Ball Is Life: Alex Richman


When you’re in college, you tend to meet a lot of people. At Purdue University Northwest (formally Purdue University Calumet), we built a network for basketball players for open gym sessions. I’ve seen plenty of talent come and go over the years, but Alex Richman is one of a kind. He’s very instinctive, has a high basketball IQ, underrated ball handling and court vision, and has one the best jump shots I’ve ever witnessed with my own eyes. Richman is a true competitor that doesn’t take kindly to losing and demands the best out of his teammates.

Before coming to Purdue, Alex went to Praire View A & M, a mid-major Division I school. Here’s some footage of Richman against other D1 schools, such as Hawaii and Baylor below:

Richman played for Praire View A & M for two years before ending up at Abilene Christain University and ultimately Purdue University Calumet for his senior season. The Melbourne, Florida native also played soccer (team captain) for the Peregrines during his last year of his college eligibility.

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Alex Richman with former Purdue Calumet Men’s Soccer Coach James Drzewiecki

Basketball after college didn’t stop for Richman, as he played semi-professionally with the Arizona Scorpions of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the Florida Flight of the Florida Basketball Association (FBA). Here are some highlights below from each team.

As you can see from the highlights, the 6 foot 2 guard has the ability not only to make shots and score the ball, but he has the vision to consistently find his teammates. After his stellar performance in the FBA in 2015 (29.2 ppg, 4.6 apg, six 35+ point games, 2nd consecutive all-star appearance), Richman was able to get a tryout and eventually signed with the Harlem Globetrotters for their international 90th-anniversary world tour.

Yes I’m still with the globetrotters. I’m what they call a “taxi” player. If they need a man for a tour then they would call me. I am still working with an agency as well and would pursue an overseas opportunity if it did end up happening. As of now I’m happily content with the globetrotters because they are one of the best in the business world at what they do and take care of their players with great respect.

Everything that Richman has achieved cannot be matched by many, and that’s a testament to his hard work ethic and love for the game. What makes the Florida native the ultimate teammate is that he started “F.A.I.T.H.” (Faith Allows Innovative Training Here). F.A.I.T.H. is an elite basketball training program in Brevard County, Florida.

My vision is to impact as many lives as I can in the community I grew up in. Brevard county isn’t known for basketball but there is so much hidden talent with no one searching. Not only do I train them to reach their full potential but I’m also a mentor to them and help them get to the next level of basketball they want to pursue. I have a great little circle of college, prep, and aau coaches who keep in contact with me and keep an eye on kids I post.

Alex Richman has worked with several high school athletes to prep them for the next level of their athletic careers. Some of the drills are very unique, but all of them are strenuous.

Richman also doesn’t allow his trainees to establish bad habits such as disrespect, a bad temper, lack of promptness, laziness, and selfishness. These 5 attributes are something that college coaches don’t want to see and will not tolerate from their players.  If you have Instagram, follow his page @faith.basketball and check out the videos of the intense workouts.

When you able to share your talents and gifts to help others become better, you are truly achieving greatness. Personally, it takes a humble person to display such acts. I hope Alex continues to use his resources for the greater good, shows humility, and stays a role model for the younger generation. I wish F.A.I.T.H. and your basketball career nothing but that best. Keep up the good work!

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JGOOD

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Sunday Red: Tiger Woods


 

I’ve played three years of high school golf. Every time I tee’d off… every time I approached the green… every time I was ready to putt… I imagined that I was Tiger Woods. Tiger was the reason I started to have an interest in golf. Before him, I thought golf wasn’t appealing. I started to even question why golf was even a sport.

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Seeing Tiger play and dominate at a young age, provided me with a pulse for the sport. I began to watch him regularly during the summer and the majors on a regular. I made sure I was at home on Sundays to watch him cruise to victory after victory. He had overcome rivals such as Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh,  Rocco Mediate, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, and Jim Furyk. I even started to take notes of his game and tried to replicate his tactics.

