Today is early
Don’t wonder too far from you
Stay calm and conquer
Today is early
Don’t wonder too far from you
Stay calm and conquer
This post is stories within stories, once upon a time, I was a kid in love with basketball and my Mom was attending the University of Arizona. My life has always been influenced by Wildcat basketball, watching games with my Dad on the weekend, feeling proud that my own Mom was apart of this powerful entity. She actually graduated along side Eugene Edgerson, he was earning his degree in Education, I even got to meet him during one of my Mom’s classes. I just remember a tall guy getting ready for class to start, he signed my U of A ball later on that day.
My college years were different from my Mother’s experience, yet there are a lot of parallels, of course the University of Arizona was the school where I did end up finishing at, I did not start there nor did I think I would finish there. I got a scholarship to Arizona State University and it was a free ride to adulthood, I did one year and went on a four year hiatus, later to continue as a wildcats in Tucson. I remember watching the games between ASU and UofA, thinking to myself Sean Miller brings a great team with him. Growing up watching UofA games, back then it was Lute Olson coaching and he took his team all the way. I remember that Championship game, the whole city of Tucson went nuts, this was like understanding the importance of hope for me. We got close during my college years to winning it all, I’ll always root for my team. Go Wildcats!
I have been coaching for about two years and looking back from the start, I was trying to building something meaningful, I just didn’t think coaching would come so fast. I mean once you build a team, that’s what they want to do, play. So our team has playing in a few leagues and tournaments over the last year. We have won and lost and I came to understand that there will always be great content to grow from when it comes to both a victory and a loss. I would even say losing is more enjoyable because you have more to evaluate after the game is over. Winning on the other hand left me with a blank feeling, like maybe over changed, especially when you have two groups of kids working hard and learning these concepts about the game at such a fast pace. Winning only means there is a hungry team wanting to challenge you for that self-assured glory the next day. Winning is important but equally beneficial as losing, growing from a game that didn’t go in your favor. Taking content from the difficult times and applying the lessons learned to your day to day journey.
There was a tournament a couple weekends back and we had a team playing around noon. I get there an hour early to meet up with players and assign jerseys. The other coach Jeff tells me to look across the other side of the gym, more specifically the ref, it’s Eugene.
The weekend was here and then it tip toes away into the Sunday night. Every second counts, and it always seems to be never enough, time away from that other part of your life, being put on hold until the calendar says Monday. I have been on this pattern for about four years and truly believe it has helped me appreciate how I use my time. The moments when I’m not clocking in, I’m operating on a self employed schedule and life is boss, and there has to be something to reflect on during our business hour breaks. It grow so beautifully though when you make the most out of those two days, so much that your talking about those moments for the rest of your life. It’s how you operate in the world and how those rich times impacted the current state you are in now.
The day felt like any other day and yet it was one that I would always remember. I was actually early for work this Thursday, drinking my coffee, I scrolled through my instgram timeline. Always random commentary on bullshit, and then I see a picture of Chris Cornell, the caption said “Rest in Piece.” I saw the post and I ignore it completely because this is instgram, people post fuckery all the time. I continue to scroll and I’m seeing other pictures of Cornell, all the captions are either saying “goodbye” or “that he was dead.” I had to believe that maybe he did die.
I thought about him all that day, finding all my favorite tracks on YouTube, remembering his music playing in the background of my life. Growing up I always said I wish I was in my lately twenties during the early nineties, only because that’s when bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice In Chains were creating this new music and representing the underrepresented. I wanted to see that as a young adult and to be in the heart of what they called grunge.
Chris was like the uncle I never met, or had, he was a lead singer that played guitar. The total package, he could rock arenas with a band, he could play a room with only his acoustic and still touch your soul. I’ve never seen him or heard him play live and yet I know this is true, he had something to share. His voice had a rasp and it made the music fell hauntingly familiar. Cornell’s sound made me feel reminiscent and nostalgic, and the truth was I never gave that much attention to his life in depth. I only knew him through his craft.
It caught me off guard, his time was up and yet he had done so much music wise, but he was only a man writing songs. He lived through some tough times and even I have seen friends pass in my days, yet Cornell was always around. I got into grunge late and his life was power for me, he had such an amazing presence outside of the grunge boundaries. I always remember him on the movie Singles, I don’t even think he had any lines either, besides him screaming on a microphone. Chris passing only reminds me to be thankful, and to honor your friends and to be yourself.
The day starts, and then the day ends, days get swept onto the porch of yesterday’s stream. And if I’m lucky or blessed, I can breath in the air of tomorrow. The different entities, and forgien energies forming waves, coming in our direction rapidly. Voice; the sweet vergbage we can pass onto each other is beauty. What grows from what we say or do?
Reporter 1: Mr. Kool Jack, impressive game the way, but was there any hesitation or second guessing your ability to score against a Gila Monster defense going into the game?
KJ Hoops: Hell nah, I come to play. Wither that be at home or away, Coach at half time told me to turn on the boosters. So, thats what I did. You can watch the video to see what went down when it came to that so called defense in my way.
Reporter 1: Is that a normal thing for the coach to say to you?
KJ Hoops: We got this agreement, coach and I, I won’t turn on the boosters until he tells me “its time.” He gave me the go and I think I went on to score quite a few, I don’t check the stat sheet until tomorrow when I’m drinking my tea in the morning.
Reporter 1: You give your coach full trust when it comes to to turning on the boosters?
KJ Hoops: Yes I trust my coach, but if I had the choice, I would always have them on. From beginning to the end, hell I would want to wear them answering these questions. Make it more exciting for the viewers, but yes back to your question. It’s trust, there is some trust involved, but really it’s mainly having to do with safety.
Reporter 1: no more questions.
Reporter 2: Mr. Kool Jack, how did you prepare for this type of game?
KJ Hoops: I meditate, I get in my zone, I have my tea. And then I get lit. I’m with the stars and embracing the universe, I know my actions and well being is in the hand of the basketball gods. They will show me the way to the promise land and the even darker places that none of you all ever want to see. I light a candle and pray. I ask for a great game to be waiting for me.
Grabbing the bull by the horns is what I’m feeling, maybe because it’s May (Taurus Season). Nearly the middle of the year and the change is coming. New energy is on the way, the assertiveness of my soul and the willingness of the moment will be bliss. We have a narrative in this vehement experience called life. The lights come and go, we fall at different times only to know we must rise and be happy to see again. The light, the movement of the universe carrying the time is all we could ever want. Be bold to everything that will come and create a great story…