What’s up, #FlightNation! To say this tour has been a grind is an understatement. Losing our first two games only added to my anxiety, especially how we lost them. We made some critical, silly mistakes. As a coach, I’ve gotta make the necessary adjustments to turn things around. I think we have things figured out from here. The fellas just need to execute.
What’s up, #FlightNation!!! We had so many cool experiences today. We were in Shanghai last night, but took the fast train (and a bus) to Bozhou. That was a tough trip. 2 1/2 hours on the train, and then a 2 hour bus ride. We were spoiled on the flight, having meals and drinks. Good thing I brought 4 boxes of granola bars and Jiff Power up snacks. I brought those just in case we were in a place where the food wasn’t agreeing with my stomach. I ended up dispersing most of them to my team, as they are a lighter breakfast than they should’ve. Coach King to the rescue!!!!
We also got our first taste of China’s amazing love for the game of Basketball. We stopped along the way to eat l, and every where that we went people wanted to take pictures with us. The paleo ole and fans have just been amazing, so much that one particular older couple were so kind and intrigued that after we got off the train, I decided to get a couple of new Florida Flight hats from my bag and give them each one – free of charge. You should’ve seen their faces light up. It was awesome. Just to know the Florida Flight brand, 10 years in the making, now has that type of effect on people…so very humbling.
We also had our first practice today, but honestly I’m very tired and need to get some rest. We have our first game tomorrow (it’ll be at 7:30am EST), I have so much more to write, so I’m try to throw another blog together after our shoot around in the morning.
Until next time…
Greetings from Shanghai!!!! I thought I’d keep a blog about this Florida Flight trip to China for our first ever international basketball exposure tour. I’ve been meaning to blog more anyway, as there have been a lot of exciting things happening in my life that I want to share. I’m not sure how regularly I’ll be able to upload the blog, but I’ll try to do it daily if possible. We’ve got a lot of games scheduled over the next 20 days, so I hope to make very good use of our time and help put all of our guys in a position to progress their careers.
I should probably start by explaining why we are here. As you know, my Florida Flight is a minor league pro basketball team playing in the Florida Basketball Association (FBA). Our mission, as a team, is to utilize the game of pro basketball to invest in the lives of others. The significant part of the investing into the “players’ lives” is getting them opportunities to make a living as pro basketball players, whether it be at home in the USA or anywhere else in the world where they can make a living. For a long time, playing in the USA and having the game film to share to contacts abroad was the premium way to get an opportunity in another country. Unfortunately, due to a lack of professionalism and standards in “minor” league basketball, coupled with a lack of trust in the statistics and varying competition levels, it’s become harder and harder, because it’s difficult to compare the stats and game film.
The BEST way to get a player an opportunity these days is to put them physically in front of the decision makers (team owners, coaches, scouts, agents, etc.) of teams abroad, having them play against competition that is better known and understood. If a decision maker knows the players competing, that evaluation is easier. So that’s why we are here. We’ve brought a team of 12 talented players to play games in China with the hopes of getting those guys seen and potentially get a contract offer on some level to play abroad.
My first impression of China has been so thrilling. I like new adventures like this, especially an opportunity to visit an entirely different country. Sure, there are some immediate differences. It’s easy to assume that someone will speak English, but that’s just not the case. Having visited a few other countries, I of course knew of that challenge, but of all the countries I’ve visited, thus far, my first day in China trying to communicate proved to be more difficult than the other countries I’ve visited. I know it’s only the first day, but you’d think at an airport odds would be higher there that you’d communicate well. It wasn’t the case.
The air quality is tough. The people are very nice. Some did seem a bit intimidated by us, but many others were quite thrilled. We certainly look like a basketball team, and China LOVES basketball. The imagery is all very new and exciting. We’ve only been here about 6 hours, so obviously I’m a bit limited to even try to discuss much. I do have some funny and interesting stories to share already, but I’ll save that for the next blog. I need to get some rest. We have a 6:50AM departure to our next city in the morning, and it’s already past 12:00am.
That said, please enjoy the blog. I hope to make it fun, interesting, inspirational and motivational. I’m still a bit taken back at the reality of us being here. I have to have one of the coolest basketball stories ever told thus far. I’m so lucky and fortunate. Thank you all for praying, supporting and loving me.
Until next time…
(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Flight won their first home game of the season and move to 2-2 after defeating the Jacksonville Royals 91 – 109 at the RDV Sportsplex in Maitland, Florida.
The Royals scored the first two points of the contest, but it would be the only time they led for the remainder of the game. The Flight responded with a 10-0 run and never looked back, maintaining a lead to the end.
“It was our first home game of the season, and we very much want to give Flight Nation a team they can be proud to support this season,” said Flight Owner and Head Coach Mark King. “It’s very important to win your home games in this league. This is a good win for us as we prepare for the defending Champions in a couple of weeks.”
The Royals’ Stephen Walker led all scorers with 28 points. Aaron Richards led the Flight with 17, while Denzel Rowe and Renford Forbes, Jr. contributed 14 points each. This is the second match up between the two teams, in which the Flight won both contests.
“We had a very balanced attack tonight,” King continued. “Everyone contributed and we are really gelling as a team. I got a chance to give some playing time to some players that hadn’t gotten much of an opportunity thus far in the season. It was encouraging to see that their hard work in practice has paid off, and they were ready to contribute when called upon.”
The Flight have a week off before traveling to St. Petersburg to take on the Defending FBA Champion St. Pete Tide. With this win, the Flight are a half a game ahead of the Tide who are just 1-2 thus far into the season. The next home game for the Flight is May 26th against the Poinciana Pride, led by former Flight player Greg St. Remy.
About the Flight: The Florida Flight is a member team of the Florida Basketball Association. The mission of the Florida Flight is to utilize the platform of professional basketball to invest in the lives of others. For more information on the Florida Flight, please visit www.flighthoops.com.
About the FBA: The Florida Basketball Association is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball careers. For more information on the FBA, please visit www.thefba.com.