In addition to knowing how to do a layup and dunk, being a professional basketball player in the NBA requires time management and scheduling skills. While practicing my craft is a huge priority, family is as well. People always ask me how I’m able to balance being a professional ballplayer while carving out time for my family, friends, and (of course) my dogs! These are the four tenants I live by to help me maintain balance and live a fun, fulfilling life.
1. Keep Family First
My family is my strongest support system. They’re understanding of my role as an athlete, which includes traveling for the majority of the winter and spring seasons. When things get tough, they’re always there to lift my spirits and have a hand in everything from small gestures, like helping around the house, to big decisions that affect the business aspects of my life.
My newest and greatest happiness is spending time with my new family. My girlfriend and I recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl. Becoming a father has been the biggest blessing, and having my family around has been amazing. My father, mother, and siblings are always willing to lend a helping hand — whether I’m at home or on the road. Their love and support is key to my success, and I’m so thankful I have them.
2. Keep Friends Close
My friends are my second family. They’re always there for me to lean on, and I always make sure to carve out time for them. They come to different cities to see me play throughout the season, and we have annual outings where we travel and create memories. This year, we all went to Greece. These yearly adventures help keep our friendships strong and bond solid.
When we can’t hang out in person, technology makes it easy for us to stay connected. Group chats help us communicate from afar, and video game sessions help keep things fun. Now, step challenges are part of our bonding time. Earlier this year, I gifted Fitbit trackers to a few of my close friends. Now, we step things up by joining Fitbit Challenges. Everyone aims to get more steps throughout the day and, for an added dose of friendly competition, we make the person with the least amount of steps run, do push-ups, or buy everyone lunch during our next outing.
3. Make Time To Hone Your Talent
Playing basketball has always been a huge part of my life, and having the opportunity to play in the NBA has been a dream come true. Still, I make sure I give myself time to master my craft on the court and spend valuable time off of it. Since I get my basketball schedule ahead of time, I’m able to organize myself and adopt a routine. Doing this allows me to be fairly flexible and balance training for my sport with my day-to-day lifestyle, which I am extremely thankful for.
4. Prioritize Pets
As you may know, I am a proud dog owner of two great pups, Cassie and Rocky. When it comes to my dogs, I make sure to always find time just for them. When I return home from practice, one of the first things I do is play with and walk them. It helps lift my spirit and allows me to get in extra steps. As they say, dogs are a man’s best friend!