Passion for Christ Feature
I developed the love for the game of basketball through my dad. When I was a baby he used to sit me on his lap and have me watch Michael Jordan, (when the Chicago Bulls were at their best). I was always surrounded by basketball, especially because my older brother played, there was a basketball court outside of our apartment building and basketball was always on our TV. As a child I would try and mimic players like Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson, as ESPN showed their unbelievable highlights. Once I entered middle school it was the beginning to something great. I was finally playing organized basketball for the Scarborough Blues Club team and at my middle school; Charles Gordon Sr. Public School. At that age I was wowing crowds with dunks, which no one had really seen before. This gave me the opportunity to play for the great Coach Ro Russell, who is the founder of Grassroots Canada Elite. Playing for this organization has brought me places I would have never imagined. From Detroit to Virginia, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and Texas. I’ve done really well at these tournaments which carried on to my first year of High school at Chaminade College School. After that year Coach Ro and I saw that I could have a future in basketball. We thought it would be a good idea to go off to the United States to evolve my game and play against better competition. So he sent me to Montverde Academy which is located in Florida. That year was probably the hardest year of my life but also the most helpful year. Going away at 15 years old forced me to learn how to do things I’ve never done before like laundry, shopping and living without my family. The competition was also unreal. This really opened up my eyes and I appreciated the game more and wanted to really get better as a player and more importantly as a student athlete. From then on I made sure my grades were the best I could get and I was always working on my game. After that year I transferred to be with my trainer/coach; Ryan Schmidt at 22ft Academy. At first the program wasn’t really stable. We moved around quite a bit considering we did not having a lot of money and schools not being able to accept a bunch of international students. It came down to us living in motels trying to find somewhere to establish our new program. We finally settled in Kentucky from starting in North Carolina, but with all the moving around and being out of school, it forced us to do online schooling so we could catch up with all the school we missed. The next year we settled in South Carolina. As a second year program we still had our struggles not having a lot of money and a lot of food compared to most programs. But we made the most out of it. I then finished my high school in Arizona under Elite 1 Academy, a first year program.
To get through all of this God has definitely enabled me to remain humble and trust in his plan. I’ve always had that trust in Him that everything would work out no matter how tough it would get. I believe that God puts us through battles to get to the promise He has set out for us, so we are strengthened and have faith that everything will be alright. He has blessed me to not only play at Washington State University but also in furthering my studies. I thank God every day for this opportunity because not a lot of people get a blessing like this. One message I would like to send out to whoever is reading this is to never give up on your dreams, work hard every day because each day counts, someone is out there working for the same opportunity. Trust God and believe in the process, it will never be easy, don’t be discouraged when times get tough, no one has a straight path when it leads to something great.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phillippians 4:13