I hope this finds everyone starting their New Year off exactly as they envisioned. My time at home for Christmas was very short. I think I had four or five days there, but at least I was able to make it home. I would have had more time, but I was stuck in Rome's airport for almost 28 hours. I flew from Athens to Rome on Alitalia Airlines at six in the morning with no problems, but when I got to Rome the flight was supposed to leave at 10 a.m. and it was delayed until noon. Again, no problem. I found a corner, cuddled up in it and did what I do best ... sleep! I woke up to find a group of about 40 people around the check-in counter screaming only God knows what. I asked around only to find out that the airline's grounds crew members had gone on strike and our flight was to be delayed another two hours. Again, no problem - I'll grab something to eat and by then it will be time to board the plane. Wrong again. I came back to the counter to find about 75 people screaming at the same woman. To make a long story short, the airline kept delaying the flight every two hours and would never flat-out cancel it because they didn't want to be responsible for accommodating passengers with food and hotels.
I met a group of about seven other Americans and we learned that the flight wasn't going to take off at all that day or any time in the next three days. My new friends decided to stand in line and get reimbursed for everything. I assumed that if I did that I would never make it home. I was able to purchase a ticket on a different airline scheduled to fly out the next morning.
With about 14 hours to waste in Rome, I figured I would wander around and check out the sites. Bad idea - everything was closed. No tourist spots were open, and there was nothing for me to do but find another corner, curl up and go to sleep. The group of Americans I met was just getting to the front of the line of the Alitalia line when I boarded my plane the next morning. I hope they all made it home safely! I never in my life have been so happy to be on American soil. I drove straight to Taco Bell, showered and slept until the next day. I had a great time at home, but of course my bags didn't arrive in the U.S. until after I had already left to go back to Athens.
Anyways, I can't believe it's the end of January already! Soon enough we'll all be back in the Key starting a new season. I was so excited when I talked to T and she said she was coming back to Seattle. She was a huge part of our success last season and I am sure she'll be even better this summer. I talked to Shy after she had signed with Chicago and told her that while I was very sad she was leaving, I was happy for her because it sounds like a good fit. I am sure she'll be a huge success there and it's only about three hours to Nap-town!
My team here in Athens is playing some pretty good ball right now. After returning from a very short Christmas break we had two tough games in the Greek league. I don't think there was any way we could have played worse in that first game, but fortunately we were able to sneak by and win by a point. The second, the one that probably determined whether or not we would win the Greek championship, was against last season's champs. My team was down by three at the half, but was able to hold them to only four points in the third quarter and take over the game. We were never threatened during the final period. Everyone on my team is on Cloud 9 and hopeful that we are able to run the table the rest of the Greek league season.
In Eurocup, we are still alive and kicking and play a team from Israel this coming week. They are seeded higher than us, so we will play at home first. I am not sure on where the second game will be played, because even though the war has calmed down in Gaza we are still cautious to fly anywhere near there. Adia was on that team, but they recently released all their American players for financial reasons. I'm currently trying to talk Adia into giving me some tips on her former team - I think she might be willing to help. ;)
Outside of basketball, life is good here. I spend a lot of time with my teammates - they are really great people. I had a friend come visit for almost two weeks and that was fun. My mom and brother are coming over here in March, so I am counting down the days until then. The majority of my time is spent playing PlayStation - I recently won the World Series with the Cubs. Yes, it's just a video game, but one of these days (in real life) they are going to win it all. Now I am finishing up a season in NCAA 09. My team is Davidson because Stephen Curry is just flat out nasty! Lastly, here's my Super Bowl prediction: Steelers over Cardinals (... and yes, that really hurt to say T)!
Until next time,
RIP Coach Yow