Dream Live Ball

By: Brittany Graham

Stop Scrolling, Start Living

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Stop scrolling🙅🏽‍♀️

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(Blog thumbnail artwork by Justin Richburg)

The numbers do not define who you are as person. The followers, views, likes, comments, subscribers are no indication of who you are as a person. In fact they don’t mean anything, not a damn thing. Social media is powerful tool and can accomplish a lot if utilized correctly. However at the same time it’s also becoming an addictive drug and in the world we live in today it has become nothing short of trying to appease strangers and friends that are more like distant cousins you hear from via comments on your birthday posts.

So, is it really that important? This whole being popular and liked on social media thing? 🤔

When you really think about it, social media isn’t some happy place where people can escape and be themselves. Instead, It’s like high school all over again, only worse. There are stupid unofficial rules of social media that has millennials everywhere in a frenzy of how, when, and what’s appropriate to post.

🤷🏽I just want to know who made these rules up and when did we all agree to abide by them? It’s all becoming a never ending popularity contest of finding the right combination of lighting, angles, filters, captions, themes, aesthetics, all for the number next to your name. Because being verified and having X-amount of followers has apparently become what’s most important in life these days 🙄.

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People today spend less time reading or doing anything significant towards their growth and more time searching for the perfect Instagram caption with just the right amount of wit to look “cool,” or a lyric from a song by some Sound Cloud rapper they’ve never even heard of. Deeper than that, think of the amount of time we waste scrolling.

It’s like we’ve become obsessed with lives of other people, instead of being obsessed with our own. Instead of living your own life, it’s now more of a thing to watch and monitor the lives of other people refreshing their stories and timelines every ten minutes tracking their every move. How many times do you catch yourself bored opening IG to see what so-and-so is doing? Or who commented and liked their last picture? Which then leads you to stalking their commenter’s profile, jumping to conclusions as if you’re Inspector Gadget trying to piece together the extent of their relationship. Oh we have all been this person, don’t lie to yourself 🤦🏽‍♀️.

Beyond being obsessed with someone else’s life (which when you think about it, it’s low key kinda weird, but hey we’re all guilty of it at times and myself included🤦🏽‍♀️), let’s not forget the added pressure “to post a picture or I didn’t happen” rule. Yes again with the stupid rules, like who made that rule up? Sometimes I catch myself so “stressed😫” like, dang I went to this cool place or oh I’m traveling I have to snap this or post this. Because that’s what I’m supposed to do right? Document my life so it appears to be perfect for strangers and distant cousin friends. 

At times it can also make you feel so small. Because as we have now learned likes matter and something is obviously wrong with you if you're not getting them right? This picture below sadly says it all 😒.

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We all need to stop worrying about the insignificant things we stress upon ourselves and start pouring our souls, time, and energy into filling our spirits with the things and people that bring us joy. Because at the end of the day, it’s just a number, a meaningless number. The likes, comments, views, and followers is an unnecessary obsession that’s beginning to consume way too much of our time.

It’s time to start appreciating the moments and little things life brings us, before we allow social media to destroy more of our precious time and relationships. Do and post things because you want to and because you like it, without the approval of people that don’t even matter. Be authentic, be yourself, and become obsessed with the life God has blessed with you a little more every single day.

Take a break every now and then, give yourself a digital detox to shift your focus, time and energy to the things and people that matter the most. Shut it down, and turn it off. Have balance and self-control over the scrolls, filters, and likes. Do so and you will come back more refreshed, focused, better, and stronger than ever.

Stop scrolling, start living.

 

DISCLAIMER:

These are just general thoughts about how more and more social media is taking over our lives. I totally understand that everyone is different and not everyone may feel this way. But these are just my own personal thoughts on the topic after seeing how people can become addicted to scrolling. I personally feel like I have been spending WAY TOO MUCH time on social media and not making progress towards my personal goals, for one this blog...stay woke my friends✌️

Song related to post, J.Cole- Love Yourz

One Memorable March

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March is by far my favorite month of the year. For the obvious reason of nonstop college basketball. But, it’s also full of magic, believers, underdogs, buzzer beaters and the time of year where heroes are born and as long as there’s still time left on the clock, anything can happen. Anything. 

