Germany has come and went; I spent a week in Giessen, Germany trying out for the 46ers. Surprisingly, I played very well considering only practicing twice in three weeks and a few beers from Ireland in me. The first practice, I scored 9 of the 15 points in a practice scrimmage. The second day was not as good as I had no legs under me and it was a morning practice. Thursday I picked up where I left off on Tuesday playing really well both offensively and defensively. After talking with my agent the only complaint coming from the team was that they were concerned about my athleticism because I did not jump very high on my jump shots. This made me laugh pretty hard because if players athleticism was based on jump shots would Shawn Marion be in the NBA? (A player for the phoenix suns that shoots like a five year old and that may be giving him a compliment, but can’t jump out of the gym). However on Friday the team decided not to pick me up for an extended contract. They had nothing but praises for me on how I play defense, my basketball intelligence, and work ethic along with my character (that is a given;)). The coach told me I should for sure pursue a pro career over here and that I must play in the high divisions because that is where other guys know how to play the game as well (not just one on one). He said many were wondering why he brought me in when I was only averaging 7 points in three games for a third division French league. He mentioned that he quickly shot those people down knowing that I am a player who knows and plays the game the right way (thanks for the help with that Butler).
After all the praises they still needed more of a four man to complete the team this year. This seems to be a pretty common occurrence recently, but I have made sure Chris (my agent) knows to market me as a 3 man who can play 2 or 4. I have had four coaches tell me since I have been over here that I am true three who can play a little four but can guard 2,3,4 (for those of you who read this and are not up with the basketball lingo it basically means I’m a small forward that is versatile). The coach in Gieseen mentioned staying in touch with me because I would be a player he would want in the future I just don’t fit the need of the team right now.
Luckily, on that same day I got word from Sweden that they would like me to play for them starting November 16th. This is good news for me for a couple of reasons. First, it means I get to come home for a couple weeks. This is exciting due to the fact that I get to see a couple Butler games, family, girlfriend, and tie up some lose ends. Second, I liked the situation in Sweden. It is a team that is playing well without any Americans and the other American they are bringing in I worked out with this summer. The town, coach, and players all seemed to fit with me in my short stay in Sodertalje. I would also be playing the small forward spot along with helping out on 2 and 4 position as well. The team is called the Sodertalje Kings. The season is shorter then most European countries however depending on how far you advance in the post season determines how much longer you stay. Finally, it is nice knowing I have a team and a place to play. I liked doing this traveling thing, but I came over here to keep playing and I have missed playing games.
I could not get home without having one minor setback which was at the airport when trying to get the ticket changed. I was able to change my ticket from Mulhouse to Paris with no problem. On the phone the airlines said it would be no problem to get a flight in Paris. Upon arrival that was a very different story. So I had 4 days in Paris until I could fly out. I took a train into the city and stayed at a hostel very close to the louver. Everything in Paris is actually really close and I did a lot of walking in the first day. It is not as fun without having a travel buddy or someone you can take pictures with, but I managed and now can guide people through Paris ( at least on how to get to the louver and Eiffel tower, anything else your on your own). I actually volunteered to take pictures for people (it reminded me of the coke commercial where someone does a helpful deed and it continues on).
It rained on Monday so I enjoyed about 7 hours at a Starbucks typing up the blog and catching up on some of the American shows I have been missing. Tuesday was spent seeing Norte dame, Eiffel tower, and some other monuments around Paris. As I’m typing this part I’m actually sitting across from Notre Damn after going to the top. The church is really magnificent. The very top was closed today so I guess that will have to go on the come back list. The inside of the church just really makes you wonder how they could build such a master piece back then. After touring Notre Damn I headed down to the Eiffel tower. I did not think it would be that far of a walk, but I think I was not heading exactly the right way and wound up about a forty minute walk from it. I talked with a hotel and they led me to the right bus to get there. I waited in line to climb the stairs, then to go to the very top, then to come down. It would not have been that bad if I would have had someone there to talk with. I was not awe struck bye the tower because you see so many pictures (plus Kings Island has one only theirs is lime green). My last hours in Paris were spent purchasing the most expensive banana split in the world (8.50 Euro but did taste pretty good after climbing over 1,000 stairs and walking half of the city) and spending my second night in Charles Da Gaulle. Most people don’t even make it to Paris once in a lifetime I have adorned there dirty floors with two sleepless nights now. I still have a lot I did not do here in Paris so I still have reason to come back.
There will be no blog updates until I return to Sweden and start winning games or at least playing. I’m going to enjoy my two weeks at home although I will be working to get myself back into game shape (may have to recruit some Butler help with that one). I will also be working on getting all my pictures on a slide show or something similar for your viewing pleasure.
Until then friends………
P.S. I know I mentioned about taken over the 3 on 3 tournament this summer in Frankfort. I will be doing a lot of work on this project while at home and if anyone has any interests in being a sponsor or a volunteer for the event (July 26th ) that will benefit the Boys & Girls club please give me a call or shoot me an email.
Phone #- 765-535-4905
Thanks for the help..
This is BC gone for now