Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 3 years ago

Anthony Ireland | Average to Savage EP30

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the thirtieth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring professional basketball player Anthony Ireland. Paul Guarino talked with Anthony Ireland discussing his life growing up in Waterbury, Connecticut, his basketball career from college at Loyola Marymount to his professional career overseas, and his AI3 Leadership Academy! Follow Anthony Ireland https://www.instagram.com/AIreland3 https://twitter.com/AIreland3LA https://www.facebook.com/ai3skillsacademy/ Fueled by K Plus Organics https://www.kplusorganics.com/

This is the average. This average podcast with Paul Greno, everyone in anyone, athletes sets and much more. WHAT'S UP, everybody? I'm back for another episode of the average savage podcasts. Got Another special guests, Professional Bass player Anthony Ireland anthy. What's going on, everybody? Thanks for having me. Yeah, just currently out in Russia right now. I believe I'm in six hours ahead of you, so it's kind of it's kind of late. It's kind of late over here, but everything, everything is good, man, just in the middle of my season. Just continue to continue in the grind. Yeah, for sure. Let's just start a few growing up in Waterbury show. What was that? What was that like? I mean it was it was very unique situation. You know, inner city. You know, probably like a population of north of seven hundred fifty thousand. You know, a lot of high schools. So so, I mean, you know, the environment was just pack with basketball. So, you know, I picked up I picked up a basketball you at a young age. My father, my father played basketball. We actually played for the same high school team and same high school coach. So, you know, govern and water was great. You know, like I said, there was a lot of competitions. You know, it's pretty much a sportstown basketball, basketball and football, you know, and it was small enough to know who you're, who you're you know, competition was in that grade or the next grade ahead of you. So, you know, taught me, tell me a lot of lessons that that I applied in my life today. And you know, it always I like to say, you know what was a blue collar city and he gave me this same, you know, just grinding out mindset. So yeah, you picked up basketball. I'm assuming you picked it up because your father, like you just said. And did you play any other sports grown up? Yeah, I mean growing up up, played baseball, played football. I actually actually a part of my childhood I was spent out in Arkansas at Jonesboro Arkansas. My Stepfather, he was he was himitted his family and and he was in the navy. So he was stationed down there. So I live down there for about two or three years, which, you know,...

I really got in a football and so then but but by the time I went I was in I was going into fifth grade, my mom, you know in the family, moved back to Connecticut and then it was it was just basketball from there. I know you got you so what was that like? Living in Arkansas for how many years? How years of that? Probably about three years. I mean it was, it was. It was cool, man, I mean it was. It wasn't. Wasn't much to do. Is a very small town, but bats, I mean bestball wasn't wasn't big. Big Down there was mainly like like cheer leading there and you know there's a lot of like bully cheerleaders, you know, flip flip into a backflip and all this stuff, but down there, my manifold is pretty much football. But I mean it was a cool experience for sure. The worst part about it was, you know, I you know, I had to you know family and I had to drive down there and come back. So that wasn't a pleasant drive at all. So that's kind of the main memory that sticks out of my head. Yeah, for sure. She then you move back up to Connecticut, you start high school and then when was it like? When did you know you were like elite? I would say. I mean I knew I can be good probably like after my after my sophomore year in high school. You know, I like it. You know, I made the Varsity team as a freshman. I played Varsity as a sophomore, but you know, I kind of was just, you know, just a normal, normal, normal high school kid. Didn't really stand out. And then, you know, I just, you know, I kind of just dedicated myself one summer and you know, I just, you know, I played, played a ball, was constantly in the gym. You know, I can remember times where, you know, I don't know why I did this, but like there's certain times where friends were going to them, all friends were going to, you know, Football Games and I would just find myself in the gym, you know, by myself for always, my little brother actually, and then I you know, then I that's that following year. Came my junior year, and then I put up some good numbers. That I was you know, we went to the State Championship and we want it. So then I was a man. I you know I can...

