Veggie Tales: The Cale Jefferson story

Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:00 pm

[September 29th, 2015 - Cale's office, Kansas City, MO (4:31 PM)]

I've never been a big social media guy; I have a personal Facebook account for family and friends, and to post personal thoughts from time to time. I also don't have Twitter or Instagram because I haven't had a need for them. Aislin caught wind of this recently, and has been hounding me for the past few days to sign up for both of them.

"You've been coaching for the last handful of years, and you don't have a Twitter or Instagram account?" She questioned, laughing a little. "I'm not a coach, and even I know that part of recruiting student-athletes is putting yourself out there! I mean, is there even an official account for the program?"

Coming from a junior college, I've never felt the need to have social media accounts since players really come to you, instead of the other way around. I also never was one to self-promote, as I've always tried to deflect credit and take more blame.

She made some good points, and had research to back it up. One of her student "underlings" polled a hundred random upperclass students, and only 10% knew there was an official men's basketball Twitter account. Of those same students, only twenty-four had attended more than half of the team's home games in the last season. Additionally, out of the hundred students polled, eighty-six had a Twitter account, and seventy-five of them were interested in following a Coach Jefferson-linked account, provided I signed up for one.

For Instagram, she said that photos of players and coaches at university-sponsored functions; and even while on the road, having a good time was also something that could boost traffic and interest in the program, which could in turn increase attendance and revenue.

"Attendance is always going to be an issue here," I said flatly. "There isn't an on-campus arena and even when this program is at its best, you might draw four, maybe five thousand people for a big conference game."

"Right, but people are drawn to other people that are out there and have a social media presence," she retorted. "It's human nature to be drawn to strong personalities. You're a young, tall, driven guy that can play well with a lot of different demographics. I know you're the strong, silent type, but you can shape how the general public perceives you in the media through these avenues. You don't have to change who you are." Okay, I'm listening.

"We may not be able to influence the general population's attendance too much at this point, but it looks like promoting the program to the students has been lacking in recent years based on what I've seen," she added. "Even though they get discounted or even free admission, they largely don't attend or even really care. That's a problem." She now had my interest piqued, since student attendance has also always been a problem, but seemed to be the more solvable problem at this point.

"It all sounds good on paper, but how am I going to have time to update this thing?" I asked. "I don't have either one, but I do read them from time to time, and some of the graphics and marketing stuff on there is just incredible. I can't Photoshop, or whatever you call it."

Aislin chuckled before going on. "You don't need to do anything except approve anything that goes out on it," she said. "I wouldn't put anything out there you didn't approve of. Just because the account will have your name attached to it, doesn't mean that you have to control it all the time. I have someone that is a graphics wizard that can make it look good."

"Fair enough," I said. "If you indeed have someone that can work Photoshop and make the page look nice and clean, professional, I'm on board. Just remember to clear anything with me first."
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:47 pm

[October 2nd, 2015 - Cale's apartment, Kansas City, MO (8:58 AM)]

September was a BIG month for recruiting - we picked up four commitments in a matter of two weeks beginning just after the calendar turned, and even though Alex Moss decided on committing to a military branch (Air Force), we offered small forward Terrance Serraville of St. Louis a scholarship (which he accepted immediately).

So, our tentative recruiting class is listed below (fingers crossed we can keep these guys in the fold into the early signing period):

C Patrick King (Huntsville, Mo/Westran)
C Rahim Palmer (Rapid City, S.D./Iowa Western CC)
PF Montell Morrison (Brownwood, Tex/Blinn (TX) JC)
SF Terrance Serraville (St. Louis, Mo./Lindbergh)
SF Jeremy Lewis (Norborne, Mo./Johnson County (KS) CC)

Today was also a big day for the current team, as we just wrapped up our first practice of the season and held Midnight Madness for the students just before that. It was better attended than I thought it would be, at least it was better attended from when I played. There were twice as many students that attended this year over last season, and around three times as many from my senior season. It looks like the work that Aislin & staff is putting in is paying off.

Now, it's time to go back to sleep as Charles gave me the morning to sleep in and recover from the early-morning practice. Let's go Roos!
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Angres Thorpe

Postby 3manweave » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:21 pm

[October 16th, 2015 - Angres' office, Kansas City, MO (6:04 PM)]

There was a shoving match that broke out late in today's practice between senior Shyrone Forte and freshman Lance Hemphill. Lance is an incredibly talented player, but has a remarkably short fuse. Shyrone isn't without some fault here, as he set a really hard, unnecessary screen on Hemphill during team period, but tempers flared again as Hemphill tried to retaliate on a really hard foul as Forte went to the basket during a scrimmage. I think Shyrone was just trying to convey to Lance in no uncertain terms, "Welcome to Division One basketball".

