21 TIPS PT. 3

Our work allows us to have an hour for wellness. We exercise and do other healthy activities but basketball is my therapy. The past two weeks I been playing more often and it is comforting to be able to play. Thinking about life and the directions you can follow. The rules of basketball haven’t really changed since I started playing ball. Although it seems the rules in life shifted to some degree as time unfolded.

Playing basketball allows me to have a better grasp the reasoning and I can make some kind of understanding of what’s going down on the court. Comforting but it’s also about the playful competition and connection with people that makes basketball great.

My cousin Leo and I go to the Rec to shoot around at the courts. A few games of 21, usually there are others around that want to jump in and play.

The spring in near it’s end and summer can be felt around the bend. This particular day the courts are filled. The gym usually empty but I am reminded that it is Spring break and the students are out and about. There are two youngsters on the main court where we usually play.

We ask if they wanted to play 21. So funny they exchanged words before agreeing. Come to find out that they were middle school students. Although no need to go easy on these middle school kids, because they had brought their A game.

I had a decade and some change on these dude but playing basketball it’s not a big deal that these 14 year olds are crossing me over and making me work on defense. You need to make others work for what they want.

Typically after a game ended Leo and I would take a 5-minuet break. Rest up before we run it back. These guys were ready to start another game once the first one ended. I had to just embrace that youthful spirit and go with the flow. That energy is contagious, so we start right back at game 2.

You challenge your opponents but it should be really you challenging yourself. Working towards accomplishing goals and having full agency on the court.

Our one hour is near the end and we must get back to work.

21 TIPS Pt. 2

I maybe caught the March madness late because even though it’s April I still got basketball on the blog mind. And the title of the pervious post gave it a feel like there would be some kind of advice. So I thought maybe I should do a countdown of 21 and make it basketball related.

I had mention that by playing the game I was tapping into this abyss of basketball knowledge. You know growing up I would always have a favorite player for each team. It wasn’t so much they were my favorite; it was that their style and influence that made a game good.

So over the years of just watching the game I have floated towards certain player attributes. And this post is just a list of 21 players that have taught me something valuable about the world.

Tipping of the countdown we have.

21. Allen Iverson: “The Answer” Iverson was not that big of a player in size. But he still had an impact on the game. On and off the court Iverson had influence on the people. Regardless of the actual sizes of those around you; the actions you make can still be powerful enough to hold it down.

20. Grant Hill: Grant is just a classy kind of guy. And it’s very rewarding to watch him grow. A lot of players like Grant become sports announcers or analysis. But from being the go-to-guy on the Pistons or top-team-player for the Suns, Grant just takes on every role with a humble spirit. As you get older you need to make adjustments but having a positive vibe makes you timeless.

19:Derrick Rose. Some of the greats never truly get to express their art. I just hope Rose gets over his injuries so he can attain his dreams in basketball.

18: Latrell Spreewell. Most known as the guy that choked his coach. There are these eccentric players in the game get a bad rap only because they handle a moment not so well. Spreewell stands out to me because as a player he still continued to play the game like nothing happened. Even though things get stressful I must always need to keep my composure.

17: Larry Bird/Magic Johnson: You know I didn’t actually see these two guys play in real life. But the rivalry and competition these two created when they went up against each other was amazing. Bird and Magic were playing like their lives were on the line. We all want a championship ring and sometimes that means playing like there’s no tomorrow.

16. Jason Williams: One of the animated passers. Williams reinvented the assist by getting to ball to where it needs to be. One of the great things about basketball is that even if someone is not scoring. They still could be contributing in another form to help the team. We all want to score and put some points on the board but if the pass is great the value will surpass any points of a basket.

15. Charles Barkley: Barkley wasn’t a favorite of mine but he always still came hard.

An even now as a retired player his commentary is very blunt and he has no problem being that guy. Sometimes we might be the one that says things people don’t want to hear. Oh well.

14. Lebron James. King James is a beast at this time in basketball. Winning multiple championships in the last two years. Lebron was destined to be great even before he had been signed to the NBA. Someone that good and that constantly watched, there will always be critics talking smack and Lebron is dealing with all of that by the way he plays. Take ownership of the moment and know every option available.

13. Paul Pierce. Loss is sometimes difficult to deal with. But a great player will use that loss as motivation and content to achieve a dream. Hard work pays off. And I see Pierce as a player that takes pride in everything he does. If you truly want something then you need to be putting in that time during the preparation stage.

