Thanksgiving in Macedonia

26 11 2010

Even though I’m halfway around the world, I have many things to be very grateful for, and Thanksgiving 2010 was very special.  I am very lucky to have Americans teammates to experience Macedonia with.  And perhaps I’m even luckier that 3 of them are married!  The women never let a holiday or holiday cooking pass by without a little hoopla.

Since our coach is American, we only had 1 morning practice (I began jogging)  to free up the day for food, football and falling asleep.  David and Anna Buchberger hosted our Thanksgiving at their apartment and Anna, Halee Stimson and Sara Jakus did the cooking.  They had to get creative with some recipes but their creativity was perfect.  We had a huge Turkey which Sara went to the capital (Skopje) for, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, corn, a pretend sweet potato dish and 3 amazing desserts!  I probably left a few foods off the list but it was all phenomenal.

It’s not very often that it hits me that I’m so far from family, but it did.  I always miss them, but it only hits me from time to time because I have years of experience in being away.  But I spent some time walking around the city and actually stopped by a small Orthodox Church and enjoyed some alone time.  Then I was able to talk to almost everybody in my immediate family on the phone which was great. I also received some Happy Thanksgiving messages on Facebook which was nice.

All in all it was a special Thanksgiving.  But I again forgot to get the camera out for pictures…


Important Win to finish the 1st round

21 11 2010

We had a big win last night to finish the first round of games.  We played solid throughout on defense and had a lot of guys step up. The final score was 80-77. The win was important because it put us in 6th place to start the second round of games, and it proved that even through all the injuries and adversity thus far in the season, we are still a playoff team.  We are improving and are excited to play our next game this Saturday against the number 1 team in the league.

Injury Update

13 11 2010

Needless to say, the last 3 weeks has been eventful.  Thankfully, I think everything is settling down now.  3 weeks ago, I hyperextended my knee in a game.  It felt pretty bad but I hobbled around and played a few more minutes in the game.  When I went to see the local doctor, he just poked and prodded and said, “rest for a week.”

A week later I tried to play and still had significant pain with jumping and running fast.  So I asked to see a different doctor.  This led me to Skopje and the best sports doctor in Macedonia.  He did the standard procedures and took an MRI.  He then told me I should have arthroscopic surgery that would include micro-fracture surgery.  I never imagined my knee was bad enough for surgery but based on the MRI he felt I should. The findings from the MRI were an intense bone contusion, a lesion on the bone, some fluid in the knee and some retracted ACL Fibers.

That’s when I contacted doctors in America.  All 3 doctors told me not to have surgery!  So now, I am doing rehab according to their plan and hope to be back in action soon.  Thank you for all of the prayers and support.

Not enough time to get the Win

9 11 2010

On Saturday, we played Torus at home.  We dug a whole but kept fighting til the end.  Torus was happy to see the time expire because we had all the momentum down the stretch.  To see the box score click HERE.  If you notice that I didn’t play, I will send an injury update very soon.

With the Kids

5 11 2010

Every Tuesday and Thursday I go with a teammate (John) to a nearby village called Novo Celo.  The trip takes about 30 minutes by car and feels like we’re going into the middle of nowhere.  The gym sits on a hill with nothing else around, but on the inside 40-50 kids await our arrival.

We have had a lot of fun working with them in the last few weeks.  The kids are very kind and are a refreshing end to the day.  And even when we forgot to bring the basketballs on Tuesday, they participated in some high-level duck, duck, goose 🙂  It feels great being able to make them smile.

Here is a photo of John lifting one of the kids up for a dunk from our first visit with our entire team.


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