My break in the States was awesome. I went back up to Amherst for a weekend, ate a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, and saw all of my loved ones as much as possible. It is amazing how much your baby niece grows in such a short time. She is a straight beast and I LOVE it. This is a picture of her and her proud papa on a beautiful winter trek. She is a tough one. While I was home, I had a part-time job slinging trees to well-off folks all over northern Jersey. It was ideal. I worked probably a total of 10 days or so and earned lots of loot due to my superior tree-carrying abilities and my old-lady charm. Those two characteristics combined to make me a force in the christmas tree tips game.
The rest of my time was consumed with physical therapy, helping coach basketball up at Delbarton, and making frequent trips to NYC to hang with the big bro and the gf (mostly the gf, Brooke.. haha). Coaching was awesome and I learned alot about myself by doing it. Shout-out to Coach Whalen and all my young guns for treating me well throughout the process.
Now, this past week in Germany has been full of ups and downs. My plane ride sucked as my row was the only row in the entire plane in which the stupid tv's did not work as well as the only row with 2 young German women with severely small bladders (I was the aisle seat). That, my friends, was a down. However, upon arriving in Germany, I was greeted by a familiar face in one Mr. Kyle Noonan and his friend Rob from Philly U. That was most definitely an up and I feel I showed them a great time while they were here, but you would have to ask them about that (wink, wink). We kicked it in Werne and I showed them the German ways of drinking Pilsners and eating late night Doners (pronounced Durnas), the greatest thing to come out of Turkey... well, ever.
They left on Saturday and the weekend continued the up and down pattern the prior week had held. On Saturday, we got a nice w to start off 2009, after which, I watched my beloved Lord Jeffs hold it down in Williamstown to get the rivalry win. HUGE... Now, you may be asking yourselves, "Matt, that sounds like a great weekend to me, I am sure you went out and celebrated after those wins Saturday, and anytime Amherst beats Williams, it is a great day so where is the downer of the weekend?" Well, yes, I did have a lovely time celebrating those wins with my teammates at a crazy Russian club and yes, I love when we spank the Ephs in anything, but on Sunday, the Gmen were knocked out of the playoffs by the stupid eagles. This would not have affected me so much but my wonderful girlfriend and her family got me something called a Slingbox for Christmas which led to me having the pleasure of watching the worst Giants performance of the entire damn year live on my computer. I do love that damn Slingbox though...
My game on Saturday was an interesting one. I was very nervous going into the game due to the fact that 1. I am not in tip-top shape by any means, 2. my shot had sucked all week long in practice, and 3. I am clearly still a little rusty post-injury. As expected, I started off the game by clanking a few threes, but I then proceeded to get into the flow of things. It always helps when you are being covered by an old German dude who had a game very similar to a combination of #5 and #9 in this glorious Youtube clip. I think I played pretty well, probably having 15 points and 15 rebounds by the time the last buzzer sounded - Marcus Camby-like numbers if you ask me.
This last buzzer sounding, however, had an interesting twist. For the first time in my long, illustrious basketball career (haha) I had a buzzer-beating shot for a win. It was actually a buzzer-beating tip in but whose counting. With the game tied and 30 or so seconds left, the other team ran a crappy play that lead to a bad shot and a TV Werne rebound. T (our pg) got the outlet and came down the floor with around 14 seconds left. We ran a sorta broken play that led to T kicking the ball out to our center who swung it to our 2 guard, Freddy. Freddy throws up a three that goes in and out with around 4 seconds left. As soon as he shot, I came flying through the lane at full force looking for the rebound.
My Amherst teammates understand exactly what I am describing because whenever I barrel through the lane it is usually followed by either a charge going the other way or an And 1 followed by a ridiculous celebration. There large immovable fat guy (see Youtube clip if you have not yet), does his best hack-a-shaq impersonation and fouls the hell out of me as I reach up and tip in the shot. As the ball fell through the net, the buzzer sounded and we got the W. I turned and in typical fashion held out my arms at full length and screamed jibberish towards my bench (it was an away game). It was a most glorious feeling and I was quite pleased with myself. I chose the picture above because first, it is a picture of one of our many, absurd smashings of Williams, demonstrating my pride in the young guns getting the W in Eph-land, but secondly, it is usually what I look like right before I either get a charge or an And 1 due to the fact that once I start going to the hoop, there aint no stopping me.
On a side note, I forgot just how terrible German refs are and how badly they despise Americans. This game quickly reminded me. I got a technical foul in the middle of the second half for absolutely no reason. It was confusing, but hey, alls well that ends well. This is the link to the article. The headline is something about the golden fingers of Matthew Goldsmith.. haha, I love it.
Congratulations to Amherst for getting the w vs Williams as well as big Kevin Hopkins for signing with a new team over in East Germany. I think all us Amherst boys are doing pretty well for ourselves over here in Germany. I miss you all and will try to keep you updated as much as possible throughout the next few months. Keep on keepin' on.
P.S. I truly appreciate when people make comments after each blog entry. It reminds me that I am actually writing this for more than just my immediate family (particularly parents) haha, no offense mom and dad because I would write it just for you anyway.