It’s almost time. The 14th year of my professional career is about to start. I’ve played in eight different countries, changed teams a few times, had some great and some not so good moments, but the one thing that has never changed is my love for the game of basketball.
Last season, I told you all that I attained one of the goals of my career and that was to return back to Japan. God heard my prayers and took it a step further by placing me in the perfect situation. God didn’t stop there though. He took it to another level and helped me to lead my team to a B League Championship. It had been ten years since I last played in Japan, and my first year back, I won a title. That’s nothing but God!
This past summer was amazing! I returned home to NC, healed up my body and got in some great work with my trainer of sixteen years, Lamont Fletcher aka Sergeant Fletcher. Every year, Fletch pushes me to take my strength and conditioning to another level. He stays in the books looking for ways to improve my performance, all while preserving my body, and every year he does a great job. While home, I did what I do every summer, hit the Smith Center to get some work in with my Tar Heel brethren. I sharpen my tools with the former guys, but the current guys keep me young on the court. When the young guys arrive on campus, it’s go time for us vets. We look forward to returning to Chapel Hill and humbling the younger guys, while also teaching them what we’ve learned over the years and preparing them for their upcoming season. One on one games of cut throat (king of the hill for you country bumpkins) are always intense and necessary to keep us all on point. Steel sharpens steel, right? We held our annual Strive To Excel Basketball Skills Clinic this summer at Southern High School in Durham, where my former teammate David Noel is the head coach. We had an amazing turnout. The kids were receptive to what we were teaching and worked hard. Shout out to the parents who trust us to help mentor their kids by the way!
Aside from basketball I did what I love the most, spent quality time with my family, The WADSQUAD. My professional career not only affects me, but it affects my family. There are times when we are apart and times when I have to miss events because of my schedule. My family and I basically live abroad. My kids have to go to new schools, make new friends, and even learn a new language. Adjusting to life abroad is not easy, but we have become accustom to it and actually enjoy it. The one person who deserves a pat on the back is my wife. She holds down the fort. She told me a long time ago “You have the rest of your life to live, but one day you wont be able to play basketball anymore so live it up and when the ball stops bouncing we will be right here.” I think it’s safe to say I chose the right one. The best thing about this summer is that we found out that our family is getting even bigger. The Williams twins are coming soon! This will be something new especially since there are no twins on my side of the family. We are very excited for the arrival of our two new additions. “Williams party of six”, is coming to a restaurant near you.
It’s funny to me that now; I’m officially “the vet”. Guys approach me and say, “what’s up OG?” While it is a sign of respect it’s also a motivator for me to show exactly how and why I am and will be around. I’m looking forward to this upcoming season. My teammates and I are expecting to get everyone’s best shot because we won the championship last season. What I like about my team is that the hype that surrounds a team after winning a championship is gone. We are back to the basics, working extremely hard and pushing each other to get better. One life lesson that I learned from basketball is that you have to enjoy the moment and not look ahead or behind you. Looking behind you can cause you to trip over the obstacles that may come your way. Looking ahead will deprive you of the joy the current moment gives, which is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present (I know yall like that!). I will enjoy the process and keep you all updated as the pages of this book turn, and when the time is right, I will actually give you all a book to read about my journey. Talk to you all again soon.