Wednesday, October 29, 2008

From Bosnia to Romania

As I said before, the traveling has picked up immensely since Israel. We left Sarajevo, Bosnia on thursday the 23rd to travel to Targoviste, Romania, by way of Munich, Germany (yes, this was a long day). Luckily we had the afternoon off. One of the Globetrotters played in Romania for a few years so he took us out to see Romanian night life ("Rare Air" is his nick name, he used to play on the "And 1" tour). Rare (as we call him) took us to a night club called "Bamboo." The club was probably one of the craziest places i've ever been. They had a performer, dancers on stage, flashing lights, chest throbbing music, it was simply crazy.
Targoviste was very neat city with many casinos, big office buildings, many American restaurants like Pizza hut and McDonalds, and tons of stray dogs. One downfall about Romania that we all quickly found out is that they do not have laundary mats. Instead they only have dry cleaners (very expensive), meaning all of my clothes are getting washed by hand!!! Anyhow on Saturday we played a game in Targoviste. The crowd was slim but everyone really seemed to love to show. Luckily we did not have to travel the next day, meaning we could sleep in a little bit. The hotel that we stayed at was very nice (a 5 star) with a casino in it. Many of the players and staff stayed up most of the night gambling, ha. On Sunday we relaxed most of the day before playing another game that night in a near by town called Ploiesti. The crowd was HUGE. I think we have gotten the biggest reaction and excitement out of the Romanian fans thus far. After the game we all went back to the hotel to get some rest, as we had to leave at 8am the next morning. Monday morning I woke up very early (around 6) to allow myself some time to eat the complimentary breakfast before getting on the bus (I forgot to mention that the complimentary breakfasts around here are not the typical cereal and toast found at hotels in the U.S., instead they consist of an omellete station, eggs benedict, bacon, ham, sausage, fruit, all types of bread, cereal, hashbrowns, you name it they have it). Our bus ride to Lasi, Romania was all of 8 hours. After arriving at our hotel we only had about 30-40 minutes before we had to get back on the bus and go to the gym (although going to the gym extremely earlier can be tiring, I kind of enjoy it because the coaches will drill players that want to workout and it gives me a chance to improve my basketball game). The game that night was just as thrilling as the night before as fans went crazy over the gags and jokes that the globetrotters do. After the game we signed a few autographs and went back to the hotel (Don't misunderstand me on the autograph signing. After the game the globetrotters stay on the court for about 30 minutes to sign autographs and the generals are not allowed. Our stardum comes from the fans who hunt down the bus and wait until everyone comes out of the locker room. Nonetheless, I feel great everytime I sign an autograph, even if I think the kid has no idea who I am, ha). The next day we had yet another long bus ride (6 hours) to Brasov, Romania. We stayed at another 5 star hotel (there was a ferrari, bently, Rolls Royce, and Range Rover parked out front). The game that night was very exciting as we played in front of a packed house with many young Romanian kids who seemed to love basketball and were fascinated with the show.
Today we had an 8am departure. After eating my usual delicious breakfast, I got on the bus for about a 4 hour bus ride to Targu Mures, Romania. We just arrived about an hour ago at a nice hotel. I just found out that there is a sauna, a pool, and a work out facility, so I may try to make use of it before we leave for the game at 5:15pm. Hope everyone is doing great back in the states!! We leave tomorrow to head for the Canarie Islands I believe. The Egypt portion of our tour has been cut out so we play in the Islands and then head to Morocco before heading home. Hopfully i'll be able to keep you updated on my last week or so.

Go GUilford BBALL!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Turkey and Bosnia

After leaving Israel our traveling picked us significantly to say the least. We left Tel Aviv on a Friday morning to go to Ankara, Turkey (after 2 flights). That same night we played a game in front of about 5-6 thousand people. The people in Ankara really looked at us like celebrities! We spent the night in Ankara and left the next morning by plane to go to Izmir, Turkey. We played a game that same night and the attention in Izmir was just as great as Ankara. After the game we were bombarded by little boys and girls who kept saying they loved us and did not want us to go (security actually had to control the situation). The next morning we took another plane ride from Izmir to Instanbul, Turkey. Again, we played a game that same night in front of the biggest crowd yet (maybe 10 thousand!). After the game the promoters said they would take us out to dinner so we quickly went back to the hotel and got back on the bus. The promoters took us about 30 minutes away to a extremely nice restaurant in downtown Instanbul. The restaurant was on a little island in the middle of a river where we had to take a ferri to get to it (it was amazing!). The next morning we got on a plane once again to travel to Bosnia. After landing in Bosnia, the bus took us to a place called Zenica where we to play a game that same night. The game was very different than the others simply because it was played in Bosnia Universitys gym. The gym was similar to a high school gym in the US, and the atmophere was great considering it was jammed packed. The Zenica game was last night for me. This morning we were all very happy to hear that we would be traveling by bus the rest of the week. Today we traveled about 2 and a half hours to a place called Tulza...I may be mispelling that. Tonight we have to travel about an hour to play in an 8pm game. We arrived in Tulza at about 1pm so a few teammates and I were able to go explore the town and grab a bite to eat at a local cafe. Everywhere we go people turn their heads as I am walking with americans that are no shorter than 6 foot 5 inches. Anyway, we met some locals who were so excited to see americans that they bought us hour passes to a little internet spot. As for the rest of the week, we are all over Bosnia by bus until friday, and we play a game everynight. Ill try and keep you updated!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

