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Q&A with Julian Gamble (Part I)

They say one way to lift the spirit of a kid is to give them a piece of candy. Imagine then what it's like to hand a pack of Skittles over to a sick 5-year old orphan who spends his entire life fighting off flies, malnourishment and 115-degree heat in the slums of Senegal?

University of Miami redshirt freshman Julian Gamble encountered that very situation Julian_gambleearlier this month when he participated in  a 13-day trip to Africa with Athletes in Action. Gamble, a 6-9, 240-pound center from Raleigh, N.C., experienced many things on his adventure to West Africa. He played in international games. He stood toe-to-toe against a 7-foot, 4-inch giant from Mali and got his shots swatted by Jared Carter, a 7-2 center from Kentucky. But nothing on his trip had quite as big of an impact as a visit to a local orphanage in Senegal.

"There were a lot of kids there and most of them were sick," Gamble told me when I spoke to him last week. "We were just trying to play with them and make them happy. Well, during one break, there was this one little boy who saw me eating this pack of Skittles. He had no idea what it was. So, I gave him one and he got so happy. We just started playing and running around, playing catch, making him happy. It warmed my heart a lot to give him that because it's not like he has a home, where he's going to get ready for school or something. All he does is stay in that orphanage. For us to be there for that small moment was really special."

Gamble, who made the trip with nearly a dozen other college basketball players from Julian_gamble_actionaround the country, had many special moments on his trip. It was the first time in his life he ever left the United States -- and the first time since he made the jump from high school to college he's been able to get into a game. Last season, he sat, learned, and watched UM go from preseason last pick in the ACC to the second round of the NCAA tournament. This season, with Anthony King and Ray Hicks gone, he will almost assuredly be a part of the new four-person, big-man rotation for coach Frank Haith. I caught up with Julian last week to discuss all that. But first, in this two-part Q&A series, I'll let him share his experiences from his adventure, which included an eight-point, 12-rebound effort in a 73-62 win against Mali.

Q: So, last year, I know Brian Asbury (China) and Jimmy Graham (Australia) got to do the same kind of trip? How did this trip come about for you?
A: Our team Chaplin, Pastor Steve, he works with Athletes in Action. Being around Jimmy and stuff like that, he’s big with Athletes in Action. It was a combination of talking to both of them. I told them I definitely wanted to take advantage of an opportunity if it came about and it did. I didn’t know I was going until about a week before I went. So, it was kind of tough securing my passport. Plus, I had to raise money for finances and things I would need over there. I wrote a letter asking for some donations. Luckily, there are a lot of donators to Athletes in Action in the Miami area. From there, I just went up to Ohio where they are based. We worked out for a couple days and then went to Africa and spent about two weeks over there.

Q: How was the flight?
A:The flight was long. We flew from Ohio to New York and from New York to Paris. That was about a seven and a half hour flight. We had a 6 hour layover. We didn’t go anywhere. We just chilled. Then we had another five hour flight to Senegal. And after we stayed in Senegal we had another two hour flight to Mali. Even though they’re connecting countries, you can’t drive from Senegal to Mali because of the different terrains and they’re aren’t even roads. On the way back it was a little shorter. It was about 5 ½ hours. The flights are long. But when your talking to your teammates and going to sleep it goes by fast.

Q: Who went on the trip with you?
A: It was an assortment of players throughout. Our coach was the assistant coach from Valparaiso. He had a couple players from his Valpo team out there. There were a couple players from the Kentucky team we are playing this year -- Jared Carter and Ramon Harris. They had a kid from Belmont, Shane Dansey, who played really well against Duke in the tournament. We had a guy from Murray State. We had St. Mary’s Ian O’Leary, who we played against in the tournament last year. So, really it was a wide assortment of players -- everybody from rising seniors to rising freshmen. We had a good team. I think I played well for the most part. I think out there its definitely a different game. The lanes are wider. The traveling is different. Our first game we probably had like 40 turnovers, just traveling. Once we starting playing I got used to it. Basically, it’s more of a physical game. I think maybe 75 percent of the things over there would be fouls over here. I played pretty well. We played five games and I think I had three double-doubles.

Q: Did you start any of the games?
A:
Yes, I started. But we had a rotation. There were no set starters. One team would start one game and another the next. I started a couple. Everybody played equal time. It wasn’t a situation where it was a clear cut starting five. We were all kind of equal as players.

