David Stern – Thank You

3 01 2020

I haven’t written here in a while…but it feels healthy to write some of my thoughts upon the passing of David Stern.

He globalized the game.  He understood and created a vision for social responsibility.  He launched the WNBA and D-League (now G League).  He was a tremendous leader, always on-point, and progressive.  His work and legacy speak for itself, but when I think of former NBA Commissioner David Stern, I’ll remember him as an amazing person that was fun, caring, and witty.  I’ll remember how he encouraged me, challenged me, appreciated my thoughts, and generally made me feel like a friend.  The word mentor is too formal…“Work-grandfather” feels a little closer to accurate, but it doesn’t truly capture the relationship either.  Regardless of the term, these are the things I remember.

Upon completing the 2003-2004 basketball season (my junior year), I was accepted into the NBA internship program.  Before my first day on the job, Coach Jones let me know that the Commissioner had helped me get the internship.  I didn’t know how to process the information.  I wanted to earn and deserve everything I ever received in life.  But at the same time, the commissioner knew who I was!  I didn’t overthink it and carried on.

In my first week on the job, I found myself in his office.  He said, “Have a seat.  Would you like something to drink?”  (There was no way I was going to ask him for something to drink).  He spent some time learning about me and what my experience in the office was so far.  It was a simple interaction, yet genuine.

He reminded me that he went to Columbia Law School and then tried to ruffle some feathers, “So are you guys going to win any games next year?”   We had some nice banter as we talked about the upcoming Columbia basketball season.  We probably talked about the team longer than any IVY league basketball analyst did that summer.

We continued to connect and develop a relationship.  Soon thereafter, it was time for the annual NBA family picnic.  The picnic was outdoors and had numerous activities that employees and their families could enjoy.  My mom joined me and as we made our rounds, we started playing ping-pong.  I wasn’t messing around and was letting forehand winners run rampant.

Then I looked up.  There he was.  Commissioner Stern.  He said, “Why don’t you pick on somebody with a little experience?”  And so the battles began.  He was better than I expected, and he made sure to let me know that he had been the Rutgers class champion (or something that provided me with more ammo to tease him with).  Our in-game dialogue was likely similar to Bill Laimbeer and Michael Jordan in 1989 conference finals.  He was really good, but I certainly didn’t share that thought.  The games were close, and felt epic.  In my mind, hundreds of people gathered around to watch.

I didn’t realize it at the time but this ping-pong match-up would become the preface or conclusion to every email exchange or conversation we had from that point forward.

“Take care Jeremiah…P.S. I hope you’ve found a good ping-poing coach somewhere.”

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After graduating in the spring of 2005, I joined NBA’s Associates Program.  We continued our conversations, we exchanged holiday gifts (well he gave me a gift and then I tried to return the favor), and I quit working at the NBA.  What?!?  Yes.  Somehow after 16 months I left potentially the best job in the world.  I decided to leave and pursue playing basketball overseas.

I expected a tough conversation.  But he looked me in the eye and said my decision was absolutely terrific.  And more, knowing that I was likely going to play in Brazil that year, he asked me to continue updating him and share about the league and structure, the arenas, the rules, the community interest, attendance, and anything and everything related to Brazilian basketball.

Every summer I would visit the office and we would continue our basketball chats and the anticipated raillery.  We talked about my experience playing in Switzerland, and his favorite hiking spots outside of Geneva.  I would share how after every game in Switzerland they awarded a player of the game award to a player from each team, and the gifts were completely random – insert hair products, bottles of champagne, or maybe a stuffed basketball.  He gave me a jab that I probably never received one.  We continued and laughed about the McDonald’s McFondue burgers.

We shared stories about China and India. We talked about international salaries and accommodations.  He asked my thoughts on the 2011 Chris Paul trade.  I inserted my jab.  He would tease me because I had yet to learn Mandarin. I would remind him that he hadn’t either.  I would always walk out of the office with a smile.

