Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Exhibition Game #4

We played our fourth exhibition on Sunday. It was against the same team we played in our first game, Ashkelon. Both of our teams had some different players from the first time we played, and it's been a couple weeks so it was a totally different game. Our team didn't play very well at all... lots of turnovers and gave up alot of transition baskets. We were down 20 at one point. In the second half we started to play a bit better and brought the game to within eight or nine points but in the end we lost by ten or something like that. It was a pretty unimpressive showing by us. Personally, I didn't have a great game. On offense I felt pretty comfortable and was doing pretty well but defensively I didn't do a very good job. The coaches were talking to me about it the next day so I gotta step it up. We have our second practice of the day in a couple hours, then one more practice tomorrow before a day off for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new years) on Thursday. Friday morning we head out to Poland for the weekend for an exhibition tournament which should be fun

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The LAF

Some kids at Lafayette just wrote an article in the newspaper about grads who are playing professional sports. There was one segment about football, and one about basketball. Here's the basketball one:

http://www.thelaf.com/sports/o-hanlon-leads-lafayette-basketball-stars-abroad-1.2608909

Friday, 23 September 2011

Player Profile

Our team updated their website for the this year so people can see the whole roster. Got a couple different pics from our photo shoot day haha. And I know my black shoes don't match but it's all I had at the time.

http://bneihasharon.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4991%3AEshet-Tours-Bnei-Hasharon-mintz&catid=43&Itemid=149&lang=en

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Humosiot

Today Kyle, Jason, and I went to lunch at a well known humusiah in Ra'anana, the neighbour town to Herzliya. It was my first time eating at a humusiah which is basically a restaurant that serves hummus filled dishes. For example at the one we went to some of the dishes are hummus with eggplant, hummus with mushrooms, hummus with shakshuka (which is like an egg dish). I ordered the hummus and mushrooms. So when you order it this is what they do: take a pretty big bowl and fill it three quarters with their homemade hummus, put in a big scoop of the cooked mushrooms, and then some tahini, and top it off with some oils and parsley. Then you can get put in what you want like onions, harif (israeli hot sauce basically), pickles. Then they give you some tomatoes and olives in a dish and a bunch of pita's to eat it with. Pretty delicious but I feel like I could only eat it every once in a while

Preseason Game #3 vs. Ulm

Last night we had an exhibition game against German club Ulm. It was the first game that was open to the public and a couple hundred people came, many of them kids from the city/neighbourhood. Got to wear our real jerseys... they look alright but are kinda cheap. whatever. It was great to play in front of a crowd again, the seats are really close to the court so it's pretty cool. Anyways to the game. We started out the first quarter pretty terribly, it was 28-14 i think at the end of it. Coincidentally I didn't play in the first quarter. I got my first action at the start of the second quarter and played a good amount the rest of the game. From the second quarter on we played pretty well. outscoring our opponents for the final three quarters 54-49 but it wasn't enough to come back from our crappy 1st. In the end we lost 77-68. Our two top scorers, Dunn and Booker, didn't have very good games but we still had a lead for some of the fourth. So basically we didn't play great but we still had a chance to win the game. I only took one shot in the game and had 2 pts, but i did have many rebounds and some assists and steals. Often times I don't get alot of shots because of the other guys on the floor with me, but I've been playing well and the coaches have been liking what I've done, so that's great. We have a bunch of practices coming up before our team goes on a exhibition game trip to Poland for a couple of days starting next Friday. Should be a fun time

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Robbery

Filled up my car for the first time today... Costed me 350 shekels aka like $100. Not impressed.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The squad

Here's a pic of the team

Healthy Livin

Today after practice the team all went to the nicer consumer area in Herzliya (called Herzliya Pituach) to eat at our new sponsors restaurant, a place called Fresh Kitchen. They hooked us up with a variety of healthy salads and other dishes. It was a fun time with the whole team just hanging out. We also each get a voucher card from the restaurant that gives us 50% off every time we go there... Cha Ching. Some of the other guys, mostly the Americans, weren't feeling the food too much but I liked it. Got some interesting stuff on the menu
http://www.mishlohim.co.il/Menu.aspx?businessID=4794&n=%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A9%20%D7%A7%D7%99%D7%98%D7%A9%D7%9F%20%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%A6%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%94

Exhibition Game #2

Last night we traveled to Givat Shmuel to play the new team in the Ligat Lotto, Habeeka. Last year they won the second division so they got to be bumped up into the 1st. Unlike last game I didn't get the start, due to the arrival of our NBA-er Trevor Booker. But I still got to play a bunch. They started out the game on a 7-0 run, but our team quickly bounced back and got up by 15. I was 3/3 in the first half including a buzzer beating tip in before the halftime buzzer. In the second half the lead hovered around 9-13 for the most part and we ended up winning 76-60 I believe. Our team has been looking really good. Booker is an animal and had some incredible moves, but is also a good passer. Everyone on our team has been playing really unselfishly and it's been really fun to play with them. Another scrimmage coming up on Wednesday against a team from Germany, I think called Hollon or something like that... it's written in Hebrew so I don't know how it translates exactly

Thursday, 15 September 2011

NBA in the House

Yesterday our NBA-er Trevor Booker c/o the Washington Wizards landed in Israel and today he joined the rest of the team for practice (if you don't know the name here: http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/4270/trevor-booker). He's only like 6'7, but built like a truck... and is a shockkkinggg athlete. It's unbelievable. He wasn't really dunking alot for the most part... I guess it gets boring after a while haha (not that I would know). But a couple dunks he had were just ridiculous. Anyways he seems like a nice guy, was talking with everyone in the locker room pretty normally. Was a pretty tough challenge playing against him in practice, but I'm sure it's going to help me out alot. Sidenote, he was rockin a Gucci gym bag... swag for days.