12. Tim Duncan. Not a huge fan but I can’t deny the skill level of Duncan. So precise with his shooting and very technical with his movements on the floor, Tim makes it look very easy. Practice makes perfect.

11. Reggie Miller. Miller was very loud he knew how to cause a riot on the court. Very explosive Reggie was good on defense but when it came to being on offense, if no one was guarding him then he could do some damage behind the three point line. Not afraid to argue with the officials and get in his opponents face, always theatrical watching someone like that play. Play to win even if that means doing the impossible or being the villain.

10. Peja Stojakovic. Basketball is an outlet and growing up to me the three point shot was always the bee knees. Why get 2 when you can get 3 instead. And Peja was my favorite three-point shooter. From Yugoslavia Peja used basketball as a ticket to come America to play ball. Use your talents to get you where you need to be in life.

9. Penny Hardaway. Anfernee was his real name but penny is what every one called him. His grandmother gave him the nickname because she thought he was as cute as a penny. A point guard Penny had a very friendly aroma about him maybe because he was very open with his life story. He had a lot commercial success off the court with his endorsement signings. In the business world it’s nice to have a pretty penny.

8. Kobe Bryant. Kobe is like a diamond in the rough when I try to describe him. Bryant did not play college ball, very unconventional at the time Kobe went straight from high school to the NBA. Kobe was great right from the beginning and he continues to progress. You know there are norms that people will judge you by but if have the talent and the drive then taking an alterative route is totally fine. Take control even if that means going up against the grain.

7. Dennis Rodman. We are all unique. Dennis Rodman proved that during the time he played for the Bulls. I remember one year he would have a different colored hair each game. Blues, pinks, and reds. He just was an oddball but that didn’t mean he couldn’t play. Rodman got rebounds. He fought for them and he always gave his opponents a run for their money. Our differences don’t really matter when it comes to playing basketball because the game and the rules allow us to be equal.

6. Scottie Pippen. Pippen worked along side one of the greats. Although his contribution was still instrumental in the greatness the Bulls created in the 90’s. You think about all the championship wins and he was there each time. I had mentioned earlier about knowing your role in the situation or moment. Ask yourself, how bad do I want it?

5. Nick Johnson. Johnson plays for UofA and not only is he a guard but the dude can jump high. This college kid actually taught me a lesson just this past month. During the tournament there was a game were we went the almost the entire game with out making any points. Nick’s misfortune never stopped for playing good basketball. With like less that ten minuets left in the game Nick finally starts scoring. Still making his average due to not missing a single free-throw. Things don’t always go as you intend them to and even when things get frustrating you can’t let that spoil your attitude.

4. Jason Kidd. I always remember Kidd growing up because when he would take his free-throws he would blow a kiss to the camera. Found out that that was a siginal for his kids watching at home. Kidd was very versatile; he could start the game or come off the bench. He always could dish the best passes on the fast breaks. Play with out the ball.

3. Steve Nash. Nash is from Canada and is actually a soccer player. It shows because he runs the ball with speed. Not afraid to take the three or drive it in. Intersting with his passes Nash brings a new kind of flare to the game. Keep them on their toes.

2. Karl Malone & John Stockton. The Jazz duo, these guys come as a set because there so hard to take apart. Stockton is the assists king and Malone would deliver every time. Karl was the “mail man,” and he was aggressive in the paint. The two really made a good team and they were very simplistic in their delivery. Classy Versus Flashy.

  1. Michael Jordan. Jordan made the number one spot obviously. We don’t even need to talk about his ball playing skill. His pressensce surpasses basketball and all of that success is because of is devotion to the game. Jordan was something beyond great and he will always be relevant to the game. It is his greatness that allows him to be Jordan. Fearless on the court Michael Jordan wanted everything he got. In life we have to be putting fort our best efforts but also willing to accept failure in order to be great.


I been getting out and playing basketball more often. Trying to stay active. So for my lunch and even sometimes after work, I’ll go shoot around at the courts with my cousin.

As much as I enjoy analyzing the game and talking about the art of teamwork, I like to dabble in the playing myself. In fact it’s therapeutic. I have the fondest memories playing ball at the YMCA on the weekends.

Basketball has always been in my life in some form and by getting out and actually playing the game, I’m tapping into this basketball vault of knowledge

I wait for the “yo were heading over” text from my cousin Leo.

Game On

Usually Leo and one of his other brothers will come. Depending on the day we might have a few of the brothers out. This particular Monday evening it’s just Leo and Eric. Eric is the older Brother and definitely an exciting opponent to be up against. He makes jokes throughout the game and then commentates on his plays. But none of this extra showmanship gets in the way of him executing his ball playing skills.