...be good at this. You know my high school coach, you know my family, you know, I started getting recruited a little bit D to d three looks and then that and then from there. Now I seen that the work, the work, the work that I put in it, it manifested. So then that following year is when I really took off. It definitely feel like that's a recurring theme with pro athletes of their hardware ethic. So, being from Connecticut, how would you end up at loyal and Merrymount, which is in California? Yeah, I mean so, so, after my my senior at Crosby, you know, I had like local offers like Sigart University, Central Quinnipiac has some like you mask Fordham University looks and then so my prep school, I mean my my AU team that I played for. They they got me in touch with this prep school and then so I did a year prep and then that year prep, you know your I was obviously able to have play another year of a you. So the AU season, I did really well. Played it, you know, high level schedule, traveled all the big tournaments and then I played and like the KNIPSAC LEA and the winching school, which is a pretty prestigious basketball league and in the New England area. So, you know, I did really well. And then you know that Lmu came in, came into the picture. I had bigger offers like workers St John's University Miami it but at Le Me Lem you offered me first back in back, you know, like early prep school season. So I'm, you know, I I verbally committed to them and then, you know, towards the end of the season, like I said, all those all those bigger schools came, you know. So I kind of just, you know, wanted to stick with what I knew. The coaches, you know, really showed, you know, they really showed how w they were to me. They would come down and see my games all the way from California. And then, you know, Lmu was was the only visit...

...that my that my mom came with me on. So, you know, I'm I'm a Connecticut Kid, east coach Kid. Fly and fly four hours all the way out to La you know, I land in lax which is like a famous, you know, airport. Immediately, you know, the good weather hits you and then you see palm trees to the beach. You know, I'm driving down, you know I'm on my visit. So they're showing me all the nice places or Dale Drive, Hollywood boulevard, Dennis Beach, Danta Monica. So I'm like, man, I've never seen anything like this in my life. So after that it was kind of, like I said, my mom came with me. So they, you know, they put us in a nice hotel, they made us feel very comfortable, and so I knew at the end of the day, at the end of their visit, you know, my mind and my mom was kind of made up in my mom she agreed with me as well. So once she gave me the okay, it was kind of all right, that's where I'll be. Never sure you just sold me on Calie right there too. Yeah, man, I go back every summers. There's no place like it, man. Just did the VIBE, the atmosphere, you know, just, you know, people are, you know, free thinkers out there and it's just it doesn't even feel like it's part of the US. Is Very, very liberal and just a very different, different area to be in. How about like going there? Did people know like right off the bat, like the way you talking, so if you were from like the East Coast, to be honest, man, like they did. I mean, I mean they knew obviously ate from what my slang and you know, the way I dressed, but people don't even know where Connecticut is, you know, like I you know, I like, you know, my freshman introduction. I just be like, you know, I'm from Connecticut and you know I'd always have to say it's the city next to it's a state next to New York. Yeah, and then they be like okay, okay, I'd know where you're talking about then. But you know, if people don't know about Connecticut at all, man, for sure, I mean it's obviously other than you know,...

Yukon women's basketball and Yukon. You know. Yeah, yeah, definitely, that's funny. So that you started right away at ELM, you know. So, you know, I had a had a junior that was ahead of me and the senior guard that was ahead of me. So I didn't start. I didn't start right away. I started probably as started, like the last twelve thirteen games the senior he haded getting getting released from the team. But so soft finish. I finished out with my freshman year pretty pretty well and then ever since I got start in job. But you know, I just continue to run with it. Got You and you hit. So you kept that certain job and you got you got a couple of records there it. Yeah, yeah, I got a lot of records. Um, I know, I you know, I don't know specifically me, but I got like two thousand points, five hundred assist, five injury bounds. Two hundred steals. I'm like third all the time on points, right, you know, I didn't. I didn't. I passed Bo Kimball, but I didn't pass hand gathers. You know, I the late hand gathers. He's a he's a legend up there. You know, the gym is called Hanks House. So you know they have a thirty on him. So, but he idea. It was. It was very hard to pass his record. Ye, everage. I think it was like twenty seven and like seventeen for like two straight years. So it was it was going to be tough sea break that ever. Yeah, definitely. And you you just got in the hall of fame there. Right. Yeah, I just got in, done into all the fame this past summer and the ceremony is actually in February, which which I won't be able to make, you know, since since I've still being during still being season. That's sad. Yeah, I know, I know, it's unfortunate. Basketball to the A D and the president and then they see, you know. They said, though, they have a separate ceremony for me, whhenever the time is convenient, so that's some look forward...

