"Somewhere over the Rainbow...skies are as blue as I am right now..."...

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January 6, 2008...the season is ovah...PERIOD!

We lost our last home game in typical fashion...down by 20, only to come back within 7 and 9 mins. to play WITH THE BALL in our half court...we proceeded to "open" our infamous "CBA Bakery" and served up 3 consecutive turnovers that lead to the opponents' 7 straight points and it was over...and this was our last game of the season at home...We have some wonderful fans here in Changchun City, faithful and loyal to the end, as we had close to 3,000 show up in our arena that holds 4,000 plus...Our effort was undermanned by the absence of DaJuan Tate, our best player, who sat out with flu...he tried to play, but was soon sitting where he belonged: on the sidelines...He had a great year, one of the top 3 scorers in the League at around 27 per game...His best games are ahead of him, I'm sure...It's immaterial to describe this outcome as we were DOA several weeks ago and were only kept alive by pride and effort to finish the season...

This past week in the new year was not what I would call memorable in my basketball life, but then again, most people who know me would consider "my world" a little different by global standards...The game is a simple contest that requires aptitude, attitude and a whole lot of beatitudes...Every country that I have been blessed to share the game with as a former European player after college to the present day of teaching and coaching through camps and clinics, one thing stands out significantly: there are a lot of young participants and players who are in this world activity, and the major problem is the level of teaching that DOESN'T complement the spirit and commitment their teams provide them in practices and competitions...Now you know why FamilySportsLifeToday.com is committed to helping all levels of organized youth sports, their parents and especially their coaches, volunteers and hired coaches...Our future Podcasts and my submissions will hopefully reflect upon the "need" for annual training modules to help teach coaches how to teach kids...stay "tuned"...

My itinerary over the next four weeks has me preparing for my college coaches clinic in Valdivostok, Russia...our State Department in conjunction with the invitation of the Minister of Sport and Education in Moscow, has requested my presentation to the coaches in Vladivostok, Russia, Feb. 5-12...I am really excited for this opportunity to visit another foreign country and share my basketball life experiences with these coaches for the week...We'll cover basketball philosophy, basketball psychology and the FUNinthementals of teaching the game to their players...Before I depart from Beijing for Vladivostok, I will be in Changchun for two weeks, waiting for my Russian Visa Stamp which I will have to secure with a trip by train to Shenyang, where a Russian Consulate's office is located...that will be a "book and a half trip" (6 hours round trip)...Evelyn Wood was never an option growing up...While visiting Beijing, I hope to visit a couple of museums and perhaps an interview or two for a couple of jobs that supposedly are going to be available in the CBA next season...I most definitely would come back to coach in China...there's too much work to "pass on" in just one season, I'm afraid, plus "if" the city is tad bit warmer than Coldchun City...also, I will be making an appearance at a well known basketball academy in Beijing for high school boys and girls...I know, I know, don't I EVER stop teaching? No...my Father, Coach Pete Newell taught me that work ethic a long long time ago...it's "my" DNA for sure...

Stay along some more for my "Magical Mystical Tour..."...Best to all, safe travels... Coach tom

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