Real Deal Or Big Bust – Joe Alexander Continues Strong Push Towards NBA Return!

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Simple words with a powerful meaning, especially for 6’8 forward, Joe Alexander.  The 8th overall pick in 2008, Alexander was a top talent – raw, athletic, and loaded with potential.   Three years later, he was considered by many anything but.

Labeled by the New York Daily News as one of the “Biggest Draft Busts of All Times” and relegated to the NBA’s Most Unwanted List, the 24-year-old’s lifelong dream of playing in the league seemed all but over.  Sidelined by foot and leg injuries for almost two years, it nearly was. Miles from where he started and facing an overwhelming amount of adversity, Alexander did what any great competitor would do.  He refused to give up.

“It was brutal having NBA coaches lose faith in my abilities,” shared Alexander.  “There was so much uncertainty, especially with the injuries, but I refused to lose faith, viewed my set backs as a challenge, and used them as motivation to return stronger and healthier than ever.”

With a dedicated spirit and unwavering commitment to finish what he started, the former WVU Mountaineer took his talents to the NBADL, signing with Santa Cruz following a training camp stint with Golden State.  At full strength and 100% healthy for perhaps the first time in his professional career, Joe did not just contribute, he excelled.  Establishing himself this year as one of the leagues top prospects, Alexander has put up averages of 21.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game, shooting better than 54% from the field while turning some heads in the process.

Playing arguably the best basketball of his life, it is not hard to see why many, including this insider, have begun to take an interest in the former lottery pick.  Was Joe Alexander one of the games biggest busts or just a late bloomer with tremendous untapped potential?  Many believe the latter, including Euro-League powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv, who just signed the 27-year-old for the remainder of the season.  Another stop in a long and arduous professional journey, Alexander is excited for what the future holds.

“I am truly blessed and have been given some outstanding opportunities,” he explains.  “I feel myself getting closer every day and am truly excited about what lays ahead.”

So are we Joe . . . so are we.  Stay tuned!

#ReportingLiveFrom Bolivia – Coach Tyray Checks In!

Hey y’all – Coach Tyray reaching out with another update from down south.  Just finished my second professional regular season.  We ended the year with the best record and number one overall seed heading into the playoffs.

I’ve played in two different countries now (Europe and South America) and in the past two years I’ve only lost four games.  I’m blessed to already have one championship from last year in Europe and am now looking to do the same here in Bolivia.  My team finished the first round of the playoffs going 2-1 against fourth ranked Santa Cruz.  I continued to play well averaging 21.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.

Next up is the Bolivian League Championship.  Should be an interesting match up.   One of my close friends Fred Wood, also from Milwaukee, plays for the opposing team.  Guess we will see who can bring the championship back home lol.

That’s it for now.  Stay tuned for more updates and thanks for all the support.

Update – Quincy Miller Drops 31 In Impressive D League Debut!

When news broke late last week that NBA free agent Quincy Miller was heading to the D-League, the basketball world took note.  Out of action nearly six weeks following his release from Denver in October, the 22-year-old swingman wasted little time silencing his critics and making a strong case for a quick NBA return.

In just 25 minutes of action, Miller put up 31 points on an impressive 6-10 from behind the arc,  grabbing 4 rebounds, a steal, and a block, in a 156-130 rout over the Erie Bayhawks.  With age, athleticism, and a renewed sense of determination on his side, Miller already appears destined for a call-up, garnering the attention of several GM’s from around the league.  Rumors have tied the 6’10 forward to the Rockets, Lakers, Kings, and Sixers to name a few, and with continued production like he had Sunday night, it is not hard to see why.

When will we see Miller back in the league?  Only time will tell, but this insider thinks “Q” is already well on his way.

Running On All Cylinders – Coach Tyray Checks In!

Just got this update from Coach Tyray who is doing big things down in Cochabamba, Bolivia

“Still playing in Bolivia’s top league where my team is now first place in the standings.  We have gone 7-1 since I got here and haven’t lost a game since Oct. 26th.   Loving every minute but still not satisfied and always finding a way to get better.  Stay tuned!”

 

Reporting Live From South America – Coach Tyray Checks In!

Hey HSB Family:  Just giving you all an update.  I’ve taken my talents to South America.  I’m currently in Cocahabamba, Bolivia, playing in the top league here for the next couple months.  I got the call after one of the teams guards tore his ACL.  Being ready is real like Carson and the staff always preach in camp.   You really don’t know when or where your next opportunity will come from so you just always gotta be ready.

The city I’m in is beautiful with very friendly people.   It is the largest city in the country. Our first game was an away game.  I played well and showed flashes that I could hang with the best in the league, although as a team we came up short.   Second game was at home.  Our gym holds about 3000 people and we packed it out.  I had a breakout of sorts, wowing the crowd and finishing the night with 35 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in the win.

Last night we were really tested as a team.  Playing at over 4,000 ft above sea level isn’t easy but we found a way to pull it out.  Despite the obstacles I was able to score 18 of my 27 point in the forth to help in great team victory over La Paz.

We are currently in 3rd place at 4-2 riding a 3-game winning streak.  Our next big test is Saturday night.  I’ll keep you guys posted as the season goes along.  Keep working hard.  This is #TP15 signing out.

Justin Holiday Making Strong Case For Warrior’s Final Spot!