...to. Still it's cool. And so you finish up your career there and then I know you tried it out for the NBA. So and you try it out, I believe, for the Lakers. So what was that whole experience like? Yeah, so I finished on my you, I finished over me pretty well, and then I got it. You know, I did, I did. You know, I did a bunch of workouts clippers, Lakers, Dallas, Houston, Portland. So I had side. You know, after after that that my senior season, signed with an agent. You know, I had a had a much workout set up for me and then I probably worked out for the Lakers probably three times. And so I was I was on there a summer league team. Did at dissimily with them for about like about a month and then they they wanted me to they wanted to sign me for their d league team and then, you know, boom. You know, my agent was still you know, you had very, very good connections overseas and you know, because my resume, what I didn't what I did in college, I was very valuable as a rookie. So so I so I had to deal in pro a, France, was it, which is a very prestigious league probably like the top four leagues out here in Europe. So so's either, you know, and then he came down to just, you know, at the end of the day, it come down to business, you know, like you can't really, can't really get your feelings and emotions involved. Obviously the NBA was a dream, but it was, you know, it was it was like before. Either either I go to the d league and with with hopes of getting the call up, but I'll be making I'll be making probably twenty two thousand before taxes, or take us six figure deal and in France. So so it was kind of, you know, there's kind of no brainer, you know. I mean, and they so I made that decision and I played my first year and probably France. Yeah, I mean I think one good thing. I think the D League's last you know, g league. Now I think it's again been...

...better and I seen like even like I know probably back then it wasn't even the same, because I know the past few years, like a lot of people in getting called up, not like like used to and not really get called up. And now and I saw that they're about to start offering like livable wages eventually, like I think it's like two thousand and twenty or something right. Yeah, yeah, I mean that was that was you know, that was the main reason why. It was this like no, I can't, I can't do that, man. I put in too much work to this craft to set up for, you know, Twentyzero. Yeah, it was definitely a high risk, will reward. Yeah, for sure, for sure. And I know you played in, you played in several, several countries so far. So what's like? What's like the overseas experience been like, and like, what's been your favorite country so far? I mean, oversee, the scraience is definitely tough, man. It's it's them. You know, I want to start out by saying is not for everybody. You know a lot of people, you know, say, yeah, that I want to play overseas, I'm trying to get overseas, but you know, you have to have a very tough mindset to just to so ride, you know, not on not only the beastball but like, you know, the the business aspect and, you know, being alone and away from home and in a foreign country where different cultures, you know, people move different, they act for current towards Americans. So you know, it's definitely a culture shock every country I've been to. But Um, you know, I'd like you know, for me. You know, I'm a I have an introverted personality, so it kind of works out for me. You know, I enjoy the downtime, I enjoy my you know, being by myself a lot. You know, I'm fortunate enough to have to you know, I've been able to five some of my family members out here and have him come to stay with me. But I'm yeah, I like I said, I played in France my first year and then my second year I went to I went...

...to Poland. I was there for about for two years and then last season I played in Lithuania and then this season I'm currently in Russia right you know, and and you know, it's Ay. Every year I've you know, I've kind of loved I kind of leveled up, for lack of a better term, y. So you know, and that's kind of like the goal is, you know, not only to get more money, but just paid play for a higher play for higher level team, higher level coach in a higher level league. So you know, that's that's what I've been doing. Russia. The VTB League is, you know, the the best league outside of outside of the be a. So you know, like the meshed up against, you know, great guards, you know teams, teams with big bug big budgets, teams that are very recognized and knowing across the world. So, you know, going into them in my fifth season now. So I'm right. I'm right where I want to be, in right on track to, you know, reach my reach my goals. There for sure. And those that don't know, you guys only could sign one year contracts. Correct. Um, no, I mean so. I mean some guys signed, signed, signed to year deals, but nothing more than nothing, never more than two years. Yeah, or could be like a one plus one. Yeah, seem my team option, player option, but for me I've only signed when your deals just yeah, it's just's. You know, it's I mean it's it could be a bad you could look at it in a bad word good way. You know, I always am to have the mindset where you've been on yourself. So it's just psych okay, I'm going to come here for a year and prove that I can dominate this league and then I'll get a better contract next year, you know for sure. So how do you deal with that pressure? Knowing that. I mean it was, it was definitely tough, man, especially my rookie year. It was in France. You know, it was I could I didn't understand the business aspect of things. I didn't know you guys can get cut, guys who, you know, if you don't play good one game, you're out of there...