Jared_carterQ: What do you think you learned out there and who did you match up with?
A: I matched up with Jared Carter, who plays for Kentucky. He’s 7-2. And he plays center. It was good for me to play with somebody like that, to play against someone bigger than me. At first, he was blocking my shots because I wasn’t used to it. I had to use my body different ways, use different moves and things like that. There was another guy out there from Valpo. It was Urule Igbavboa [senior]. Playing against season vets, I learned a lot.

Q: Do you get a chance to see Africa?
A: We did a lot of different things. It wasn’t just a situation where we were going on safaris or anything. As a team, we went and visited orphanages and we went and saw different communities. We saw the market and saw the city and did a lot of community service while we were out there. We did basketball clinics for up-and-coming basketball players. I mean I feel like we’ve seen the better parts of Africa and saw everything that was going on over there. We weren’t just going to the zoo. We got a chance to see everyday life out there in Africa.

Q: What made the biggest impression on you from the trip?
A: The one thing I kind of told everyone about, I told Jimmy Graham about it, I told Coach Haith about is just how the demeanor of the people. They don’t have nearly as many privileges as they do over here and they are still always happy. You don’t see them complaining how most people do over here. It just kind of gives you a sense of sitting back and thinking why would I take things for granted? Why would I complain about the little things I do have when there are people over here who have nothing and they’re happy and they’re just living life. They have everyday struggles, but theirs are a hundred times worse than ours. Seeing how friendly they were and seeing the resources they have, they have very little, and they’re still friendly. They’re not walking around being mean spirited or mean-hearted like most people over here in America would do.

Q: What’s a typical home like in the neighborhoods you visited?
A: Typically what we saw over there in the ghettos in Mali were like cement houses with no doors. It was Mali_street_2very small, enclosed places. It was very hot. People washed their clothes outside. They cook their food with the little grease they could get and they just reused everything. You don’t see a lot of things around. I didn’t see many trash cans while I was over there. The landscape isn’t that of over here. There’s a lot of trash everywhere. The typical house didn’t have much. They didn’t have much, but they always offered their best when guests came through.

Q: Was it a life changing experience for you?
A: Definitely. It opened my eyes to many things. And now that I’m back I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with my teammates so they can see how it is over there and how we took take things for granted over here when we have no reason to.

Coming Thursday: Part II, Gamble talks about the weight he's lost since arriving at UM last year at 6-8, 265, his progress on and off the court and what he hopes to provide the Canes this coming season.

Comments

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jacksonville = mistake

LIVE AND LEARN

early super bowls drew less than capacity ...
SEA LEGS

honey, should pay our mortgage on the double wide or should buy season tickets on the 20 yrd. line @ the swamp.

BY THE WAY MORON THE CANES PLAYED EVERYBODY IN THE 80S AND 90S IT'S TOUGH WHEN TULIPS LIKE FLORIDA AND NOTRE DAME ( AND OKLAHOMA, ETC.) TOOK US OFF THEIR SCHEDULES, COLLEGES DIDN'T WANT TO PLAT A NON CONFERENCE GAME THEY KNEW THEY WOULD LOOSE. I NEVER BLOG BUT YOUR STUPIDITY FIRES ME UP, FLORIDA SUCKED EXCEPT FOR A SPAN FROM 95 TO 98 AND A YEAR AGO, OTHERWISE THE MOST OVERRATED PROGRAM ALONG WITH NOTRE DAME AND TEXAS.

THEY KNEW THEY WOULD "LOOSE"........YOUR STUPIDITY FIRES ME UP!

hypocrite

any game at any stadium in South Florida draws less than capacity

WIN, "LOOSE", or DRAW = FAIR WEATHER FANS

Duhhhhh U's 2008 Season

Preseson Rank: 40+

Highest Regular Season Rank: 36

End of Season Rank: 83

Offense Returning Starters: 4

Defence Returning Starters: 4

Returning 5-7 Head Coach: 1

Although this latest recruiting class has brought a spark and some underserved national pub back to the King of 2-Star Recruits, it’s not likely to have a profound impact on the Hurricanes’ win total in 2008.