No punches were thrown; and while that's good, it may be a situation we'll have to keep an eye out for. The rest of practice and conditioning went on without a hitch.

Cale is pleased through the first two weeks of practice, but there really hasn't been much separation in terms of roles. The only certain thing appears to be that Will Bedard is going to start at center, but the rest of the roster is still fighting for time. He's made it pretty clear that no one's minutes are guaranteed, and the attitude of the team appears to reflect that mindset.
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:59 am

[October 25th, 2015 - Whole Foods, Kansas City, MO (7:10 PM)]

I rarely shop at Whole Foods; maybe once a month when I need something that Price Chopper or Hy-vee doesn't have. I had decided to stop there to pick up a few things on the way home from the office before they closed. On the way out, I heard a voice from behind me that I hadn't heard in several months. "Cale?"

It was Kristin Jacobs. "Holy sh*t, I haven't seen you in months. You're still working here?" I asked.

"Today was my last day," she said. "Where the hell have you been? I moved recently further away from this job to find a cheaper place, and I'm always having to hitch a ride or take a cab if I can't find a ride because it's too far to walk. So, I found a job closer to where I live."

"Where did you move to?" I asked.

"The Waldo area. It's not terribly far, but if I have to call a cab too often it can get pricey," she said. "I'll blow my disposable income on just getting to and from work. I'm already paying more than I was before."

Kansas City in late October can get pretty cold, and it was pitch-dark outside except for the lights that illuminated the parking lot. The whole time we had been chatting, she was looking at her phone. "I got off at 6:45, the store closed at 7, and my ride hasn't shown yet," she said. "Everybody is already gone, even the creepy night manager."

I paused, examining the situation. "I can give you a ride if you want," I suggested. "I've lived in Kansas City nearly my entire adult life...I know this city like the back of my hand." She frowned, and shook her head.

"No, I can't ask you to do literally live down the street, my ride will show eventually," she said. I wasn't going to take no for an answer.

"Look, Aislin has been a great asset to myself and the university, thanks to you. The least I can do in return is make sure you get home safely," I said. "This part of town can get a little rough if you aren't careful. If you got mugged, I'd feel terrible that I could have somehow prevented it."

I could tell she didn't want to inconvenience me, but the cold October chill blew through the air; and after a particularly cold wind gust, she relented. "Okay, sure...I just don't want it to be too far out of your way."

"Wait here, I'll pull up to the door," I said. After she got in, we pulled out of the parking lot and headed south towards the Waldo area of the city; it's a nice, up-and-coming area where a lot of young professionals live, and it seemed like her kind of neighborhood. "Where are you working at now?" I asked, after she tried calling her ride again to no avail.

"I got a job at Avila University," she said as police and ambulance sirens screamed by in the other direction. "I start tomorrow as an admissions rep. It's low on the totem pole, but it pays better than what I have now and I get some good benefits. Plus, I have friends that work there, which is a nice side benefit."

"Speaking of friends, how are you and Aislin doing?" I asked. "I know you two are friends, but she doesn't talk about you much, if at all."

"You know her by now, she's incredibly focused and wants to do a great job," she said. "But we've rarely hung out since then, and all she talks about is work when we do." After pausing a moment, she went on. "I think you're working her too hard," she joked. "But seriously, she doesn't really hang out too much anymore with any of our group of friends. There's just something different about her since she took this job." Maybe I need to have a chat with Aislin at some point about work-life balance, something I should probably practice too.

"She and I are a lot alike personality-wise," I said. "There are times she gets under my skin, but I know she's only doing what she thinks is best for me and the program."

"Turn left here. My place is in that big complex on the right," she said. I sized up the new complex she lived in; and not knowing what she had lived in before, I'm guessing it was better. "I guess this is the place," I said. "Looks nice."

"Thanks for the ride, I appreciate it. I suppose I'll see you at the first home game," she stated and turned to get out of the car. She had gotten about one-third of the way to the gate, when...

"Wait!" I said, and she turned around. I stopped for a moment, a million thoughts running through my brain. "Cale? Did you need something?" By this time, she had poked her head into my open passenger window.

