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On My Knee

My right knee is broken, that’s no new news. It was injured back in late February during a Mighty Kites game, back when we were.

After months of physio visits with apparent healing to the diagnosed meniscus (these are cartilage in the knee that act like shock absorbers) injury, my knee was no better, so I made it along to the doctor who referred me on to see a specialist.

My initial consultation, last Monday, confirmed that the injury was more serious than the meniscus; the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is torn.

Next step was to find out the extent of the damage, and to see if there had been anything else damaged in the process. This was done on Wednesday when I went for an MRI.

Today I was back at the specialist and he breaks the news that not only is the ACL torn, but both meniscus have tears in them, hopefully minor… The result is that I need to get surgery done to have my knee reconstructed and sooner than later….

More news as it develops….

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Sore with the Mighty Kites

Last night I made a return to the courts at Fred Caterson Reserve to play ball with The Mighty Kites against Midnight Gamblers after a few months on hiatus thanks to a tear in my meniscus earlier this year in February, which is mostly healed.

I arrived in eager anticipation with about 20 minutes to tip off to run through the paces of stretching, jogging and general warm up. As game time approached, my team didn’t, and were unfortunately absent until minutes into the first half when they slowly trickled in, forfeiting several points due to the late start and lack of a team to take the court.

Once the game finally got underway things didn’t improve much… The team performed rarely as one, opting more for an individual showcase, focusing more on the individual and less on the showcase…. When we did manage to pass the ball around, they were sloppy or lazy and were thus intercepted, or even passed straight to the opposition, and there was no effort to recover the ball. Of those passes that did make it to the intended player, they were wasted with poor shots or passes…

I went slow and safe to make sure I didn’t do any damage. This put me at a disadvantage, not being able to jump for the ball meant that potential intercepts were centimetres out of my jump reach and I wasn’t able to run as fast or manoeuvre as much as I’d like to have, or am used to…. When I did manage to get a hold of the ball I managed to sink a three pointer.
I am very very very much feeling the results of the exercise today though through my quads, and rest of my legs as well as some in my chest and arms, having sored so much last night….

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The Status of CHONGLAND

Good Morning Blogosphere!!

Apologies for the neglect and lack of blog posts…. Things have been pretty hectic of late, resulting in a lack of time to complete blog posts…. (I have about 5 draft posts sitting here to be completed….)

So what’s been taking up my time and energy??

  • I’ve been coming to work early (getting in between 7 and 7:30am) because my sister is catching an earlier train due to her job demanding longer working hours. I’ve decided that the loving thing to do for my dad is to go at the same time as her so he doesn’t have to make 2 taxi runs to the train station…
  • I’ve been working on the SaltYouth site. It’s now in its second skin and hopefully staying that way for a few months, at least until the lead-up to AWESOME: their annual youth camp in October
  • Just the general flow of life, being up and down….

I am hoping to get the ball rolling again now that things are more complete….
As for the content?

  • Bible Study coverage will still be a feature, I’m enjoying the time I spend with the group and the things we’re discussing…
  • I fear the Mighty Kites coverage may drop off…. The new look team isn’t providing a great write up… the first two games of the winter competition we’ve consecutively scored 18 points, but the opposition has clocked up 45 and 58 respectively…. Plus my Meniscus/Knee still haunts me and I doubt I’ll play until mid June…
  • Music should be getting a good plug as well, I’ve promised many album reviews, but provided little…. And there so much great music I’m enjoying that I’d love to share with you all

I am working on yet another visual metamorphosis of this site, which I hope to get up soon.
I’m aware that my readership is generally reading via RSS, but for those of you that do drop by the site, I’d like to know what you think of the sidebar; that thing that sits over there -> ->.
Do you find it useful?? Do you have an account setup to login to and see how many comments you’ve made?? I’m thinking of ditching it, or refining it and it’s position, plus moving the b-sides back into the everyday blog….

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Semi-finals – Mighty Kites vs Grantham

The final game of The Mighty Kites as we know it in this form before several guys take a leave of absense and it almost felt like we’d wrapped up and stopped as a team already… Lacking John and Garth we played as the young team, yet not quick and not energetic…

As Geoff took the tip against Grantham, he actually lost, but the ball was knocked straight off the court. So we had opportunity but sunk nothing; this was to be the trend for the first 4 minutes of the game, to and fro with no baskets… Even a couple of free throws went astray… It wasn’t until about 4 minutes into the game before points hit the board thanks to Geoff at the free throw line. From there we managed to push a bit of a lead, although it took plenty of effort to get there.

