Hi, my name is Nehemiah. You can call me Marcus. I say “Last name Marcus” all the time because it’s how most professional athletes, specifically basketball players, are addressed in the game. For instance “James, for the tie..”, “Harden with an incredible Euro-step!”, “Irving drives to the basket..” or “Curry, for three!” because nobody’s first name is put on the back of a jersey.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m aspiring to play basketball for a professional team. I did NOT play in college. I attended The Ohio State University on a full-ride academic scholarship, tried out for the team during my Freshman year, but didn’t make it. This was Fall, 2005. One year prior to the Buckeyes getting their own Big 3 before the Celtics or Lebron being Greg Odeon, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook.
I’ve always had a love for playing the game for as long as I can remember, literally. However, it was after that first tryout that I decided for the first time in life to put the game aside and focus on my studies. A creative void was absolutely left after putting the game down and I picked up music as a new desire (making beats, writing rhymes, engineering vocals, and DJ’ing) which ended up landing me in Los Angeles later in life. Besides my mentality not being where it needed to be to succeed after failing in ’05, I also didn’t know how to train. Back then, the internet definitely wasn’t what it is today as far as the amount of content, tutorials, workout programs, or exercise routines you could find. But todays a new day.
I began my journey back to basketball at the age of 28 living in Los Angeles and finally realizing that I could do absolutely anything I wanted with my life. The answer was without a doubt to play basketball, professionally. So, I started hitting the YMCA on the regular. I also looked up skills training programs that were out there and found “Taylor Allan’s Elite Guard Training”. This was my first taste of 2 ball drills, full court ball handling drills and more. I also found workouts for increasing my vertical using plyometrics and all bodyweight training.
To make a long story short, I went to the YMCA regularly to train and play in pickup games for 2 years. At the early part of age 30 I thought I was ready to tryout for a team so I paid $150, drove to Phoenix, AZ for the Northern Arizona Suns (Phoenix Suns G-League Team) Open Tryouts. I knew it would be tough and what I found was that theres a big difference between dominating at the YMCA and playing with guys that are hungry to get it. I lacked in stamina. I lacked in strength. I also lacked in mental toughness in a way but I’ll get to that story in a later post. After that tryout, I hit the bicycle and treadmill. I got my squat and deadlift weight up to 315 lbs. I also switched focus from playing in pickup games 2-3 times per week at the YMCA to 5 days a week at UCLA’s John Wooden Recreation Center. I’ll be 31 in May, but at the rate I’m going, I definitely feel like I’m getting younger. I’ve learned about the dangers of giving up and it’s not happening again. I’ll be attending the next tryout and this time, much more prepared. Stay Tuned!