Friday, April 10, 2009

Guess who's back???

Hello everybody, I know you have all been wondering "Where the bloody hell did Lee go?"... Truth is that I have been flat out busy and no real time to sit down and blog to my hearts content, and with this perfectly placed holiday I have found it a good opportunity to kick back and go for it. The past few months have had some real ups and equal downs. I will keep things general as I don't want to go too deep but I'm sure I will go deep into the parts that are important.

First of all I will get the downs out the way so we can finish on a good note. This past Tuesday marks the 6th week that my Dad, Carl, has been in hospital. Dad suffers from MS which in laymens term affects his muscle functions and can keep him relatively weak. There is no cure. Dad was diagnosed in 2001, but like a man continued to work his 12 hour a day job to support the family. Until 2003 when he was "let go" because he couldn't fulfill his duties. He reapplied for a supervisors role where he could use his knowledge of the trade rather than do anything physical. They rejected the application and posted on the lunch room wall that he had retired. Retired at 44? No one believed that and everyone new the truth.

Right now talking about this saddens me, but Dad and his life is something that I feel should be shared as not many people actually get to see Carl all to often. Dad was born in England in 59' and worked as a maintenance fitter for all of his working life. He would tell stories of lifting massive equipment and tools and how used to work long hours and walk miles to school and work, I'm sure you have all heard similar stories from your parents. Lucky for me, he met his beautiful wife Jane and after 4 kids the family is still going strong, despite the fall backs. But as Carl always said, "Always play the cards your dealt". Dad played rugby for Brentwood Rugby Club where he had a lot of friends, he was known as the "diplomat", as if there was ever a problem on field they would send him in. But his name was opposite in how he acted. I was lucky enough to watch Dad play, I don't remember but I was still there. I was also lucky enough to run around and play with my Dad as a youngster, and I feel more for my younger brothers at this point as they have never experienced that. I will leave this part of the blog at that, but Carl is on the mend and will hopefully be out soon.

On a higher note, I am lucky enough to be the Perth Wheelcats Assistant Coach this year. Which is WA's Wheelchair Basketball team, and not only do I get to work under the best coach in the business, Ben E, I get to work with some pretty awesome athletes that have achieved a lot. Every single person involved in the team/squad is a great person off the court and have a lot of experiences to share, and all of them are hard workers on the court (even if they do need a bit of a "push" to get them going). Coach Ben E recently took a trip over East for a training camp and some other things, which opened up the door for me to take over the reigns for 2 weeks. I was really excited at this new challenge and thought i did a resonably decent job. The journey as a wheelchair basketball coach has only just started and doors will open in the future and i plan to take every opportunity I can.

This year I made the decision to play no basketball what so ever. But if anyone knows me, they would know that this is impossible. I played in a Summer carnival called "Cockburn Carnival" with the U/23 age group. Our last game was to be against Cockburn late Sunday afternoon. Willetton v Cockburn, Eagles v Dockers, Australia v England etc. Basically this is always a game that must be won by either team at all cost. I went into this game thinking it would be my last outing for the Tigers, but to make this game that little more special I was playing with Nick R and against childhood rival Sheldon M. The game was awesome, I had 32 and we evetually drew the game after Nick R hit a three on the buzzer from my assist. As I took my shoes off at the end of the game and had masses of people coming up to me saying great game, I thought "How can this be it?". Well later that week I was at U/23 training and ready to play the year. But word must of got out that I was back and playing, and the next week SBL Coach Simon P asked me back to run with the senior squad. This is something I secretly hungered for and could not turn down. My first game back and we won, which was the teams first win for the season, although I take absolutley no credit at all as the boys deserved the win. I'm struggling to find form at the moment but I will pull through, I always do. It is also an honour to be wearing my childhood idol and recently retired Tiger's number 15, which belonged to the great Greg Regan.

Anyway, enough for now. I hope everyone has a great Easter and drives safetly.

In Hoops,


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