First of all I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my first piece with the wish dish. You never know how ones story can affect you and the Wish Dish has a ton of great stories that are inspiring and insightful.
Will Smith stars in a movie called Seven Pounds as the character Ben Thomas trying to save seven deserving strangers. If you haven’t seen this film be ready to get the tissues out because it’s very emotional. Woody Harrelson who some may know (or just me) from the classic movie White Men Can’t Jump as Billy Doyle plays the character Ezra Turner in the film. Ezra is a telemarketer who sells meat but is also blind. Ben calls Ezra at his job harassing him to see if he would break.
Check it out:
This scene was so moving to me because he demonstrated what patience truly is. Although his body language shows he was hurt from the harsh words, he still had a smile on his face and remained polite and calm.
This past year was a challenge for me, as my patience would really be tested. As I mentioned in my first piece with the Wish Dish, I had a dream of playing professional basketball. I had it all planned out, sign a contract, average this amount of points and hopefully sign a better deal the next year. However, that plan was not what God had for me but it took me awhile to realize that. Every time my agent would call my heart would stop just hoping something would come up. I questioned whether I’d play the game that has done so much for me. There were days I didn’t even want to watch basketball let alone go to the gym and workout.
Although I was going through this tough time, I knew I was prepared for it. In my basketball career I’ve endured many obstacles that have shaped me into the person I am today. For example, my freshman year of high school I had the idea that I would play Junior Varsity because I felt I was too good for the freshman team. I was humbled that year where I didn’t make the J.V. team and would end up playing freshman. Frustrated wasn’t even the word, especially since one my best friends would make the team over me. That experience was probably the best thing that could have happened to my career. After a year of playing with some of my closest friends to this day, I would improve my game and leadership qualities. The next summer I worked my butt off and ended up becoming a starter on the Varsity team and from there my high school career would take off.
With my basketball aspirations on hold, I had to figure out what my next move would be. I immediately turned to one a person who has been a big influence in my life on and off the court. My High School coach Chris Whelan is the Co-Owner of a company called Overtime Athletics. Overtime Athletics specializes in after school sport enrichment programs working with over 500 schools all over the country and summer camps as well. From starting this job full time, I knew it would limit my time from basketball but I needed a way to stay involved in the game.
Ever since high school I’ve done personal training with kids who would like to improve their game on a personal level. I’ve been fortunate to play at a high level so it is only right for me to pass along the knowledge I learned from the game. I trained about 6 kids throughout the year and it was a joy to see them work hard and get better. This summer I had the opportunity to run a basketball camp with OTA along with my older brother Walter and some old teammates of mine. We had so much fun working with a great group of kids that were eager to learn.
I think we often forget what’s important when we have our minds set on something we want. Looking back on my situation I thank God I didn’t play professionally my first year out because I would have missed out on so many great people I met and impacted this year.
Matthew 17:20 reads, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” This bible verse has been instilled in me since I could remember and I’ve always stuck to it. Like Ezra I still had a smile on my face no matter the circumstance and trusted God and his plan for me. I was passed along an opportunity of continuing my basketball career as well as getting my masters at a university overseas. I immediately jumped on it thinking this would be a great opportunity not only to play again but also to further my education. Thanks to TeamGleas and owner Lindsey Gleason I would find my new home at the University of Essex in Colchester England. I am pursuing my masters in Marketing and Management in addition to continuing my playing career.
There are so many people I want to say thank you to but I know you guys don’t want to read that but all my family and friends know who you are. My purpose in sharing my story is to show people that you may not know at the time what will unfold but be aware because there are blessings to be found in every situation.
Wish Dish is awesome, thank you again for the opportunity to share. Stay Blessed people! #LetsGoChamp
To read Austin’s first story, Sky’s the Limit, click the link!