Before we get started, a huge thank you to Chris Charles for taking the time to do this. He's a great guy who regularly communicates with his Twitter followers, and is still a big part of the Villanova family. If you want to follow him on Twitter, you can do so here. And please also make sure to bookmark his blog - Basketball Diaries.
In case you are unfamiliar with Chris, he was a 2006 Villanova graduate and a member of the basketball team. He's really tall too.
On to the interview...keep in mind Chris was on his iPhone while responding (again, HUGE thank you!). There are soe typos and shorthand which add to the charm I think. This will make more sense as we get to the end.
So what have you been up to since you graduated from Villanova? Where have your travels taken you and what are you up to now?
Since leaving the mainline I've been blessed enough to live out my hoop dreams of playing professionally. The game of Basketball has opened many doors for me. It has allowed me to meet people from all walks of life, experience different cultures & continue the journey that I started years ago. I've played ball in the dominican republic, Serbia, china, Lebanon, Syria. I've made short stops in other countries such as Indonesia, Dubai etc. I'm currently preparing to head back to Damascus to join the team I won a championship with last year & defend the title.
For more 1-on-1 time with Chris, see you after The Jump.
What's in store for you after basketball?
I love the game & want to remain close to it after my playing days. I see myself coaching in the future or having an occupation that's within the realm of basketball. I was once told that its not "work" if its something you love doing. Although I wish I could play the game forever the reality of it is that the time frame of professionally basketball closes sooner than later. Pursuing a career in coaching makes sense. I feel as though my experiences abroad & stateside could help younger guys in their development as people & as players. The transition for players into the work force can be difficult but I try & think about life post bball to prepare for the next step.
Talk to me a little bit about your blog, Basketball Diaries. I confess I'd like to see you post a bit more often..
My cousin/ best friend & I were always asked how it was to play ball overseas. We thought that a good way to keep family & friends updated would be through a blog. We try to make videos in each country that we've played in. So far we have about 20 short videos in different places around the world such as Dubai, Denmark, Shanghai, Beirut, Indonesia, Elkhart, IN, NYC etc...Playing ball internationally has it's ups & downs. We've seen alot of crazy things in our travels. It really is a journey that I thought would be cool to document.
Who is Philwaukee? And who came up with the name Chris Consin?
The nicknames 'Philwaukee & ChrisConsin' are our blog aliases that derive from our homestate & city. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It's just a little play on words. We're proud cheeseheads. Philwaukee has been going by his chosen moniker for years & once we started the blog I came up with ChrisConsin. It's been fun because when we were in the IBL ( bball minor league) we would get write ups & the names just helped us represent where we come from.
What did you love most about Villanova basketball?
Villanova Basketball has become a part of who I am as a person. What I love most about Nova basketball is the mindset that it encourages. The concept of 'ATTITUDE' is the foundation of the program. Coach Wright always focused on teaching us about having a good attitude no matter what you face in life. Basically the idea of working hard, staying positive & accountability were some of the priniciples that the program instills. It prepared me for the the real world after nova ball. There were many times where I could've easily thrown in the town when hoops wasn't looking too bright for me but I always had that spirit that nova hoops embodies & I try my best to follow the message that the program is built upon. You can't control life all the time but you can control how you react to certain events. That part of Villanova Basketball was most important to me & I believe that it helps each guy that is associated with the program in the long run.
What did you love most about Villanova outside of basketball?
The Villanova community is like a small family. I love that closeness about it. The saying 'Once a wildcat always a wildcat' rings true. No matter where I go it seems that I bump into someone either really familiar with Villanova or is an alum. It's just a special place that once you are apart of it & experience the small school on the mainline you cherish it for life. I'm pretty sure that my friends get sick of hearing my mainline stories but I've been to many places throughout the world & there's no place like nova. Garrett Hill, the student section, second storey!
How often do you stay in touch with your ex-teammates and current Wildcats?
Im currently hunting several wildcats down now! Haha, no but I speak with many of my former teammates often. I just was on the phone with Jason Fraser a couple of nights ago. Twin towers. We always have conversations. I try to keep in contact with the guys & with how social networking is now...facebook, twitter etc. It's gotten easier. Many of my former teammates are my best friends. I see Mikey Claxton every offseason. Randy Foye has really played a vital role in helping me in my career. Without his ongoing support I don't know how things would've panned out for me. We workout together during the summers & he's a great inspiration. Mike Nardi, I see every summer & we speak via aim when he's in Italy. As mentioned before Nova has that family atmosphere & it's carried over into our lives post collegiate careers.
Any plans to make it to a game this year? First round is on me.
I sincerely thank you for the interview & interest in the blog. I'm leaving tonite for Syria but if I happen to make it back for the BE tourney we definitely have to meet up man! Go Nova!
Again, huge thank you to Chris! Follow him on Twitter to stay up to date on his life overseas and also for some choice musical selections! Good luck over there Chris!