In a tight race?  Then separate yourself from the competition.  With less than a week until the 2014-15 NBA season tip-off, the highly contested battle for Golden State’s final roster spot has appeared to be all but undecided.  That was until Sunday night when twenty-five year old swing man Justin Holiday, took it upon himself to elevate the level of competition.

One of six young players vying for the clubs final spot, number 7 turned a potential early exit into an opportunity, exploding for a game high 18 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals.  Tuesday’s encore against LA was much the same as “Holiday” gave the more than 19,000 on hand at Oracle Arena a solid look at why he should be Golden State’s newest Warrior.

Capping the night with 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists, including an impressive defensive performance, the 6’6 veteran appears to have all but put an end to the month long competition.  Silencing his critics, including rookie Head Coach Steve Kerr, who have commented as of late on his poor shooting, Holiday has answered the call, making better than 50% of his shots from behind the arc in the last two games.  With just one outing left before next Wednesday nights season opener in Sacramento, has Holiday done enough to make the grade?

“He’s an unbelievable guy. He’s a great worker, he’s smart and he’s a team guy. Justin belongs in this league,” said Kerr.  This insider thinks so too.  Stay tuned!

 

Live From China – Mike Harris Checks In!

Hey everyone . . . writing you guys from a very small Chinese city we’ve been in for these three pre-season games.  The airport is even small.  It only has one baggage claim carousel for all the airlines coming in.  We arrived at the same time as the other teams.   Li Ning is the sponsor for the entire league so everyone has the same bag.  It was a grind trying to figure out whose stuff was whose as our bags all dropped from the same spot.

The hotel they have us in is the equivalent of a low 2-star at home.  The internet is decently fast and the food is okay so it’s not too bad .  This small town doesn’t get a lot of attention so for the people here it is really exciting to see all the players and get to watch the games.

Game one was close . . . we were up by one point with a minute left.  Our guy draws an offensive foul on the opposing team and gets two free throws.  Misses them both. The other team goes down and gets a quick bucket.  We immediately push the ball up the floor, rush a shot, and they turn the miss into a lay-up in transition.

Down by three with thirty seconds lefts, coach draws up a play for our American guard who nails a three pointer to tie it with four seconds left.  We were thinking overtime, but our big got called for a foul on the last possession.  They missed the first, made the second and we lost the game by one.

The next game was a blow out.   We got up early so I only played a few minutes.  Tomorrow is our third and final preseason game here and then we head back to Qingdao, our home city.  That’s all for now.  Stay tuned for more updates.

Checking In – Coach 2P’s Live From Roma!

Coach 2P’s checking in from Roma, Italy.  First and foremost, it’s a wonderful city, with lots of historic sites – very nice here.  On the basketball side of things it is going pretty well. I had a decent preseason.  Didn’t do as well as I would have liked, but in due time I will figure it out.  It can be tough adjusting sometimes.  I am working extremely hard to adapt and once I do I know it will be trouble for this league.  Always like hearing from you guys so feel free to drop me a line from your side of the pond.  I’ll do my part and keep you guys posted on my progress.  Keep working hard!

Coach 2P’s

Others Make It Happen – Tayron Thomas #ReportingLiveFrom Colombia!

Coach Tayron #reportinglivefrom Colombia – been a while since I’ve updated everyone on my professional basketball journey so thought I would shoot you all a quick note.  I started in 2014 in Venezuela, for the first time as a point guard. Wasn’t a very successful season for me even though my team was number #1 in the standings.  Despite the ups and downs, I made it through the whole regular season.  Unfortunately, they released me right before the playoffs started.

After my release, I returned home just in time to celebrate my 30th birthday (still look & feel like I’m 21, lol).  Got to spend a lot of time with my family, and even decided to improve my health by changing my eating habits and accepting a “no sugar challenge”. I trained in the gym twice a day Monday through Friday every week for 3 months!  The hard work definitely paid off.

Currently I’m back in my old stomping grounds – Colombia.  I was called in to help a team in jeopardy of not making the playoffs.  Since my arrival, the team is 4-1 moving up from 5th to 3rd place.  With the higher seed we will have two home guys in the first round so I’m liking our odds at making a championship run.  After my time here in Colombia is up,  I will add yet another country to my basketball resume and head to Brazil.  The contract has already been signed, sealed and delivered so I’m excited for the new challenge ahead of me!  Well until next time I’ll leave you with some wisdom, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”- MICHAEL JORDAN

The Grind – Mike Harris Checks In!

“Made the long flight to China and got settled for a day or two, before our team took off for Malaysia.  I was thinking in my head that the two would be the same. They’re so different, although Malaysia does have a lot of Chinese people.  Everywhere you go someone speaks English which is nice, especially when you are so fare from home.  The food was way better.  Room service actually had some stuff we could relate to like chicken, steak, pastas, salads, smoothies etc.   It’s a lot easier to feel comfortable when you have good food and the internet.  Internet service is tough sometimes but I was luckily able to get a data card for my iPad, so that I could talk to my family.  We had 5 games, but I only got to play in one of them.  We won – were up by 14 when I came out.  The other four only the Chinese guys played in since the other teams didn’t have any imports.  It was a great experience for those guys and always good when they get some extra playing time.  Tournaments over and we are now heading back to China to get ready for the preseason.  Plan to keep you guys updated each week on how things are going on this side of the world.  Take care!”

*Harris signed with the Qingdao Eagles of China’s CBA in mid September.