Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sleeping is Over Rated!

Red light! After a morning of watching some AAU games I went to Valley high school to watch Team USA practice. Team USA is the Olympic team of NBA players trying to recapture the gold medal in basketball for the United States. The practice was cool and it was good to get a chance to see Jason (Kidd) and some of the other players participating on the team. Gary Payton was there taping a segment of the "Best Damn Sports Show" and I got a chance to rap with them. I attended the practice with two buddies, who were in town. Brian Ellerbe, who lives in Vegas now, and Charles "Mookie" Payne, who lives in Oakland, Ca. and I sat and talked with Clem Haskins ( formerly of U of Minn., Western Ky). The one point that I will make about the practice is, that after a three hour practice, Kobe Bryant spent about another hour or so getting up extra shots. The "cat" is relentless and it's no accident that he was the NBA's MVP this past season.

It was my last day in Vegas and I wanted to drop my bags off at the airport at around 4 p.m, so I could just drop my rental car off an go straight to the gate when it was time to catch my flight. (Red light) The airline said I couldn't do that, and that I'd have to do it at least 4 hours before my 11:45 p.m. flight. I dropped my bags off at the airport early...four hours early to be exact (Green Light) and then went to Green Valley high school to watch a game at the adidas tournament. After making a stop by the Nike tournament at UNLV I headed to the airport. As I walked to the gate with Mike Anderson (Missouri Univ., who said he was going to Orlando also), his gate was on the A concourse and my ticket said B concourse , so we assumed that we were on different flights going to the same destination. Well long story short....after walking all the way to the last gate on the B concourse the agent informed me that there was a gate change (Red light). Because I checked my bags in early...I had the original gate on my boarding pass but the flight was now leaving from the A concourse and the same gate as Mike's flight.

Upon arriving at the gate (Green light) it seemed as though all the college coaches that were in Las Vegas were at the Vegas airport to board USAIRWAYS flight 564 to Orlando! A day or two before the Las Vegas tournaments end, the Super Showcase in Orlando, Fl begins and a boat load of college coaches jump on red eye flights to take advantage of being able to see the last games in Vegas and then be able to catch the first games in Orlando. (that was a run on sentence but you get the point....:) ) seemed as though all the flights were delayed going back east. Our flight was now delayed til 12:30 a.m (Red light). It appeared to be a NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) meeting at the gate with Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech), Gene Cross (Toledo), Bruiser Flint (Drexel), Scott Bollwage (NC A & T), Jay Wright (Villanova),Chuck Driesell (Maryland), Shaheen Holloway (Iona), Mike Rice (Robert Morris), John Thompson III ( Georgetown), Byron Samuels (South Florida) and probably 30 other coaches. A lot of flights were delayed and JT III (John Thompson III) told me that his Pop's (John Thompson) flight was delayed also. The gate was around the corner and I decided to go say hello to Big John and hang out with one of the guys who paved the way for guys like myself to have an opportunity in this business. (Green light)

At around 1:15 a.m they started boarding flight 564. After futile attempts to get someone to give up their seat (Red light) for a free ticket anywhere (how about also throwing in a hotel room), our flight took off sometime around 2 or 2:30 a.m. (Green light) Thank God nothing happened to this flight cause the college basketball world would have been upside down with so many college coaches on board: Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Andy Kennedy ( Ole Miss), John Beilein (Michigan), Syndey Johnson (Princeton) and the list could go on and on. We arrived, hence "Red-Eye", around 8 a.m eastern standard time, collected our luggage, proceeded to our respective car rental locations and reconvened at the disney complex to evaluate to 400 some odd high school players on their AAU teams. Red Light! Green light! Red-Eye!!! Summer recruiting....gotta love it!

1 comment:

Spartan71 said...

Hey coach, love the blog.

Thanks for the updates. Wondering a couple things:

1) I know about your connecting with Kidd, but do you feel he should be starting over Chris Paul or Deron Williams for Team USA, even after the season CP3 had?

2) What coach did you enjoy talking to most and what was the topic about?

3) What's one thing you learned from talking to a coach or player on your Vegas trip?

I understand your boy Ellerbe works for a construction company now, is that right?

Thanks coach!