www.baltimoresun.com/sports/high-school/varsity-letters/bal-milford-mill-senior-guard-karahn-alston-writes-about-his-experiences-at-the-basketball-academy-20140122,0,6066577.story

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Milford Mill senior guard Karahn Alston writes about his experiences at the Basketball Academy

8:00 AM EST, January 23, 2014

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During the school year, Varsity Letters will periodically ask student-athletes from various sports to step in as guest bloggers. They will share their personal thoughts during pivotal stretches of a given season.

This week's guest is Milford Mill senior guard Karahn Alston, a captain and sixth man for the No. 2 Millers. Alston averages eight points and five assists for defending Class 3A state champion Milford Mill, who are 8-2 on the season.

The Basketball Academy, in its 18th year, starts on Thursday and continues through Saturday at Morgan State. Milford Mill will take on No. 12 Dunbar at 8 p.m. Friday and then No.1 City at 8 p.m. Saturday. 

Here's what Karahn wrote on Wednesday about past experiences at the Basektball Academy and the upcoming weekend:

The Basketball Academy created an opportunity for me to develop great strategy skills to be successful. The Academy is more than just basketball. It opened my eyes to what life has in store for me beyond putting a ball in a basket. The classrooms we attend allow us to work together as a team, grasp knowledge in the books, learning real life challenges, as well as being informed about various scholarship opportunities.

Being honored to be part of the Academy, I feel I have an edge for the best step in life. Throughout the day I was there, I felt I was constantly learning and constantly being educated. We had advisors who actually cared and wanted us to be successful no matter what our lifetime goals are. They understand the life of being a high school student-athlete, and know what it takes to make it in life.

I'm looking forward to this weekend's upcoming games. It will be some tough battles that will require our team to come together and stay focused to overcome our opponents. Coach [Mike] Silverman has a plan in order to win and, as players, if we follow what he says and believe in our system we will come out victorious. The games will draw a lot of attention. But not many people are aware of the hard work and time set aside to be ready and prepare for games like these. They only get to see the outcome. We play City and Dunbar, two well-known teams in the Baltimore City. I look forward to playing these games for my senior season! With the preparation during the offseason, I have no doubt in my mind my team is ready! With the experience of playing under coach Silverman my last 3 seasons, I have a good understanding of what is needed in order to be successful. He has helped develop me into a leader on this year's team, basically being another coach on the floor.

Due to the weather, it causes us to be out of school and away from practice. It is not as easy as it seems! It can take away your mental focus and your efficiency, but we must remain humble and continue to work no matter how bad the weather may get. With these weather changes I grew mentally. I still look over my school work and I still work out. I may not be able make it to a gym, but I do push-ups and get outside to take a jog in my neighborhood, which helps me stay consistent. I know in life after basketball, I will be able to handle adversity because times like these I don't take for granted. I actually look at as an opportunity to get better!

Karahn K. Alston

Senior, PG - Milford Mill Academy