Since the college basketball season began this week, I thought it would be fun to write about one of my favorite things from my first year in Asia. This is HOW I BECAME AN ASIAN COLLEGE BASKETBALL STAR AT 28!
Pat Ku (next to me), Drew Johnson (second to the right), and me with two of our basketball teammates during a “night on the town”. . .
My entire life, I had dreamed of athletic glory. I had hoped that, at a minimum, I would play college sports. I assumed it would be baseball. There was an outside shot at football; perhaps I had a chance at a strong school with a bad team. I never dreamed I would play college basketball. I didn’t even play at the high school level. The thought of playing with the national champions in Asia was beyond my wildest imagination. However, that is exactly what happened. This is how I backed into playing college basketball in Asia at the best program in the country.
Upon arriving in Asia, the language program I was part of decided we would all participate in some kind of student activity. This would make finding friends and being a part of campus life much easier.
On the first day of class, our language teacher found out that Patrick Ku (my roommate, friend, and fellow Georgia Tech alumni) and I enjoyed playing basketball. She told us to be ready at 4:30pm the next day. She would take us to play. I thought that we would just play on the outdoor courts with random students.
We met our teacher at the main campus building. She walked us past the main outdoor courts. I was curious. She took us into the campus gymnasium. We quickly found out that she had set it up for us to try out for the varsity team of the university.
We had heard the buzz around campus of their recent national championship, but we knew nothing else about them. We showed up and the court was filled with massive dudes running drills, dunking, etc., complete with their whistle blowing coach. Our teacher, a tiny woman of about 65 years old, walked on the court, interrupted practice, and asked the coach to let us play. I felt ridiculous. Continue Reading…