Brann...it's good for you.


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

First day of school, 2015-16




I'll post more later in the week from our regular camera, but here's a couple pics Julie captured on her smartphone of the kiddos on their first days of school, 2015-16.  Sophia is starting middle school, or 6th grade; Tyler is starting 2nd grade.  Both had pretty good first days.  I look forward to hearing about Day 2 when I get home from work today. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mason's not done yet adding new players (well, now they are)

George Mason wasn't done until last week adding new talent to the roster for 2015-16.  Mason added big man Daniel Relvao (6'9) of Columbia, who played last year at a prep school called Mountain Mission in Grundy, VA.  Relvao will add some depth to the front line in his first year in Fairfax.

The "bigger" signing in terms of talent is Michigan guard Jaire Grayer.  Grayer spent his last year at IMG Academy in Florida, which has provided new Mason coach Dave Paulsen two other players in his first recruiting class. I recall Jaire's dad Jeff, who was a stud college player at Iowa State and spent ten years in the NBA. Jaire is a three-star talent, who would have likely gone to a bigger school if he had done the prep school route after high school.  Instead, we're getting a good one in Fairfax with NBA aspirations.

From the Flint, MI paper:

FLINT, MI – Three-star basketball recruit, Jaire Grayer, was close to pursuing a post-graduate season at Don Bosco Prep in Indiana, to chase bigger college offers.

But after making the trip to Fairfax, Va. for a visit to George Mason University, the Flint guard changed his mind.

Grayer, 18, fell in love with the campus and ultimately decided to sign with the program this week. He will leave Flint to begin his college journey on Thursday, Aug. 28.

“Nobody at George Mason talked me out of going back to prep school, I just really talked to my family about the best decision,” Grayer said. “They both were two great decisions to make, and good opportunities, but I just thought I was ready to come out and go to college.”

Grayer left Flint Southwestern Academy after an all-state junior season to finish his prep career at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Although leaving his family and high school buddies was hard, Grayer felt like he made a smart move.

“It turned out really good,” Grayer said. “I think that was a great decision.”

Over the summer, Grayer has trained religiously and says he’s added 15 pounds of muscle. He is a 6-foot-5, 200-pound shooting guard that wants to make an impact immediately on the college level.
“My goal is to come out this year and showcase myself,” Grayer said. “I want to become a NBA pro.”

Grayer was 8 years old when George Mason shocked the college basketball world with an unexpected Final Four run in 2006. The Patriots compete in the Atlantic 10 conference and hired new coach Dave Paulsen in March, after a disappointing 9-22 season.

Kent State, Robert Morris, Bowling Green, Western Kentucky, Fordham, Oakland, Tennessee State and DePaul Universities all offered scholarships to Grayer, but several other Division I schools showed interest as they anticipated his return to prep school.

In the end, Grayer leaned on his parents to for advice.

His father Jeff Grayer, a Northwestern grad, had a 10-year stint in the NBA and still holds the all-time scoring record at Iowa State University. And his mother, Patrice Martin, earned a college scholarship to the University of Detroit Mercy, where she finished her career seventh on the program’s list for career scoring (1,362 points) in 1993.

“They were just talking to me about the best options,” Grayer said. “Both of them really thought that George Mason was the best situation.”

Welcome to Fairfax, gents.  We're happy to have you as Patriots.  If you're interested, Mason's current roster (without these two gents listed) is here.

GO MASON.

Friday, August 07, 2015

One day away



Soccer became a big part of our household in 2014-15, with Tyler playing both the fall and spring seasons.  In addition, we started a new tradition every Saturday and Sunday:  Watching the Premier League.  Before last season started, Tyler & I decided to focus on a couple key teams - Manchester United (who has my favorite player, Wayne Rooney) and Newcastle United.  He decided on Newcastle after reviewing choices on the Premier League website, and followed them throughout the year along with Man U.  

Well, the season turned out quite differently for both squads; Man U finished in the top four as usual, and Newcastle had to avoid relegation in the final weekend of the season in May.  Nonetheless, both are back for another season in 2015-16.  My son & I can't wait until the Red Devils take the pitch tomorrow morning at 7:45 am.

SI has a preview of the upcoming season, and one of the reasons we're excited is the addition German forward Bastian Schweinsteiger (love that name!!).  He was one of our faves during last year's World Cup.  Man U decided to let go of some disappointing players in the off-season (however, still bummed to see Van Persie go) and brought in some new talent to surround Rooney.  

I've also decided to follow Swansea more this season, since they're a Welsh team (the birthplace of the Brann surname).  The Swans beefed up their roster as well and should be able to compete most weeks with the league's top teams.  New addition Andre Ayew from Ghana is excepted to do great things this season.

Who will finish on top?  Which three teams will end up getting demoted at the end of the long season?  Stay tuned...there's a lot more to come on the original football on this blog through 2015-16. 




Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Weekend pics from the Neck (happy early 85th, Mom)



















Nine years ago

Nine years ago yesterday, this blog was started.  As you can tell, I've gotten away from writing on it frequently, and it will likely stay that way.  I just don't have the time anymore to devote to a blog.  Plus, in the fast-paced world of social media, I'm similar to others and don't seem to have the attention span anymore to read anything that isn't a Twitter feed or a Facebook status update.  I used to share a lot of thoughts on social and political issues, but I'd rather keep those to myself nowadays or share them with a select group of individuals. 

Thanks for reading.  I'll try to keep posting something...occasionally.



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