Brittany Graham

basketball

This New Workout Thing...

basketball, brittanyBrittany GrahamComment

If you read my blog last weekend about my trip to Houston to see my best friend Bethany, then you know she has inspired me to get a Fitbit and be more active. As former division I college athlete I always found it hard to workout for "fun" without a game or season to prepare for once my career ended. When I was still playing, I could run and workout for days, lift, shoot, and run for miles and love every second of it. However, now that I don't true reason to run other than to be healthy I've been nothing but lazy since then. Luckily for me I've been blessed with amazing genes and metabolism. I'm capable of eating hot Cheetos, donuts, sour patch kids, and coke without gaining a pound. No but really...

As much of a blessing has it's been to be able to do nothing, and eat anything I want without my boding changing, at times I feel guilty. Guilty because  for so many people who have to watch every little thing they eat and spend hours in the gym and still aren't satisfied with their body.

For me though, the desire to start being more active isn't about the physical aspect of my body looking a certain way. At this point in my life I'm more concerned with living a long and healthy life and doing everything in my power to preserve those precious years while I'm still young. With that being said however, it will also be an added bonus that my body will tone up a bit more.

As for completely  ditching the hot Cheetos and donuts, that's a tough one. Maybe in time, but just like adapting to this new fitness routine of mine all things take time. So I'm more than willing to take the necessary baby steps to become a healthier person. To the world it may appear I am skinny and healthy, but on the inside I truly know I've got to be better if I want to live a long, happy, healthy life.

I've started off my mornings this week with hour long workouts prior to starting my days and already I can feel a difference with more attentiveness and energy all day long!

SN: I also created a pretty bomb playlist on Spotify to get me going, check it out :)

March Madness Superlatives

basketballBrittany GrahamComment

If you're anything like me then March is your absolute favorite month of the year. For the obvious reasons that the amount of college basketball consumed is on another level. With that being said, if you're a college basketball fanatic like yours truly, once One Shining Moment hits and reality sets in that you have to wait a painful eight months to watch college basketball, depression hits, and it hits hard. But before the college basketball season is lost and forgotten and we all shift gears with the NBA playoffs right around the corner. Let's take a second and enjoy my March Madness Superlatives and relive some of the best moments of the tournament. Biggest Upset: MTSU over Michigan State. Like any other year of the tournament this year too came with its fair share of upsets, but I don't think any of us expected MTSU dominate over national powerhouse Michigan State with such authority. With an early MTSU 17-4 lead, watching the game you just knew the Spartans would make their run. Slightly closing the gap in the second half, Izzo and his boys came close but the superb play of MTSU's Reggie Upshaw was enough to bust everyone's bracket (including mine) sending the Big 10 Champs home with an early first round exit.

Biggest Heartbreak: Easy choice. Northern Iowa. Down 12 to Texas A&M with .44 seconds left, the Aggies managed to make an unprovable comeback sending the game into overtime eventually advancing to the Sweet 16 by a final score of 92-88. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before. As a fan you're rooting for  A&M to make a comeback for the ages, but at the same time seeing the look of shock, pain, and disbelief on the faces of the UNI players not knowing who to cheer for. Definitely one of March's magical moments none of us will ever forget.

Buzzer Beater:On Wisconsin. With a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line, Bronson Koenig drilled a three pointer deep in the corner in front of his own bench as time expired. It was beautiful and perfectly executed, such a work of art, and a tough shot at that too.

Biggest Disappointment:Press Virginia. Maybe a biased pick here as a Big 12 fan, but watching the Mountaineers knock of everyone in the Big 12, I just knew West Virginia was poised for a deep run in March. Boy was I wrong. West Virginia, got West Virginia'd by Stephen F. Austin. Coming into the first round match up UWV was leading the nation in nearly every defensive category forcing teams into a frenzy turning the ball over with their unconventional press. Little did we know that SFA was going to force UWV into 22 turnovers and 70-56 win.