On an unrelated sad note, my boy Ben tore his ACL in our exhibition the other day and is out for the season. Really sad news seeing as 1. he's my main man and 2. he was poised to have a big year for sure. He's a hard working guy tho so I'm sure he'll get back to where he was quick.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Gameday!!

Tonight we had our first preseason game against the team from Ashkelon (also in the ligat lotto). It was a back and forth game but we ended up making a run in the fourth quarter and winning by four i think. I played probably 30 minutes I would say, and am pretty damn tired. I haven't played in a real game in a long time (except my aberration game vs the US in China). It was great to be out playing again and our team worked pretty well together. It seems we have a very unselfish team and everyone works hard. We played some pretty serious defense for most of the game. I think the final score was 76-72. Our coach said he likes to keep teams to 70 and under so it was a good effort on our part. I didn't see the box score so I'm not sure what my line was, i think i was 3/6 for 6 points. I'm sure I had alot of rebounds though... was doin a jobbb. Their team was missing one or two players still, and we were missing our nba-er so obviously we'll be different teams by the start of the season, but its always good to win. Tomorrow we get the day off so get to relax and run some errands. 1-0 baby

Monday, 12 September 2011

Media Day

Today we had a normal practice in the morning, but something a little different at night. We all got to the gym and got ready to play, but instead of full practice we had our 'media practice'. A bunch of different reporters were in the gym, as well as a number of fans. A bunch of pictures were taken and some people gave interviews (sadly not me. I know, shocking). Then we did a couple drills, practiced our plays, and had some shooting contests. At the end all the kids were there cheering for us got to come on the court and mess around. It was fun meeting some people, and playing around on the court with some of the kids. They were pretty funny and were loud. They had some cheers and also brought drums to beat during practice. It was pretty much our version of midnight madness (in college hoops). Anyways here's the link to the news story with a video. The interviews are in hebrew but check it out if you want.
http://www.one.co.il/Article/11-12/2,620,1347,0/186854.html

Tomorrow is our first scrimmage against Askelon (also in the first league). Should be fun

P.S. yes we signed autographs

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Bit of basketball

For many of you this will probably be meaningless, because its actual basketball talk. So if you don't care about that kind of thing don't even bother with this.

Today in practice our coach said something interesting about the plays we were running (we have like 7 or 8 of them i guess so far). He said that some of the plays we run just so we can get a good feel for how they work, because many of the other teams in the league do them. So if we know how they work we'll be able to defend them better. Like one play we were practicing today he said probably around 8 of the 11 opposing teams run it. Anyways I thought that was a pretty interesting idea. And it's not as annoying as it would sound because the plays are all really simple. I guess at this level it's more just who has better players on offense so most of the plays revolve around a few things: 1. getting someone a post touch. 2. getting someone (a shooter) coming off a screen on the wing, and then a wing isolation if they want. or 3. getting into a ball screen action somewhere. Well number 3 is the most likely, although there is a play which is basically to get me the ball in the post, which is awesome. Literally every play revolves around these things... and at it's most basic, every play boils down to a ball screen at the end. Israeli basketball is very ball screen oriented... Which is fine with me, since I'm great at it (woooooo). It also means that we have to guard alot of ball screens... which I'm not great at, but getting better. Anyways practice has been going well. The first team of the 3 americans, me, and my boy ben have been beating up on the other guys abit. Tuesday we have a scrimmage against one of the other teams in the league, and wednesday our nba-er Trevor Booker is arriving so we'll see what that'll be like

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Photoshoot Day

Oh yea, today before practice we had a photo shoot thing haha. Everyone got photographed individually wearing white and then blue uniforms, and then we took some team pictures. Pretty jokes stuff. Jared Mintz rookie cards coming soon

Gettin into the thick of things

Thankfully some of my preseason soreness has abated in the last couple of days. We've been learning the offensive sets and started feeling each other out a little bit basketball wise. For me learning the plays always helps so I've been steadily improving in practice. The coaches have a pretty high opinion of me and keep telling me to be aggressive, make moves, and take shots so it makes it alot easier to play freely. One practice tomorrow, one friday, and saturday off. Then we have some exhibition games coming up next week which should be fun.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Squad Up

First real practice was today with the whole team. Well actually one guy was missing. Trevor Booker, from the Washington Wizards, wasn't there because I guess he's too big time and is coming a little late. But the three other  American import players were there and we had 12 guys at practice. Did some usual stuff but then played 3 on 3 with everyone. The Americans can hoop something serious, and with Booker our team could be pretty sick. They seem like cool guys too, talked to them a little bit. Anyways should be a good year. Tomorrow is our first two-aday so we'll see how that works out.

Drive to Jeru

Since I got my car this week I decided to drive to Jerusalem to spend Friday night with my family. I've haven't seen them in a while since I was out of the country for a while, and then they went on a little vacation too. It was my first serious drive (well semi serious.... around an hour+ drive) and my aunt was very worried. The drive up to Jerusalem is actually really nice. It's up in the mountains so you have to go through some really hilly/curvy areas but there are really nice views all around. All the way up to the city my ears kept popping every couple minutes. I also felt like my engine was going to explode from over exertion but it held up. My uncle met me on the road when I got to Jerusalem and guided me out to the suburb they live in (Pizgat Ze'ev). Had some good food, hung out, and shot some hoops with my cousin. Headed out after lunch today and door to door it only took me an hour to get back, which is pretty sweet. It's awesomely convenient having the car

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Whip game

Here are the pics of the car. Straight fast and the furious in this piece