This weather is depressing, I have not seen the sun since I have been here. It gets light here around 8:30-9 and somewhere around 3:00 PM the night process begins. As I was walking the street lights turned on at 3:05!!!(It is crazy stuff). It has also been raining a lot which will change to snow in a few weeks I’m sure.
The weeks activities included a PR visit to a under privileged school in Sodertalje, a massage for the leg, and a plane ride to Lulea. The gym at the school was smaller then a cracker box, there soccer field was made of gravel and the school itself looked like it has been limping on a broken leg for a few years now. The kids were excited to see us and I was glad I could provide some excitement for them. They were around the ages of 4th grade to 1st grade. They spoke very little English (they all knew how to say “my name is”, “how are you”, and “I’m good”), but that did not keep us from having a good day. I took the girls and the other player took the boys. We had dribble races, shooting contest and a couple games of Simon says. It is amazing how much more girls listen then boys (I’m glad men grow out of this habit). At the end we signed autographs for the kids and handed them a little sheet (not sure what was on it) and called it a day. I really need to remember to bring a camera when I do things like this to liven up the blog and for my own memories.
The week also included a massage on my leg to help get the juices flowing around the injured area (I suffered a huge charley horse in practice). It was a very painful massage, but worth it at the end. The team has a chiropractor, massage people, and even that Chinese thing (acropuntcial or something). I will need to take advantage of these services to keep my body up and running. The interesting thing I have noticed is when you go into these nice offices or even the gym to watch practices, it is a custom to take your shoes off (we even do it at the entrance to our locker room). I’m sure it is pretty smart especially when the snow comes down a lot more. Another thing I have noticed in the countries I have been (France, Hungary, Germany, and Sweden) is that all the mail carriers are on bikes. Wouldn’t that be a smart to implement in America? I mean how many mail trucks are out there, and they almost walk all the time anyway. The government might as well give them a bike (just a thought, would not change much except have really fit mail carriers).
We flew to Lulea for the game on Friday. It was about a two hour flight. We left around 6:45 from Sodertalje to drive to Arlando Airport (about a 40 minute drive). The plane ride was quick and easy and those engines put me right to sleep. It was a lot colder up north, but I did finally see the sun (it only raised enough to get over the buildings). We stayed at comfort suites, it was very nice and cozy. We ate lunch, pre-game meal, and after game meal at the hotel (they were all good meals). I have started a new tradition which I started in Lulea, which is to buy a postcard at all away game sites and write the stats, result, and anything remember able from the game/place. This will be pretty cool to turn into a big poster or picture later. I will discuss the game in the team part.
We had an okay week of practice. The team struggles to stay focused for a whole practice. The longer we go the worse we become. I ran into one of our guys in practice getting a charley horse and twisting my ankle at the same time on Wednesday. It was not a fun time at all, but the charley horse turned out to be worse then the ankle sprain. It kept me out of the morning shoot around the next day. Like mentioned above the massage helped to get the soreness out and it did not hamper me at all in the game. After last weeks loss, coach has taken a lot of the freedom out of the offense. This actually has helped and in the game we did not jack up another 37 threes. He has spoke with me and would like me to still be aggressive and look for my shots.
The game started out a lot like my first game here where we got off to a very slow start. After we settled down we played a lot better. I came off the bench and scored three straight buckets including one three. The second quarter was filled with them getting fast break lay-up after lay-up. We were down 10 at half. I started the second half and we eliminated the fast break from them. We had the lead with 3 minutes to go (up 5) when they decided to make four threes consecutively. We went back and fourth until the end when they hit the game winning three with 1.7 seconds left. I heaved a shot just in front of the half court line that went long. The place and the team we played (Planja) is considered the best team in the league as well as the hardest place to play. If we keep the effort we showed that game I think we will win a lot more then we will lose.
Personally I ended up with 11 points (4-6, 2 FT) and 7 rebounds. I had a diving save in fourth quarter and an assist from my knees that was pretty nice. I played very well defensively playing their four man and also guarding there point and shooting guard. I had 3 strips and 1 steal. We have a quick turnaround with a game Tuesday. Again if we play with the same effort and stick to the offense we will be fine. I like this team and believe we have a chance to be good. It is still early in the season and we are playing without our American center that will be here in December. He will not be a savior, but he will help a lot on the boards and other teams’ bigs.
A side not from the game was one of the Americans on Planja was Dan Opperland. He played for Valparaiso last year.
This is BC gone for now
P.S. I'm working on adding a slide show along with mixing up the templates to find one that works for everyone. I have been having a hard time figuring everything out, but hopefully i will work out the kinks soon. Thanks for your patience.