Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Coffee Shops and Massages

     We got back on the wagon this weekend with a win over Wolfenbüttel and are currently tied for second. Wolfenbüttel is where Jägermeister was invented, but from what I saw, that is about all they had going for them. I had hurt my shoulder earlier in the week and was unable to practice. I tried to play a little in the first half but I couldn't move my right arm above my shoulder, which is pretty devastating for a right-handed shooter. Coach made me sit the second half so that I didn't do anything stupid. At the end of the first quarter we were down 12, but we ended up pulling out a ten-point win. After the game Coach said he was proud of us "for pushing our asses into the dirt." I think he was trying to say something along the lines of "digging our asses out of a hole," but he seemed pretty proud of himself, so Marcus and I just let it slide. Fun Fact: Wolfenbüttel was the first team to start putting advertisements on their jerseys in the 1960's. They were called sell-outs then, but now it is more common than not in Europe and is starting to creep into U.S. sports as well.

They haven't put up pictures from the game yet but here is one from last game. Check out the raggedy net. After four years with the Williams Athletics’ budget I am used to the hurdles you have to jump through just to get new nets, so I figured they were just very old. It turns out that these are brand new and that they pay extra for these because they think dirty long thread hanging from the hoop looks cool. Whatever.

Our game was on Friday so we had Saturday and Sunday off and planned a trip to Amsterdam.  When I say 'planned', I mean we put the address for the Flying Pig Hostel into our GPS, filled the tank with gas, and took off. For some reason, getting a hostel room before we left, checking the weather, or looking for parking options didn't cross any of our minds. I also forgot to charge my camera, but I guess that just means there is less documentation of our failed trip. We got there and it was pouring rain, no hostels had room, and all the overnight parking was $70. Great. We ended up walking around in the rain for most of the afternoon and driving back that night, but it was still a good time. 

Carnival in Dam Square

The trip was not a total failure; we did explore the Red Light District and wandered into a few coffee shops. Both of these are unlike anything I have ever seen before and it might be good that my camera had run out of battery by the time we got here. We also gave into our innate American tourist pull and bought T-shirts at the Hard Rock Cafe. Marijuana is legal in Amsterdam, and walking around the city you could tell the groups of teenage tourists who had come to the city to take advantage of this. We had a good time asking these guys complicated directions in a mix of English and German and listening to their confused responses.

The club finally came through getting me another job coaching a little kids bball team. I was under the impression that I would be an assistant coach and just help out with drills during practice, but once again, I was very wrong. They brought me to the practice, introduced me to the seven 10 year-olds that were there on time, and then told me they would be back in 2 hours to pick me up. None of the kids speak English and my limited German (corny pick-up lines and counting) was not very useful. The first couple of minutes were like the start to those really awkward blind dates you see on TV. These little ten-year olds and I were just kind of standing there, looking at each other, not sure what to do. Then one of them tried to read the back of my Williams Bball shirt: "eets a greet dey to bi en eph". What an icebreaker. From there things got rolling. We did a serious European warm-up and then played a marathon session of "bump" (their version of knock-out) for the next 30 minutes. We then had a serious scrimmage and did some dribble relays. There weren’t a whole lot of fundamentals being taught, but if I was ten, I think I would have enjoyed it. After practice, the organizer told me he would forward me the emails about coordinating tournaments with other clubs. I really hope they all get cancelled.

My shoulder is still pretty sore, and I haven't been able to practice all week, which is very frustrating. Even if our practices aren't the most thrilling thing in the world, sitting out is ten times worse. However, my coach has set up massages for me everyday the rest of the week to try to loosen up my shoulder. There is always a silver lining. 
My parents are flying in Friday and I am very excited to visit and travel with them this weekend!

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