There wasn’t a conversation that we had that did not include him asking about my mom.  He always made sure I was happy with what I was doing.  He always challenged me to think about where I wanted to be in the future.  I intentionally wouldn’t share all of my thoughts, but on one trip I mentioned that coaching might be a healthy transition out of playing for me.  Within a few days, I was on the phone with a Spurs coach and quickly found myself in San Antonio to work their mini-camp.

He cared.  I’ll never know why I was so fortunate.  He was a just a good person.  Somehow I fell into his presence, and I became better because of it.  I’m indebted.

Thank you for being good enough to make for a semi-competitive ping-pong game.

But really, thank you.

To Hong Kong with Jerry Stackhouse

10 11 2014

A weekend trip to Hong Kong doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Over 15 hours flying for just over 24 hours on the ground is tough.  But Jerry Stackhouse was the perfect candidate for the task.  When asked about 10 days prior to the event, if The Skill Factory could bring a former NBA player to Hong Kong as the Ambassador for the Hong Kong Sports Festival, it seemed unlikely.  But when I connected with Jerry, I knew it would be a great trip.  We visited hospitals, talked to kids, shook hands, took pictures and of course signed autographs.  All with smiles.  Jerry was received by one of his biggest fans in the world who owned Stackhouse jerseys and shoes that even Jerry didn’t have.  The best part about it all was that Jerry did it all with a smile and a pure heart.  Grateful and kind.  Selflessly and with a message.  It was definitely special to see such an influential athlete giving back!  Thank you to the guys in Hong Kong, Jerry, and The Skill Factory!

See the Link for a video recap! 

An Amazing Challenge!

11 08 2014

After a summer of weddings and basketball work, I decided to take my first physical challenge in a while.  I’ll set the tone with this; what is the steepest incline setting on a treadmill? Answer: 15%.  OK, let’s more than double that to a 32% incline.  Imagine that  same 32% incline for around 70 yards.  Now imagine that 70 yards of 32% incline on wet grass in the early August heat of Connecticut.

The Hill!

The Hill!

The Challenge…run that hill 100 times!  Yes, 100 times!  That totals to around 7.2 miles of running…7.2 miles!  This was the challenge put forth by The 100 mile man himself, Jesse Itzler.  Jesse invited an exclusive group of professional cyclists, marathoners, NFL players, UFC fighters, and somehow me, to take the challenge with him.

The challenge was about toughness, grit, physical exhaustion, perseverance, dedication, and mind over matter.  But par for the course with Jesse, it was also for Charity. For every hill, Jesse donated $10 to each runner’s charity of choice.

Cramping, blisters, changing of strategies, questions, and doubts all mingled with one another in the being of Jeremiah during my 2.5 hour journey to completion.  But with positive peer pressure, and a DJ, I was able to finish!  On cue, as I topped the hill for the 100th time, my legs locked down with cramps and continued in unbelievable soreness.  Every bit of soreness was worth it.  To see more, visit,  http://the100mileman.com/category/hell-on-the-hill/

NBA All Star 2014

16 03 2014

New Orleans is typically a pretty fun city.  Then, add Mardi Gras.  Then, throw the NBA All-Star game on top of that!  The 2014 NBA All-Star was a great one for me.  I was able to see some great friends in the NBA world, meet new friends, and support some players involved in the All-Star festivities.  

As always, the NBA put on a phenomenal event.  From Jam Session, to concerts, to the games, everything was wonderful.  A big thank you to Pero Antic, Marty Conlon, Rex Kalamian, Brooks Meek, and Stephanie Ruucco!  You guys made it an amazing experience for me!