A New Perspective

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For me this March was unlike any other experiencing the madness from a different perspective through my new job as digital media correspondent for the Big 12 Conference.  It was something that before could only existed in my dreams. 

Being able to work the Big 12 men’s and women’s basketball conference championships with an all access credential around my neck, enjoying the game from press row was nothing short of amazing. Growing up I always attend these tournaments with my dads teams at Oklahoma State, but attending ALL 19 games in a 10 day span both women’s and men’s was an entirely new experience that I will forever be so grateful for.

Add in the fact I conducted post game interviews with some of my favorite athletes was rush itself and feeling that can’t quite be explained. It was awesome y’all. 

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Let The Games Begin

The beauty of March and why I love college basketball so much is because as long as there is a game to be played, you still have a chance. And sometimes that’s all you need, a chance. 

Before the start of the tournament most of us had no clue UMBC or Loyola-Chicago even existed(I did but many didn't). But weeks later these two programs stole our hearts all because of the opportunity to play. UMBC pulled of history by being the first team in men’s NCAA tournament history to beat a #1 seed. Not only did they beat Virginia, a team that many people had winning it all. They beat the dog crap out of them. As for Sister Jean and the Ramblers made it all the way to the Final Four knocking off Miami, Tennessee, Nevada, and K-State to get to San Antonio. Well done fellas, and as Sister Jean would say..."Worship, Work, WIN." 

I live for the stories, upsets (as long as my time isn’t on the receiving end of it 🤞🏽) and getting all the feels for everything that happens with athletes and coaches beyond the actual game itself. The emotion the game brings that can’t really be explained, but through your TV screen you can just feel it. That’s what I love about March, it’s all about the feels y’all.

And let's NOT forget about the women's game and the unsong hero in Arike Ogunbowale leading Note Dame to the women's championship with two clutch shots at the buzzer in both games 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽. Nobody gave ND the slightest chance to win down with a short bench for the majority of the season, and going up against an undefeated UCONN team. But all they needed was each other and the opportunity to play, and the rest history.

Cold blooded girl 🤫

Final Four Bound

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This year my squad made it back to the Final Four and because it was less than four hour drive south of Dallas, you already know ya girl made the trip. It was also a mini family vacation, because, well you know that’s just how life works when you’re in a basketball family. Nick was there too at the NABC Convention as a part of the Iowa State staff, so it’s always nice when the entire family is together in one place. Especially on a warm spring night in San Antonio eating Mexican food on the riverwalk 😋.

It brought back so many memories of my childhood, being a coaches kid in March missing school living the dream and just being part of a team. Despite the L to Nova it was still an amazing end to my college basketball season. My mom and I spent the weekend walking around, being in the crowds, people watching, checking out all of the merch at the vendors, taking pictures and making mems💞📸.

We all went to both semifinal games and it was an amazing atmosphere being among nearly 70,000 college basketball fans in the Alamo Dome. To my surprise we got lower level tickets in the KU section behind the bench, and it was lit🔥(besides the Villanova 3’s🤦🏽‍♀️). 

Until Next Szn

March like always was full of surprises, flights, traveling, pictures, upsets, emotion, full of college hoops and unforgettable moments. I’m not sure what I will do with myself until next November for the start of the 2018-19 season😫. But this was by far the most memorable March and basketball season of my life. So blessed to have experienced all this season brought me.

Current mood without college hoops until November...

My Untold Story of THE Trae Young

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I don’t want to like him…
 

A little less than a year ago, last May Nick (my older brother) told me to clean up the apartment because Trae was coming to workout with him for a week, and that he was going to be staying with us.

“Trae who?” I said.

“Trae Young.”

Wait. Wait. Wait. I thought to myself. Trae Young. THE Trae Young, that chose Oklahoma over my beloved Kansas Jayhawks? No way this was happening, not in my house😒. Those were my honest thoughts about this kid staying with us and me agreeing to film and take pictures for my brother.

I wanted not to like him so bad.

The arrival…

It was a Sunday, Trae had just graduated from high school and with no time off the very next day he’s on plane to Denver to workout with my brother, before then heading to California for another week of intense training to get ready for his freshman season at Oklahoma. While most freshman college athletes choose to enjoy the small break between graduation and reporting for summer workouts, Trae had other plans. He decided to dedicate himself to what he knew was ahead if was he willing to make the sacrifices and put in the work. No vacation, no hanging out, just the grind of hard work. 