Out with it, Cale. "Do you want to get coffee sometime? I mean, if it's not a problem," I asked. Her cheeks flushed slightly; I think I caught her off-guard. "I think it might be good for me to get to know the biggest fans of the program."

She stammered a little. "Uh, you have your phone?" What do you mean, "do"? I ALWAYS have it. I'm a college basketball coach, it should be stitched to my hand. I handed her my cell phone, and she added her number (supposedly). "Go ahead, text it so you don't think I'm giving you a fake." Sure enough, I tried it and her phone went off; and she showed me the text before continuing on. "Call me sometime, and we'll grab coffee somewhere. I know several places around here." I nodded and waited for her to get inside the building before pulling away.
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:01 pm

[October 30th, 2015 - Cale's office, Kansas City, MO (9:00 AM)]

The roster is finalized, the season opener at Iowa is two weeks away, and we don't expect to redshirt either of the two freshmen or the walk-ons (Simmons and Seals). Ryan Morris and Shyrone Forte were named team captains in a team vote.

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Sharpe Speer, Cale's agent

Postby 3manweave » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:14 pm

[November 7th, 2015 - Starbucks, Downtown Kansas City, MO (9:30 AM)]

Cale and I met for coffee just off-campus, and I had some big news to tell him.

"I'm going to leave the agency, and start my own company," I said. "Don't get me wrong, I enjoy working for my current firm. But it would be nice to set my own schedule and be my own boss. Hire my own staff."

"That's great," Cale said. "It sounds like you're putting that extra cut from my salary to good use." It still bothered me greatly that I decieved him all those months ago, but I don't think he'd be as happy as he is now. As long as I've known him, which has been since college, he's not the type to take a backseat to anyone. Being an assistant, even at his dream school, I think would have made him miserable. "As long as I get to come along, I'm all for it," he added.

"Yeah, and I've been putting some of the money into an IRA as well," I said. "I'm re-doing my basement and I'm going to pull that out in a year to finance that. I have another account for retirement...I'm not touching that one."

"So, I see since the got the house, and you can do what you want with it," Cale remarked. "Not a bad situation." My ex-wife, Melissa, put it mildly, not a good person. She was involved in a pyramid scheme that bilked thousands of dollars out of unsuspecting people, but somehow escaped prison. As soon as I found out, I filed for divorce; which surprised her as she thought I would understand and forget about what happened. It's not as if we were hurting for money; she was a corporate lawyer, and I at the sports agency. Both of us hold jurisdoctorates.

This nonsense all happened about a year ago. We split custody of our daughter, Madison, and she goes to school in the Kansas City area while living with me. She lives with her mother during the summer up in Minnesota, where she's from.

"So, how do you feel about this year's team, coach? Are you going to pull off the upset next week? Iowa looks pretty strong this year," I asked him.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm nervous as hell. We've had a few incidents in practice, but nothing major. I just sincerely hope that we come out ready to play. Nothing frustrates me more than coming out and looking sloppy."
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:30 pm

[November 13th, 2015 - Game #1, at Iowa]

UMKC (0-0) @ Iowa (0-0) :: Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, IA (7:00 PM)

After nearly seven months of hard work and anticipation, our first game was finally here. However, that excitement and optimism turned to dread as the bigger, stronger Hawkeyes raced out to a 8-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. A 30-second timeout and a chew-out session later, we were able to work our way back and eventually have a small lead, 16-14, at the under-eight media timeout. It was a rough shooting day for both sides, as neither team cracked 40% in the first half.

However, Iowa closed the first half on a 19-3 run over the last 7:30 to take a 33-19 lead at the half. They would widen that lead at the worst point to thirty, 53-23, with 14:54 to go in the game. After that, back-to-back treys from Justin Smith and Brad Fitzwater trimmed the deficit to twenty-four, 53-29, with 13:03 left. But there was little damage from there, as the Hawkeyes cruised to an 80-55 victory that didn't even seem that close.

I thought we'd play better. It wasn't the debut I had in mind, but at least I had an idea of where we were at. I requested a tough road game right off the bat for this reason. We have a lot of work to do.