John Wall, James Harden & more @ TSF

3 09 2013

As a part of Ludacris’ “Luda Day Weekend,”  many celebrities were in Atlanta for Labor Day.  Some of the basketball players included James Harden, John Wall, Kenneth Fareed, Raymond Felton, Josh Powell and more.  The Skill Factory was able to provide  some of these guys with a private and professional place to workout while they were in town.  We were honored to host so many great players.   John Wall & James Hardenpictured #35 John Wall, #33 James Harden

Shout out to James Harden, John Wall, Josh Powell, Shelvin Mack, Hollis Thompson, Tony Delk, Salim Stoudamire, Richard Jeter, Robert Dozier, Ernest Scott, Yamene Coleman, Marcus Johnson, Adrien Borders, BJ Puckett, Kevin Anderson and Spencer Dixon

2 Chainz and I at 2013 Rucker Park EBC All-Star Game

22 08 2013

I had the opportunity to travel with some players from Atlanta to NYC to play at the greatest outdoor basketball court in history!  Rucker Park is where legends are made and players showcase their talents and prove themselves.


For the 2013 EBC All-Star Game, Atlanta brought some great players sponsored by 2 Chainz to play.  It was an amazing atmosphere with a fun crown, a DJ, play by play, dancers and more.  The game had 3’s dunks, crossovers and some great basketball.  The Atlanta – 2 Chainz Team was winning by 6 with 2 minutes remaining before having a few turnovers and losing the game.

All the guys played hard and earned a lot of respect.  A big thank you to Jah and the AEBL for making it happen!  There are big things in store.  Shout out to the players Wes Witherspoon, Cam Tatum, Evan Ravenel, Lil D, Marcus Johnson, Darrius Garrett.  Special shout-out to my guy Mr. Afrika who represented for the EBC team with some highlight dunks as well.

I’m a Nerd, I’m a Dork Release!

31 05 2013

I’m a Nerd, I’m a Dork has been released!  It is now on YouTube, iTunes and more.  The video is fun and was very well done by all involved.  The song has made it to a Bulgarian website, a Bar-mitzvah party and is receiving great reviews!  I have attached links below.  Thank you for all the support!


Basketball Event at the Venetian Macau!

12 05 2013

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a basketball charity game in Macau, Asia.  The Venetian hosted a 1-game event of former NBA players in partnership with Yao Ming in which all ticket sales were donated to the Red Cross of China.  I consulted with the Venetian to help arrange players.  

Gary Payton, Horace Grant, Byron Russell, Rafer Alston, Mr. Afrika and more were involved. A big thank you to my partnership in Asia and all who helped out!

Byron Russell said, “Jeremiah hooked me up with an amazing trip to China.  I definitely hope to do more work with him.”


Watch Games online live

23 01 2012

I just found out that our games in the Balkan League are streamed live online.  Apparently the quality is pretty good.  I have listed our next few Balkan League games below but our next one is tomorrow at 6pm local time-12PM EST.  So if you’d like to check it out, go to http://www.sportmedia.tv/ or click this link  www.sportmedia.tv and scroll down to the live game between Torus and OKK Beograd.

1-24 Torus vs. OKK Beograd

2-7 Torus vs. BC Timisoara

2-21 BC Rilski Sportist vs Torus

3-6 Torus vs. BC Galil Gilboa

New Team

22 11 2011

After starting the season with 2 wins and 6 losses with ABA Strumica, I decided to move on.  The people of Strumica are great and I will miss them, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the right time.  2 Other players left the team as well as our coach, so I took the opportunity to depart peacefully. Now I have moved to the capital of Macedonia (Skopje) and am playing for KK Torus.

Torus is currently in 2nd place in Macedonia at 7-1.  The team also plays in the Balkan League (1-1), so we play games in Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro, Serbia, and Israel.

I am excited about the new change and look forward to settling in.  Unfortunately, the change came at the same time as a muscle injury in my leg so I will be resting for possibly 1 more week before getting into the mix.

Thank you for all of the support and I believe this is a positive step for me.  Here are two links if you’re interested in seeing a small amount of information about the team and the Balkan League.

Torus on Eurobasket

Torus and the Balkan League

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