2018: The Best & Worst Year Of My Life!
2018 summed up to me didn't make any sense at all, but to say the least I have been blessed. So, I’ll try sum it as best as I can guys, only because I have been requested to do so by so many of you. I'm going to divide into 3 parts so it's easier to read for y’all.
2. THV site & socials
3. Opportunities from THV
4. Final thoughts
Around the first quarter of the year i was facing difficulties with my private life and education (we'll get back to that). Crazy thing is the only activities that would help me combat those difficulties were running THV or actually hooping. When people say basketball is the world's therapist they weren't lying.
So during this first quarter I was playing a lot of basketball whether that be at scrimmages, university training or individual workouts. The university season was coming to an end and we did well, finished second in the league and shit but couldn’t get past one team which was really annoying (they obviously went on to win the league). We just never had the personnel I guess but, Coach Ronnie Baker & Coach Louis really did teach me a lot during that season with them and for that I'm forever grateful.
Remember when I said I was facing difficulties well we're about to get into them but basketball wasn't one of them. I was having a great season averaging around 25PPG and having fun doing it too.
In terms of my education, I was in my last year of Marketing, I was meant to have graduated in 2018. Why didn't I? Because I dropped out. Well, the correct term is "an interruption of study" and the reason I did this was due to my mental wellness. When I said difficulties in my private life that is what I was eluding to.
Now I've never told any of my friends about this but I've been dealing with mental wellness for over 5 years now. Sadly in 2018 my mental wellness was at an all-time low, so I finally went and got diagnosed after 5 hard long years. Turned out I was suffering from severe anxiety & severe depression which wasn't a surprised to me, just crazy that I finally had names for the things that were killing me slowly. Not to mention I was diagnosed with dyslexia which made a lot of sense to me but wasn't nearly as damaging.
Yes, I used the word killing and for good reason. I had suicidal thoughts for a while and acting once but luckily was saved by someone (won't go into detail about it, want to know hit me up). But, yes it was killing me slowly, now after seeking counselling and talking about it, I must admit the cliché is true, talking helps!
I'm in a much better mental space now than ever before, so I went back to university to finish off my degree (graduating in 2019) and try win the Uni league before I graduate (more about mental health in the final thoughts).
THV Site & Socials:
Now, if you've been following my journey with The Hooper's Voice (THV), you'll know I was a website hoe lol. I went from Wix to WordPress then finally landed and found a home at squarespace, which i really recommend if you're thinking about making a website!
The majority of 2018 was spent on Wordpress and I'm not gonna lie WordPress was good to me, I especially loved their app where I could write articles on the go and post them via my mobile, came in clutch! The app was really instrumental when it came to me posting an article every week (sometimes two) for 365 days. The website when on WordPress was mainly for my NBA articles where I gained the most traction from, which was worldwide, all over the planet! That was insane to me I was blown away!
Later in the year I made the move to squarespace (where I see www.thehoopersvoice.com staying). WordPress was good to me but it ain’t fucking with squarespace lol. The new site has an amazing new look that I'm extremely happy about & it allows me to put all kinds of content on the THV site.
The social media which is probably what I'm known best for has been pretty humbling to be honest. As you all may know 2018 was the year I hit the 10K mark on instagram (@thehoopersvoice) typing that now still makes me go "wow". THV twitter still needs more work but I'm gonna get there no doubt about it! I aim to have 20K on Insta by the end of this year and 2/3K on twitter! (@thehoopersvoice).
What impresses me more than the 10K & Twitter retweets is the people I get to contact now who follow me on the instagram, Twitter & snapchat; WNBA champs, NBA trainers, NBA players, BIG 3 players, ESPN personalities, Overtime, Rappers, BBL players, BBL coaches, College players (D1 level and below) & entrepreneurs at all levels. I get to chop it up with all these people whom I've looked up to, take inspiration from or down right impressed by. THAT IS A FUCKING DREAM!
