for every part of four (or five, with redshirt) years at college.

    In my classes, I am fanatical about good writing. I had no problem understanding your points about the pressures on student athletes, and I think that your staunchest critics probably didn't read your posting very carefully.

    Finally, on feeling boxed in while you're in a foreign country, the biggest issue is probably language, given how expressive you are in English. I've lived in foreign countries and felt every bit as isolated, lonely and stupid (when everyone else gets a joke and I don't have a clue what's going on). Keep writing, and smile at everyone you meet in Italy, no matter how lonely you feel.

  4. Hey Bobby,

    You're absolutely right about major college sports and its explotation of student-athletes. In my opinion, college athletes should be set up on some sort of pension program in which a portion of an athletic department's profits are set aside for players after they've left the program, when they leave the program, regardless of whether or not they graduate. Unfortunately, it will never happen.

    That said, I truly enjoyed watching you as a Husky, a better on-ball defender in Purple and Gold history you'd be hard-pressed to find.

    Best of luck in Italy, keep your head up, and don't mind the brainless masses, that's America from top to bottom these days.

  5. Hey B,

    just wanted to say I agree about most of the stuff u talked bout in ur blogs and especially about NCAA stuff so I decided to put my two cents on a top of what u said! Hope u don't mind :)

    U never said anything against UW or ppl we spent 4 years with in any of ur posts so I will kindly ask those ppl who wrote all the mean comments to back off!

    What makes me really mad is all these people who don’t know what it takes to be a student athlete and then talk about it like they do. Are we blessed that we’ve discovered what the talent God gave us is? YES!!! But it’s not our fault that they haven’t and I am sure everyone has some talent and not one but many, just those people chose to whine about their life and talk about how lucky we are instead of finding their blessings. Do they know about all those hours we put in practice, weight lifting, individuals, film, treatment, study hall, and none of that s&it is optional?! So when at the end of the month all of us are $100 short (I swear I always felt it was only this $100 that was missing to have a normal life) we can’t pick up an extra shift at work or extra hours to make it. We couldn’t even find a job! Who would want to hire us and work around the schedule we had when they can hire someone who is available most of the time?! By the time we are done with all the things we have to do at the Athletic Dept we had to go home and do homework???!!! I know I was not mentally and physically rested to sit there and do homework for hours , by the time I was done it was 12 or 1a.m. and I had to b up by 6a.m to go lift weights or for an individual practice. I wish we could put some of these people that left those comments for you through one week of a life of a student athlete.  How about those weekends during NCAA tournament that takes place at the same time as school finals? I had to wake up take a final in between film sessions and then go play a game, then after a game study for next final that I had to take next day! And you can’t take either one for granted because if you fail final you won’t play next quarter, and if you lose an important game you might lose a scholarship! There is always constant pressure and stress! But we love it that way because that’s who we are and that’s what our talent is! To be great and deal with situations like that one! There is lots of us who make the best out of all but there is so many athletes who lose it and never become great at either one of these, school and sport because of the constant stress they are under!

    Then when we squeeze in a hang out session with the rest of the college students we get looked at like we are always doing something wrong, like we are not humans and we shouldn’t party and live life like other freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors did. As soon as one of us goes out and gets drunk we are put on blast in media and looked like a black sheep. Well guess what most athletes drink and party but not because we are alcoholics and because we are party animals but because we ARE humans.

    There I said it and it feels better! I just hope those "smart" judgemental ppl come across ur blog and c this too!

    Former UW athlete