Things Are Heating Up
Not only are the tempertures rising fast here but so are my activities. I have now been in India for about 6 months. I can still claim that I see something everyday that I've never seen before. Since returning from the U.S. a week ago I have been all over India. I traveled down to Mumbai for the Ramu Memorial Tournament. It gave me chance to see many of my national team players compete. While in Mumbai I stayed with long time friend and Director of NBA India, Troy Justice. We are very like-minded and have a mutual passion for basketball and even more so for impacting people. The next day after I returned to Delhi I traveled by car to Ludhiana for the U18 3X3 natiional tournament.The ride in itself is an adventure. It was great to see many friends I had made during the Senior Nationals in December that were also in Ludhiana. I was able to see for the first time our up and coming stars in this age group. It was a long day seeing that we left at 4 am and returned at about 2 am the same day or should say the next morning.
When you here me say "we" I am referring to my driver, Arvind. He has become much more than a driver to me. He is one of my best friends in India. I am very blessed to have him and he tells me he feels the same. We are able to laugh at many of the situations we get in. This is a great coping mechanism. We have also had many deep conversations about our families, our lives, and our faith. He and our cook, Meenu, have really become part of our family. They have not had easy lives but they are both strong individuals that we have great respect for. I believe Chawn and I have been able to show them a different kind of relationship than what they have experienced in the past. We are better people for knowing them.
I am a bachelor these days. Chawn is still in the U.S. and will return in about a month. (I think?) When I returned to India I asked if she was really coming back. She just laughed. I look forward to her return. We are a team. It really is much better to share an experience like this with someone. We have been on this great ride for over 30 years now. After talking with many couples in the states I realized more than ever that she is the hero in this faith journey. We were hard pressed to find many wives that would be willing to take off for India. She really is coming back!
Tomorrow I fly to Bangalore for my second training camp with the senior national team. We are preparing for the SABA Qualifier which we will compete against countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Our goal is to qualify for the Asian Championships in the Philippines this August. In our first camp I focused much of our time on player development. We will now have to spend most of our practices growing as a team. Practice has always been my favorite part of coaching. I love the interaction, the teaching, the motivating and the executing of our system of play. These are also times (sometimes before or after practice) to make a difference in the lives of these young men. I never want to forget my higher calling in coming to India. Every day is a new opportunity. SALT & LIGHT