The second half felt alot sloppier with plenty of turnovers and intercepts by Grantham, along with their penetration of our key and a fairly accurate 3 point shooter, our lead dropped significantly. Our efforts to keep pushing the points failed dismally and with only half a minute on the clock Grantham were down two points when they got control of the ball for one last push to tie the game or win it. They drove up the court through some traffic managing to get to the key and let off a shot that just missed, leaving us with the win 30 vs 28 and our 5th place on the ladder.

This sees the end of the careers of several players on the Kites team: Gareth, Geoff and James. They probably scored 1/3rd of our teams points, so it’s sad to see them go. Hoping for a return at a later date…
It’s been a good, not great, season. I attribute that mainly to my injury, which has hindered me. Looking forward to he next season tho, where I should be able to step up my game in light of our losses. Signing off for summer comp 08/09. Thanks for reading!

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Round 21 – Mighty Kites vs And Far Away

The final round of the summer competition this week and we were up against And Far Away. We were down James and Nima.

Geoff lined up for the jump, tipping down to John to run the ball up, missing his layup, but Geoff stepped in to pick up the scraps and pocketing the two points. In our defensive end, we were pretty average. We managed to keep them out for the most part on the zone, forcing a number of outside shots, but hardly covering those shots so quite a few of them went in. When they did manage to get a player through with the ball, our zone tended to fall apart or cave in if you will…
As the first half continued, they seemed to have plenty of fouls called on them, the total getting up to 11 or 12, with free throws kicking in from 8. This hindered our game quite alot as the physical & mental frustration of being fouled affected our free throw shooting, sinking only about 15% across the whole game, and our ‘retaliation’ against such fouls by trying the same or similar fouls, and of course being picked up on them… Towards the end of the first half Garth pushed himself too hard on the dribble against one guy down the right hand side, straining his hamstring and putting himself out of the game.

The second half played out much the same as the tail end of the first with defense resulting in unnecessary fouls being given away, but less fouls being called at our offensive end, giving us the opportunity to score, but our repetition in plays resulted in And Far Away getting the ball and running away with the win 27 vs 20.

I managed to throw out my knee in practice before the game and played injured. It’s still my meniscus and is very annoying as it is hard to tell how long before it’ll recover, could be a week or 2, could be a month or more…

Next week is semi-finals. We’ll be playing at either 9:30 or 10:15 since we finished in the bottom half of the ladder. Come on down for the final game of The Mighty Kites as we now know them, as there will be a new look team next season.

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Round 20 – Mighty Kites vs Bruins

In the second last round we went up against Bruins. We almost had a full complement this week; I was able to make it back on court, albeit not 100%, but Nima was out due to the Iranian New Year.

As we jumped off, Gareth took the centre, winning and tapping out to John who ran the ball down only to miss the layup in mild traffic. Bruins recovered the the ball to take it up to their offensive end, only to lose it to miscommunication, giving us the opportunity for a fast break to open up the scoring. The game kept up a to and fro for the first quarter with some good steals and clumsy turnovers on both teams, but after that Bruins started to kick into higher gear, sinking plenty of three point shots and opening up the key for easier baskets, culminating in a ~10 point lead at half time.

The second half seemed abysmal with shots not dropping despite our best efforts and a lack of patience for a good shot. Selfish plays seemed to dominate our second half. Bruins were able to extend their lead to a final score of 32 v 54.

Ethan is developing well as a player, although he still lacks the confidence in offence, and Gareth continued to powerhouse through everything. I felt a bit useless, playing at half-strength, and not getting the ball to take up a lot of the time was on court. I do need to step up to that and start making some plays and calling the shots.

Next week is the final official round of summer comp. We take on And Far Away at 7:15.

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Round 19 – Mighty Kites vs Midnight Gamblers

This week the Mighty Kites went up against Midnight Gamblers in a late night tangle…

With the exception of John and myself, we had a full team of 7, matched up against four to start with, later joined by a fifth. The tip went our way with some amount of force setting up Gareth for an easy opening basket, however, it didn’t fall and Gamblers came away with the crumbs. Luckily their attempt also missed. This was to be the main story of the first half; an uphill battle of to and fro, no team jumping out in front with a handsome lead…. by the end of first half the scores were pretty even around 12 a piece give or take 2 points….

