“You are going to go home with a lot of stories”. This has been a phrase that my basketball coach has told me numerous times since I have been in Belfast. Although it may become repetitive, it could not be truer. I have been put into a situation where everything is completely different especially in the basketball realm of things. Between the NCAA and Basketball Ireland, the whole process is set up in their own unique way. No need to show up three hours before a game starts anymore…an hour is what you need at maximum. Driving back through late hours of the night through different States…now grab a pint at the pub with the opposing team afterwards and stay the night. It’s funny how cultural differences take a simple game where you need to put a ball in a hoop and culturally evolve the sport based around the city or the country it is being played in.
So as repetitive as my coach may be, I am happy that he keeps reminding me of the incredible opportunity I have been given. The scholarship ends in May and basketball ends in March, so it is only a matter of months before everything is over. Rather than complaining about being in a van for a six hour drive throughout Ireland for a game, it is my goal to enjoy every minute of it. Whether it may be the fans with their strange cheers in opposing gyms, Lithuanians telling you something that is hard to understand so you just nod your head like you know what they are saying, or just the fact that I am playing the game that I have loved all my life on a much different level; these last few months will not be take for granted and you better believe they will be blogged about!