Chemistry, it’s a fickle thing, but man oh man, is it a delight when you attain it. When you think about it, team chemistry is the ultimate gamble; the odds of merging 10 or more random people together, asking them to play varied, yet specific roles all for the benefit of the group—well, it’s a tall order. Piggy-back that with the pressures and emotions of competition and…well, you got yourself one fickle pickle. Overseas pro-hoops is particularly precarious. Career longevity is almost solely contingent on production which creates an obvious degree of narcissism. But what trounces an athlete’s ardent self-importance, you ask? Really awesome team chemistry. It just so happens we have just that in Wolfenbuttel.
Coming off of the Freiburg win, we were feeling pretty good. Everyone was on the same page and things were really starting to fall into place. Our chemistry off the court was finally translating on the court and we were starting to put 40 mins of basketball together. We faced Osnabruck at home next, a team we were tied with in the standings, a team we expected to challenge us, and thus, an opportunity for us to rise. By half we were up nearly 30 and we continued to dismantle the panthers until the final score read 97-49. Talk about rising, we were flying high after that game. The Osnabruck win was a perfect illustration of our team, our chemistry, our balance, and our capability. Everyone scored, many in double digits (I had 14), and no one played more than 22 minutes. Chemistry.
Wasserburg was our next challenge, our next opportunity and this would certainly prove to be a bigger one in both regards. Wasserburg was the heavy favorite this season to win the league, though honestly they are always a contender. But this year they seemed to have picked the best players from each of the teams last year and fashioned an offensive power-house. But see, the problem with those teams are, everyone wants to score all of the time. They lack that something, we’ll just call it chemistry. And I think I mentioned before that we had exactly that. We started out strong playing tough defensively and executed fairly well offensively. At half we were up 5. The second half was a different story, a story that I can summarize in two words: technical fouls. The refs called 4 in the second half, 3 almost simultaneously on Wasserburg and two on their head coach, who was consequently ejected. Their 3 T’s followed a shooting foul called for me, prompting a not so subtle disagreement from their coach. This led to me shooting 8 free throws in a row (6 for the technicals and then 2 for my original shooting foul). Despite standing at the free throw line alone for an uncomfortable amount of time, I made all 8 to extend our lead to double digits. Wasserburg put up a fight and made a couple runs, but we stayed together and battled back and pulled off a respectable 12-point win. I finished with 26 points and 6 boards and more pride in our team than I’ve ever had. Wasserburg arguably has the more talented team, but we have the chemistry. I’m no chemist, but it would seem sometimes that’s just as potent.
This week might have been just the greatest week EVER when you combine our win with our thanksgiving celebration. We were granted Tuesday night off and since cooking a thanksgiving feast is no small task, we figured dedicating an entire day to it was wise even if it meant celebrating two days early. So after morning workouts we all rushed home and spent hours slaving over the stove and oven and microwave; unless you were making deviled eggs, in which case you boiled eggs for 20 minutes, did some yolk mixing and BAM, your masterpiece is done leaving you time for a cozy cat nap. The genius that I am, I was sure to secure this job as I did last year. Anyways, when it was all said and done, we had all the trimmings of a buffet that would satisfy any thanksgiving meal aficionado and we ate all of it. I mean we really did our land-stealing ancestors proud. But more than just devouring food, we all gave thanks and stopped to appreciate how blessed we are to be together doing what we love. And because of that I count our thanksgiving a success. Annnd because my food coma didn't kill me. It was touch and go for a while. Kudos to us.
Christmas is a mere month away, which means the Christmas markets are just a week away! And it means that Morty, Bri and I are starting our 25 days till Christmas movie countdown. I won’t lie, we have already started—we watched Home Alone the other night. There’s just something about Kevin McCallister’s clever shenanigans and silly antics that I find wildly amusing. Tis the season right?