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2018 –> 2019

January 1, 2019 | by

2018 was filled with a lot of ups and downs, but that’s what it’s all about. Before heading into the new year, I always like to reflect on the good, the not so good, and the lessons learned to take with me into 2019.

The early stages of 2018 were spent on the sidelines through an ankle injury, which was very frustrating at times, and monotonous in the rehab stages. To keep in a good mindset, it really helped to celebrate the little progressions of things one usually take for granted as an athlete, no matter how small; things like: balancing on one foot, jogging on the court, or shooting some spot up jump shots. It was a race against time to get back for the playoffs and I managed to be ready for the last regular season game with the Bucks, which proved my fitness before the playoffs started.

All during the rehab, I made it my goal to get healthy for post season play, and I was on a mission to get back on the court so I could make an impact during playoffs.  Our playoff run was full of ups and downs with some tough losses on the road and some big wins at home.  But all the ankle exercises, balance, and band work was worth it to get back on the court with my teammates and be able to contribute.

• Enjoy every moment on the court (I always try to, but whenever you have to miss part of the season due to  injury, it is a strong reminder).
• It’s important to have a big goal but you have to celebrate the small progressions along the way, too.

There was a lot of changes that I had to adapt to in 2018, and it was a good reminder that the only thing that remains constant, is change.  From a coaching change in early 2018, to getting to know a new coaching staff/system, to getting traded to a different team/city and having to move houses in the middle of the season, there were plenty of changes.

Lesson: You have to be ready to adapt to anything.

Through all the changes that I’ve faced this year, I’ve been fortunate to have the support of my family.  One of the best parts about New Year’s Eve was going around the table with Anna and my parents, with each of us sharing our top moments and memories of 2018 . There were a lot great times together as a family – two of my favorites were a trip to Hamilton Island (Australia) with my family and a weekend at the Manhattan Open in LA with Anna’s family.

Lesson: Enjoy the moments and make memories.

What some of these lessons reinforce for me is the importance of learning.  One of the coolest parts of my 2018 was diving in to learn as much as I could about investing in the start up world. I was really fortunate to meet some awesome people who have been very generous in sharing their time and expertise. In addition to spending my time speaking with venture capitalists, founders, and other angel investors, I was also fortunate to attend my first incubator and was asked to be a panelist and judge at a conference for the Australian start up community.

We spend a lot of time traveling throughout the year, so I try to listen to as many podcasts and read as many books as I can. I believe you learn the most by ‘doing’, so it was cool to make a few small investments in different start-ups.

Lesson: Push yourself out of your comfort zone and go for it.

One last lesson I learned, and it’s an important one: read labels before washing.

My wife Anna got me a really nice wool jumper for Christmas this year (that’s Aussie for ‘sweater’ for all my American readers). I went to wash it, and without thinking, put it in the dryer. Ready to wear it for New Year’s Eve, I pulled it out only to find what was once an Large men’s jumper, was now a small women’s jumper. Anna is now the proud owner.

As for 2019, there is a lot to look forward to. I am excited to be back in Cleveland, a place that has a lot of special people, places, and memories for me, and I’m ready to finish the second half of the season strong. My brother and sister-in-law are having their first baby girl due in May so I’m very excited to become an Uncle to another niece. I’m really looking forward to heading back to Melbourne for the Australia vs USA games at Marvel Stadium in August and then on to China for the Basketball World Cup in August & September.  It’s going to be an unreal feeling, belting out the Aussie anthem with the boys in front of 50,000+ Australians in Melbourne.

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That’s it for now, let’s make 2019 a great year!!