We pulled up to the airport on a crisp, cool, typical Spring Denver day, sun shining probably in the 60’s. Nick and I walked into the DIA baggage claim area anxiously awaiting his arrival. I had on a bright blue 🔵Kansas Basketball🔴 t-shirt and a Kansas Jayhawk lanyard around my neck just to let him know what the deal was😤.

Nick introduced us and Trae politely shook my hand, “Hey Brittany, nice to meet you." We headed back to the car and right as we approached my ride, “Oh, she’s a die hard Kansas fan by the way if you can’t tell.” Nick just had to add that in 😒.

“Yeah. I am, and I really wanted you to pick Kansas but…” I replied like my natural sassy self. Trae just smiled and laughed nicely. Knowing me I was probably mean mugging him so bad.

Work now, rest later…

Nick and Trae post workout

Nick and Trae post workout

We got in the car and I remember Nick asking Trae if he wanted to rest now and workout later, or get food, head to DU (University of Denver) to play pick up first and rest later?

With absolutely NO hesitation, Trae responded, “Oh let’s eat real quick and play now. We can rest later.”

“What do you want to eat?” I asked, as I was the chosen chauffeur for the week.

“Y’all got Chipotle?”

Dang it😫. I’m going to like him. I told myself I wasn’t going to like him, I didn’t want to, but I’m really going to like this kid. I thought to myself. He loves Chipotle…I LOVE Chipotle. How could I now not like him?

We picked up some Chipotle and headed over to DU and before Trae could even get two bites in, he quickly became engaged in current game going on, watching, analyzing, sizing up the competition, and getting in warm up shots when the game transitioned to the opposite end of the court.

I was impressed.

Raw unedited clips from the summer...listen close at :16 for my trash talking :)

 

Okay, I like him…

After a few games and Trae getting used to the altitude, we headed home to chill a little bit before his next workout. Trae and Nick were talking in the car and he was feeling a little more comfortable around us so finally I couldn’t control myself and just blurted it out loud. Above the music and interrupting their conversation...

“WHY DIDN’T YOU PICK KANSAS???”🤔

I needed my answers. I had to know, and real answers the political answers we get on twitter notepad screenshots. You feel me? A girl's heart was broken!!! 

They both laughed, Nick historically and quickly as Trae began talking I turned down the music and took mental notes.

Sorry to report what was said in the car during that conversation between the three of us, stays between the three us. Just so I can leave you wondering and be dramatic like there was some kind of big draw out response. You’ll never know😉.

Hearing how passionate he was about playing for his home state was all it took for him to earn my respect. You could tell how much it mean't to him growing up in Norman, being a Sooner, and representing OU. 

One of the videos I made from the Summer

The rest of the week consisted of 2-3 workouts a day with a lot of laughs in between.

One workout in particular I was filming and Nick had Josh Perkins (Gonzaga), Eric Garcia (Wofford), Drick Bernstine (Washington State), Jimmer Ferdette (BYU and former National Player of The Year), and Trae. For two solid hours they went through drills and played one on one giving each other buckets going at it hard. Trae more than held his own against older, stronger, more experienced players and gained each of their respect.

Story time…

FUN FACT: Trae didn't get along with my 3 month of puppy that kept nipping at him

FUN FACT: Trae didn't get along with my 3 month of puppy that kept nipping at him

The day before Trae was supposed to head from Denver to California he lost his wallet😂. We were on our way to gym for a morning workout when he realized he couldn’t find his wallet. He thought he left it at 24 Hour Fitness from the night before around 11:30 pm when Nick put Trae through a shooting workout. We went back to the gym, and no luck, the wallet was still missing. After the gym we stopped at 7-11 for snacks at about 12:30 am. We didn’t have time to stop, so I tired calling and still no luck.

A couple of hours later we got back to the apartment and tore apart the living room looking for his wallet. Under the couch and pillows, through all of his luggage, and still no luck. Finally I suggested he look in the pocket of his pants he had on the day before, but of course he assured me he already looked there. He called his dad on the phone in a slight panic before coming back inside to find his wallet was exactly where I told him to look. In the pocket of his pants he had on the day before.

