Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Old School Hoops in Uruguay

I mentioned in a blog entry over a week ago that I was going to play some basketball with some locals and a couple of expat friends.

Club "trouville" was the location (which I'd never visited before) in the neighborhood of "Pocitos". Trouville is also the name of a restaurant/bar and another pizza restaurant in another part of town.

Finding the location was a bit challenging (turned out to be next to the restaurant of same name) as it was set back off the street and the entrance was sheilded by a construction zone.

Club trouville was an "indoor" gym, meaning that there was a roof and walls, but it was a cavernous building (unheated) and as such the ambiant temperature in the gym was just above the level where ones breath is visible.
When I arrived I was greeted by one of my expatriate friends who mentioned to me, "from what I've seen, this is going to be 'old man fundamental' basketball."

Just as well with me...since working during the weekdays my health has taken a turn for the worse, and the thought of weazing up and down the court in the cold air was a bit concerning.

Almost immediately after that some of the Uruguayos came up and introduced themselves...It turns out at least one of them was *really* old (71!) but didn't look it....We played pickup ball, full-court, by 2's to 10. It took me about 3 games to figure out that 3 pointers counted as 2 (like I said, "old school" :) )

I managed to escape thoroughly old schooled and embarrassed several times by guys almost twice my age, but without injury....It turns out at least one of the older guys was a member of the 1956 Olympics team that secured the bronze medal....Hall of Famers Bill Russell and KC Jones led the US team to the Gold that year.

I felt a little bit better after learning that. I knew I had pitiful fitness and my basketball skills (which never were much good) were really rusty, but I was beginning to think that Cocoon 3 was being filmed or something.



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