Photo Credit: Courtesy of Basketball Ireland
This past weekend I along with my teammates on the Ulster Elks traveled south to play in a preseason tournament in Carlow. The competition included teams throughout the country from Dublin, Limerick, Kilkenny, and Carlow. On Saturday, we played 3 games going 3-0 earning the first seed in the playoffs the upcoming day, which the pictures above show that we had similar success. A 5-0 weekend, winning my first piece of Irish hardware, and completing the preseason on a great note is an exciting way to be heading into the regular season this Sunday.
Is it weird playing in a new uniform across the Atlantic? Absolutely it is but it truly is a surreal experience. Growing up in the Midwest you become accustomed to a style of basketball, training/coaching methods, etc; however playing in Ireland against people from Lithuania, Spain, Croatia, opens my eyes to other elements of basketball. Shown below is a picture of Luke (other bball Victory Scholar) and I with our two Lithuanian teammates, Darius and Tomas. Although they may be hard to understand at times, they are teaching me the Lithuanian ways of basketball along with their language. Not sure if it is a good or bad thing considering red bull is basically their Gatorade, but it could not be more of an entertaining and educational experience. I’m thankful that all of my teammates are welcoming and who knows maybe my next blog will be partially in Lithuanian!