Duke's Diary: Transition Game

The Diary is open once again... for the world! Vibe with me and see what journey I take you on this time. Maybe it's a trip you may find yourself on right now.

The day of change comes at me in many different ways. Every day, there's always something new, different to experience and I have to be ready to deal with whatever life throws my way. We have a new president, the economy is still hurting, but like everyone, I still have to live. How do I survive life's pressure? All I can do is get my transition game together! Instinctively, I got to read, rotate, and make the adjustments. I gotta get the steal and score, not thinking any other way! My team needs me. Losing is not an option.

Check this out... Like many places around the country, the talk of CHANGE became reality within my place of employment. After nearly 7-years on the J-O-B, how could this be that my job situation may change? My first reaction was complete shock no doubt. Besides, I've been doing my thing, receiving praise from my peers and the top brass within the company no less. I'm comfortable with what I do and most importantly I believe in what I do. My swag was on point! My job had purpose and I was part of a team that was completing a mission of serving the most talented basketball youth in the world! From helping the top ranked high school players in the country with preparation to handle the college recruiting process and enter college to eventually becoming #1 NBA Drafts picks, I was a part of it all. It's a proven successful program and just like that, I heard things would change. My position, the program, everything! That's tough to handle. Then people begin to talk. Maybe my position would stay or maybe I would be the one to go away? Maybe I was no longer wanted or needed? I didn't know.

After all, I had been living a dream. I was only just a local, city kid from Indianapolis, who made his way in the doors to work at one of the most prestigious sports organizations in the world (NCAA)! Now I'm hearing it could potentially end? Man I was riding on an emotional roller coaster, in the front seat (and I hate roller coasters)! Shock, fear, anger, and uncertainty about my future were real. I began to think about how I would be able to support my family, myself? How would I survive and put food on the table? I thought about being jobless without any health benefits. Man, things I took for granted that were a given to me for so many years (Final Four Ticket perks to name one in particular), could all come to an end. Stress began to rapidly move in. Every day I was awakened by the reality of not being in control of my future or career. At work I was told to continue on, business as usual (BAU). There were many questions being asked to the powers that be within the company but not many concrete answers were given. That didn't sit well with me. I knew I had to sustain my faith in a higher power because I was in no position to make any decision about my current job position. All I could do was pray.

To make a long story short, a conscience choice had to be made. The change happened, but I ended up in a position to have an opportunity to accept a new position with a new company, with similar goals. Brand new start-up company? That was uncertainty at the highest level for me! You know, something like being in a full court press position and you believe you can cheat up to make the steal on the pass, but, you're not sure or certain you can get there? You gamble and don't make the play, you don't succeed and you lose the game. What do you do? Your Inner gut begins to turn, knot-up as anxiety settles in with deep emotions running throughout your mind, body and soul. It happened to me. What did I do? I went back to what I know and that's keep pushing hustling, grinding, doing my job the way I was suppose to and to the best of my abilities. When I do those things, I knew it would all work out for the better and I couldn't worry about what was going to happen or what might happen. I knew change was going to come. I didn't look at that change as a bad thing, but I looked at it as a new opportunity to advance my career and do something bigger, better and even more life changing for some young athletes in the Country.

Mixed emotions will sometimes do just that, emotionally have you mixed up! Positive thinking with hard work can conquer many things. Before long, one day I realized that the "change" had already happened. As a matter of fact, I had made the steal and was on my way down the court in transition to score and seal the deal.

In retrospect, I went through a stressful process but I remembered you have to read, rotate, and react to any situation in life just as you would on the hardwood. My transition game, like yours, never stops. I was recruited by the new company because someone saw my game and saw how hard I played and believed in me. They took a chance on me in the first round. I was a lottery pick for that new company iHoops (The Official Youth Basketball Initiative of the NCAA & NBA)! It's on to new things in my life. The important lesson I learned through it all, ‘Where ever you are right now is only practice for your next opportunity.' From the NCAA to ihoops... We run this town! Until my Diary is unlocked again, PEACE!

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