Ebony From Italy

November 23, 2005
Fever center Ebony Hoffman is plying her trade in Italy this winter, averaging 12.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for Polisportiva Ares Ribera, in Italy. Always lively and always animated, the second-year WNBA star took a few minutes to talk about her first playing assignment overseas.
Fever Website: You found a roster spot in Italy - was there any reason that you chose Italy?
Ebony Hoffman: “Well Italy is the place I’ve always wanted to go, even when I was younger.”
FW: Being in Italy must be good for your knowledge and experience in the wine industry! Tell us about your own winery in California, and anything you have learned while in Italy.
EH: Unfortunately, I have not had time to get the whole wine experience here, as of yet. The winery in California is left to the people that manage it, except for the marketing it is extremely hard to play overseas and do day to day operations of a winery.
FW: Where else have you traveled since being in Europe this season?
EH: “I have been to Nice, which is in France, and also London, Iceland, and Spain.”
FW: Word association! What words describe your visits this year to each of those countries?
EH: “O.K., word association, here goes. Spain, slow. France, incredible. Iceland, extremely cold. Italy, beautiful.”
FW: For the geographically challenged, describe Ribera and where is it located?
EH: Ribera is located in Sicily which is south of Rome. Ribera is also south of Palermo, which is the capital of Sicily. Ribera is on the southern tip of the Sicilian island and is surrounded by beautiful beaches. It is also a short boat ride away from Africa, a place which I would love to visit if I was given the time to do it.”
FW: Have you seen any of your Fever teammates so far? If so, when?
EH: “No, I have not seen any of my Fever teammates, but I have seen other WNBA players.”
FW: What has been your best game?
EH: “My best game so far was against the team in Napoli (shot 8-of-13, and finished with 19 points and nine rebounds against Phard Napoli, one of the region’s best teams.)
FW: What is the best food you have eaten?
EH: “The best food I have eaten is the pasta! It is to die for! They don't put all that butter or fatty stuff in their pasta here, everything is all natural.”
FW: What American food to you crave the most?
EH: “The only American food I really crave much is the salad dressing because, down here they only use oil and vinegar and you can get pretty tired of that.”
FW: What has become your favorite restaurant in Italy? And which American restaurant do you miss the most?
EH: “Here in Ribera, all the restaurants are the same and all the menus are the about the same. I crave variety from the states – like Benihana Restaurant. I miss having variety.”
FW: Describe any experiences with a language barrier since you've been in Europe?
EH: “It is extremely hard to communicate, but you find ways through pointing at what you want, and there are some English words that translate.”
FW: Do you have any comments or thoughts you would like to share with Fever fans?
EH: “I can't wait to be back in the states!”