Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tough times don't last, Tough people do.....MVP of the Week!! Round 22

Tough times don't last...Tough people do!! That statement has never been more relevant in my life than this season. It's been a tough road for my team and myslef, but we are beginning to see a breakthrough. With so many obstacles that put our team to the test this year (Injuries, Buzzer Beater losses, players coming and going), it looks like we have finally looked ourselves in the mirror and decided, "no more excuses." The toughness we have displayed in the past month, has changed the atmosphere of the entire club. This week, we got another important win at home, and I personally had one of my best games of the season. Which in turn resulted in the MVP of the league for round 22. With just 8 more games left in the regular season, me and my teammates are excited and determined to finish strong. Toughness concours all. Check out the recap of round 22 from the French Pro A league. (My teams profile starts at the 14:13 minute mark)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

New Season, New Beginnings.....Bonjour Baby!!!

Bonjour from Le Havre, France!!! Summer is over and another season is upon us.  I'm so grateful and blessed to be able to continue to do what I love for another year.  I'm excited, I'm healthy....Life is good right now!!  This year I will be playing in the Pro-A league in France.  A well respected league with a lot of talent and great players.  The name of my team is STB Le Havre.  I'm looking forward to another year of all the challenges, the ups and downs, the blood, sweat and tears, and everything else that comes along with a long grueling season.  Most of all I'm looking forward to the relationships that I will build over the next 8 months here in France with my teammates, fans, coaches, and the French country as a whole.  One thing that I truly believe in is that, no matter what you have material wise in life...Life will always be about the relationships you build and the memories that you create during you time here on earth.  Those are the most important things to me.

I've been in France for about 6 days now, and I'm just now finally getting back into the swing of European life.  Took me a while to get back adjusted to the time and sleep schedule.  Also took me a few days to get my body ready to practice and play games at a intense level and speed.  But all is good now, and we are ready to begin this season next weekend (October 5th).  Check out the video of my first practice with the team (Below), and a few pictures from media day.  Thanks for reading once again.  I'll be sure to keep you up to date as much as possible during the year.  Health and Blessings to you all!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

End of Year thoughts....

First of all, I want to say thank you to the entire PAOK organization for an amazing experience and season. Every person involved, from the President, Management, coaches, and players accepted me as a person and a player from the day I landed in Thessaloniki.  I will cherish all the friendships and relationships that I made during my time in Greece, and hope to see everyone again someday. Our team went on a 9 month journey together that was extremely hard work and dedication from everyone involved.  We won some big games, and we lost some heart breakers, but overall what we accomplished, I think surpassed anyone's expectations. The bond and love for each other that me and my teammates had, was so strong that we felt that we could achieve anything together. We believed that every game that we went into, we were going to Win!  Our coaching staff did an amazing job of getting the most out of this team. Even though they were pretty tough on us at times, we knew it was the best thing for us as a team. 
Personally I want to say thank you to my coaches for always believing in me and sticking with me through my tough times this season.  I had some ups and downs this year, and the only thing that got me through those moments was the confidence my coaches and teammates had in me. I took a lot of criticism from people outside of our team when I wasn't playing so well, but my coaches never gave up on me, and for that I am extremely grateful. I got a chance to show what type of player I really am. 
Lastly I want to say thank you to the fans who supported us through out the year. The PAOK fans are great. I believe that they are some of the most loyal fans in Greece. Although we didn't finish like we wanted to, overall the season was a huge success, and a step in the right direction in terms of building for the future. It's now time for summer vacation and relaxation. I plan on taking some time off and enjoying my family and friends for a while, and then getting back to work to become a even better player. Hopefully this will not be the last time PAOK fans hear from me, but no matter what happens, I am always PAOK for LIFE!!!! 

William Hatcher #4    

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Greek Rivalry...PAOK vs. ARIS

One of the largest rivalries in all of Europe, lives is Thessaloniki, Greece.  PAOK vs. ARIS are two teams that reside in the same city and have fans who can't stand the other team.  To be a fan of either of these two teams, its not just sport, its a LIFESTYLE!! The fans are so crazy and loyal to their teams, and when they play each other, its an all out war!!  The opposing fans are not allowed to attend the game when its being played at the other teams field or gym.  With that being makes for an AMAZING atmosphere for the players.  I'm the type of player who loves playing in front of huge crowds.  I got a chance to bring my brother over for the game at our gym (Locker room photo after the game) to witness the madness.  Check out some video from the game....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Media Days!!!

With the start of our new season upon us, media day is like the presentation of our new team to our fans, the city, and the League in general.  Lots of pictures are taken, interviews are done, and everything that goes along with presenting a image of the team to the people.  The most common questions come up almost every year.  "What are your thoughts about the upcoming season?" and "How do you think you will do personally and as a team this year?" The questions are sort of cliché, because if you think about it, its the beginning of the season, and no one is going to believe that they will have a bad year Haha!!!  So, basically, the answers to those questions are often pretty much the same.
This year we had a pretty cool time doing media sessions.  We took tons of team pictures and also lots of individual pictures as well.  Along with that, we filmed a commercial to be played on Television over here encouraging fans to come out and support us this year!!!  (Check it out Below)  This was my first time doing a commercial for a team, but it was definitely a lot of fun.  Even though my part was pretty short (like 5 seconds at the end), I definitely think there is a job for me on the big screen once I'm done playing Hahaha!!!

