Basketball… After leaving Portugal, I played for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in the BBL (1st League). Oldenburg, at that time, was incredibly ambitious and had big plans for the future. I was a part of that building process in the lone season I played there. The season in Oldenburg is honestly the season I look back on and am disappointed with my playing performance. We made the playoffs but lost in the first round which was somewhat of a success. Personally, though, I think it was my worst professional season. I did not live up to my expectations and I am sure I did not live up to the expectations of the team. For some reason, I was not a great fit although I loved playing there. I was fortunate to play with one of my best friends, and the team, coaching staff, and organization were all excellent. I learned a valuable lesson of how to deal professionally with not being the first, or second, or third option on a team. I am proud of how I dealt with my frustration during a challenging season though.
Life… Oldenburg is a typical northern German city. There are about 160,000 residents but it seems much smaller. It is a quaint and quiet city that has a lot of charm. The town is basketball crazy and the fanbase is knowledgeable and intense (in a good way). In my opinion, they have some of the most loyal fans in the league. I had no problems living in Oldenburg. It probably helped that I could speak German already but in general, I have always found Germans to readily speak English to foreigners. In France it was different. My coach spoke about 70% French from day one, and although Paris is a world city and most people CAN speak English, I found them unwilling if they did not have to. Germans on the other hand seem more willing and open to speaking English.
Next… I was extremely disappointed when my contract was not renewed after the season because I wanted the chance to prove that I could play better. In the end, the club made a decision that they felt was best for them and I had to accept it so I moved on to my next destination…England.
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!