The Inside Zone

%28Alex+Lockwood+%2F+Cluster+Staff%29+Brian+Mills+is+prepping+for+a+future+contract+in+Europe%2C+following+in+the+footsteps+of+past+Mercer+greats+James+Florence+and+Daniel+Emerson%2C+who+worked+on+their+games+during+last+offseason.+Mills%2C+alongside+fellow+seniors+Jeff+Smith+and+Brandon+Moore%2C+is+staying+active+even+though+the+college+basketball+season+just+ended.+Mark+Hall%2C+the+remaining+senior%2C+is+planning+for+his+career+after+basketball.+%E2%80%98Tis+the+season+of+the+workout+bees%21

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Brian Mills is prepping for a future contract in Europe, following in the footsteps of past Mercer greats James Florence and Daniel Emerson, who worked on their games during last offseason. Mills, alongside fellow seniors Jeff Smith and Brandon Moore, is staying active even though the college basketball season just ended. Mark Hall, the remaining senior, is planning for his career after basketball. ‘Tis the season of the workout bees!

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Brian Mills is prepping for a future contract in Europe, following in the footsteps of past Mercer greats James Florence and Daniel Emerson, who worked on their games during last offseason. Mills, alongside fellow seniors Jeff Smith and Brandon Moore, is staying active even though the college basketball season just ended. Mark Hall, the remaining senior, is planning for his career after basketball. ‘Tis the season of the workout bees!

I was sitting on my porch the other day, enjoying another perfect middle Georgia spring afternoon, when a bumblebee pooped on my arm. I’m not a biology major, so I can’t tell you if bumblebees actually go “number two” or not, but I do know that I sat in some shock as I looked at the yellow substance which had been sprayed on my right forearm. Still in shock and a little enraged, I rose from my rocker and smashed the pollinator with my Margaritaville shoe.

When I told my computer nerd roommate what had happened, he informed me that I had been “pollinated.” I’m not sure what would possess a bee to pollinate my right forearm, but it seemed like a douche bag move, and he deserved what he got. He obviously had not thought through the future consequences of his actions.

This situation caused me to consider my general dislike for wildlife and coming into contact with unwanted bodily fluids. This reminded me of my buddy and star forward on the basketball team, Jake Gollon, and his superhuman ability to sweat out more fluids than he could ever possibly take in. That reminded me of the hard work that the basketball team is putting in right now during the “off-season.”

If you read my first Cluster article (and I’m sure everyone has, and by everyone I mean all five of you) you know that the “off-season” is just a myth made up by people who never played college athletics. The Mercer basketball players are required to do individual workouts five times a week for 24 minutes each session. They also lift three days per week with strength and conditioning specialist, Paul Bohr, and have “optional” open gym every weekday. I’m not too good with the new math, but that means Jake Gollon effuses approximately five thousand gallons of sweat each week. They do all this in hopes of success for the upcoming season, the first game of which will not be until sometime in November.

As I sit on my porch, considering all of the hard work the underclassmen are doing for next year and the bee that pollinated my arm, I’m hit by how quickly things change. Bees, much like basketball players, are only around for a short time. Seniors Brian Mills, Jeff Smith, Mark Hall and Brandon Moore will all be moving on next year. Mills is busy working out and talking to agents, attempting to get paid overseas to play basketball. Smith and Moore are working hard to recover from knee surgeries, with hopes of being able to do the same at some point in the future. Mark Hall is planning on moving back to California and putting his business degree to good use. Unlike bumblebees, it’s difficult for me to watch these guys move on, but like the bumblebee who ejaculated pollen all over my arm, they have all left an impression that will last for years to come.

Nobody can know exactly what the future will hold. What I do know is that next year there will be new faces wearing Mercer basketball jerseys running up and down the floor of the University Center. The freshmen from this year will be a year older and looking to continue the success that we had late last season. The upperclassmen who are returning will be looking to provide leadership for the younger guys and the newcomers, and Jake Gollon will be sweating a lot.

Those are the things I know; everything else is in some unknown territory. Albert Einstein once said, “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” That, however, seems like the ideology of a pothead and a terrible way to live. This is possibly the reason why every picture of Einstein looks like the person holding the camera jumped out from behind a curtain and yelled, “Surprise!!!” He didn’t see it coming. He might have had a good point, however, in that worrying too much about the future can be a very stressful waste of time. So I will do the best I can at this moment, and hope for the best in the future. I hope all of the work the players are putting in will pay off with huge success next year; I hope that the seniors from last year reach their goals as professionals; and finally, I hope that the bees who hang out in front of my house will have learned a lesson, and stick to pollinating my bushes and not my arm.