Basketball… My first destination in Europe was in Kapfenberg, Austria. At that time the name of the team was Aflenz Basket Bears. In my second season, they changed to the city of Kapfenberg and the name was Kapfenberg Bears. Some years later the name changed to its current name of Kapfenberg Bulls. I spent 4 seasons there and had some measure of success. Kapfenberg has developed into the best of what Austria has to offer in professional basketball. I am proud to know that I was there when that upward trend started. It was at Kapfenberg that I broke my leg, and that moment changed the trajectory of my career and life for that matter. In my four seasons there, we placed three times 3rd place and one time 2nd place. I left Kapfenberg and moved on to Arkadia Traiskirchen. I only played one season there, but we were wildly successful. We won both the League Cup and the League Championship. Interestingly enough, we won both of those titles against Kapfenberg. I would lie if I said I was not feeling a bit of redemption by winning those titles against my former team. It was during that season that I changed my citizenship and obtained Austrian citizenship.
Life… I loved living in Austria. At first, it was weird especially since I could not speak German, but oddly enough, after I broke my leg, I immersed myself into the language and culture and ended up appreciating the country much more. Living in Kapfenberg was a slower life. There are mountains, the city is pretty small in comparison to other European cities I lived in but it has lots of charm. Traiskirchen is an even smaller city compared to Kapfenberg, but the difference is that the capital city Vienna is about 20 minutes away. I spent quite a bit of time in Vienna at clubs or hanging out with friends when I had downtime from playing or practicing. I basically only slept (sometimes), ate, practiced, and played in Traiskirchen. Vienna is a beautiful city and more modern than other cities in Austria although there is still lots of tradition, museums and cultural highlights there.
Next… After that lone season in Traiskirchen, I decided to move on to other countries. Now that I had a European passport, I was able to command more money because I no longer took a foreign spot anymore. I will forever be grateful for the teams I played for and the people I met in Austria. I might not live there anymore, but I feel right at home whenever I visit.
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!