This is the fourth and final installmenet of ASEAN Top Baller 2017 Winner, Adrian Nonis’ all immersive basketball development at Global Squad. Here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 in case you missed it.
It is not every day that a young man gets to dedicate a full month to his dream of pursuing basketball excellence. Adrian Nonis of Penang was chosen as the ASEAN Top Baller Award winner this past spring and given sponsored entry for the summer of a lifetime to attend Global Squad 2017. If you haven’t heard, Global Squad, founded by John Alexander, brings high school talent from around the globe together for a month of intense professional level basketball development. This includes multiple daily skills training sessions, team practices, strength and conditioning, film study, and basketball theory for a full month as well as participation in NCAA accredited tournaments. Global Squad provides guys like Adrian the opportunity to improve their game, chances for college scholarships abroad and perhaps the chance for professional basketball success. The exposure and dedication of time alone aims to build not just great basketball players but confident and disciplined people for society. What follows is Adrian’s first hand account of the first week of his Global Squad journey.
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Day 22 — 22th July
Given the circumstances of the previous day, one might think we’d come out tougher; but almost exactly the opposite happened.
Although our game was the first of the day, causing us to leave The Hill School at 6AM, our performance was totally unacceptable. Our defense was horrendous, allowing complete penetration to the basket multiple times in a row. We allowed sooo many fast break layups due to miscommunication and just pure refusal to get back on defense… The worst part was that the team we played wasn’t even that good.
The Second half, however, played to our favor; and as much as I would like to credit it to our determination, coach John Alexander himself had to step in.
He screamed a lot of profound things, but it all basically came down to one message: CARE. Play tough.
If we divided the game into halves then we would have won the second half. Unfortunately, that’s not how the game works. Nevertheless, I was glad to see our improvement and effort in the second half.
The second game we played was extraordinary. We came out focused and determined to win. We went back and forth with each other, taking the lead and then losing it again. It was a toss and turn that left the audience on edge.
But after what seemed like forever, we won the game. I even hit a clutch shot! With only 1 minute left on the clock and the scoreboard with 63-63, I hit a 3 pointer giving us the lead to 66-63 forcing the other team to foul us finalizing the score of 63-67.
Day 23 — 23th July
We had our first day off of the month today! Sleeping in felt so well deserved after a great win the day before.
We went to an outlet mall to do a little bit of shopping and then later went to see Dunkirk in the evening — such a disappointment for a Christopher Nolan production (at least in my opinion).
Day 24 — 24th July
Training today was hard as usual just like all other mondays, but today felt almost extra laborious mainly because it’s the last week.
Drills were the same in most of the stations with intensity kept at a high level.
Day 25 — 25th July
Training today was also the same but I was feeling slightly sick. A lot of the campers here sat out of the morning sessions because of injuries and illnesses.
As for me, I was feeling a little feverish but still managed to push through the day and make it out alive. Still can’t believe that this is the last week of camp.
Day 26 — 26th July
I didn’t go to morning session today as my feverish feeling had quickly developed into a real fever. Instead, I slept in hopes to recover for the tournament in a few days.
I did, however, participate in the team practice during the afternoon as I felt slightly better.
I am going to bed early tonight in hopes of feeling better tomrorow.
Day 27 — 27th July
Fortunately for me, today was a light day, giving me body additional rest to completely recover from the flu that I developed a few days ago.
Morning training was the same with a ball handling station, weight room station, shooting station, and skills development station. The afternoon practice, unlike other days, was almost as easy as a mere shootaround, going over plays with multiple shooting drills. We were done no later than 2:30 leaving ample time for player evaluation — personal meetings with one’s coach where college is discussed as well as one’s strengths and weaknesses, potential, and journey as a basketball player.
Evening training was also cancelled giving campers downtime for the remainder of the day in which I used to do laundry and spend time with friends who I would soon have to say goodbye.
Day 28 — 28th July
In contrast to most fridays and in fact all morning sessions, today’s was broken down into one-on-one stations, 3-point shooting stations, and a classroom session where nutrition was discussed.
All of these stations were used as qualifying rounds for the evening where the top one-on-one contenders and 3-point shooters battled it out for the title.
Unfortunately, I neither qualified for the 3-point contest nor the one-on-one contest. I did, however, come very close to qualifying for the one-on-one.
Nevertheless, sitting on the sidelines with the rest of the campers that evening proved as a day to remember.
One-on-one players from each region battled it out with different style of plays — from perimeter shooting down to post moves.
3-point shooters nailed each spot with ease, easily averaging 14 points in total.
Last but not least, campers dunked in all different sorts of ways with east-bays, off the board alley-oops, reverse dunks, and soaring above volunteers. It was something I had never before seen with players around the same age as me.
Day 29 — 29th July
The team we played in our first game was like nothing I had ever seen before…
I could feel the energy on my side of court slowly fade as our team gazed in amazement at the other side of the court, nervously studying our opponent. Every single player in the other team was dunking… Not casually dunking but windmilling it, east-baying it… It was a sight that will forever remain in my mind.
To my surprise, however, we were up by 14 points in the 1st half, playing together as a team, making stops and steals, playing with grit and will.
Unfortunately, we lost by 3 points as the other team slowly began to make their way back, bodying and out working us in the second half.
Fortunately, we won the second game with ease after frustration of the first game.
I can’t believe how quickly this camp has flown by… I can’t believe that today was the beginning of our last tournament.
Day 30 — 30th July
We lost our last game today, but we went down swinging. We played tough till the end.
Day 31 — 31th July
I can’t believe this month is actually over… I came into this camp not really knowing what to expect or how to feel. Nervousness and doubt constantly knocked on my door, questioning my worth and my ability; but time slowly began to wash them away.
Global Squad proved as a camp that changed my life not only in terms of basketball, teaching me skills and fundamentals of the next level, exposing me to a lifestyle I could have never imagined, but also in maturity. Global Squad taught me about discipline and the key components that make athlete great off and on the court.
Global Squad gave me the opportunity to grow in character, also giving me the chance to make friendships that will last a lifetime.
I will forever cherish this month and the memories made.
ASEAN Top Baller
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