Monday, October 17, 2011

Skopje, Macedonia

I have some exciting and important news as you all eagerly await Very Bad Trip Part II. I have signed a contract to play in Skopje, Macedonia for the 2011-2012 season. The whole process moved very quickly but I am here playing for MZT Skopje and have already played my first regular season game. It was a little bit of a process getting here so here is the story.

Last Sunday, October 9 I received an e mail from my agent saying that I had an offer from a team in Macedonia. It kind of took me by surprise because I didn't even know I was being shopped around in that part of the world. In fact, I had to look at a map to find out where Macedonia was. I remember learning about the area in Western Civilization but that was as far as my knowledge went.

I am married and of course I have to discuss the situation with my wife before accepting any job. Liz knew as much as myself on Macedonia which was basically nothing. We went around and around but the team needed to know that night and we came to the conclusion that we couldn't accept the job. We just didn't know enough about the situation to accept it and were comfortable turning down the job for this reason and I thought that was the last of it.

I had an e mail from my agent the next afternoon saying the team really wanted me and they had offered more provisions for my wife and me in the contract. They even said that I could come and check out the situation and if I didn't like it then I could return home. This seemed great to me but I still had to talk it over with Liz. After discussing everything with her, we both felt comfortable accepting the job and making the journey to Macedonia.
The team symbol.

Things have been great so far and I really like the country and the city of Skopje. It is unlike every other European city I have been in because it is Eastern Europe and I have spent my whole career in Western Europe. That being said, I think it is great. The city is surrounded by mountains which remind me a lot of the mountains in Lugano. There are even snow capped mountains far off in the distance.

The management and the team have also shown to be great. The club has very high aspirations of winning the league and are actually one of the league favorites. For those that don't know, basketball is HUGE in Macedonia. The national team finished 4th in the European Championships this year which has raised the level a lot. We even have a current and former national team players on MZT Skopje.

So, here I sit in an apartment in Macedonia writing out this blog. This game of basketball has taken me so many places in this world and now it has taken me to Macedonia. I never thought that I would live in or even visit Macedonia but here I am. I am so thankful to be back on the court after missing half of last season due to an injury and fortunate to get paid doing something that I love.

Here is to a championship season for MZT Skopje!!!