The View From Somewhere

I’m secretly cheering for Mauritius. No, not Mauritius the guy downtown who takes up two parking spots with his Volkswagen. We call him Maury.

The country. The one in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Off the east coast of Madagascar? Ok, look here. I had to, too!

Of all the countries listed on my WordPress stats page, one of the tiniest and least populated nations in the world is near the top of the list. 1.3 million people on the 2,000 square kilometres of beautiful, tropical island paradise. It’s currently tied with Taiwan for 13th spot for number of views. Singapore, another on the list of land mass giants, just leap-frogged over these two nations today with two more views.

China, with its population that is now written out in powers of ten, ranks 27th in views. 真奇怪!
Mauritius, as you’ve probably already just read, was first visited in the Middle Ages by Arab sailors, who then named it Dina Arabi – which, coincidentally, is the name of the guy who carpools with Maury downtown. In later years and much like many other places around the Earth, the island was fought over by French and British forces, as these two nations were the only two teams in the World Battleship League at the time.

In 1968, the island won its independence from English rule and let out a collective sigh of relief when they realized Margaret Thatcher would not be Prime Minister until 1979. Speaking of Argentina, they’re 23rd on my list of nation views to my blog.
Mauritius has quite a mature thoroughbred racing community. The Champ de Mars Racecourse, a 1.3 kilometer right hand turn turf course, is more than 200 years old and sits in a picturesque plain next to some mountains. I would assume most of the views to my site from Mauritius have something to do with horse racing and my images taken at Woodbine Raceway in Toronto.
Either that or they have too much leisure time and are enthralled with my photos of Rob Ford and his exploits.
Whatever the case, I hope the number of views on my photo blog from Mauritius don’t go the way of the island’s most famous animal, the Dodo.

David Magley – On Assignment

It could have been a long summer and off-season for Brampton A’s head coach David Magley – especially after a tough playoff loss in March to end the team’s inaugural NBL of Canada year.

But something like a loss isn’t going to stop the 55-year-old former basketball standout – either physically, mentally, or spiritually.

“When we lost, a very disappointing last second tough call loss, I wanted that night to make certain I could use that loss as a way to show young people how to take it,” said Magley as he and some Brampton A’s players, below, spent yesterday at the Rotary Rib’N’Roll ribfest in downtown Brampton, Ontario.

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“So I went on Facebook and I thanked everyone who was there and thanked my team and took the heat. All because I’m trying to train young people that it’s just a game and that it’s basically like all of life: it’s just a series of games – some you win, some you lose.

“But if you can find perspective in all of them, they’re all beneficial.”

Today, Magley and his staff will be in Orangeville at the Athlete’s Institute looking over ball players at the team’s first of five scouting combines. Additional combines will be held June 29th in South Bend, Indiana, August 9 in Sarasota, Florida, September 6 back at the Athlete’s Institute and another to be held at Brampton’s Powerade Centre.

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It’s an important part of the off-season, according to Magley, because of the potential in finding talented basketball players.

“Last year, 13 of the 16 guys we invited to camp came through our combine system,” he said. “I’m not one who just looks at somebody’s tape and decides they can play basketball. I need to see them in person because, besides trying to figure out how they are as players, we want to see how they are as people.”

Magley’s basketball career started out at Indiana’s LaSalle High School where, following his senior year, he earned the honor of being recognized as the top high school player in the state, a recognition that came with the title Mr. Basketball.

A successful college career at Kansas led to a second round 1982 NBA draft pick, but Magley only appeared in 14 games in the NBA and spent most of his pro career playing in the Continental Basketball Association.

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“The older I’ve gotten the more I recognize that I’m just on assignment,” said Magley. “I know it’s a basketball assignment but I’ve been given a platform to impact lives. To be in basketball and to be blessed with having some success you have a bit of a platform. So now we can really try to touch people’s lives and give them hope.”

For Magley, another way of impacting lives is combining his knowledge of basketball with his faith and his Christian calling.

“The church I go to, Brampton Christian Fellowship, is going to start a ministry – which is basically my brother’s ministry – called Heroes Camp,” said Magley. “It’s free for anyone in the community – any faith – and the whole purpose is to bring young people into basketball and have an opportunity to mentor them for a couple of hours at a time. It’s going to be pretty exciting and it’s something I’m going to be heavily involved in and we’ll have some of the Brampton A’s players down there supporting what we do.”

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Magley has been able to take his faith and his spiritual outlook on life, combine that with his basketball skills, and bring something positive to the game, despite whatever setbacks he’s suffered in life or on the court.

“You realize it’s all a setup for something better and once you go and embrace that, that’s where faith comes in,” he said. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, or the evidence of things not seen. You can’t see what’s going to come next but you get excited that it’s got to be something good. So when you lose or win – whatever it is – as long as you don’t get too high or too low, you realize that something good is going to come out of that.

“And it’s been the secret to my 35 years being married, all of my children’s success athletically and their personal relationships. It’s just who we are. It’s real, it’s just not a statement. It’s what we truly believe.”