...and they can send you home without pay. And so I didn't really understand. But now, but now I'm in a situation where it's just, you know, it's normal. You know. So you know and you know I trust in my game. I put so much, so much into it. So so you're not coming to the season's very prepared, you know, just because the work I put it in the summertime. So so I don't I don't even think about it, think about it anymore. But I had a few instances my rookie year where it was just like, you know, okay, I could be potentially sent home or you know, they don't like how I've claimed the last two games. Yeah, so you know, they may cut me. But Um, but now, but now there's no pressure. Now it's just, you know, it just comes with it. You know, like if you're, especially if you're an American. You know, they look at you to come and produce, you know, and and then means for the most rup put the ball in the hoop. So and you know, that's that's that's been a part of my game my whole life. So that's that's never been a problem. But you know, it does at and you know at times it can be, you know, because it's just tough, man, it's just tough. You know, you see teammates go through it. You know yourself may go through with the coach that may not like you. You know, I've had coaches, you know, just not like my game, where the president or the GM may have brought me in and but the coach necessary doesn't like my game. So I'm not playing that the minutes I should or I'm not playing the role I should be playing. So it's all it's all just about like it's a situational thing out here and every like you can, you can dominate for first season and then next year and then next year play eight minutes a game. You know, I mean. So so it's I mean it's very up and down, you know, lifestyle. But but you know, I embrace it. And Yeah, just like I said, I know I'm much work I put in, so it's it's it's easy for me, for sure. What's the biggest difference between like the American Style Rashball? I'm like Europeans laughter. Well, I'm it's I mean,...

...well, the way I can compare and compared is like it's like watching it like this, like this, like it's like watching the spurs play. First Watch is be like okayce or, you know, God stay warriors. Yeah, I mean, like obviously spurs is. You know, I think Papa Bitch has that rule where, like you either you you have the bought two seconds. You got two seconds to passes, shoot it or make or drive, basically make a decision in two seconds. You know, you can't play with the ball. So that's how it is here. It's very methodical, which can be a plus, positive or negative. But you know, they're you know, in the obviously the NBA is more one on one, two man game, pick and roll or io situations, but it's just all about, like, you know, the way we're brought up. You know, Americans, you know, we're clearly more athletic and can run faster, jump higher and the think the things that those are the things that Europeans lack. Obviously the ones, the Europeans that don't lack that, they're in the league. But so so they're brought up differently and you know, it's more like a school system where you learn, you learn. You're learning the flex offense at ten, eleven years old. You're learning back door cuts at eight nine years old. You know. So like your Europeans IQ is much higher than, you know, an American high school kids IQ. You know, I mean see, but, like I said, there's there's pluses and minus, but but yeah, that's that's pretty that's pretty much the difference. You gotta got it. And let's jump into some of your community work with your Ai Three Leadership Academy. So tell me, tell me a little about about that. Yeah, so it's Um, it's it's organization based in based in Waterbreak, Connecticut. We've been my partner, Julio vast was and I been...

...running since two thousand and fifteen. We this would be our fifth annual camp coming up this summer. Very proud to say is we're going into our fifth year. But it's like it's, you know, community based and you know, we do we do camps for you know, nine, nine to fourteen year olds every summer. You know, this summer was was a record or record high participants. We had about a hundred thing, a hundred, forty, forty two, forty three kids, something like that. So so it was a great turnout. And then, you know, you know, we provide them. It's a it's ten to ten to five PM. So, you know, we give them lunch, we give them, you know, gear, shorts, jerseys, a bunch of bunch of t shirts, bunch of tshirts to go home with last three days. So you know, it's a great atmosphere. We have, you know, the D Dj there for the Games. You know, you know, parents and and just you know, people want to Hre in the area that love basketball, just that want to come, come be a part of it. You know, they're more than welcome. So you know, it's a very good atmosphere the for the kids, you know. So so that's what we've been doing for the past five years. You know, last last summer we did we also did an elite camp. So I was ai three elite camp and it was a top twenty five players from the previous from the original camp, and my coach, actually coach good from coach me at Lmu, came down, spoke to the kids for about an hour and then, you know, kind of put them through like a college style practice. Put Them Do, you know, various drills that you know they've never never seen, defensive inoffensive drills. And then and then, you know, we just we do. We do some fundraisers, we do do a lot of stuff for the community, you know. You know, like I said this the summer will be our fifth annual. So you know that that information will be coming out very soon and you know...

