Ireland Hoop Journey
Phillip Lawrence-Ricks in his second post on myhoopjourney shares as he continues to make adjustment during his rookie season in Ireland. He also shares his experience during his first game of the season and the difference between college and professional basketball.
It’s been a little over a month now here in Galway, Ireland and everything is going great. From my first post, I explained my extreme jet lag. That took relatively a week to overcome. To get my body accustomed to the new time zone, I went to sleep when it was about 11 o’clock PM here and woke up at 10 AM. I also drank lots of water and did alot of stretching in the morning and at night to get my legs back in the swing of things.
I was able to settle into my house nicely and go food shopping which was very difficult at first. It took my a while to search and see exactly what I needed since food is differnt over here. The meats and dairy are much fresher than those of America, and different items such as Gatorade, and various cereals aren’t sold here. After a few trips to the grocery store I was able to get used to what was sold here.
Now we are into a the first full week of the regular season and things are going smoothly. We had 3 days of practice before our first game. I was able to meet all my teamates and begin to learn the new offense and defensive schemes of my new team. The practices were relatively easier than my college practices were, but when we played 5 on 5, there was definitely a difference in the physicality of the game.
That Saturday was our first official league game against KUBS in Dublin, Ireland. That team had 2 Americans, where most teams in the league might only have one. I was very anxious to finally play my first professional game having I had not played a “real game” since my last game in college.
I started the game red hot, making my first 3 shots in a row. One thing I had heard about before from other professionals was that the refs don’t give Americans many calls, and sure enough this was the truth. I drove and finished through contact nurmoerous times, but there was never a foul called. I played through this and didn’t let this affect me. We played hard nose denial defense which took our opponents out of their game plan and ended up leaving either a 17 point win. I finished my first professional basketball game with 24 points and 20 rebounds, which then earned me Eurobasket.com Player of the Week honors for Ireland