Meyer's Year Two = National Championship

Shannon's Year Two = National Embarassment

THE DUKE OF THE SOUTH IN FOOTBALL


Good stuff Manny...

Meyer's Year Two = National Championship

Posted by: canesrule | June 26, 2008 at 07:29 PM

yea, zook was a better recruiter than oscar meyer

hey gaturd incognito, why did the sec championship move from birmimgham to atlanta?

GROWING PAINS

birmingham

http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/121207aaa.html
tampa & charlotte vie for ACC affection ...
MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN

any game at any stadium in South Florida draws less than capacity

Posted by: canesrule | June 26, 2008 at 07:06 PM
big games draw ... UM football: a South Florida tradition since 1926 ...

HERE TO STAY

"UM football: a South Florida tradition back in 1926" - green

ONE GREEN'S OPINION

2007 Season Orange Bowl capacity: 72,319
2007: Miami average home attendance 43,576 (60% capacity)

UNDENIABLE FACT

35,000+ fans at your home game

Posted by: canesrule | June 26, 2008 at 11:16 AM
gaturd incognito contradicts gaturd incognito ...

GOTCHA

"why did the sec championship move from birmimgham to atlanta?" - clueless

Because we had the exact opposite problem in 92' and 93', too many Gator fans showed up at Legion Field, so they had to find a stadium with a larger capacity. It was moved to the GA Dome in 1994.

FAST LEARNERS & DECISION MAKERS

The SEC controls the GA Dome and there is no way they are letting the mediocre ACC crash the biggest game the state has to offer. That wouldn’t make business sense. So the ACC’s only option, if it wanted to play in the ATL, would be to play its game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That can’t happen because three of the teams (FSWho, G-Techies, and the Tommy the Tigers) play their rivalry games on that same Saturday. The ACC schools could move those games but the SEC requires its teams to play their last regular season games on the Saturday after turkey day.

The ACC can’t play on Monday night after championship Saturday because the BCS pairings come out on Sunday. So until the SEC abandons the ATL, and that’s not going to happen, the ACC will continue to look for a location that might work.

Until then the ACC will use the game's location as an excuse for their fickle fans and understated lack of attendance.

SLOW LEARNERS & BLAME PLACERS

legion field (83k) > georgia dome (71k)

NICE TRY

http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/cfb/entries/2008/05/15/why_cant_acc_pl.html
btw, credit your source ... in this case ajc's tony barnhart ...
VERBATIM

The ACC's excuse for wanting to change locations of their title game which Duhhh U has yet to make = lack of attendance.

IRONIC BAILIWICK

SEC Title Games in the 1926 Gray Lady
83,091 in 91' (UF vs Bama)
76,345 in 92' (UF vs Bama)

The Legion of Doom was reminicent of playing in a stadium of equal quality to the Orange Bowl. Only one of the two is still standing and SEC fans demanded better.

CAN'T COUNT PAST 43,576

"U v. f$u ('06 labor day) = ESPN's highest rated college football game ... EVER" - clueless

That game drew a 5.9 rating.

BLURRED FACTS

CBS aired the 1994 SEC Championship Game earned a 10.5 rating and a whopping 26 share of the market (30 million viewers).

ACC BRAGGING WRONGS

It's so pathetic to see these Gator losers come on Hurricane boards to talk crap. What is it, the 20+ years of frustration? You feel you just gotta get it all out before the Canes come back? LOL. Why would someone be so concerned about a team coming off a 5-7 season? Talk about an inferiority complex.

Green, I usually don't really like your posts but keep shutting this gator piece of s'hit up.

source your "facts" ...
DISREGARD

http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/090706aag.html

NEW YORK (AP) - Florida State's 13-10 victory over Miami on Monday night was ESPN's most-viewed college football game ever. The Labor Day game was on ESPN and ESPN2 and drew an average of 6,330,000 households. The 6.9 rating made it the network's second highest-rated college football game behind a 7.7 rating for Florida State at Miami on Oct. 8, 1994.

"Why would someone be so concerned about a team coming off a 5-7 season? " - Canes with one exclamation point for added emphasis

You have mistakenly interpreted my posts as concern. The game on 9/6 is an afterthought compared to the 3 out of 5 SEC Teams in the Preseason Top 15 the Gators must face.

