At Nike Skills Academy, a chance to play best, meet idols

It was a very busy summer for me with all the traveling and workouts I had going on.

I was fortunate enough to be one of 27 college players across the country invited to the Nike Skills Academy in Los Angeles.

It was a great learning experience because of the opportunities I had there. 

I was able to play against some of the best players not only in the country but in the world, as well.

I went up against Paul George, Demarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Chris Paul, James Harden, and many other great athletes.  Plus, I was able to have conversations with some of my idols like Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.

The experience reinforced for me that if you dedicate all that you have to something, work as hard as you can at it and believe in yourself that what you put in is going to work, you are going to be successful at whatever you do, basketball or not. 

My favorite part about this journey was the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world and prove to myself that I could play with them.

We also had some great workouts as a team here on campus at UDM.

I was here all summer working on not just basketball, but on my lifting and conditioning, as well. I was lifting three days a week and working on my speed, agility, and conditioning at least another two days. 

That is on top of working on my game with the coaches and at night on my own, getting extra work in. 

I really focused on my strength and conditioning this summer. 

Lots of players do this to be ready for the season.

I was able to add ten pounds of muscle to my frame while getting in good enough shape to play a whole game. 

We are still working extremely hard these first couple weeks of school preparing for the season. 

It is going to be an exciting season, and we hope to see a lot of you out at games.