Nick and I laughed so hard and roasted him for it the rest of the day, I wish you all could of seen the look of terror on his face searching frantically for his wallet all over Denver and in our living room for four hours, it was great 😂😂😂.

Another night we all went over to Josh Perkins’ house for dinner. He’s mom cooked some amazing Mexican food, including some of the best enchiladas I’ve ever had. They were so good.  Trae sat across from me me playing with his fidget spinner thingy (such a cool kid right?), with nothing on his plate but tortilla chips. I was trying so hard not to laugh, but apparently he didn’t even like salsa or guac, it was hilarious. He's the most picky eater I have ever met, worse than me which is saying a lot for someone who doesn't like her food touching.

It was probably close to midnight on the way home, so we stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up a DiGornio pepperoni pizza I made for the picky eater. While he was eating, he explained all of the foods and combinations he doesn't like. He loves pasta, without sauce, and the list went on and on naming off all types of foods he doesn’t like.

The nights were pretty chill too. Trae said he loves movies so every night watched movies until we all fell asleep. Nick and Trae also watched A LOT of film of NBA games, possession after possession breaking the down the game from the point guard spot. Trae was so focused and locked in I should’ve know right then and there this guy was different and wise beyond his years. But then again this 18-year-old who literally just graduated from high school was here in Denver working out during his last free weeks of being kid before starting summer school and college basketball workouts. Yeah, just let that sink in...

I’m gonna miss this kid…

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Throughout the week I continued to talk trash to Trae about KU and OU. But he just responded by bragging about his future teammates, coaches, how good they were going to be, how they were going to win the league and make it back to the NCAA tournament. His confidence was crazy and I loved it.  I even told him he was slowly turning me into an OU fan (don't get too excited people...) and I couldn’t wait to cheer for him every game not🙅 against KU.  He liked my loyalty to my team, and agreed that was cool.

When it was time for Trae to head to California, I didn’t want to see him go. It was cool having a little brother I could pick on for a few days. When he left Nick and I were both so high on his game, but even more so who he was as a person, we both knew he was going to be something special. He gave a lot of credit and praise to his family constantly talking about the close bond he has with his dad, but also cherishing the love of his mother and the support of his younger siblings. He was all about his family, which is something I continue to have a great deal of respect for.

Reunited…

At Big 12 Media Day in October I thought for sure by now this soon to be college basketball star would’ve forgotten all about me, my brother, and staying with us during the summer. I remember Nick asking me days before if I was excited to see Trae again.

“Uh no not really, he probably won’t even remember me. I’m sure he’ll be cool Trae freshman at OU now and forget all about me.”

Big 12 Media Day

Big 12 Media Day

“No he won’t, he’ll remember you.” Nick laughed.

But to my surprise we picked up right were we left off talking trash and joking with each other. He could’ve easily written me off like the irrelevant person I was at this point in time. But instead, he treated me with so much respect and love, it was such a cool feeling.

I spent the entire day documenting his day as a freshman at Media Day and when the camera was off we laughed about the summer, and talked about basketball. 

I remember asking him if he was going to be able to get his points like he did in high school. I'll never forget he looked at me so crazy and confidently said,

“Brittany, are you serious? I got this, just watch...”

He was right.

The video I made for work of Trae's day at Media Day

The Season…

Mid-way through Trae’s record breaking freshman year I remember calling Nick, who now works at Iowa State with their men’s basketball team. We were reminiscing on our time with Trae last summer when I asked him, “Did you think he would be leading the country in scoring...AND assists?”😳

Without even giving him a chance to reply I quickly went on.

The work in the summer paid off...

The work in the summer paid off...

“I did, he's earned this moment. Trae AND his family have been preparing for this his entire life. He’s worked so hard and sacrificed everything for for it.”

“I know, he deserves it. I’m not surprised either, I'm so happy for him." Nick finally replied.

Throughout the season I watched every one of Trae’s game, every one. The 43 point game against Oregon, the 22 assist game against Northwestern State, the 48 point game in a loss at Oklahoma State, and the following game at home against Kansas💔. I drove 3.5 hours at the last minute to be there, but it was totally a college basketball bucket list to see Trae Young in a home game against Kansas am I right? Besides at this point I knew there were going to be limited opportunities to this kid play at LNC so it was no brainer I had to make the trip. However for personal reasons we will not discuss the outcome of this game.

