I guess I should start this entry by talking about my rookie initiation during the team dinner on Thursday night. It was my first time going through something like that. Even as a freshman in college, I didn’t go through a hazing process.
The Suns rookies enjoy a night of hazing.
(Dan Banks/Suns Photos)
You probably saw the video on Suns.com of DJ Strawberry, Doug Thomas and I singing for the rest of the guys. I’ve gotten so many calls from people who have watched it and seen the pictures up on the website. People will call and the first thing they’ll say is, “I’m so pretty,” so I’ll know they’ve seen it.
We had heard the vets were going to ask us to sing, so we went to the hotel after practice and before dinner to rehearse what we’d be doing. But that sort of backfired on us. I don’t think Steve Nash and the coaches appreciated us being so prepared, which is why they then made us run around the restaurant, dancing pretty and barking like dogs. They said we shouldn’t have gotten rehearsal time, so they switched it up on us.
It was a lot of fun, though. We actually enjoyed it and it helped remove some of those rookie jitters.
The scrimmage game went really well on Saturday night. It was the first time I was able to perform in front of a crowd with my new teammates and it meant a lot to me. It was exciting, the fans really made it with their enthusiasm. Players really ride that enthusiasm and it was great having the fans behind us and being able to ride that momentum.
Getting to put on that jersey and knowing I was going out there to play a “competitive” game meant everything to me. It’s always been my dream to play in the NBA. I come from a small town, so for me to be able to represent Lockport, Ill. meant a lot. I’ve got a lot of people behind me and know when I wear that Suns jersey I’m not only representing my team but a lot of people who care for me. Knowing that the jersey I’m wearing is for a team that has a lot of camaraderie and respect for one another just made the feeling that much better.
It was a pretty good game overall. We were getting up and down the floor. I was able to go out there and provide a spark, and tried not to do more than the coaches had asked of me.
There were some highlights in the game. Sean Marks had a big block, Doug Thomas had an impressive dunk, Steve Nash hit a couple threes, Shawn Marion did a great job getting up and down the court, Grant Hill played extremely well… those are a few of the things I noticed while watching. This team is definitely going to keep fans on their feet this upcoming season.
The biggest thing that surprised me was how fast training camp went. It seems like yesterday I was coming in for my first day and wondering how fast I would begin picking things up. But the coaches and my teammates have helped make things so easy and that’s important. I think I made some accomplishments this past week in terms of building relationships and working on my game, and I think that’s going to go a long way this season.