By: Michael Jenkins / @mjjenk
What’s up ELA?!?
It’s been a while but I’m back. These past eight months have been an ultimate roller-coaster for your boy. Last season ended early for me with a bicep tendon injury and season ending surgery for it. The last game I played was on January 14th and I didn’t have surgery until March 11th….long story (smh)! I have been anticipating the day I would be back on the court here in Europe and today is the day! Let me fill you guys in on a few things that have been going on with me since my last post…
As you guys may remember I played in Belgium for the EuroCup Qualifying Round/EuroChallenge club Belgacom Liege. This year I am back in Belgium, but playing for the club Optima Gent. We are not in any kind of extra European competition so I have to deal with the annoying one game but like eight practices a week routine, haha. My injury regressed my career a bit and this lockout didn’t help much either. I had offers from a few EuroCup teams in the first part of the new year to leave my team in Liege, but not being 100% healthy prevented that from happening.
So now this season I’m back on the court to prove the type of player I am. I was doubted a lot this summer in the job market by organizations because they weren’t convinced I would be the same player, and my numbers from last season up until the injury weren’t eye popping. I didn’t sign until the first week of September and even then I had a week trial for them to make sure my arm held up through the rigorous practices of preseason. I almost decided not to accept the deal because I knew I was healthy and felt I shouldn’t have to prove that, but I would probably still be home without a contract if I did.
I had to swallow my pride and make it happen.
Tonight we play my former team (Liege) and it’s my first official game since January, so you have to know I’m pretty excited. I have to make sure I’m not too excited though, because then I won’t play well, haha. I worked very hard to get back healthy, in shape, and better as a player this off-season. I played in the Greater NC-ProAm (Durham, NC) and the Charlotte ProAm (Charlotte, NC) with all types of talent from NBA guys, to European pros like myself, to top collegiate players. I was able to gauge my progression and I think it really helped me a lot in getting back. My team won the Charlotte ProAm championship and I got MVP of the game so that was a nice boost of confidence.
With all of what I’ve endured and all the adversity I’ve had to face both mentally and physically these past eight months in mind, tonight is when it all starts to count and I feel ready to prove those that doubted me wrong. I have a chip on my shoulder and I’m ready to get this season started.
It is time…let’s goooo!!!!
To read all of Michael’s blog entries, check out the No Fear Zone on ELA.