UMKC (00-01): 19-36-55
IOWA (01-00): 33-47-80

Points In Paint: Iowa 28, UMKC 20
Second Chance Points: Iowa 14, UMKC 9
Fast Break Points: Iowa 10, UMKC 10
Largest Lead: Iowa 30, UMKC 2

Player of the Game: Brett Johnson, Iowa: 12 points (4-of-5 FG, 4-of-4 FT), 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, block

Will Bedard: 11 points (4-of-10 FG, 3-of-8 FT), 5 rebounds, steal, block
Brad Fitzwater: 12 points (3-of-7 FG, 1-of-2 3PT, 5-of-6 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists

Tom Layne: 17 points (6-of-14 FG, 5-of-6 FT), 8 rebounds
Thaydeus Fitz: 10 points (3-of-4 FG, 4-of-5 FT), 3 rebounds
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:22 pm

[November 16th, 2015 - Game #2, vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff]

UAPB (0-0) @ UMKC (0-1) :: Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO (6:30 PM)

It was back and forth until the very end, but it felt good to get that first win out of the way. It was again a bad shooting night, and I was happy to see us fight through a tough offensive day. Our defensive effort was phenomenal. We also did a nice job on the boards, as we outrebounded a taller team 39-36, including seven offensive boards.

What won the game for us was the contributions of our bench, as we out-scored the Golden Lions' bench 37-14. I was thrilled with Justin Smith's eleven points, but had three turnovers with no assists. In spot duty, he could be an offensive force, but until he cleans up his game handling the ball, his minutes will likely be limited.

Lance Hemphill and Shyrone Forte got into another argument after the game. I got the feeling from re-recruiting him all those months ago, that he's been coddled and enabled by his parents and coaches. He's not a bad kid, but he feels he should be playing more. I guess Shyrone is the target for his frustration, but Shyrone had arguably the best game of anyone on the team tonight.

UAPB (00-01): 26-30-56
UMKC (01-01): 33-33-66

Points In Paint: UMKC 14, UAPB 12
Second Chance Points: UMKC 10, UAPB 1
Fast Break Points: UAPB 6, UMKC 4
Largest Lead: UMKC 11, UAPB 5

Player of the Game: Shyrone Forte: 13 points (3-of-12 FG, 7-of-9 FT), 7 rebounds, 4 steals

Brett Webster: 14 points (6-of-14 FG, 0-of-3 3PT, 2-of-3 FT), 4 rebounds, assist, 2 blocks
Eddie Nabors: 10 points (3-of-11 FG, 2-of-7 3PT, 2-of-2 FT), 4 rebounds

Justin Smith: 11 points (4-of-5 FG, 2-of-3 3PT, 1-of-2 FT), 3 rebounds
Brad Fitzwater: 9 points (2-of-4 FG, 1-of-2 3PT, 4-of-4 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists
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Chip N. Dale, UAPB color analyst

Postby 3manweave » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:28 pm

[November 17th, 2015 - UAPB campus, Pine Bluff, AR (8:00 AM)]

I know that I'm supposed to remain impartial, but I don't think that the better team lost last night. It was a back-and-forth, physical game that got out of hand officiating-wise; and then late in the game, a couple of questionaable calls went against the Golden Lions, which seemed to destroy their confidence, and they went on to win by double-digits with some late free throws. They had kept it within one or two possessions of UMKC most of the game, and that seemed to do them in.

It was a long, arduous bus trip home, as the bus broke down just past the Missouri-Arkansas border, and we had to wait three hours for help to arrive. By the time we pulled back into campus, it was well into the wee hours of the morning, and I was just ready to get home and get some sleep.
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Mason Jacobs, alumni and booster

Postby 3manweave » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:18 pm

[November 17th, 2015 - Mason's home, North Kansas City, MO (7:44 PM)]

Finally got to see our boy Cale in action last night. He doesn't know that I've been following him for a long time...ever since he set foot on campus. And I've been a fan and donor of the program long before he was a twinkle in his daddy's eye. I called Roast just about every day after Richardson stepped down to vouch for him. He wasn't the best offensive player, but played the game with a passion and it looks like that's translated to the bench. He got me fired up just watching him coach.

My daughter comes along to most games with me, but she seemed a little extra excited about this game for some reason. She likes watching the games, but she normally goes just to be entertained and not really to analyze the games closely. However, she didn't tear her eyes away from the court for barely a moment this time. It was....odd.

At any rate, it looks like we're going to be pretty solid defensively, but a poor offensive team if last night's game was any indication. Cale wasn't billed as a defensive guy, so it was a little surprising, but it'll be fascinating to see how his team develops this year. I think in the end, all of the stumping I did for him will pay off.
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