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…