If you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen. I think the idiom translates in basketball universe. Don’t be talking if you ain’t showing. I think it’s a external tactic to give your opponent, to be able to talk out loud to the opponent. Not being disrespectful but giving humorous banter to accompany the game.

All in good fun.

We play 21 tips which means there is the opportunity to cause the other players to lose their points. The first to score 21(exactly) wins.

We play ball at the playground in our Village. Usually one of the little nephews that follow their uncles wants to play in the game. So small we have to move them off the court. They’ll get to play some day.

We start the first game with the sun out and end the last with the sun down. If the game is really exciting we’ll be playing in complete darkness. Trying to tap into my court night vision.

Although most of all it’s the camaraderie that makes playing basketball fun. We all have the day to deal with. Work or school; these moments when were laughing and challenging each other is sometimes hard to orchestrate.

Eric wins the first game and I win the last.

Cookies Crumbling

We are meeting in the back room to discuss our mountains 

When life hands you lemons you make compost


On mile post 50 times infinity there is a restaurant that has organic brains on the menu.

Male brains or Female brains?

The intervals weren’t built for me

Any calculation is a minor miscalculation

The clouds have equations written in them

They diminish

I had a dream on the way in; I was walking in the grocery store. And my child avatar was running through the aisles. Misbehaving he wanted everything in the store. And then I thought to myself when did the store become…

Manufactured bloodlines with no street signs

Just negative avenues and out-of-work porn stars

The back room is empty

This room could be justified as the front room depending on an individual’s entrance.

The Western part of my brain could care less

I own both.

















Grains Of Salt; Symbolic Credit

So fascinated with everything occurring in life and the future looks so bight, yet not quite as radiant as the present. The moment you can’t escape because your still in it. That’s the thing about living in the moment, it’s about having appreciation for yourself, and sharing that worth with all that surrounds you.

Prior to graduating it was easy for me to assume how things would be once I was finished with school. Like I would have this significant since of accomplishment on my shoulders and be able to use this new understanding for the world. And college did provide that for me in full but it wasn’t any different than myself validating that inner greatness. That truth.

A degree marks those efforts. I can place it on my resume; it will really lighten the place up.  But in reality of things when the resume isn’t needed and I am just me, the kid from South Komelic representing his family. That honor surpasses any kind of award and no type of success could top having that. Although I’ve held that up since birth, some how my baby hands could hold something that noble.

I always was aware of my potential and I choose to go to school to acquire new knowledge and have a degree to represent that experience. Having a degree would enhance my job opportunities for my future. School opened all that up for me. I got all I wanted but it was nothing like how I assumed it would be. It never is. I mean there is a celebration to mark the ending of the duration. The learning still continues though. And I remain accountable for actions, still alert for everything happening including the unexpected.

I must not get wrapped up in what my successes materialize. I need to stay focus on being great for the future semesters. The Universe is the university I attend and I am ongoing student working on something grand. I guess what I’m saying is that success comes and goes but greatness will last forever.

Audit the world and be your best self. Easy as Pie.

Maybe I Was A Gemini In Another Life

“I’ve always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative.”

-James Baldwin

I babysit on my days off.

There are times in the day when I can see myself in this light like I have achieved something beyond myself. Although I can see myself in the present growing and it’s almost like past struggles and old negative ways of thinking have been conquered. In these times of reflection the mind frame depicts past experiences as lessons and if you can use language to understand these times then it almost gives you a certain kind of ownership of the present.

The inner quality shines through the language we play on earth. Words are power. Words are how we cooperate and communicate with one another.

I think in our day in age (21first century times) there are so many avenues and outlets for expression that maybe it can become more about doing than actually meaning or even feeling. The amounts of places I can place my language grows each year and I guess that’s what we want. But my deal with this situation is that maybe it can become mentally overbearing and it can put me out of touch with the real me.

The real me being the soul, the child, and the one who knows words are sacred. The one who knows that each word picked will be the paint to color the world. The words are the only fragments I can use get people to hear and feel me. Understand me. Words create a village of possibilities but it’s our actions that add spirit or soul to what I say and write. I guess where I’m going with this rant of a post is that words we use can be a reflection of the self and honesty.

If I am great then the language needs to be great. And if the language is great then my actions need to be great. I need to stand by my words and provide examples of the content I’m speaking in my actions.

I must live my own truth and be what I’m saying.

The world is big place and there are all these avenues for expression but I must not lose sight of where those words are coming from. The attitude of the way I see myself has to be positive and the words spoken actually need to be lived.