Tiger Woods came out the gate destroying the competition. In 1997, Woods was the youngest to ever win The Masters at the age of 21 (win by 12 strokes). In 2001, he became the first golfer to be the reigning champion of all four majors. Tiger has won a total of 14 majors and 79 career PGA tour events. In every event that Woods has played in, you will see him wear the color red on Sundays. He said:

“I wear red on Sundays because my mom thinks that that’s my power color, and you know you should always listen to your mom.”

 

My favorite memory of Tiger Woods came at the U.S. Open in 2008 when he beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff to claim the major championship. What makes this major significant for Woods, and myself personally, is that he won this major on a bad left knee. He was shown grimacing and in discomfort while taking strokes (especially while teeing off). Shortly after taking the crown, Woods had reconstructive surgery on his ACL on the same left knee. He was out of action for over 9 months. With this injury, came a domino effect of different and reoccurring injuries.

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Tiger Woods vs Rocco Mediate (2008 U.S. Open)

The scandal in December of 2009, when he openly admitted to cheating on his (now) ex-wife, did not help his status of trying to return to “Vintage Tiger”. Woods eventually started to lose endorsements such as Gillette, AT&T, and Gatorade. You add this with the chronic injuries, you have a recipe for failure for anybody’s image and career.

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Even with the scandal that has stained his imaged and lost some of his endorsements, Tiger Woods will always have a major influence on my life and my others. The recent news of him returning to golf at Safeway, after being out more than a year due to injuries, has given me hope that maybe (just maybe) he might be able to show his dominance one more time. I know it’s wishful thinking, but I’ve seen crazier things happen in sports. Either way, I’ll be following him again on his return to golf. I just want to see that signature fist pump one more time.

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JGOOD

Draft Town


I went to draft town on Friday in Chicago and it was WAY better than I could ever imagine. They had a combine area for the fans that wanted to do the 40 yard dash, the high jump, field goal kicking, and much more. Former players were there to sign autographs, they had the NFL shop and museum, food from, vendors, and much more!!

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And even Adam Schefter was there!

NFL Careers Decreasing?


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Over the years, we have discovered the short and long term health issues with players who played in the NFL. I haven’t seen the movie “Concussion” yet starring Will Smith (it’s on my “to-do” list) but one of my good friends has. In a nut shell, he decided that his son won’t be playing football. Since the new year, we found out Calvin Johnson plans to retire, Marshawn Lynch put a picture of his cleats hanging on a telephone wire on Instagram, and Jerod Mayo became the latest to announce his retirement. Not only are these big name stars that’s retiring, but they’re retiring at a young age.

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Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson is 30. Marshawn Lynch and Jerod Mayo are 29 years old. 2 of the 3 have won the Superbowl and all of them have been Pro Bowlers. All 3 of them are in the prime of their careers, even though all of them have been dealing with injuries. The fact is each one of them can compete at an elite level, but they are choosing to leave on their own terms. Barry Sanders retired at 30 and he wanted to leave before his body got taken apart (and that’s before we found out about the multiple health issues with football nowadays).

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Marshawn Lynch

After hearing about Junior Seau’s unfortunate death, I believe current NFL players are starting to pay attention to their long term health. Seau died to a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest in 2012. However, it was discovered that he had suffered brain damage from playing football. I’m not saying that was the cause of his death but you never know if it played any part of it.

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Junior Seau

When you see plays like this (click here), you start to wonder how much of an impact is that really having on a human. Adrian Coxson, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver, retired last summer. He was carted off on an ambulance due to a severe concussion. He said his next hit could be his last and therefore retired. He’s 23 years old. At this rate, the only positions with longevity is going to be quarterbacks (because of the rules), kickers, and punters.

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Adrian Coxson

If I were the NFL, I would be concerned with the early retirements that has occurred within the past month. I know Roger Goodell has attempted to make the game safer by adjusting the rules but there’s only so much you can to make a physical sport “safe”. Only time will tell what’s going to happen next, but I expect this trend of early retirements to grow.

JGOOD