I promised The Courtside Collective ages ago that I would do a blog but I’ve been boycotting the site due to a lack of pictures of myself. However, I decided to put my ego aside only for the fact that I am going to get a free t-shirt out of it.
So, I’ve been back in the states now for about two months and it’s been a long & boring time. Waking up to go to 7.30am practices every morning is pretty dull; especially when I have to sit and watch it from the sideline. It’s not all bad though; my team is doing really well. On Tuesday, we won the conference regular season for the first time in the school’s history (along with the first winning season in 10 years). Finishing in last place in the conference the previous year, I don’t think anyone expected we would be in the position we are in now. In the most recent polls, we have been ranked #1 in our region for D2 basketball. There are only four regions in the whole of America so it’s mental that we have been rated so highly. This weekend the conference playoffs are starting, which is exciting because if [Editor: I think you meant to write, ‘when’] we win I get one of those shiny championship rings.
My rehab is going well. I’m forcing myself to take it slow and i’m definitely starting to see the benefits. I think that this is the first injury I’ve had that I haven’t rushed back from, and re-injured myself. The disappointment from making that mistake last year, which lead to me having to miss out on almost my entire freshman year, has disciplined me to pace myself. I hope to start practicing in the next two weeks but by that time we could be travelling all over the place chasing some more bling. I actually don’t know if ‘redshirts’ even get a ring if the team wins. Hopefully, I’ll be able to win my own one next year.
Asides from basketball, everything else is ridiculously boring. When I tell people where I go to school, the usual response I get is – ‘never heard of it.’ I’m not surprised because it must be the smallest school in America. Even on my busted feet, I could probably run around the whole campus in five minutes. Unfortunately, since i went home last semester, I have to stay here for summer school. So, I’m not going to be making it back to Belfast until August for a few weeks. I actually haven’t told my Mum this yet, so hopefully she doesn’t read this until i get a chance to tell her [Editor: Pretty sure, Coach Breda is a regular].
The Courtside Collective is definitely something I appreciate. It gives me a place where I can keep up-to-date with all that’s going on back home. I am sure we would all agree that the one thing the site is missing is a Mike Calo section but nothing’s perfect, right? I’m looking forward to seeing some more highlights of Belfast Star & Ulster Rockets getting a few more wins to finish the season!
Paul was the first player featured on The Courtside Collective; he is currently one of only two players from N.I. playing college basketball in the USA. Paul attends Franklin Pierce, a Division 2 school in New England, and is on a full scholarship. He has spent the past year as a ‘red-shirt’, missing out on an entire season due to a serious foot injury. We are happy to have Paul onboard as a regular contributor.