Present day…

 

Nick and Trae after their game @ Iowa State

Nick and Trae after their game @ Iowa State

It's been less than a year since Trae made his way to Denver for the start of his remarkable journey, and last week he declared for the NBA. This same kid that lost his wallet, slept on our couch and stayed up late watching movies with us is a future NBA lottery pick. It's crazy to even process everything that has happened in less than a year.

I feel like people on the outside this year have tried to tare him apart judging him based off social media or what the media has made him out to be. I don’t have this super close relationship with Trae or his family. Other than the week we spent together in Denver last summer and few good game snaps and messages during the season that’s about as far as our relationship goes. But, unlike so many of other people, after spending an entire week with Trae, I got to know who he is beyond the thousands of followers and what the media makes him out to be as a basketball player. But simply Trae Young as a person.  

It’s been so surreal for Nick and I to both see his story unfold and be there from the beginning. To the world he may be THE Trae Young, but to us he will always be little Trae who lost his wallet who ate nothing but tortilla chips at Josh Perkins’ house.

We love you Trae❤️️ and for me not just because you also like Chipotle, that's just a big added bonus🙌

Another video from the summer grind

2017: I Let go of Fear

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This past year in 2017 I let go of fear and held on to faith, in every way possible. I used to live in fear, of what will people say or think about me and the things I love. I can’t remember the exact moment or a specific point in time, but the moment I stopped caring about the opinions and judgment of others amazing things started happening in my life.

 
I LET GO OF FEAR IN 2017. I can't believe this year is coming to an end. so much has happened and changed in 2017. Enjoy a trip down memory lane with me and be sure to subscribe for more adventures in 2018.
 

It should come to no secret to those close to me that being creative and expressing myself through video content is big part of my life. Whether it's about my life or visually telling the story of someone else, it's a feeling I can’t really explain, but I love it. I stopped making excuses for myself and used what had instead of complaining about all of things I didn’t, and just did anyway. It’s a good thing I did too because it's ultimately what led me to my new job and where I’m at today. I didn’t have the nicest cameras or let alone any experience at all. I taught myself and did it because I love it, without any fear of what anyone else would say, think or do. I let go of that fear and in return finding faith and strength in the Lord I saw my life turn around in so many ways.

 

Episode 6 of The Last Shot, a short web series I started this year!

 

This year I lost my job in Denver and for 94 long days held on to nothing but faith that God would bless me with something better. I had to look at being jobless as a vacation, to sleep in, do nothing, go to Cost-Co on a Tuesday morning just because, take naps, make videos, read, binge on Netflix series, hang by the pool and anything else you could think of. I thought to myself I had worked so hard the past few years and that God wanted to give me a 3-month break from the world, and that’s exactly what it is. At times I was weak and cried but I kept my faith, lost the fear and like always He came through.

Best nine Instagram's of 2017 @brittgraham12

Best nine Instagram's of 2017 @brittgraham12

Those 94 days, (with surviving Hurricane Harvey in a close second) was the toughest thing I had to overcome this year. But with that came the great reward of being offered a job in Dallas doing digital media, something I have always wanted to do. This year I learned that no matter how dark it gets, the sun will rise again. The struggles that 2017 brought in my life also came and ended with great success. This year brought so many memories, fun trips, and amazing experiences that outweigh 94 days without a job, and the 74 days of uncertainty in Houston before moving to Dallas.

Although my life is not perfect and nowhere near what I want it to be. Through God, I still have a place and purpose and for that reason alone everyday is blessing with a new opportunity to serve, grow and get better.

I hope is that 2018 will bring growth in the many areas I fell short in 2017 and continued success in those I did well in. The goal is to be the best version of myself, for myself in every way possible. Through faith, fitness, finances, family and friendships.

If there is any doubt or fear in your life, take that leap of faith and let go fear. Give all of your troubles to God and let him do the work for you. I wish for us all so many blessings and wonderful memories to be made in 2018.

More Life, Be Intentional.

Happy New Year Friends

-Brittany

2017 top songs and artists on Spotify

2017 top songs and artists on Spotify