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 nice....as 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!
YESTURDAY...OCTOBER 15 (COllege basketball started) LETS GO GUILFORD BASKETBALL!!!
ps. Ben looks great and sounds like he is really doing big things over here!