Hi, guys! It’s going to be hard to top the last blog post, but I'll do my best. I think it's safe to say it's definitely exciting times here in Letterkenny!
Anyway as I left off on my last post, my college coach from the University of the Sciences, Dave Pauley, was kind enough to come pay me a visit out here in Ireland and catch my college championship victory. I just want to talk about the significance of his visit and some of the things we did.
After the game, Coach and I spent some time celebrating in Dublin then, we made our way up to Letterkenny the following day. Once there we had a couple things planned. The first was lunch with a group of people involved with basketball and LYIT. It was a fantastic meal and a very kind gesture on behalf of them to welcome my coach this way! Immediately following that we went right to the LYIT gym and we had Coach Pauley run a clinic for both the kids and the coaches.
For the couple days leading up to the clinic, I really didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure if we were going to get a good turnout of coaches or not. However, when we arrived the place was packed with coaches and players; all of them ready with pens and a notepad ready to learn. I must say it was really nice and rewarding to see that. It shows that the people here are willing to invest time and effort into becoming better coaches to in turn help their players.
Obviously living in a small town like Letterkenny, in a rural part of Ireland, makes it quite difficult and rare to get access to a prominent coach like this. Therefore, I was really excited to be a big part in giving the people here this unique opportunity. I am not sure how many NCAA college coaches come out to Ireland to run clinics, but I'm sure it's a very small number and I guarantee none of them are coming to Letterkenny. So to have this event here was huge for basketball in the area.
Next, Coach Pauley ended up running a couple different sessions and the feedback from everyone was extremely positive. I truly believe it was and will continue to be a big boost for basketball in the area. It was definitely a fun time for all and very informative. In the couple days following I can already see the coaches using some of the things he talked about which is great!
Furthermore, Coach Pauley has had a huge impact on my life and a lot of the material I am passing onto the kids out here is from what I gathered over my years playing for him. I strive to have as positive and lasting impact on the kids here as Coach Pauley has had on me. I really hope we could come back out here again in the future and do it again!
Lastly, between winning the championship for college and having Coach out here I am starting to find that we are making a big difference in the community. In just the past week alone, many unfamiliar faces have approached Jack and I recognized that we are the American basketball players, they congratulated and thanked us for everything we are doing. It is great to feel and hear those kinds of compliments.
Our work here isn't done but we are making unbelievable progress! We only have a couple more months left so hopefully, it continues down this bright path.