Embrace diversity and stay positive!

I have learned a lot my rookie season as a professional basketball player. First, embrace diversity. Because it is bound to happen sometime. Call it culture shock or a flash of reality, but every day is a grind out here. Everything is part of a budget and since you get paid (sometimes) you are expected to abide, whatever the conditions might entail. I've come to appreciate how fortunate I had it in college. Bus snacks, free sneakers and socks, towels provided, functioning showers, and individual lockers. All gone. Get use to cleaning your own practice gear, late paychecks and getting acquainted with the local diet. Also, forget about flying and get use to riding the bus. Often and long. We are talking about ten to sixteen hour busrides at ludacris hours of the day. I thought our annual busrides to Dartmouth was bad back in college. That was a cakewalk compared to this. We usually won't get home until ten in the morning. And guess what? Two-a-day practice manana. Gracias amigo.

Secondly, try to be positive whatever the situation may be. It is easy to believe that one's problems is specific and unique, but the reality is that most people are most likely in the same situation you are in. Everyone has bills to pay, and his or her own problems. Complaining about it is not going to get anything done, neither is protesting. If things get problematic I will usually head to the beach. Things just seem to work out after that. Making the best out of every experience is key to not becoming homesick or depressed, especially since there is a lot of free time and a lot less people around. One tends to feel like an outcast and perhaps lost in translation. Unfortunately, I learned this at a very late stage but I do realize that this is all a crucial learning experience.


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