Life as a basketball player has many benefits as well as a few disadvantages. However, for the most part during my 16 years of playing basketball, I ‘ve been respected and privileged for everything that I have received. I have traveled around the world through basketball, and not on my dollar at all. Though, when you play you miss out on the normality of sightseeing and learning a culture 100%. But beggars can’t be choosers and you definitely should not be.
Like I explained in my intro, I have learned so many things and taught myself to see my life beyond basketball and playing. Though most basketball players do not think past their current career if they are playing basketball, it is very important to do so. Injuries and other obstacles can happen over night. I have seen it many times and over again. Top players who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing have been super stars but injuries prevented them from reaching the professional level.
No matter what your name is or who you are, if you are injured slowly your name disappears and new players appear. For you, its back to the drawing board. So unless you’ve planned out your “PLAN B” you could be in for many surprises. Personally, I’ve always been and had an entrepreneur background at an early age. I raised money to play AAU Basketball travel so that college coaches could see me play. In which I would have a greater chance of playing in college with a full basketball scholarship. That worked out perfectly and selling candy after school helped paved a way to my means of getting exposure.
But I didn’t stop there! After I graduated from the university I worked hard so that I would have a chance to play overseas. It was my ultimate goal and I wanted nothing more. Was it a mistake? No but I was nervous because I did not have a plan b ready and I didn’t get any calls to play overseas until very late in the summer. I was lucky to have found a team and so I was off to Finland to play professional basketball for the very first time.
That worked out well and I had a pretty good season. I kept myself active and I had in mind that I wanted to teach myself how to use certain programs which I did not have time because at my university those tools weren’t available. I studied Art and Computer Science and because I wanted to become a digital artist as my career after basketball. I purchased books and studied programming languages and Photoshop. This was not available in my university so I taught myself using my old IBM Laptop which I took over with me. It was great, I kept myself occupied and began learning new things.
I was offered to write in a journal for the Washington Times Newspaper about my experiences of playing basketball overseas. I wrote a journal for each month and it was published in the sports section. It was great to have exposure of that type and of course to keep myself busy. As the internet in homes were not so popular in Europe back in 1999 I had to visit the library to send off my articles to the editor. I began to think that I could build my own website. However, I did not know how so when I came back after that summer for the next year, I taught myself how to build websites.
It was all like a dream. Again that second year there was no internet as well. So I decided to volunteer at the local library sorting out albums and uploading to a website. However, I used the time wisely and started working on my own website which was an online diary of playing basketball overseas and updates about the league that I was in. The name was Basketball and Beyond which is now known as Basketball Overseas. I used a free web host and it was awesome but very challenging. I made up my mind that during the next summer during my offseason I knew that I wanted to start my own company where I would design websites for companies.