The most humbling thing is that they enjoy my content and I haven't even gotten started yet!
Opportunities from THV:
The last and most interesting part of my 2018 review... MAN I'VE BEEN BLESSED TO DO SOME COOL SHIT IN 2018 BECAUSE OF THV!!!!! Okay, let me compose myself lol.
The first opportunity I got was to become the head sports writer for ITC News. ITC is an American publication that was one of many that had approached me to write for them. The reason why I chose ITC was because how flexible it was. I was over the moon to say the least. Never wrote anything until I started THV and someone asked me to write for their publication when I haven't even had a year in the game! MAN! And it’s all due to you guys all over the globe man thank you.
Here’s a pic of some of the countries that read my stuff (sorry if I couldn’t get you on here)
The second notable was being able to attend the 2018 APEC Terry Rozier Basketball Camp! I wasn't playing, I went there as media and ending up doing a bit of everything which I loved. The best bit was learning from Terry Rozier (Boston Celtics guard) & Adam Taylor (NBA trainer - Taylored Intensity). I was around the two for the better half of a week and got to chop it up with them on a regular basis about anything, I saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Even got to ask Terry stuff on camera also, some GREAT questions, unfortunately I lost the interview footage like an idiot but still was an unforgettable experience. I want to thank coach Dominic of APEC Basketball for the hook up!
The High-Low is another thing I'm lucky to be a part of due to my work with THV. Who would have guessed starting an instagram would end up having me on a monthly show covering the BBL... Man who would have guessed there would be a BBL show lol. Well, it's here and I'm an executive producer.. CRAZY! I Wanna thank my bros @basketballbreaks & @officialfootfire for making it happen. Also I have a BBL media pass, me you know, a whole me uno! with a BBL pass! It's basically a VIP access all-areas pass to BBL games (I’m a bit too excited about it clearly lol). And if THV never existed I wouldn't have ever known or owned one.
Shout out Twitter for this next one, because Twitter really be the plug for this one. I was blessed and lucky enough to collaborate with Devin Williams and his In The Lab team (Nav, Jordan and Kendell - coolest guys ever!). Most insane thing about it all is that I’m a huge fan and the opportunity came along because Dev and I follow each other on Twitter and I was lucky enough to get a reply from a DM. To be honest with you guys, I don't wanna go into details about it all because I'm going to be dropping a lot of content on the week I spent with In The Lab.. YES WEEK! So stay tuned!
Lastly, the greatest thing about all of this is the fact I get to do what I've always wanted to do which is to interview individuals that have spectacular stories around the game of basketball. I'm dropping interviews in 2019 and couldn't be more pleased about the people I got to interview in my short time of doing THV. We're talking NCAA champs, BIG 3 champs, NBA players, NBA trainers, influencers, BBL players, overseas pros and many more. This could not have been possible without the help of you guys reading this so I really so appreciate all the love man, it really does go a long way!
I call my mental illness/health issues “mental wellness issues” because it’s easier for me to say and the negative conations of mental illness are excluded when I use the word wellness. If you have the same issues, using the word wellness makes it easier to talk about. Good luck.
If you suffer from mental wellness issues… SPEAK TO SOMEONE! It’ll help, the main reason I wrote this blog is to show everyone who is suffering that you can overcome those dark destructive thoughts. Trust me, I didn’t wanna talk to anyone (for years), it was hard, it was uncomfortable, but no matter how awkward or weird it felt nothing felt better than letting it out. I was admitted to a counselor it was a struggle at first but I really grew from the experience so I urge you all to do the same.
Lastly, if you want to do something, anything as Nike says just do it man! I sat on all this THV stuff for months, especially the YouTube which needs work (GO SUBSCRIBE LOL!). Best advice I can give, fuck what people think and just go do it. I went from talking about making a little website, to having my articles read worldwide & meeting NBA, BBL, BIG3 & NCAA stars! IN ONE YEAR! And I’m dyslexic with mental wellness issues.. YOU CAN TOO!