I’ve never been one to log my daily activity via social media, so bear with me. Before I dive headfirst into the ins and outs of the world of professional basketball, let me give you a little background…
My name is Travis Warech and I love my job. To some, basketball is just a game, but to me (and those of us fortunate enough to call it work) it is much more. The game of basketball has taken me many places and these days I find myself in Germany, halfway across the world, chasing and living the dream of playing professionally that I’ve had since I was a kid. I spent last season with the Oettinger Rockets of Gotha, a team in the German Pro-A (2nd division). It was a great experience for me to live on my own: you really find out a lot about yourself living independently.
This year is already different as I am beginning my second season overseas, now playing for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg of the German first league, or BEKO BBL. My girlfriend (Brooke) and our dog (Cricket) made the trip to spend the year with me. We are coming up on our third week here and are getting acquainted with the great city of Ludwigsburg very nicely. I was able to get a basic understanding of the language having spent time in Germany last year; however, it is definitely a challenge getting around for us without being able to speak fluent German. We are certainly trying!
I arrived in Ludwigsburg on a Sunday, which, for anyone who has been in Germany on a Sunday, knows it’s a pretty uneventful day being that all the shops and grocery stores are closed. To date, we’ve had one week of practice and orientation, one week of preseason training camp, and three practice games. Practices have been tough especially during the week of training camp (where we took on 3 –a- day practices) but we are competing and laying the defensive groundwork that will definitely pay off during the season. We’ve been fairly successful in the games too, edging out Wurzburg & Nuremberg (Pro-A teams) at home, before losing a tough one to Braunschweig (BEKO BBL) on the road. Even though we took the loss, it was a good learning experience for us: I think we all realized how much collective focus, concentration and effort it takes to win on the road. For me, it was the first time I played in a first league arena: walking into the immense gym was a bit overwhelming initially, but once the game started, basketball became basketball and I felt right at home.
This past weekend, we were lucky to have a day to ourselves, and Brooke and I certainly took advantage of the off day. We took Cricket on a long walk behind our flat, and stumbled upon huge cornfields and lots of farmland. We had no idea that only a few hundred steps behind our apartment building in the middle of a city, lay acres of gorgeous rows of corn and other crops. It made for a really nice morning, especially since Brooke grew up on farm back in the states. After our walk we explored the city, grabbed some lunch at an outdoor Italian joint, followed by some delicious gelato and “spaghettieis” afterwards. Gelato I’ve had before but "spaghettieis" was something new and very unique. They ran vanilla ice cream through a pasta maker (hence the name), drizzled some strawberry sauce over it and served it over a dollop of whip cream to create this ridiculously delicious concoction. I am sure we will be making another visit before the warm weather fades away.
Anyhow, that is all I have for you guys this time around. We have couple games coming up when we travel to Heidelberg for a practice game tomorrow, and then to Nuremburg for a tournament later this weekend. Updates are certainly coming soon. Until next time, bis später!
Travis Warech is a second-year guard out of Ithaca College with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in the BEKO BBL and will be chronicling his season in Germany. For more on Travis Warech, visit his player page here.
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