Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Basketball is kind of a huge deal here"

So I dont know if you heard but I kinda had the best week ever here in Gambia. Oh whats that you did not hear? Well let me fill you in on what went down. So I came into kombo to take part in this basketball clinic that was being put on by the embassy. Over the phone I was told "there will be about 80 students and 20 or so coaches that we will be training." In reality we ended up training about 35 coaches and over 300 students....ya basketball in Gambia is a much bigger deal than I anticipated. It was GREAT these coaches were so passionate and willing to learn more about the game and the students were just happy to be bouncing a ball that did not have lumps in it. In addition there were some suprisingly talented players out there. I enjoyed myself immensely despite the language barrier and the excess amount of people. Seriously guys basketball here could really take off, we had some games on Friday and there were an amazing amount of fans present there to cheer on their favorite players (more than Crescent games). Everyone was dancing, cheering, and having a great time.

Now that alone did not make the best week ever. The man who coached the clinic was good ole Tommy Davis. For those of you that have never heard of him he was an ex NBA player who played in Europe and is now the coach of a proffesional team in France. This dude is straight up awesome, he invited us to hang out at his hotel on a daily basis. I know that may not seem much to you guys but this is a five star quality hotel we are talking about here. So like I hung out at the pool and on the beach and uh a man living in a mud hut this was the high life. On top of that the embassy thanked us for helping out by buying us lunch at the most expensive resturant in the Gambia....oh M G that lunch was amazing. The coffee was real, the food was delicious, and the dessert was to die for.....I mean at this very moment I am struggling putting my feelings into words.

Ya awesome week....and I know some of you back home may be struggling to find the  'awesomness' in all of this but trust me it is there you just need to live here for five months to find it. On top of all this the embassy found out I was a basketball offical in America. So now they want me to basically spearhead this project in training basketball officals around the country. Their hope is that with my help and training we can establish a national Gambian Officals Association. Which you know is prett epic when you think about it, me being directly responsible for the training of dozens of officals who will one day be officiating a sport which I am really confident will explode into a national phenomenon. Whatever I am super excited about all this, I arrived here under the assumption that I would play little to no basketball and here I am helping coach the national team and training motivated officals who are eager to learn more about the game.

So there are a lot of great pictures on facebook of the clinic for those who want to see some proof that this is in fact what I am up to here. I am just way to lazy to post them here so deal with it. Anyways that is what is going on in my life and I could not be more excited about it. Hope all is well in Merica.....cheers.

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