minoroots

Can’t miss

Posted in Hoops, Life, Thoughts by minoroots on 04/27/2011

2010
WLA – 19
FOR – 21
SBL – 10, 18, 24, 17, 14

2011
WLA – 27
YIM – 12, 18, 14
SBL – 12, 24

Confidence & trust.

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Free Throws & Studying

Posted in Thoughts by minoroots on 09/23/2010

I was looking back on some old Xanga (omg so 2004!) posts from the past, and found one of those entries that make you think “Wow, did I really write this back then?” Not to sound arrogant or narcissistic, but I find it surprisingly well-written for a 19 year old… Ok, at least for this 19-year old.

Anyway, I found it very typical of me–making analogies to life lessons based on basketball principles. I guess some things never change.

Here it is in its entirety:

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004:

So after conceding defeat to my Econ final, I proceeded to the near-empty Wooden Center to go knock down 100 freethrows. It was 10am and indeed, I was not in the right state of mind after a long night of battle with Aggregate Expenditures and Marginal Return Products.

Somewhere in between throwing up shots and slipping in/out of consciousness, I came to the realization that freethrow shooting is a lot like studying. First of all, it’s hard to consistently knock down freethrows. It takes discipline, concentration, and practice. The same goes with studying; you need the discipline to sit yourself down and tell yourself, “Okay, I’ve gotta do this,” and proceed to concentrate on the task at hand. If you normally never study, it’s hard to lock yourself down and accomplish a good amount of studying. In essence, it takes practice to study efficiently and effectively.

When I began to get in a groove and hit about 10 freethrows in a row, something always came up that prompted me to lose concentration and miss the next shot. Whether it was a roar coming from the sweet play made on the other court (there was one game going on) or some dude yelling and dropping f-bombs about some ticky-tack foul, these distractions took away my concentartion. It was just like when you’re studying, and you’re really starting to get into the study-mode, and then someone barges into your room, or calls you on your cell phone. Sometimes, it’s like your computer and the internet. You think, “Oh, I need to check my email,” and then you proceed to waste more time surfing the net, long after you finished checking the mailbox. It’s just like how once you miss a shot, you tend to keep missing and it becomes harder and harder to get back in your groove.

Another thing, when your goal is to knock down 100 freethrows, you tend to get tired and start thinking about other things around your 60th make or so. Then you start to miss, and it seems like you’re stuck on 67 forever. It’s like when you’ve been studying for a long time, and after a while you start to daydream, and oftentimes you get to a point where you’re not even sure whether you’re learning anything anymore. Man, I hate that feeling. And I hate being stuck on 67, too.

So after knocking down 100 and feeling some sense of accomplishment (since the final stripped me of all satisfaction), all I could think of was “Man, I should’ve worn basketball shoes” so that I could play 5 on 5 with those guys at Wooden. Anything to keep me from preparing for my other final tomorrow morning.

Remember: Discipline, Concentration, Practice, and avoid Distractions. Then go shoot some freethrows after your final.

Re: The LeBron Decision Show

Posted in Hoops, Thoughts by minoroots on 07/07/2010

To quote Orlando Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy (via Orlando Sentinel):

Come on, an hour long? It takes 15 seconds to say “I’ve decided to stay in Cleveland” but we’ve got another 59 minutes and 45 seconds to, what? Promote LeBron James? As if we don’t do that enough. Look, the guy’s a great player and wherever he goes, my bet would be Cleveland, that place will be excited. But an hour long special?

Seeeriously.

Scott Fujita, JA Superbowl Champion

Posted in Sports, Thoughts by minoroots on 02/08/2010

No, that's not Fujita. Just FYI.

Congratulations to the Superbowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints.

I’m not much of a football fan, but even I can tell this was a great game and that the Saints deserve all the credit for the victory. Clean game with minimal penalties? Just two 1st downs resulting from penalties—check. No controversial calls? Only one review resulting in a great 2-point conversion—check. Game-changing trick play? Improbable on-side kick to start the 3rd quarter—check. Near-perfect quarterback play? Payton Manning (1st half) and Drew Breeze (2nd half)—double-check.

Breeze’s performance was 100% worthy of his MVP trophy. Great vision, poise, accuracy, and a cannon of an arm that threw some incredible thread-the-needle type completions. 32/39 completion rate? Seriously? And a great guy to boot, judging from his pre and post-game interviews. Can’t help but feel happy for the guy.

And for those of you who are blaming Manning today for the Colts’ loss… please. You’re telling me that a guy who goes 31/45 for 333 YDS with 1 TD and 1 INT is to blame? Granted the lone interception ultimately sealed the game for NO, but that’s not what caused the loss for Indy. He had 2 receivers drop potential TD passes and was held out of the game for 70 minutes (!) real-time b/c the defense couldn’t get the ball back. You can’t possibly blame the loss on Manning. The Saints earned it.

