Hey Teammates!

I recently asked on Instagram what blog topics you’d like to hear about, and two answers stood out: the ups and downs of my basketball career and whether I have any regrets from my decisions as a player. Interestingly, these two themes are closely intertwined for me. Let me share my story.

No Regrets, Only Lessons

First off, I want to make it clear that I don’t have regrets, at least not many. If any of my decisions hurt someone, I of course feel remorse. But in terms of my professional basketball career, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every choice, good or bad, has shaped the person I am today. Altering any decision might have led to a different outcome in my life, and I’m grateful for the journey I’ve had.

The Freshman Struggle

One pivotal moment was during my freshman season at the University of Arizona. By nature, I am an impatient person, but back then I was off the charts. I was incredibly impatient! I was being influenced by people hyping me up, and was frustrated by my lack of playing time. I had a future 10-year NBA player ahead of me, but I didn’t see the value in waiting my turn.

This frustration spilled over into other aspects of my life, affecting my grades and overall attitude. It all came to a head after a two game road trip. Without going into the spectacular details, let´s just say at the next practice, when I left the court rather unceremoniously, I never returned. I got my act together academically and transferred. Ironically, Arizona won the NCAA championship the next season, proving they didn’t need me after all.

Do I regret leaving Arizona? For a long time, I wondered, “What if?” But I eventually realized I had an incredible college career at Southern Utah, earning a spot in their Hall of Fame. I also had a fulfilling career overseas. The “what might have been” thoughts faded away, replaced by gratitude for my unique journey.

A Painful Lesson in Trusting Your Body

Another significant moment came during my first season in Europe. I was playing well in Austria, with a promising career path laid out by my agent. Then, disaster struck. During a game, I broke my leg. The warning signs were there weeks before, but I ignored them.

I now know that I first injured my leg during practice when someone fell on it. Despite the pain, the team doctor’s X-rays showed no serious damage, so I kept playing, practicing and running outside as everyone else did. While my performance stayed strong, the pain persisted, and my leg was constantly swollen. I trusted the team doctor’s advice, but during a game, my leg finally gave out. I went up for a one on zero dunk and my leg broke without any contact as I jumped.

After taking an interesting ambulance ride almost 2 hours to our home, I had to be operated on immeadiately. The team doctor later admitted he missed a hairline fracture in my initial X-ray. Had I taken three weeks off, my leg would have healed. My first thought was, “Are you f**king serious?”

This experience taught me the importance of listening to your body and seeking multiple medical opinions. It’s a lesson I now pass on to other players. In the aftermath, the team offered me a contract for the following season, thanks to my agent’s negotiations. This reinforced another crucial lesson: the true value of a good agent becomes clear when you’re injured or fired. Fortunately, I had an exceptional agent who supported me.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I’ll share the lessons from the positive decisions I made, including my transition from player to coach.

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