What is greatness?

Some Kind Of Legume (Food I Bought)

One of my resolutions for the longest time has been to cook more. And even though I talk a lot of food, my cooking game has been lacking.

I try.

You know being very close to my family there is almost a unwritten law when it comes with having dinner. Everyone takes a turn and if your not cooking then your contributing in a another way. It’s like the person eating is just as significant to meal as the person cooking and preparing the meal.

So I understand that if I’m not cooking my presence is helping in another form. Although the cooking and creating is what motivates me to put my kitchen skills to use. I want to be the cook. And I want to be great at it.

Easier said than done.

Not everything goes your way but for reasons unexplained the best things still happen. Being in control and not in control is an art.

I speak in contradictions.

I had a urge to cook a meal last week. At least once in the week I was going to make dinner. And it was going to be an easy meal, something that wouldn’t take me long to prepare. Something good. The most easiest tool by my opinion for making an excellent meal would be a crock pot. Super simple all you do is pop in a bean and some veggies. Any kind of meat turn the knob and it pretty much serves it self. That was my idea for this dinner last week.

Garbanzo beans and stew meat.

I need to be finding peace in the moment. The energy I’m creating needs to be the energy I want in return. But I cannot control how and when I will receive anything because so much that energy I’m getting back is on me.

I’m the time. I’m the dream. Everything is happening and my imprint counts for the outcome. The worth be more than gold, food for thought.

Blessed nonetheless.

The thing with using a crock pot is that the meal will cook slowly. Meaning you need to actually start the meal earlier in the day. So on the day of this dinner that I’m going to cook I forgot and go straight to work.

I didn’t do the garbanzo beans.

I finally realize it once I get to work. But what was I going to do?

I need to be always learning and allowing myself to grow. My actions and words determine so much of what’s going on. I have to believe in the things I want to achieve. And of course that’s accepting the challenges and the day to day tasks that can get the best of you.

No expectations, only sincere efforts for the moment. Having negative thoughts or even expectations can be like putting salt it the reality you see. For example the day can be so horrible only off of my own perception. The positivity I harness can come loose and the mind can become lost and gone.

Long story short.

I get an hour off for lunch. So I run to the house for my lunch and get dinner ready for the night. With ten minuets to spare I actually dinner done.

The garbanzo bean were so good and I made so much that, guess what I had for lunch the next day?

All beaned up.

Soundtrack To The Icing On The Cake

Design is not just what it looks like,
Design is how it works
Steve Jobs

The universe is a charismatic dj and I am just looking for the beat to dance to. I am wondering what it will do next. But oblivious to it all, all at the same time. Time-travel to present and love it . Knowing is not knowing; growing and understanding always that it was a gift. The record spins at different speeds and I will always be adjusting.

I keep myself busy.

As a kid it felt like music was some kind of distant relative. Like I felt comfortable when music was around. I dabbled in various instruments throughout the years. Even played in two metal bands in high school. So it seemed the more time I spent working on music the more I was learning about this relative. And to be able to cooperate with other individuals to create something new. The excitement was coming from nothing but just some people in a room scheming.


I play guitar and I understand the universe a little bit better.

But it wasn’t till recently an old drummer friend of mine who came to me asking about recording software.

Long story short.

I worked with my friend Matt’s hip hop group for two months to make a nine track mixtape. It was a inspiring experience for everyone involved and we all bonded working on this music.

I plan to keep collaborating with the group to produce music. It’s very exciting to see these young individuals putting effort and care into their craft. The spirit of music brings people together and having this organic element in the air was refreshing.

“We made this.”

My three year old niece see’s me in my room playing the keyboard and asks if she can play with me. Of course I agree and she runs to get her toys.

Elexis comes back with a small keyboard and lays it next to me. She then says, “look I have one like you and you have one like me.”

She hit it on the nose with a hammer.

We both have that option to create and say something through music.

I am very blessed to have E-girl in my life. And nothing better than having sudden bursts of clarity caused by your three year old niece. She paints another picture than mine but yet I can still feel truth in the brush strokes as she attempts to paint a masterpiece. She makes these bold statements from what she takes from a moment we are having and it’s with these peculiar truths my niece points out, I can only be envious of her wise approach to this life I still trip over. She is so open to experiencing things and this way of seeing the world helps.

We all have a thing or a gift. It’s something an individual needs to discover on their own. But regardless of the actual gift or talent, we as individuals need to take responsibility for what we do or don’t do with those particular things we are already lucky to have.

My niece taught me that.