More of Israel!

Israel has been amazing. Last I wrote on the blog was sunday when we had just arrived in Tel Aviv. Since then a lot has gone on. Monday we did not have a game, but had practice at around 10am. Some of the globetrotter coaches are very generous and have taken some fellow teammates and I to the gym early for individual workouts! It is nice to be able to do drills with some very elite athletes in the globetrotters. After practice we went back to the hotel and I called Ben's (Ben strong) Israeli cell phone. Fortunately he picked up and told me that he was going to come to Tel Aviv and pick me up!!! Sure enough, an hour later Ben and his girlfriend from greensboro (kelly) came to pick me and a few teammates up and we went back to Ben's apartment in Haifa (Man it is crazy that I am seeing Ben AND kelly half way across the world!!!). We spent the night at Ben's place and were able to meet a lot of his friends and teammates from Haifa. Ben's place is really well as the city of Haifa in general! Tuesday morning Ben drove all of us back to Tel Aviv and we were able to rest a little bit before our game that night. Our game was scheduled for 730pm at the Nokia Hall in Tel Aviv. Again, the globetrotter coaches allowed a couple of us to come early to the gym for a little workout before the game (little it was not!!). The game was packed with fans and the atmosphere was simply amazing. Personally I connected on one three and a few lay-ups while taking yet ANOTHER hit in the loss column. Surprisingly some of the fans cheered for the generals (i'll take it!). After the game we all showered up and headed for the bus....signing autographs along the way (oh yeah, the generals sign autographs too!).
We did not have a game on wednesday but had to be on the bus by 2pm to go to Jerusalem! The day in the Jerusalem was moving to say the least (I could write about 10 pages about it so it may have to be a story I tell in person). After Jerusalem we went to a couple professional Iraeli league games that were only a few minutes from Jerusalem. The games featured players such as Adam Haluska (Iowa), Brian Randle (Illinois), and Brian Roberts (Dayton), along with many other players from the US. It would have been great if Ben was playing, unfortunately was going to play the next day. After the games we went back to the hotel and hit the pillow, exhausted after the long day.
Today was another game day, but an afternoon game which started at 4pm. After getting another pregame workout in with my roommate Antwan (We went through shooting drills, dribbling, etc) we hit the locker room to get ready for the game. It seemed as though the crowd was even bigger today. I am lucky enough to lead the generals onto the court (being the shortest player), and I just can not explain the feeling I get running out into a huge arena with thousands of fans (not always cheering for you, but making noise non the less). The game went smoothly. I hit a three, made a few lay-ups, and had a nice little floater. Also, I had a big time block (I know its crazy) against one of the trotters--which he did NOT seem to be so happy about (Oh yeah, I loved it!). After another agonizing loss, we all hit the showers again and headed for the bus. However, this time when I walked out of the doors from the locker room I was bombarded by a huge crowd of Iraeli kids who wanted everything from a picture, to an autograph, to a hug, and on and on. WOW, I really felt big time...looks like the generals have fans after all because I made it clear that I was not a globetrotter. After the trip back to the hotel I huried to drop my bag off in my room and walked with a few teammates to the internet cafe where I wrote my first blog from Israel.
Tomorrow we have a 6am departure to Turkey where we will play a game the same night.
Another day, another country, and more basketball....I can't wait. Love you all. Go GENERALS!


ps. Ben looks great and sounds like he is really doing big things over here!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tel Aviv, Israel

