Support Goal Reached!!!

Posted by JJ Raymond | 6:13 PM | 0 comments »

Hey everyone! I just want to let you know that as of today, I have raised the total amount of money to go on the summer project to Ocean City! Thank you for all of those who have sent support money and have been praying for me. Raising the money was definitely a step in my faith, and it was amazing to see God provide. If I receive any more money (over the support goal) it goes to other kids going on the summer project who are short of the total amount. Some of the others who are going on project do not raise the total amount of money, so it would be awesome to help them out. Thank you again so much and God bless your hearts for helping me and other students embark on a life changing summer! Please stay tuned into my blog, I will keep on updating it :).

March Madness

Posted by JJ Raymond | 4:01 PM | 2 comments »

Fill out your brackets and join your pools, because March Madness starts tomorrow! The NCAA basktball tournament is known to be one of the most tuned in sporting events. Last year college basketball fans witnessed for the first time in NCAA history, four number one ranked teams in the final four. The four teams consisted of University of Memphis Tigers, University of Kansas Jay Hawks, University of North Carolina Tar Heels, and University of California Los Angeles. Most viewers thought that North Carolina was going to come out on top with All American Tyler Hansbrough; but the Jay Hawks would prove everyone wrong. The University of Kansas beat North Carolina by a womping 14 points, putting Kansas in the Championship Game. Then, Derrick Rose left a posterizing dunk in Kevin Love's memory as the Memphis Tigers defeated the UCLA Bruins by 15 points. The 2008 Championship Game; The fast pace and atheletic Memphis Tigers against the one of the best half-court offense and defense of the Kansas Jay Hawks. Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush lead the Jay Hakws with the victory over Derrick Rose's and Chris Douglas-Roberts's Tigers. Most of us remember Mario Chalmers coming off the "dribble-drop" and hiting the last second three point shot to send the game into overtime. With last year's exciting game, how will this year's tournament turnout? Here are my Final Four predictions.


Final Four/Predictions


Louisville
First off, I have Louisville going all the way to the Big Dance and winning the National Championship. Louisville has one of the best defensive sets in the nation. Add in their back court press, they will frustrate their opponents and cause turnovers. Rick Pitino has done a great job with recruitment and adapting to different styles of game. The run and gun offense lead by Terrence Williams will be hard to slow down by any team. Terrence Williams in my opinion is one the best all around players in the NCAA. He can score, rebound and pass the ball. Yeah thoes all sound easy but it is not. Williams can hit the spot up jumpshot and has the ability to penetrate and score in the paint. He also has great rebounding IQ and has the overall strength and athleticism to rebound on both sides of the court. Add his rebounding skills, scoring capability, with excellent court vision; he is obviously the catalyst of the Cardinals. Now add in swingman and forward Earl Clark, who can rebound and score inside and oustide, the Cardinals have a great shot at winning the National Championship.

North Carolina
There is no doubt that Roy Williams has one of the best, if not the best starting lineup out any team in the tournament. With Ty Lawson running the point and improvment of the jumpshot, the Tar Heels have an elite point guard to set the tempo of the game. However with recent injuries, when will Lawson be back in action. According to Coach Roy Williams, it is highly doubtful that Lawson will play in tomorrow's game against Radford. Now everyone can not forget about Tyler Hansbrough. The All American who decided to stay his senior year after falling short in the 2008 Final Four. He is determined to cut down one of those nets. Adding Lawson's quickness and pentration skills, with Hansbrough's rebounding and hustle, and with Danny Green's athleticism and spot shooting accuracy, the Tar Heels have a great chance of winning the Championship. However, I have them falling short and losing to Louisville. North Carolina is notorious for not playing great defense; add in Louisville uptempo game and back court pressure; I see North Carolina struggling.

Memphis
Coach John Calipari said that the 2008-2009 season would be a rebuilding one. Surprisgnly, the Tigers are ranked second in their region and have a great chance of making it to the final four. Yes the leaving Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey was a big lost. However Memphis had excellent recruitment year and snagged top ranked Tryeke Evans. With Evans's quickness and ability to get the basket, along with Robert Dosier and Shawn Taggarts strength and rebulding skills, ontop of the Tigers defense and run gun offense, I predict that the Tigers will make it to the final four. I have Memphis losing to Louisville. This game is going to be exciting to watch! Two similar styles of game going head to head. Louisville has more talent and does a decent half court offense putting them over the Memphis Tigers.

Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is definently up there with Louisville, North Carolina, and Memphis. Dejuan Blair does a great job pounding the ball inside the paint and has enough strength to finish consistently. Sam Young is all around a great player who can score off penetration or off spot up jumpshots. Pittsburgh does have a decent half court offense, but defense is another thing. Dejuan Blair downfall is foul trouble. If Blair stays out of foul trouble, then the Panthers have a great shot at beating North Carolina. However if Blair does get into foul trouble, the Tar Heels will pull out with the win. This should be great game to watch the matchup between Tyler Hansbrough and Dejuan Blair. I predict Pittsburgh losing to North Carolina in the Final Four. North Carolina I beleive has overall more tallent than Pittsburgh. If Pittsburgh can slow down Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough, and keep Dejuan Blair out of foul trouble then Pittsburgh has an excellent shot in going to the big dance. However, I think these tangibles are asking too much and are difficult tasks for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

I just got my first batch of returned support letters today! When I checked the mail today and noticed there were returned support letters, I had a big smile on my face! I was so excited! As of right now, I am almost 16% complete to the total amount of support I need to raise! Thank you to all of those who are supporting to me to go to Ocean City and experience a life changing summer! You guys are awesome! Please pray for my friends (David, Stephen, Lauren, Amy and Brooke) and I; we are a little nervous about raising this much money and going to Ocean City! Thank you again!


