Alas, it’s December… REJOICE! Hard sarcasm there…once league games start, it makes it next to impossible to avoid falling behind in school. Add to that flying around the country on a bi-weekly basis and you have the makings of an athlete’s favourite academic two week crunch: Exams. Venti double-shot Americano’s for days. I can’t believe it’s been five weeks since the last time I wrote. So much has happened already both on and off the court. Here we go…
To kick off league play we won two games against a somewhat battered Trinity squad and had multiple people step up for us. I was really impressed with TWUs Mark Perrin over the weekend; dude is a sick athlete and can splash the pill. Shout out to the #swampchildren and the UBC football team for coming out and bringing the noise, much love.
Next we took on Thompson Rivers in our home opener. I scored a date with food poisoning on the Tuesday night and this week was a struggle. The first night they really tested us. Pribilsky was splashing 30 foot bombs on our noodles. Coach Hanson was “just chookked”. Saturday we got back to the game plan and played much better. 4-0.
We got the madden-esque curse of being ranked number 1 in the country after this series thanks to a rare Carleton slip-up. With a big weekend coming up in UFV I feared (as is typical with a young team) a possible let down.
Prior to UBC I played at UFV…Kyle [Grewal] and me go way back. His fully bearded Enver Creek teams used to beat up on my Pitt Meadows squads in my pre-pubescent days. We also work together in the summer coaching @Drivebasketball camps. He has really made himself into an excellent player, and as a friend, I’m proud of him. Grewal is the CIS equivalent to KG, I hate him when I play him but I immensely respect his passion for the game.
The first night we won, but just barely. The second night my fears came true; we thought we were the truth and they took it to us. I think they hit like 18 threes. Sam Freeman, for those of you who don’t know, is a PROBLEM. That kid doesn’t miss. UFV, when they are on, is as good offensively as anyone in the country.
The schedule didn’t get any easier for us following the loss. Off to the cruel Sask-Alberta trip. We got a dub in Sask thanks to a solid all-around team effort, then flew to Edmonton in the morning to take on the human Swiss army knife known as Jordan Baker and my former coach, Barnaby Craddock. The game was a bizarre one. We dominated the first and third and they destroyed us in the second and fourth. Offensively it was ‘Knicks-Heat circa 1990’ kinda ugly. They made more plays down the stretch and have a nice team. We literally missed five open looks in the last 22 seconds of the game. It was surreal. I really wanted that one. 6-2.
To finish off the first semester this past weekend Calgary and Lethbridge came to town. Calgary’s PG, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, is in my opinion the best PG in Canada West. He gives me a Chris Paul-ish vibe. We took both and our bigs were dominant! My boy, the heir to the swamp throne, David Wagner (aka Swagless) did his best Marc Gasol impression. Our Ugg boot wearing Frenchman, Brylle Kamen, destroyed my triple-double ambitions by eating (literally eating) all the rebounds. He had a casual 26 points and 21 rebounds.
We have such an interesting team this year. We’ve had eight different players lead us in scoring this season. Whoever has it going, we feed the hot hand. I love the unselfishness. I would give us a B – grade so far. I mean this when I say it; we are nowhere near how good we could be. That brings us to where we are now: 14-2. Coach always says to us, “success breeds complacency.” Hopefully the losses served a higher purpose. I, for one, do not feel satisfied.
As I sit and write this I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic. Here I am, staring down the pipe at ‘real-life’ following the second half of the season. The end is near. I remember like yesterday hearing senior speeches as a rook and thinking, ‘that’s so far away for me’.
The sense of urgency and desperation that I feel in this my fifth year is something special. I wish I could bottle it up, travel back in time, and force feed my 18 year-old self to drink the Kool-Aid. Instead of going to that party, go get those extra jumpers up, go to the gym early, stay late…fight like hell to squeeze every ounce out of this you can. Before you know it you’ll be old like me. These are the days of our lives.
Until next time everyone… Good luck with exams, #FearTheMamba and have a Merry Christmas.
Thanks for reading,