16-16 in ACC play
6-7 including an uno over Nevada
5-7 with no bowl game
Sub #40 Preseason Ranking

SOURCE OF FACTS = DUHHHHHHHH U!

There's no mistake about it. Your presence alone on a Hurricanes blog is enough evidence of your concern.

Even in 1994.......

ESPN < CBS

6.9 < 10.5

7.7 < 10.5

LESS THAN GREAT

Wrong again, fan whom uses one exclamation point for emphasis, there are several mistakes about it........

"If you could PLEASE talk about the Canes and the CANES only and stop worrying about what I say and do and everyone here would be a LOT happier. Thank U!" - 86Cane

"when you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are" - green posing as jiminy cricket

"Why does the herald let this canesrule loser keep posting?" - vincane

"we are two months away and no talk about football." - hurricanes

EXCLAMATIONS WITH NO POINT

Several mistakes about it, yet you fail to point out any of them. You are a dumbass and have nothing to say but the same crap over and over...stating the obvious. UF has been better than Miami for the past 3 years. Great, everybody knows that. What about the past 25 years before that, you idiot? Let's not talk about how Miami has been a consistently wayyy better team year in and year out for a much longer period of time. Let's not talk about the long, winning history of the Hurricanes compared to the recent and temporary success of the Gators. Right? We all know why you are here...just like the rest of the sorry, sad, and pathetic Gator nation. You want to get all your shots in while Miami is down and you are hoping and praying that your recent success continues and that this Hurricane resurgence does not happen. And the only way to do that is to beat a team that has owned you and that you have not defeated since 1984. The fact is that you want the Gators to be what the Hurricanes are. You want to dominate college football like the Canes have...you want to have the rich, winning history that Hurricanes have. But you never will. As we saw last year, the Gators are returning to their normal level of mediocrity (Who loses 4 games with a Heisman Trophy winner?). You are what you've always been a pretty good team but nothing special and Miami will be what Miami has always been...a dominant team that everyone hates but everyone wants to be.

Earlier someone mentioned that the ACC is 1-9 in BCS games while the Big East is 6-4. My question is how many of the 6 wins is from the University of Miami?

2000 season - Sugar Bowl: UM over UF
2001 season- Rose Bowl: UM over Nebraska
2003 season - Orange Bowl: UM over FSU

So Miami is responsible for half of the Big East BCS wins.

Good stuff Manny! Enjoy your vacation.

green that was some funny crap with 86. thanks for the laughs. He is such a tool!

"Let's not talk about the long, winning history of the Hurricanes".....while they played a cake walk schedule as an independent or were mailed the trophy in the Big Easy.

WINNING BY DEFAULT, ie NO COMPETITION

"Let's not talk about"...the obvious evidence, like what Duhhhh U has accomplished since they joined a mediocre conference.

PURE COINCIDENCE - AVOID THE FACT NOID

"The fact is that you want the Gators to be what the Hurricanes are"???

16-16 in conference play with a 4th Choice coach struggling to have a winning regular season, and not even coming close to playing in a conference title game. I will leave that one up to Duhhhh U.

REVERSE REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY

"Who loses 4 games with a Heisman Trophy winner?"

Dead give away you are yet another retard from Duuuhhhhhh U who did not watch one of those 4 games. In answer to your question, the same team that had such an explosive offense that it enabled their QB to be the first player in the history of college football to win the heisman as a sophopmore.

TEBOW = QB = A POSITION ON OFFENSE

"ACC is 1-9 in BCS games while the Big East is 6-4. My question is how many of the 6 wins is from the University of Miami?"

My answer is even when you combine both the ACC & Big Easy records in BCS Bowl Games you still end up at 7-13.

BIG SLEAZY, WAY TOO EASY, SEC (11-4)

"But you never will.".....the Gators will also never become an independent, or play in a gimme conference like the ACC or Big Easy. Take a wild guess at what Duhhhh U's record would be over the past four years if they had joined the SEC instead of the ACC. Hint, it's not 16-16.

NAY SAYER, NOT A REAL CONFERENCE PLAYER

the same team that had such an explosive offense that it enabled their QB to be the first player in the history of college football to win the heisman as a sophopmore.

Posted by: canesrule | June 27, 2008 at 06:49 PM

WINNING BY DEFAULT

16-16 in conference play with a 4th Choice coach

Posted by: canesrule | June 27, 2008 at 06:49 PM
who was 1st, 2nd & 3rd?