I love my community, so I'm looking forward to connecting with everybody and, you know, putting on a putting on a great summer for Waterbury. You know, just just can continue to provide content and, you know, connected with connecting with my communities as always, always been like a joy of mine. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I've been seeing it for a few years now. I feel like you've been growing every every every year. Yeah, every every year it's been, you know, stepping stone and you know kind of like learning from the previous years and and and just continuing to grow. You know, obviously it's not. I'm not doing everything by myself. You know, I have former you know, blee, collegiate players that are that are on staff or pros that are on staff. You know, like to help me out a lot. You know, like that, my partner, Julio, he he's a program director, so he pretty much organizes everything. You know, it's makes it, make sure everything and run to run smoothly. And you know, without there, without the help of him and the guys that the guys that we hire there, would be there would be nothing. So Um. But yeah, it's great time. You got to come down and check us out this summer. Man. Yeah, definitely help you there, for sure. Yeah, every cool. Man, I would definitely be cool. And then I know you and Julio just started your podcast, the grind. So what's we what we expect with that? Yes, you know, the grind podcasts. We put out two episodes and you know, those two episodes are really just, you know, you know, laying down the foundation and putting you know, you know, establishing our intent for the for the podcast. But you know, I'm you know, I'm in a position where, you know, I have you know, I that I met, you know, pros, pro at, pro athletes and and you know, the NBA and oversee. So so you know, like you know, I want to be able to to share their stories with the community, you know, because not a lot. You know, obviously these basketball's becoming popular now, but you know not. You know, I was growing up, you didn't want to. You didn't know that you can feed your family and make six figures, seven figures, playing over here in Europe. So, you know, I want I want people to know. You know that.

You know there's the guys that went high major, even guys that went mid major, low major. They're making, you know, pretty good change out here. So so it's not like NBA or bust mentality. Yeah, I mean so you know this. I'm actually interviewing one of my teammates, trade golden. He went to University of Tennessee, and so I'm interview him this weekend and just, you know, share his story and but not, it won't. It's not only going to be basketball based. You know, we kind of want to, kind of want interview like, you know, entrepreneur, kind of kind of just people who, you know, who go against the grain and you know, you know, pave their way. You know, when I want to interview, interview like really real estate moguls, you know, people in finance people, you know, they deal with real estate, people that deal with investing. As you know, the boss stop bouncing or you know, you can't. You can't play forever. And I'm and I'm learning that every year. And Yeah, you know, you know, I'm learning more ways to make my money work for make my money work for itself, you know. So so, whether you know, I've been deviling real estate, I've been deviling and, you know, stocks and you know, you know the trucking industry. So, you know, just just sharing those stories and and, you know, putting putting light on those situations. So, like you know, it's not only you know, because in whatebrary and many other cities across the world, it's, you know, seither you play sports or your wrap kind of you know I mean. So so, you know, I kind of want to just show that there are other outlets. You know that you don't have to necessarily have a degree, or you don't have to go to Harvard or Yale, you know, to make, to make you know, you don't have to go to Yale to go to make six figures in real estate. You know I'm saying, or you don't have to go to Harvard to make, you know, bunch of money in the stocks. You know, those are just something. Some, some, you know, trees that you learn, you know and you know. So that the podcast will will go go into that as well, and I'm very excited to know, because I have a bunch of ideas and, you know,...

