Tae’lor Purdy speelt sinds ongeveer een maand bij Lintex Binnenland en houdt in haar vrije tijd een blog bij waarin ze schrijft over haar avonturen in Nederland.
What a month! It’s hard to believe that I have been here for over a month and am getting ready to go back home for eleven days for Christmas! Since my last post, I have had the opportunity to explore more and become more accustomed to the Dutch culture. So far as a team since I have been here, we have won three games and have lost two. In fact, this weekend we will be playing in the Final Four Winter Cup in Amsterdam against the #1 team Lekdetec at 9 p.m. If we win Friday night’s game, then we will play in the Championship game on Saturday. Although I have been here for over a month, I am still trying to adjust to the different changes as far as basketball goes. It’s a very difficult transition and not one that is easily understandable unless you have experienced it. The most difficult challenge for me right now is adjusting to the traveling violation. In the states, as players, we are allowed a step before we have to put down our dribble; allowing for a quicker, more explosive step to the basket. In Europe, the rules are different in that tIMG_0101he player has to use a dribble before she can takes a step. Unfortunately this has been difficult for me to change as it is something I have been doing since I started playing basketball. I am going to have to work really hard to change my footwork and focus on using a dribble before I make a move to the basket. I have learned that it is something I can’t think about or fight as I will grow extremely frustrated with myself if I am constantly battling it. I wish I could explain more as far as the differences in the style of play are, but it is something that is hard to understand if you have not experienced it. Fortunately, I have been able to talk to some of my RMAC acquaintances, Vera Jo and Kelsey Sigl, who also played in Europe, and have been able to ask questions and share my frustrations. We all have a lot of similarities in our experiences and it is good to hear that I am not the only player who has faced some of these challenges.
Typically we practice three times per week and usually have one game per week. Traveling is very easy compared to the traveling we did in college. Our furthest away game is about two hours away. The Netherlands is a very small country; therefore, travel is very simple. Now that I have finished my master’s, it is time for me to find something else to do or study to keep myself busy. I have considered teaching myself how to speak dutch as I am constantly around it. There are a couple free websites that I have found that will at least give me a foundation for some of the basic words and alphabet.
In my free time, I find myself biking to the fitness center. We have access to a very nice fitness center that is about a ten minute bike ride from my house. I usually go there to lift throughout the week, do extra cardio, and spend my time in the steam room and sauna. Also because we have limited access to a gym for extra shooting, I work on my ball-handling skills and set up cones in the dance studio. 🙂
Let’s just say with all of the biking that I have done in the past couple of weeks, I am ready to enter in the Tour de France. Honestly, all I need now is some cycling pants and shoes. (So if anybody is still looking to get me a Christmas present….:)) Actually, biking has been IMG_0016a really good work out for me. It is amazing the work it does on your legs. In fact last Sunday, I was biking to the fitness center in “hurricane-like” conditions and never thought I was going to make it. Little did I know how difficult it would be to bike in the wind! Also, its never good to bike in the wind and rain while wearing glasses because once I got to the facility I could barely see the path in front of me. I was told there is a cycling competition here where people compete to bike in the wind. Sounds like a terrible idea to me!
This past Saturday I decided to take a trek to downtown Rotterdam. With help from the President of the club’s wife, Judith, I was able to find the best shops and a tram that will take me directly from my apartment to downtown. The good news is at the end of the day, I did a little souvenir shopping and made it back in one piece; however, in the midst of the process I got a little lost. The tram took me from my apartment to central station downtown, but instead of going directly down the streets to the shops, it took a little detour directly to the station. Once I saw this was happening, I just accepted it and decided to ask the closest person I could find how to get back to the main street. I am still struggling trying to figure out which direction is north, south, west and east, and unfortunately do not have access to my GPS on my phone unless I have WIFI. I wandered around for a little while and asked a few more people, but had very little luck. Usually, when I am in a new place I like to locate some type of monument that I can search for and walk directly to, but I couldn’t even find the tall church that I knew the location of! Without much luck, I got back on the tram, retraced my steps, and found my way back to the main street. Still several blocks from the shopping center, I walked a couple of miles and finally reached my destination!
Sunday we had our team Christmas party, and I had a great time! We had a very nice meal where we were able to cook our own meats, vegetables, etc on our ownIMG_0154 mini skillet and fire. This type of meal is typical dutch and a tradition that many people do around Christmas time to celebrate. It’s a great way to ensure that each person gets what they like to eat. Another dutch food that we made ourself is a miniature pancake. It is like a crepe and can be paired with powdered sugar and a very tasty sugar syrup.
On Monday, I attended an awards ceremony with the team as last year’s team was nominated as Rotterdam Team of the Year. I was invited to go to the awards ceremony which was a great experience. The event was very large and quite an honor for the team. It is an event that recognizes the toIMG_0148p athletic talent in teams and individuals who are from Rotterdam. Many famous dutch athletes and Olympians were in attendance. In fact, I saw Francisco Elson who played in the NBA for several years. He played for the Nuggets from 2003-2006, and played for many other teams including the Spurs.
I have enjoyed my experiences this past month, but am still trying to adjust to a new lifestyle! I look forward to coming home on Sunday and spending some quality time with my family and friends!
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