Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wooo Hooo!

Ok, so we are back on the winning track and it feels gooooooooood. Last weekend we played BG Herford at their place. No matter who you are playing, when you are the away team in Germany, you have to be ready for a battle. We came out in the first quarter ok with Trevor holding it down for the squad because everyone else was kinda being a bum. We were up after the first and than after a DISASTROUS 2nd quarter went into halftime down 8.

I have not written about this it all yet, but our team has been the focus of a major debate in all of the papers around our area. Ever since we acquired Junior, teams and players have been upset that we have so many Americans on our team and that we score around 90% of our points. They say how the young Germans need a chance to play blah blah blah and that if they can't with our team then when will they ever get a chance? Well, I don't know where these people are from (wait a second, I do, Deutschland) but where I am from you have to earn your minutes. Our young guys are just that, extremely young. They have so much to learn about basketball still and what none of these naive people understand is that prior to this season, none of them could have really played big minutes on any regionaliga team. But, by watching our squad in practice lately, I can honestly tell you that every single one of them has improved their games ten-fold just through practice alone, and it will end up benefiting them in the long run that we were all here to help them continue in their development. Ok, enough with the ranting and raving, I just had to get that off my chest.

So, I think Ivan was feeling the pressure and tried to play as many of the Germans as possible in the first half. Don't get me wrong though, none of us, including myself, really had our swagger in that first half besides Trev and therefore, we were losing at half. The second half, my friends, was a totally different story. We all came out heated after an intense locker room talk and within a minute or so into the third quarter had tied the game back up. From there, we just got after it on defense and shut them down. After giving up 53 points in the first half (WAAAAAAAAAY too much), we gave up only 35 in the second half and ended up winning by 18. I was finally satisfied with my play on Saturday, scoring 14 in the second half alone (I only had 4 in the first), and grabbing double digit rebounds. It felt damn good to put in some quality work on the court.

Here is a link to an article about the game. The rest of the week was more of the same. Lifting and work and cooking gourmet treats and watching 24 DVD's have all taken over my life. Jack Bauer is just an unbreakable, terrorist killing machine who will cut off your fingers if you ever say to no to him.

I miss my girlie and my fam and all my friends from home alot lately, but I am loving the experience over here still and Fletch, AO, Kev, and I are in the planning stages of Euro Trip '09 which will be ridiculous (and Brooke will be meeting us in Paris for the second half of this insane trip).

Oh, one last thing I totally forgot. So, on Thursday, Trevor forced me to go to this crazy public pool place in town where the average age is around 75 (no offense to anyone on the older side). I know what your thinking, ummmmmm, Matt - a public pool in Germany in February does not sound like the greatest plan.... BUT, it was legit. It is actually all salt water, massive and heated. You enter the pool from inside like a locker room and walk out and hang out in the hot water. There are these little seats where there are jets to massage your entire body and waterfalls and stuff. It was very cool. We treated it almost like we were back at school, going to the training room to get some actual healing for our aching bodies, and it worked.

Shoutout to the Lord Jeffs for getting two big NESCAC wins last weekend. I did get to watch the Bates game online and I love how our young proteges are just taking over the helm this year. Bauski looked great, Chibs banked in a free throw, and Marcus was still acting clutch. Beating Tufts always brings back great memories as well. Love to all the 09's and of course, to the rest of the squad as well. See ya next week!



Anonymous said...

Hey Matt,

It ist interesting to here some thoughts of a foreign player on the foreign player debate. Some teams asked for a rule to limit the foreign players to two. This rule should be implented in the 2nd Regionalliga (The League of Matt's team). I don't know how familiar you are with the german basketball system. So maybe it is hard for you to understand some of the arguments.

First of all i have to say that this rule is not against the american players. It is not their fault that many teams are playing so many of them. They just fullfill the dream so many kids have of being a professional basketball player.
The first problem is that many basketball clubs in Germany are not rich and they have to use their money wisely. Some teams like Werne spend their money on foreign players. Many clubs don't even have the money to pay foreign players. Some teams use their money mainly for youth development. But it is much easier to buy a good foreign player than to develop a good player. So the clubs who spend their money on foreign players have an advantage. But it would be better for the german basketball if more money was spend for youth development. Basketball is not a very popular sport in germany. There are much more kids playing soccer or handball than basketball. But if use the money for youth development you can change that. You can hire good coaches, organize basketball camps or organize basketball programs in schools. There are a lot more ways to get the kids do play basketball. But all of these ways need money. If you do this for a longer period you may get many good players and don't have to rely on foreign players anymore. If the teams are forced to spend their money on foreign players to compete in their leagues, they can't spend it on youth development. So The rule copuld change this.

Another point is that the league you play in is not a professional league. Most oft the german players just play for fun and they have a life outside of basketball. They play basketball in their spare time. Many of them will never get the chance to play professional. If a guy is 17 or 18 years old and has earned his playing time in this league, he has chance to get pro, but otherwise not..The players at the end of the bench and the players of the youth teams who are on the edge of making the team have a decision to make. They can decide to learn by training with professional players or leave the team to play for another team in a lower league where they can play.. Many of Werne's youth players have made their decision to leave the club. Maybe they do not get as good as they could be. But it does not matter to them because they would not get pro anyway. So they just decide to have fun.

The third argument is that teams who play with guys from the area are more popular. Some years ago Werne had a team in the same league you play in with only guys from Werne. This team waa as good as your team, but it was much more poular. The attendance of the home games were at least twice as much than this season's games and the support of the fans was better. The team split up because of a disput with the coach (Which was Ivan back then). But this is a different story. The people want to identify with the team and this much more easier with a group of local heroes and not with foreign players who leave after one season or even earlier. This is the reason why Handball is much more popular Basketball in Germany.

I hope you can understand the points i have made because English is not my native language and it is always hard to write such a text in a foreign language.

P.S.: I like reading your blog. It is always intersting to me to get an inside of what foreign people think of living here espically if it is basketball player ;)

Anonymous said...

Matty: Embrace Anonymous--have a good dialogue and advance the level of knowledge and understanding! Always a good thing.