Recap: All Star Weekend Toronto 2016 (Photos)

Where do I begin?! This year’s NBA All Star Weekend far surpassed my expectations. I knew that I had to be diligent and intentional about this trip if I wanted to receive the results I so desperately wanted. Many didn’t know this but I fasted from social media, bread and red meat(even though I slipped up two times, Lord forgive me lol) for the 10 days leading up to ASW. I did this in hopes of quieting my mind and my body so that I could hear God’s directions clearly.

In addition to fasting, My mentor Mia Hall along with two of our colleagues, decided to get up every morning at 6:30 am and pray. Pray about our dreams and goals for this trip. In true Habakkuk 2:2 fashion,  we wrote down our vision and made it plain. Sharing dreams, fears and aspirations with these ladies was refreshing and inspiring to say the least.

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So now let’s fast forward to the behind the scenes of ASW! We touched down Thursday morning around 10:30 am to 3 degree weather. Being from New York, I thought I could brave any cold but this ish was intense! My very first event I covered was the Jordan Brand Invitational at the Mattamy Centre which happened to be right next door to our hotel!(major key when your trying to save that coin).

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Oak Hill & Redondo Beach traveled to “The Six”to face two of the top high school Canadians teams Orangeville Prep and Father Henry Carr. The U.S. teams came away with wins in both games and I was able to talk with some top recruits like Shamar Bailey and Morgan Means.

Carmelo Anthony, Victor Oladipo and D’Angelo Russell were some of the NBA players who came through the event and showed love. D’Angelo Russell was so humble and nice! (Go to my YouTube channel IAmJazAugustTV and subscribe for deets)

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Friday was All-Star Media Day at the Sheraton Hotel, man was that place buzzing. We ended up in  the NBA Hall of Fame finalists room, running into Kevin Johnson and Isaiah Thomas. There was also a big life size poster of the one and only Lebron James, which was one step closer to seeing him in the flesh! (lol)

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Later on that evening, I attended Draymond Green’s Meet and Greet at Foot Locker. Draymond walked in real spiffy, donned in a green fur sweater jacket thingy and a “Future” hat. What I liked most about him was his demeanor. To my surprise, he was very humble, almost timid and was very cooperative and sincere with all his answers. I even asked him if a Draymond Green “23” sneaker was coming soon. (Subscribe to my Youtube channel to hear his answer!)

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Saturday was the big day! We headed to the NBA All-Star Practice. First person I see on the court warming up is The King aka LBJ aka LEBRON JAMES. I was overwhelmed, it took a moment to soak in where I actually was and knowing that this was the life I wanted to live on a everyday basis. Then I bump into Cari Champion and Jemele Hill, words can’t describe how these women inspire me. Then to put the icing on the cake I got a picture with the legendary Craig Sager!

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The NBA All-Star’s both West and East, went through a series of light drills, shoot arounds, setting a couple screens and more than anything it seems like they were enjoyig each other and just having fun. There was a sense of family and closeness between each player especially among the West; as they were celebrating Kobe’s last All-Star game. Then was the media room, where I bumped into the likes of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green (again!) and none other than Kobe Bryant.(All of this on video! Coming soon)

Surreal is the only word that comes to mind. Even right now as I’m writing this post, I still can’t believe I asked KD two questions and spoke to Kobe Bryant and guess what he spoke back!

Our final day in Toronto was Sunday. With our fight leaving around 6pm we wanted to get up early and make sure we got the most out of our day. Something told me to dress up and I’m glad I did because I ended up at Dwayne Wade’s “Blueprint: Power Hour” which was a panel discussion on marketing and management. The panelist were D. Wade, Ludacris, Michelle Roberts & the co-owner of Stance socks. Once again, I’m looking around the room like I can’t believe I’m here. Thats when it clicked; I belong here. This is my element, this is my passion and this is my purpose.

Ludacris shared something that stuck with me – ” Find the right passion with the right people and there is no limitation to what you can have”.

Oh and here’s my selfie with Gabby’s husband.

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#JazJewels- Life is as great or as miserable as you would like it to be. These last couple of weeks I’ve been thrown some curveballs and disappointments but instead of looking to my problems I kept looking to God. The more I stayed fixed on Him, the more I saw things start to shift. This experience and all that I accomplished this weekend is all by the grace and mercy of God. Just keep believing like I’m believing “The Best Is Yet To Come!”

Peace out All Star Weekend! See you in Charlotte 2017 !

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