Fro Checking In, Part 2
The first major event since my last column is that we’ve finished our preseason over here in Italy. Hallelujah! I really don’t mind all that athletic work (as a matter of fact, I love doing it with the team, as opposed to alone), but two hard practices a day really got to us, physically as well as mentally. Now we are looking forward to the actual competition, and it’s finally GAME TIME!
So far we’ve played four Italian league games and two FIBA Cup games. We are 5-1 now with one loss in the FIBA Cup against Mondeville, France.
This is my first year ever in international club team competition (FIBA Cup), and it is really neat. It reminds me of the “old” days when I used to play for the junior national team in Germany. When we were traveling from one country to another, being constantly exposed to different cultures, foods and climates.
Now when we travel with Rovereto (my Italian team), I feel a little bit like I am on the Italian national team – fighting for bragging rights in Europe. And so far, so good.
Overall, things have really been looking good for us. However, we have some challenges to overcome. One of them is our lack of height: Compared to most of the other teams, we are really small. The way we compensate is with our style of play, which is fast and aggressive. Believe it or not, I AM a part of this team philosophy. Fast and aggressive!
Another obstacle has been our game preparation. It has been far from perfect. We hardly ever have 10 players in practice, so we can’t run through 5-on-5 game situations. But the way we rise above this little challenge is one, that our coach tries his best to be creative with different drills, and two, we use our experience to mentally get ready for a game.
Once the jump ball is in the air though, we do what we do best: Play basketball and play our hearts out. So at the end we can only finish on top regardless of the outcome of the game. We give it our all and try to turn our weaknesses into strengths.
As a little update, my Achilles tendons are feeling a little better. I’ve been strengthening them, and I get ultrasound treatment on them. So I keep praying that soon they won’t be a problem for me at all.
Basketball aside now, I had the pleasure to host my mother and her little dog Teddy for almost two weeks. We had a blast going places (mostly to the Garda Lake, which is my mother’s favorite spot) or just sitting in my house, talking and relaxing, laughing and giggling. I can’t say enough how much my family means to me and how blessed I am to have each one of them. Being on the same continent and in the same time zone helps me a lot to stay updated in their lives, which makes me very happy.
Another highlight of the past month was definitely my visit to the NATO base in Vicenza. Here in Europe, I would call the base a “Little America,” because there are many American stores, cars and people. So I was able to buy some new sneakers, and of course, some goodies that I’ve been craving, like microwave popcorn and jellybeans.
The lowlight of the last month was definitely our trip to France. We left Rovereto on Tuesday at 5.45 a.m. and returned Thursday at 1 p.m. It took us 11 hours to get there, despite the fact that the flight from Verona, Italy, to Paris was only 1½ hours long. Let me just say it was a mess, between old buses and bad food.
Different countries, different customs, I guess!. That’s what I love about it, though: Experiences like this increase my tolerant level and make me appreciate the things I take for granted.
I would like to close with a little reminder: There are only 50 days left till my basketball camp in Las Vegas. I can’t wait!
Make sure that you read my next column, because I am going to have a little surprise for you.
Linda Fröhlich, a former All-American at UNLV, just finished her second season with the New York Liberty. She writes a column the first Thursday of the month in the Las Vegas Sun. Check out what Linda’s up to by logging onto her Web site at www.lindafrohlich.com