WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2011
USA Blog #10: Learning Lessons
It's gameday again! Starting with a quick breakfast, we loaded the bus for a hour and a half drive for our second exhibition game in Vilnius.
The highway driving here is very similar to the U.S. We passed farms, car dealerships, hitch hikers, etc. While we coaches enjoyed the sights, the players are asleep of course.
Vilnius must be the BIG city in Lithuania, very much like Jacksonville is in Florida. You name it, they have it. When the players saw the McDonald's sign, they went nuts!!!
This game was against the Lithuania U-19 team, that features the No. 6 pick in the NBA Draft, Jonas Valanciunas. They look to me as the BEST team in Europe tonight, man they were good.
I was encouraged by our effort to start the game. We made some shots early and got stops. We were unable to keep that going for the entire game.
We also saw former NBA star and soon to be Basketball Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, who I'll get to see again in Sprinfield, Mass. in August when he's inducted with our own Artis Gilmore. His son is a player on the Lithuania team and Arvydas is gigantic - as you would expect for a guy listed at 7-foot-3.
After the game I hear somebody calling my name? It was Petras Balocka (former ETSU players, and member of the Smryna Stars AAU w/former Dolphins Ben Smith and Lehmon Colbert). It is truly a small world!
After the game, back to the bus for a four-hour ride to Riga, Latvia. The players are not real happy about this ride!
Our food for tonight was pbj sandwiches and Nuetlla Sandwiches (thanks admir and family for introducing me to this delicious treat)!