Pie Chart Support 1


(The values in the chart are in dollars)

Week of Outreach

Posted by JJ Raymond | 4:43 PM | 0 comments »

This past week, I had the great opportunity of being involved with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) in the Week of Outreach on Chico State's campus! Through out the week, friends from CRU and I went out on campus and shared our faith with a handful of Chico State students. Most of the interactions went well, and some did not go as well. Overall I thought the week of outreach was a huge success! I was able to go over the Four Spiritual Laws (the Bible broken down into four points) with a couple of students and it went really well! CRU also had a graffiti board posted in the free speech area with the question written on the board "Does God Care, Why or Why Not?" Chico State students posted their opinions and thoughts on the board. It was very interesting/encouraging/sad to see some of the students posts. But the big success was that some new people came to CRU's weekly meeting and received a great message of "Why God Cares." It was awesome to see Chico CRU work together as a community and share the Word of God and share our faith with students! Right now I just can't beleive all the amazing things God has been doing for Chico and CRU!

Little Updates In The NBA

Posted by JJ Raymond | 10:01 AM | 0 comments »

Let's first start with my favorite team the Sacramento Kings. Recently the Kings have waived 6 year forward/center Drew Gooden. After the game against the Charlotte Bobcats on Feburary 25th, Most Kings fans thought, wow Drew Gooden is a great player who brings rebounding, quickness, and even some signs of knocking down the mid-range jumper. Gooden had an amazing 12 point 13 rebound game in just 26 minutes of playing time. The Kings seemed to score another diamond in the rough. However, the Kings requested to waive Drew Gooden and clear up salary cap. After just being waived, Gooden then signed with the playoff contending San Antonio Spurs. It is obvious that the Kings are going to try to land a big name player in the 2010 free agency. The Kings are also in a rebuilding process having much faith in their rookies: Donte Greene and Jason Thompson.

The Phoenix Suns. Well since the of firing coach Terry Porter, the Suns are back to their run and gun type of game and their philosophy of scoring under seven seconds. However, will the Suns be potential play off contenders without Amare Stoudemire for the rest of the season? According to Stoudemire's doctor, Dr. Pravin Dugel, Stoudemire should not see any action for the rest of the season. Stoudemire obtained a torn retina on Feburary 18th in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Dugel suggests that the four-time NBA All Star sit out the rest of the season, due to the recovery of his injury might take months to fully recover. Without Stoudemire, the Suns lack the explosiveness and the ability to finish around the basket.

Yes there is Shaquille O'neal, but the Shaq Diesel can not carry the team. The Suns are not only missing Stoudemire but facing injuries with Steve Nash. So the question is, where will the Suns be in the playoff rankings and will they be contenders? My answer is they will be a low to mid level seed in the playoffs and no they will not be contenders. I can see the Suns maybe making it into the second round of the playoffs or even facing elimination in the first round.

A game that you NBA viewers should watch is this Sunday, The San Antonion Spurs and The Phoenix Suns. Two West Coast Rivals facing head to head. My prediction is that the Spurs will pull out the win. The Spurs just signed Drew Gooden to a 7.1 million dollar contract. Gooden will add some rebounding and quickness to the table. Gooden's last game, with the Kings, put on the stat sheets an amazing 12 points and 13 rebounds in just 26 minutes.

Thank you for tuning in to my blog today on the NBA, feel free to post your thoughts!

YouTube Videos

Posted by JJ Raymond | 5:04 PM | 2 comments »

This video (David After The Dentist) definitely should win YouTube Video of year!







And this Jordan Brand commercial, Field Generals is my favorite commercial of the year! Check it out and make sure you watch it in High Definition by clicking on the HD tab. It should be in 720P Resolution.



Hey everyone! I posted my Ocean City Support Letter on my blog so you can view it online! Just click on the link below! You will have to download it from the file sharing host site, do not worry, I checked out the site before using it and it is safe to use! No addware or spyware! If you want to help support me, please email me at jj.raymond23@gmail.com and I will send you an address where you can mail contributions to! Thank You!

JJ's Ocean City Support Letter

This morning I dropped off my support letters at the post office to be mailed! I was very excited writing and putting together my support letters! It is definitely a step in my faith to write the support letters and have faith in God that I will raise enough money to embark on this life changing summer. I will be leaving Wednesday May 27th morning and coming back on Sunday August 9th in the evening. I also bought my plane tickets today, which was very exciting! To be honest, while buying the plane tickets, I got a little nervous. But I know everything will be okay and summer project will be a blast and great step in my faith. Thank you for following my blog! I will be posting new blogs soon!