Monday, 26 December 2011


Ah, I also forgot we went to Jerusalem 2 weeks ago as well to tour around. After our game vs Netanya we drove straight to my cousins house to spend the night. We got an early start (like 730am blehhh) and took the train from the suburbs, where my family lives, to the last stop up on Mount Herzl. There we went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum. It was the first time I had been there, though I had been to a Holocaust museum in Washington DC, and Mere had never been to a museum like that before. Obviously it's a very powerful place and we both took it all in. Not exactly an uplifting morning but it was good to see. After finishing at the museum we went up the mountain a bit more to see the famous military and political gravesites and memorials. It's kind of a peaceful place with nice views. Also got a peek at Theodore Herzl's grave, the namesake of my current home Herzliya.
(view of the museum from the mountain)

When we were done there we hopped back on the train and headed into town where we got off at whats called the Shuk in Hebrew. It means the market and its a fun and kinda wild place. They have a million stalls selling fruit, baked goods, spices, snacks, everything you could think of. It's a great place to just wander around and see and taste different things. Unlike at home, you can just sample things in the street and often the street vendors will invite you to come eat their products. We bought a couple different things, all food, and had lunch with my uncle, who was in the area, before continuing on.

After leaving the Market we started the walk to the Old City section of Jerusalem. It's the really historic part of the city with all the famous religious monuments. It was a pretty nice walk and we stopped in at Ben Yehuda Street which is basically an outdoor mall. It has lots of cafes and shops but most of the stuff is pretty touristy so we didn't buy anything really worth mentioning. By the time we got to the Old city it was getting close to sunset. We had to walk through another market-like passage way for something like 25 minutes before we saw the sign directing us to the Western Wall. When we got there we saw lots of people and tours, but not a crazy amount as there sometimes are there. It is quite the tourist attraction for people of all religions and we saw tour groups from Italy and China among others. We put our notes in the wall, as is customary, and took some pictures before getting ready to go. 

By this point the sun was down and it was getting cold. We wandered around the Old city making our way back to the gate we entered at and headed back to the train stop. A half hour later we were back at my cousins house and soon after on the road back to Herzliya. It was a really busy day but we had a lot of fun.

The Baha'i Gardens in Haifa

Forgot to say, I think it was the Saturday before our game against Netanya. Me and Mere (the girlfriend if ya don't know) drove to Haifa to see the Baha'i Gardens. Baha'i is the youngest religion in the world and they have two shrines/gardens in Israel, one in Haifa and one further north in Akko. This is the website for the Haifa gardens The drive only took about 45 minutes and was really easy. Once we got there we got to look around the shrine area a bit before it closed, which was cool. The shrine itself is obviously something to see but surrounding it are many trees, and well manicured lawns with flowers and designs in with the plants themselves as well as different colour stones.

Then we drove further up the mountain to the top of the actual Gardens to take a tour. You start at the top and work your way down to where the shrine is. Its quite a ways down and has some pretty crazy views. I thought there would be more colourful flowers or something, but maybe its because the weather is getting colder.

Anyways the tour was nice and we got to see some cool stuff. The drive home was quick and our day tirp was complete. Good times

Game 9: @ Ashdod

Next game was at Ashdod, the third team in a tie breaker with us and Netanya... so obviously another big game. We came out alright doing our thing, playing how we planned. But with a couple minutes left in the 2nd quarter we started to collapse and ended up being down 9 points at the half. Not much to say about this one. We came out in the 3rd quarter and played horrendously. The game was effectively over within minutes. It was embarrassing. I played for 1 minute at the end of the third quarter.... so that sucked. We ended up getting completely blown out. Needless to say the locker room was on edge after the game. Hopefully we can pull it together a bit soon

Game 8: vs. Netanya

Continuing our homestand against Netanya, who were 1-6 at the time I believe. Huge game for us because if we win we'd move into 8th place and be back in the thick of things. One of their Americans, Jerome Randle, had just gotten out of his contract because he's trying to make an NBA roster, so they were down a foreigner. Then in the opening minutes their starting centre, an Israeli, went down with a knee injury, so he was out. And a second foreigner had foul trouble and only ended up playing like 10 minutes probably.... But even with all this, we played like shit and lost the game. It was horrible. I only played like 3 minutes in the first half. had 2 points and 2 rebounds. Not sure why I didn't get to play but it was crazy frustrating especially because I had done well the last game, and also for the few minutes during this game. Anyways huge loss that dropped us into a three way tie at the bottom of the league.

Game 7: vs. Ashkelon

First game with our new coach was against Ashkelon, a team that had started the season out incredibly but was on a downswing after one of their foreigners (Raymar Morgan from Michigan State) had a season ending knee injury. We started the game off very slow, and were down 14 points before we knew it. Thankfully we turned it up and came back to even things out. I played maybe 6 minutes in the first half and contributed with some offensive rebounds and a couple points. By halftime it was a close game, I think we were down 2 or something. Anyways second half was more of the same, back and forth. In the third quarter I continued to play well and helped our team get the lead back. Fourth quarter I didn't play but we ended up making a couple huge plays that allowed us to get and hold on to the lead. I think the final score was 101-96 or something like that. Obviously not a great defensive showing but we finally won and got out of the hole we were in. I finished the game with 5 points and 6 rebounds in 13 minutes. First game in a while a really felt good and comfortable and great feeling to win it at the end.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

New Practice

Now that we have a new coach practice has changed up. Warning, basketball philosophy stuff coming. He wants us to put pressure on the ball at every position. For example if I'm guarding the opposing 5 man at the three point line to pressure him and bother him out there. Also wants to fast break more, get the ball out of the basket even when we get scored on and run. But on the other hand he is more of a controlling coach than our last coach, and wants to set up the plays if we don't have a quick basket available.

We stop practice a lot, A LOT, so that he can correct and tell people what he wants them to do and how to run the plays and such. It was a drag at the start because we stopped a crazy amount but its been better.

He also implemented a whole new set of plays. I think he only kept one or two of the plays we previously had. So alot of our time has been spent learning the new ones. I'm pretty good at that kind of thing so not too big a deal for me. I usually help out the other guys with it. Anyways practicing away getting used to the new stuff

Changin it Up

On Monday, after the game, the team management fired our coach. We were 2-5 at the time and had lost 4 in a row. I feel bad for him though because he was a good guy, and we lost a couple heartbreaking games where if we'd have won he would have surely still been with us. Three days later a new coach was hired. He's a friend of my agent named Adi Azoulay. A good guy as well, more serious and hands on than our last coach.

Game 6: vs Galil/Gilboa

This game was a month ago (4 games back) and we played at home against Galil, a team from the north. At the time they had been on a 5 game winning streak including the Israeli league as well as Euro Cup (I believe). The game started off pretty well and was up and down. I got some time in the first half and played ok. Didnt do much of anything good or bad. At halftime we were down 3 points I think. In the second half Galil started playing better and went on a run. I think their lead got up to 10 or 12 points in the fourth quarter before we started making a run. Udoh played incredible for us finishing with something like 22 and 13 rebounds or something like that. Fueled by a couple big plays by him we cut the lead down to 4 or 5. At that point it was time to foul and we went back and forth sending Galil players to the line. In the end we managed to cut the deficit to 2 with Galil on the line. The player missed the free throw but Tweety Carter's desperation heave was short and we lost another game by two. Sad times all around.

I'm Baaaaaaaaack

Sorry for the lack of updates (if anyone cares that much). Was on blogging hiatus for the duration of the gf's visit. Not to worry I'm bout to go on a blogging rampage to catch up. Stay tuned San Diego