PRAY TELL

why did the YELLOW-BELLIED gaturd drop U?

BAWK BAWK

http://espn.go.com/ncf/columns/harig_bob/1427556.html

The schools played for 49 seasons between 1938 and 1987, skipping just once, in 1943, when the Gators did not field a team due to World War II.

Then, suddenly, the series was off.

In 1987, then-UF athletic director Bill Arnsparger told then-UM athletic director Sam Jankovich that the Gators were no longer interested in playing the Hurricanes. He cited the Southeastern Conference's expansion to a seven-game schedule from six. The Gators insisted there was no longer any room for the Hurricanes.
-- st pete times' bob harig


while (UM) played a cake walk schedule as an independent or were mailed the trophy in the Big Easy.

Posted by: canesrule | June 27, 2008 at 06:49 PM

2004 U 27 - fu 10 W peach bowl
2003 U 38 - fu 33 W
2002 U 41 - fu 16 W
2001 U 37 - fu 20 W sugar bowl
1987 U 31 - fu 4 W
1986 U 23 - fu 15 W
1984 U 32 - fu 20 W
1981 U 21 - fu 20 W
1980 U 31 - fu 7 W
1979 U 30 - fu 24 W
1978 U 22 - fu 21 W

MANO A MANO

Green ... keep shutting this gator piece of s'hit up.

Posted by: Canes! | June 26, 2008 at 11:56 PM

never give in--never, never, never, never
-- winston churchill

Poor little Gator bloggers trying to talk big and bad while dissing a Canes program that has accomplished more football championships in the past 25 years than the Gators in their entire history. You sound so jealous.

The Gators insisted there was no longer any room for the Hurricanes.

BUSINESS DECISION

Swamp expansion and upgrades, Orange Bowl demolsihed and Duhhhh U will bus it to home games.

NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION

Per athlete, no conference spends more money, accumulates more revenue or has a higher net profit than the SEC.

In 2006-07, five of the top nine football-revenue schools came from the SEC: Georgia ($59.5 million), Florida ($58.9 million), Auburn ($56.8 million), Alabama ($53.2 million) and LSU ($48.1 million).

PARK PLACE

Immediately after the CBS contract began, the SEC's annual payout to its schools jumped from $45.5 million to $58.9 million.

SERIOUS SCRATCH

"College football is on an extraordinary run right now," said Chuck Gerber, ESPN executive vice president. "The six BCS conferences carry the load and the SEC has extraordinary football. Their fans' passion and zeal is second to none."

60% CAPACITY DOESN'T LIVE IN THE SEC

In an analysis by The News, the SEC last fiscal year averaged $135,846 in expenses per athlete and $148,352 in revenue per athlete, for a net profit per athlete of $12,506. The SEC's net was 40 percent higher than the Big Ten, the next-closest conference.

RUNNING THE SHOW


Demolition of your "home" stadium

RUINING THE SHOW

Only Texas generated more revenue per athlete than Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas.

DID I MENTION BUSINESS DECISION TO DROP DUHHHHHH U

The schools that are making money now are making more money, and the schools losing money are losing more money.

DO NOT PASS GO, GO DIRECTLY TO DOLPHIN STADIUM

The gaps between the financial haves and have-nots are getting wider. It's only natural that sooner or later, you're going to hit a ceiling with revenues. You can only get so much money out of ticket sales before fans will rebel, or not show up at all.

SOURCE - 2008 MIAMI HURRICANES FAN GUIDE

Lately, the haves are coming from the same circle of schools. Of the top 15 revenue-producing athletics departments in 2006-07, six are in the Big Ten, six are in the SEC, and the three others are Texas, Notre Dame and Southern California. That pool produced nine of the past 12 participants in football's national championship game.

DONDE ESTA LA ACC???

Duhhhhh U and departed P. Dee didn't know how to manage "the business". Even back then, Duhhhh U needed the Gators to fill the Orange Bowl more than UF needed the Hurricanes to fill The Swamp.

BITTERNESS

Free tickets with a test drive and begging fans to show up, even only if for the first half of the game will get you no where.

CHEAP DATE

Kinda like Randy and his coaching knowledge, Kirby is playing a game he can't win.

CHAPTER 11

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