Later on we had a presentation of the team at Village Cinemas (Movie Theatre here in Thessaloniki) for our administration board, Media, Journalist etc.  Our President and General Managers spoke about the team and the upcoming season and also presented each player individually.  A brief video was shown on every player, followed by each player being presented with their jerseys.  The short video to introduce us was actually very cool!!!  It was exciting to see yourself on such a big screen in a movie theatre.  Our media department did a great job putting the videos together.  (See Below)

Overall Media day went well.  I think we all had fun and felt great presenting a positive image of our team.  Now its time for us to get to work and show that image on the court!!! Thanks for reading, check back next week to keep up with me this season. Blessings from Greece!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Greece...Start of a new year!!!

Hello World!!! Its been a while since I connected with you guys, but I'm back and ready to start a new season. I promise I will be more informative this year and plan on updating my website with pictures and blogs every week. Well lets get to it....This year I will be playing in the A1 division in Greece. My team name is PAOK located in the 2nd largest city in Greece (behind Athens) Thessaloniki. If your like me, and you don't know much about Greek sports, then you probably have no idea of what PAOK is all about. Let me tell you, PAOK is one of the most famous organizations in Greece. Their fans are AMAZING to say the least. If you google or youtube search PAOK Fans, you will see exactly what I'm talking about. (I'll save the details on that for another blog)
So far everything has been great here in Greece. We have been practicing for quite some time and playing some friendly pre-season games to get ready for the season. Our team is shaping up nicely, as we get to know each other and gel together on the court. I'm extremely excited about what this season could hold for us, I cant wait to kick off our first game and get going!!! Well thats all for now. I'll have more for you guys as the season goes on, check back weekly for pictures and blogs to keep up with me and whats going on over here. Feel free to check out our website (though its not in english) Until next time....Stay Blessed!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dear Summer....

Whats up everyone, I know its been a few months since my last check-in, but I'm here to update you guys on whats been goin on lately. I had an amazing summer spent at home in the US, mostly in my hometown of Flint, Michigan. But I did get a chance to go a few places as well. I took two vacations over the summer that were a lot of fun and crazy at the same time. Las Vegas, NV and Miami, FL were my two destinations, and let me just say those two places never let me down!!! It was great to relax, have some fun with good friends and just enjoy time off. Spent a lot of time at the pool and on the beach relaxing in the sun and taking time out to enjoy the fruits of my labor. We all need those getaways every now and then to give our mind a body a break from all the hard work we put in on a daily basis.

After the much needed break and vacations, It was time to get back to work and try to improve my game as much as possible. Every year I analyze myself and try to pick out specific points in my game that I want to get better at over the summers. Of course I worked on every aspect of my game to become better overall but the main focus for this summer was Condition & Endurance and becoming a better Ball Handler. Most of my time during the week is spent working out with some of my best friend at Genesys Health Center in Grand Blanc, MI. We're there on a daily basis on average of about 4-6 hours a day. We start by doing some cardio exercises to get our bodies warmed up and ready to work. Next we hit the weights for about an hour to improve our strength and stability. We then hit the court for basketball drill work that include different things everyday. We focus on shooting, ball handling, and endurance while working and pushing each other to the limits. Lastly we get wellness (Sauna, Cold tub, steam room etc.) before we leave, because taking care of your body is the number one objective in this business.

On the weekends me and my crew team up to play in summer league games. This year we competed in the MoneyBall Pro-Am which took place in Lansing, Michigan. My team (Team Flintstones) consisted of Myself, Corey Santee, Greg Burks, Kelvin Torbert, Charlie Bell, Lamar Rice, Desmond Young, and a few other guys who showed up from time to time. We like to play together over the summer because its a way to keep your game sharp while playing in a 5 on 5 atmosphere. Also we just like to play with each other, something we never got to do in High School and College, so its a fun to go out and compete with guys you consider you brothers every summer. I think I had one of my best summers this year as far as basketball goes. I really worked hard and pushed myself everyday to get better. I think it showed in my play in the summer league especially when I had my career high of 53 points. It was one of those games where everything was clicking and going right for me. It definitely felt great to feel that kind of reward for all the work I had put in this summer. This year we took second place, losing a heartbreaking game in the Championship by 2 points. Tough way to lose but I think overall it was a great summer for us and we will be back at it next year!!

Well Summer is over now and its time to get back to work. Time for me to show the improvements in my game when the season starts. Cyprus is my next destination and I'm very excited about this year. It shall be a huge year for me and my team, and hopefully I can grab my first Championship in my professional career. Stay Tuned!!!

Until next time, take care of yourself and Love one another the way God Love us all!!! - BEAN