Julio and I are very excited to just to just, you know, get this thing going and and shed shit give out all the information we can. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, you don't, you don't need it. You don't need college anymore in general, I don't think. But you can make it. There's a lot of ways to make money now, even like just making youtube video. Yeah, I mean that that old you know, that old system of just broken. You know, you got to you gotta go, you gotta you go to go to school for four years and then get a job and work to your retire that system is over with now, you know, so with it, with the Internet. You know. I mean it's you know, you know. You know you cut out the middleman and, just like you said, you put out youtube videos. You can make money from instagram accounts. You know you can. You know, you are like you you know I'm saying you can become a celebrity, not a celebrity, but you could have come famous, but you know, provide something for the world, you know, over the Internet. You know I'm saying, with just your mindset. So you know, and it's a great I'm super happy and fortunate to live in this day and age just with with this type of access. Yeah, for sure, like social media wasn't around, I mean I probably wouldn't have like anything that I have right now. Yeah, I mean, yeah, I mean same here. Yeah, I would be able to do the basketball stuff, but not as it not on this type of platform. You know, like and just getting back to your point before, just like that probably helped overseas like look more like successful than like people thought it was. Like, you know what I mean. All the same. Yeah, I mean, without a doubt, you know, overseas growing because social media. You know, you can, you know, there's there's guys, you know, like you know, Norris Cole, you know, just hit a game winner last night. But nobody would know if, if there wasn't a network or or, you know, Social Media Network, that that was able to showcase that. You know. I mean so so it's just super for super dope man, it's, you know, and then...

...and then the ideas are are limitless. You know, like years ago I did that, never would even think of having a podcast. Yeah, but now it's it's kind of an it's just a no brainer, because it's like all you have to do is talk and you provide content and you change people's ideas and the way they think and their lives and it not only affects them, but it affects generations and their family and it's just it's just amazing, man. Yeah, definitely. Are you ready for some fun questions? Yeah, sure, sure, you movede. You got ABS. What's some things people might not know abouty man? Um, I definitely well, I'm definitely not a good dancer. I'm a terrible dancer, but I do want to, like, I do want to, I do want to learn how to play an instrument perfectly, like the piano or the saxophone. I think, I think that'll be dope and, you know, just I feel like it'll, you know, rewire my brain in a sense, you know. So think that. I think that would be pretty cool, man. Definitely something I didn't now. Yeah, yeah, sure, man. And what about about can you? Can you give me your top five favorite point guards of all time. Point cards, I tough. Top Five, my all time favorite player. You know, it's pright position, lest one, good one, one. He's either one or two, but Allen Iverson, so so AI and number one and I probably go totally different player by probably go Jay Kid. I definitely PUTT Steve Nash in there. I put Iaiah Thomas in there, the old Isaiah Thomas Man. Then I put the Bront I put Lebron in there just because he's a one. You place the one position, but it was a play that the for you know, you can play in the one, but at the five you know and for sure. What about...

...what are the three Jersey's? Any sports that you have to have three jerseys? Like, okay, n any sports. Okay, Shit, Muhammad Legs and have a jersey. I would like to have Hank Aaron. No, wait, what? Yeah, Hank area was the one who broke the color barrier. Right, Jackie Robinson, Jack Robins, driven, I'm Triman, Jackie robins. Yeah, Jackie Robinson, Jackie Robinson. I go with they just at the throwback Allen Iverson Jersey. And then probably a like a John starks Jersey, for sure. Because I was. That was like my guy growing up, you know, had that Dune Dunk doing pretty much the whole chicugle bulls team, you know. So that was that was my team growing up in New York. Knicks. So John Starts, Jackie Robinson and then a perfect what about what are your favorite kicks? The Ball? whoping takes Um, damn, whoping cakes probably. Oh, I will go with the Penny hardaways. been here. I know that. I don't remember the exact, the exact like for like version or sex sneaker, but there's a specific one. It has like the has like the number one, unlike the back of tongue. Yeah, one of these. Yeah, that one for sure. That's definitely a different answer. I wasn't expecting that one. Yeah, I were those in college about two years man, and they were most come mostly that I've had. Appreciate you coming on. And where can people find you on social media? Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram at a Ireland three, on twitter, a island three La. On facebook, you can find the Info on the academy, a a AI three leadership academy. We're on facebook. We're on twitter at a three leader LLC. You...

...know we're on facebook, like I said, and you can find the grind, you can find the podcast, information up things at the grime podcast, on instagram and on spacebook. So yeah, those are outlets said that I have.

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