Biggest Surprise: I think we can all be in agreement that Syracuse surprised us all this March somehow finding a way to Houston, when many people argued The Cuse' didn't even do enough to earn a spot in the big dance. With a so so 9-9 record in ACC play, and loss to Pitt in the conference tournament, picking Syracuse to advance to the Final 4 was none the less far-fetched. But it's March, and once again we are proven wrong that anything can happen this time of the year.

villanova-unc.jpg

Best Moment:Kris Jenkins, Villanova. Just when the entire basketball world was amazed at the pump fake, hanging in mid-air, deep three pointer by North Carolina's Marcus Paige. Kris Jenkins stole the show as teammate Ryan Arcidiacono drove the length of the floor with less than 5 seconds remaining in regulation pitching the ball back to Jenkins stepping into a wide open three pointer as time expired to seal the deal for the Wildcats claiming the national championship. Can't think of a better moment than that now can we? Didn't think so.

Best Swag: Until a few weeks ago, the name Thomas Walkup had no significance to me. The kid is a straight baller, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him play. So much so that I put the feelings of my bracket aside, and hopped on the Stephen F. Austin bandwagon which ultimately fell short in the round of 32 against Notre Dame 76-75. Walkup single-handedly alienated West Virginia in the first round dropping 33 points scoring at will. He's game was so smooth. But the best part? Walkup having a killer instinct to go along with a steady demeanor of "yeah this is what I do," the entire game. Complete swag, and I'm definitely a new fan!

Just wanted to share my favorite Memories of March with you all. Let the countdown begin...going to be a long 8 months without the love of my life, college basketball :(

Keep Doing What's Right

basketball, faith, lifeBrittany GrahamComment
Coach Barnes, and my dad (behind) at GSU
Coach Barnes, and my dad (behind) at GSU

March is finally here and madness has arrived! With that being said, I have to give a huge shout out to the Cal State Bakersfield Men's Basketball team for punching their schools first ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament. I'm so happy for Coach Barnes, his team, and his family, as this moment could not have happened to a better person.

I  had the pleasure of getting to know Coach Barnes and his family while my dad was an assistant under Coach Barnes at Georgia State a few years back. Our time together at GSU was nothing less than a struggle as we couldn't seem to get these going, which ultimately led us to all to part our separate ways. As the child of a college coach it was hard to see because I saw firsthand how much  work the coaching staff put into changing the culture of the program and the internal issues they faced. But the only thing everyone else saw were the wins and losses. It honestly broke my heart to hear so many negative comments about our staff. It was even harder the last couple of years to see GSU have so much success and not be a part of it.

Coach Barnes is a man and coach of integrity and believes in doing things the right way, which this day in age in college athletics is rare to see. However, even in his first couple of seasons at CSUB the team finished with records of 16-15, 13-19, 14-16, 14-19, before finishing this season with an outstanding record of 24-8. God is so good!!! 

I always questioned God and wondered why we just couldn't seem to win at GSU? But sometimes you just have to trust God, stay grounded, and continue to do things the right way.   24-8, WAC Champs, WAC Coach of The Year and an NCAA Tournament bid. Not only for Coach Barnes and his family, but seeing my dad win Dallas Coach of The Year and his Skyline High School basketball team win 32 games is amazing to see. But none of this success would have been possible without our struggles at GSU and having the continued faith to keep fighting and working hard. God has a plan, it may not happen when you want it to, or the way you think it should, but stay the course and keep doing what is right.

People that aren't directly associated with an athletic program, team, or coach don't understand how important or how amazing a moment like this is, and just how rare it is to make the NCAA tournament. Especially as a mid-major university, you honestly never really know when you'll have another opportunity to play in the big dance. I'm so proud and happy of the Barnes family and this amazing accomplishment. Coach Barnes, Ms. Bridgette, Ma' Barnes, Brandon and Bray, CONGRATULATIONS, and thank you for all you have done for me and my family. WE LOVE YOU GUYS, and best of luck in the tourney!!!

Cal State Bakersfield punching their ticket to the big dance in dramatic fashion: