Shoot for the Sky Edition
Hello Internet Stranger! Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight.
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Smoke the Skyy
I will admit that when Top-25 senior Skyy Clark, who de-committed from Kentucky last month, announced he was heading to Illinois, the first thing I thought of was an obscure Motley Crue song from when John Corabi fronted the band.
This is a pretty big deal. After this season, the basketball team is losing a lot, with Trent Frazier, Andre Curbelo, Alfonso Plummer, and Da’Monte Williams moving on. Now they have a young but talented backcourt consisting of Clark, Jayden Epps, and Sencire Harris coming to Champaign.
I’m not a college basketball junkie, and I can’t tell you all the players and their stats, so I turn to people who live and breathe this stuff. Robert Rosenthal at IlliniBoard has a great breakdown on Skyy Clark and what he brings to the table. I was especially taken with who he thinks is a comparable player.
A better comp than Richard McBride just popped into my head. Well, McBride is the Recruiting Trajectory Comp and this guy is the Non-Illini Player Comp: Demetrius Jackson at Notre Dame. Let me go see where D-Jax was ranked. 34th! Perfect. This is the comp.
Both are stockier lead guards (as opposed to wiry guards like Sencire Harris). They’re not just point guards - they can score. Jackson was decent as a freshman at Notre Dame, great as a sophomore, and then a Naismith Semifinalist/Cousy Finalist his junior year before declaring for the draft. Remember how he single-handedly destroyed us in that Big Ten/ACC Challenge game in December of 2015? Man, he was so good. And he picked between Illinois or Notre Dame, too. Jackson bounced around the NBA for three years before going to Europe (probably just too short for the NBA), but great, great college player.
Skyy Clark is a bit taller, so that will help his pro prospects. And if he returns to 100% after the knee injury is fully rehabbed, he might be a 2-year college player instead of a 3-year college player. But that’s the kind of player I see us getting here. Our own D-Jax.
My fears? The lost explosiveness from the ACL injury means he’s a “maybe needs a year before he’s ready” and we need him now.
Upside? He returns to being a top-10 player (where he was ranked at this time last year) and is a 2-and-done superstar at Illinois.
Where’s the orange Kool-Air for me to drink?
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Damn it. I’m going to have to break down and get Paramount+ aren’t I?
Transforming in the Here and Now
Rebecca Toh, writing on her site, explains where she’s at with self-improvement.
There is simply no imaginary day in the bright future ahead when we’d wake up in the morning transformed, an ideal version of ourselves.
There is only transforming in the here and the now.
She is absolutely right. I want to improve myself and become that idealized version, but I also like French fries and pizza. What do I want more? That’s the question.
Now is the New
Niklas Goke wrote something worthwhile about “newness” and “nowness.”
In Effortless, Greg McKeown muses that “the word now comes from a Latin phrase, novus homo, which means ‘a new man’ or ‘man newly ennobled.’” The etymology may differ, but the essence is true: Now is new. Actually, now can be new.
Sometimes, now is new without our doing. One second we have a job, the next we don’t. One moment the sun shines, the next it rains. More often than not, however, new is neutral because we choose it to be. We could wear a different mood, pick a new identity, or throw away or phone — but we don’t.
We don’t because we’re comfortable, afraid, doubtful, stuck, hurt, or stubborn, but it’s not uncertainty we’re stealing time from. The seconds we take when playing it safe come out of our own pockets. And tomorrow, the uncertainty will still be there.
“Each new moment is a chance to start over,” Greg says. “A chance to make a new choice.”
Make sure now is new.
I feel like I play it safe a great deal. Maybe I shouldn’t be so comfortable.
My Name is Prince, and I’m Eleven
Matt Liddy was scouring through archival footage of the 1970 Minneapolis teachers’ strike when an unmistakable face from the crowd appeared and the reaction from one of his closest friends might bring a tear to your eye.
Here are the articles I think you should read this week:
Until next time, take a break from what makes you sad, do some deep breathing and go looking for the light. And do try to smile, will you?
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Be seeing you,
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