The next quarter would play out much the same… head to head baskets and failed attempts until a leveled out score at 18 points a piece, then the scales started to tip… I attribute it to the tightening up of our defense after a time out called by the Gamblers; our zone was tighter, keeping them out from driving, forcing hopeless 3 point shots, of which none went in all night long, turnovers on occasional drives through tight spaces and fumbled rebounds. We made use of the quick change and ran some breaks, but the main source of our points here was Nima driving to the basket with his signature finger-roll. It became apparent that the loss was inevitable for the Gamblers and it seemed that some of the guys almost gave up, whilst others tried too hard and forced fouls, and some silly and unnecessary ones at that, one being an unsportsmanlike on James during a fast break, coming from behind with a hardish hit. At the end of the day, or night as it were, they went down and were ok with it. Final score was 28 vs 20.

Definite star player tonight was Nima but everyone else played well, there were plenty of steals taken by everyone. It did feel more like a bunch of individuals playing the same game though, only dishing to others if there was no other option, something I’d like to see change….

I’m hoping to get back on the court for next week, depending on when my outer meniscus clicks back into place and I feel comfortable to get out there. Bruins will be our opponents and we take the court at 9:30pm. It’ll be the second last game before the 2 week final series. We were still sitting on 5th before the game tonight and may have moved to equal fourth, if not outright fourth.

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Round 18 – Mighty Kites vs Xtreme

Another low scoring affair this week as The Mighty Kites went head to head against Xtreme.

Nima took the tip, winning by only a little, yet we weren’t able to pocket the ball. In fact there was no score for the first few minutes of the game; the foul count was higher than the combined total score for the first quarter as both teams defended well, applying necessary pressure. There was also a lack of patience in waiting for a good shot, although this improved significantly in the second half of the game for us.

We mixed up our plays well in the second half with fast breaks and slower patient passing plays, generally dictated by their defense. One highlight was Nima faking one guy on the drive with a crossover, drawing him so well that he lost his balance and footing that he just tumbled over.

Next week we’re up against Midnight Gamblers in a late night 10pm game. I’m hoping to make my return to the court, depending on my knee.

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Round 17 – Mighty Kites vs WK

Tonight we went up against WK, a team we beat by 1 point in our last match up; they were still a little bitter over it and were keen to settle the score.

The game started off with Geoff easily winning the tip, sending the ball to Garth, then the ball was slowly taken down and eventually potted. The game progressed slowly with plenty of foul plays coming up, mainly for WK who reached 7 team fouls by the end of the quarter… Although they played a fast running game for the majority of the game, they lacked accuracy and patience. When they did get a good shot off, the height difference showed. As the first half progressed and their team continued to show up, their game seemed to evolve as each player seemed to bring something new to the game. This was hard to overcome, however we pulled away in the end.

With 3 minutes to go, the score was tied up at 24 a piece, the ball moving up and down the court with no baskets due to fouls, turnovers, blocks or missed buckets… Luckily for us, they’d reached 7 fouls and had their 3 point shooter fouled out of the game with 5 fouls…. We were in for free throws and took advantage of them. Those points hand in hand with patience on the offense and a quick to move defense resulted in our home stretch to win the game. Final score was 32 vs 26 to us, a better result than last play.

I wasn’t able to play this week due to a sprained outer meniscus from last weeks game, I should be back on court in the next couple of weeks though… The team did really well in defense though, so I wasn’t really needed…. Ethan, Nima, Geoff and James all got blocks in on the smaller asians; one of James’ coming on a 2-1 fast break where he was able to to cover the ball carrier and then block the second player after receiving the pass to make the shot. This was then followed up by chasing down the ball and sending it up court for a basket. Amazing play!! The only thing that would have topped it was if Nima was able to complete his drive to the basket, throwing the ball up of the glass and making the tip in, through traffic!!

Next week sees us taking on Xtreme at 8pm. Come on down and cheer us on!! There’s plans to also go and watch the new Watchmen movie after the game if you’re keen.

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Round 16 – Mighty Kites vs Gratham

Tonight the Mighty Kites went up against Grantham for a physical battle on the courts. We almost had a full team, with the exception of Nima and Callum.

Gareth stepped up for the tip this week and sent the ball flying off the court. I’m not sure why but the point score went really really slowly, by quarter time we’d only snuck past 10 points, both teams playing very tight and heavy defense, but not breaking through well on offense….

The second half was just as bad, except we’d slowed down on the fouls and continued to force them to foul, bringing up 7 to send us to the line for each additional foul, and removing one of their players who had notched up 5. In the dying minutes of the game we held up the ball as much as we could after we were ahead, but stupid mistakes almost lost us the game with Gratham being able to throw up 2 shots in the last half a minute. Lucky for us they were greedy over smart and threw up three pointers rather than just laying up 2 points. The final scoreline being 24 v 23 in our favour. Too close for comfort.

Next week we’re up against WK at 7:15.