As for the title of this post, I was enlightened by Doug about the Saints’ co-captain, Scott Fujita—a 6-5, 250 lb linebacker with a Japanese last name (what?!)—and found out more about him through an article on ESPN The Magazine from a few months ago. It’s a great story. Here’s a little clip:

He opens a picture of his parents, reaches out to touch their faces on the screen. Given up by his birth mother when he was 6 weeks old, Scott was adopted by Helen and Rod Fujita and raised in Camarillo, Calif. Helen, a retired secretary, is white. Rod, a retired high school teacher and coach, is a thirdgeneration Japanese-American. He was born inside an Arizona internment camp during World War II.

Fujita opens more photos. There’s one of him holding hands with his wife and college sweetheart, Jaclyn, on Senior Day at Cal; this was a few months before the Chiefs took him in the fifth round of the 2002 draft. There’s another one of him playing Pee Wee football, the chubby-cheeked, blond-haired, green-eyed kid with the Japanese name on his jersey. There’s another of his paternal grandmother, Lillie, who once overheard him introducing himself like this: “Hi! I’m Scott. I’m 4. And I’m Japanese.”

“I swear I’m not delusional,” Fujita says, chuckling at the memory. “I know I don’t have a drop of Japanese blood in me. But what is race? It’s just a label. The way you’re raised, your family, the people you love—that means more than everything else.

Could pass for a hapa, no?

Congrats to this Yonsei for his Superbowl Ring. Read the full article here.

RIP Howard Zinn

Posted in Thoughts, Tribute by minoroots on 01/27/2010

“It doesn’t take much thought about terrorism to realize that when somebody talks about a war on terrorism, they’re dealing with a contradiction in terms. How can you make war on terrorism, if war itself is terrorism?”

Howard Zinn, 8/24/1922 – 1/27/2010

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Taiko Copycats

Posted in Thoughts, Video by minoroots on 11/19/2009

***UPDATE***

The president of Arashi Taiko has since contacted the current Kyodo Taiko members, and offered an apology while formally asking for permission to perform ‘Encore’. The video in question was also taken down from YouTube. I read the forwarded letter and it seemed sincere, and I thought it was a nice gesture (though, unfortunately, a bit after-the-fact). I hope the current members of Kyodo would be gracious enough to work something out with Arashi that leads to a positive relationship—maybe a joint practice or something if they can meet at next year’s Intercollegiate Taiko Conference.

***

…and I’m not talking about Emily’s mother-of-all-slaps to Craig’s face. This is about full-on Taiko Plagiarism.

Got an e-mail link from Yumi from Taikoproject [via Liz] to the following YouTube video of Oklahoma University’s Arashi Taiko performing their brand-new piece:

Problem is, some of us happen to be familiar with the tune… I mean veeeeerrrrrry familiar. As in this is “Encore,” which UCLA’s Kyodo Taiko composed back in 1997. As in my buddies Christine/Craig/Jason re-mixed this particular rendition. As in I was one of the first to perform the piece, back in ’07:

The similarities are uncanny… er, blatantly obvious.

Part of me is amused/flattered that the OU kids liked it enough to copy it. Taiko’s about community, and I don’t mind sharing. It’s nice to see that taiko is spreading to places like Oklahoma.

Then again, another part of me is upset that they never did seek permission. I can see why my friends who co-wrote the piece are so pissed. To us, Encore isn’t just any song—it’s Kyodo’s signature song that’s been passed down from generation to generation, for over a decade.

Maybe they did give credit to “This group we found on YouTube” before performing at the “University of Oklahoma African Student Association ‘ROOTS’ talent show”… Who knows.

But if you’re gonna copy it, it wouldn’t hurt to try asking the owners of the song for permission first.

flattered

Gratitude

Posted in Life, Thoughts by minoroots on 09/30/2009

Nothing in this world should be a source of our complaint or blame. Quite the opposite, everything should be a source of our gratitude and joy. Imagine awaking each morning with gratitude for the warmth that permeates throughout your body, for the food you had yesterday and which is now nurturing you today, and for the air that the lungs take in, contributing to the energy that sustains life. Gratitude should overwhelm you.

Jiro Morishita, (2/16/1961 – 8/30/2009)

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Misread headline of the day

Posted in Thoughts by minoroots on 09/21/2009

It’s actually a byline, but here goes:

LA Times: “Kevin Craft fills in effectively at quarterback, and defense shuts down the Wildcats”

I definitely read it as “Kevin Craft fills ineffectively at quarterback…”

Oops, my bad. Preconceptions… they just won’t go away. Sigh.

My endearing image of poor Kevin Craft:

Yeah, coach, I know, I know...

"What the %&$# was THAT, Kevin?!?"

Here’s hoping the Prince/Craft/Brehaut QB committee can hold it down this year so that the superb Bruin defense can get enough rest between drives this year. O-Line deserves major credit, too. So far, so good @ 3-0!

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