Our team arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel at about 9 in the morning on Sunday. Tel Aviv looked a little like I thought it was going to, with many big hotels and many tourist spots. It is particularly nice that the city is right on the Mediterranean sea (beautiful beach), and the weather is very nice (70-80 degrees). Our first day was a relaxation day and we were able to go explore, or try to stay awake as long as possible in order to get a good nights rest. Today, or monday, we had practice at Nokia Hall...the gym where the professional team Maccabi Israel plays (Carlos Arroya plays for them). It was very neat to see a professional team overseas, as Maccabi was coming onto the court as our team was leaving. It was also cool to see one of the Israeli teams that Ben Strong (my former teammate) will be playing against. I actually was able to contact Ben through a computer message and he was able to call the hotel that we are staying in. He also had practice today but I think that he will be able to travel to Tel Aviv and hang out later on today.
As for games, we dont play until tomarrow night at 7pm as well as thursday night. I am very excited for our games!!! Also, our day off on Wednesday should be great, as our bus is offering to take us to Jerusalem and then take us back to Tel Aviv to go and watch one of Maccabi's games in Nokia Hall. Right this second I am sitting in a internet cafe with some of my teammates Dean, Grant, Brian, and Antwan, along with some of the globetrotters (Turbo, Stormin', and Rare Air). I am excited about the rest of this week....wish the Generals luck as we will attempt to get our second win all time vs. the globetrotters.

GO Guilford Basketball!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Today was my first game as a Washington General. The game was in Harlem, NY at the Harlem Armory in front of about 2-3 thousand intercity children. I was very excited for the game even though our wake up call was 5:30am!! Luckily I was able to participate in the game, as one other rookie General and I were the only newcomers that played. The show was so much fun and received priceless reactions from the children. I played in the second quarter and scored a couple lay-ups and a short jump shot. I also have been chosen to be the Generals' player that puts a glass covering over the globetrotters basket (due to my height, ha....ha) in the third quarter (by means of a ladder). I did not receive a very positive response from the crowd to say the least! Overall, our team did a great job in the show and shot lights out. Unfortunately, we came up on the short end once again....losing to the darn globetrotters 92-86!! Maybe next time. As for the next few days, we have a couple more practices before leaving for the Mediterranean on Friday. The journey has just begun!


Monday, October 6, 2008

Training Camp

Friday, October 3rd started my journey as a Washington General. As soon as I flew in to JFK airport at 3:50pm, a bus transported me, my teammates, and many members of the Harlem Globetrotters to a very nice hotel in Long Island, NY. The feeling I got on the ride to the Hotel was very fulfilling as I found myself interacting with basketball players that I often watch on the TV. The days at training camp so far have been filled with a lot of basketball, food, and meetings. Here is a quick overview of a typical day of training camp for me:

7:00am - wake up call

7:30 - a VERY delicious catered breakfast w/ Harlem Globetrotters and personnel

8:20 - bus leaves for the gym (can not be late or you will be fined...not used to that one)
8:50 - bus arrives at gym

9:00 - stretching begins

9:10 - practice begins (includes many shooting drills, going over plays, playing games against the Harlem Globetrotters, etc.)

11:50 - Practice ends

12:00 - Lunch is catered to the gym (So far we have had Boston Market, Subway, and a Ribs meal from some restaurant...mmmmmmmmmm it was all very tasty!)

1:30 - Stretching begins again

1:40 - Practice Begins again

3:50 - Practice ends (We are all usually very tired)

4:00 - Buses depart for Hotel

4:30 - Buses arrive at Hotel

6:00pm - 9:30 Dinner is catered at the Hotel followed by a loooooong meeting of some sort involving how to deal w/media, how to manage money, Globetrotter history, etc.

All of my new teammates are very nice, and the veterans of the team have really helped the new guys to learn the ways of the Washington Generals. My roommate is a guy named Grant Herren who actually played at Presbyterian College. This is his second year w/ the Washington Generals, and much to my surprise he happened to play w/ Rhett Bonner while in college. Rhett played with me at Guilford this past year after transferring from Presbyterian. It really is a small world!! Grant is a very solid player who often holds his own against the Globetrotters during practice. Grant is also the captain of the Generals this year. I am very excited about the upcoming tour to the Mediterranean. It is still hard for me to believe that I am able to continue to play basketball after college?!?! Anyhow, it has been a very long day and tomorrow is picture day, meaning wake up call is at 6 O'CLOCK!!!! Goodnight to all!


--feel free to leave any comments or questions about my journey with the Harlem Globetrotters, I will be happy to respond or answer any questions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Well....after being in New Jersey working all summer it is time to get back into shape. I can't believe I get to continue to play basketball this next year. The wrist surgery I decided to undergo at the end of this past school year has set me back a little bit in terms of my strength and basketball skills, but I am lifting and running every morning as well as drilling and playing pick-up with the Guilford men's basketball team. I am slowly starting get my strength, conditioning, and basketball timing back and it is very exciting. Only a few more weeks (oct. 3) until I leave for New York where the Washington General training camp will start. I can't WAIT!