Jerome Bridgewater Diary #9: 3 Games In 3 Days

Three games, three days. I figured out that this costs a lot of energy. My body and legs were all sore. Well, I wasn`t the only one. The rest Bridgewaterof my team felt the same way. Today we were facing an All-Star team. A selection of some ball players, which have not sigend with any team yet and are still trying to sign something. If we would win this game, we would win the tournament, because Tübingen just got toasted by Wels with 20.
Darko Jukic, who is usually playing on our team, was playing for the All-Stars for the weekend. He had a few words to us about what he is going to do. Dunking on somebody and so on. We started off well, but the game seemed kind of slow, no intensity. The All-Stars were not playing with any intensity. We didn`t take care of the ball at all and had like 6 turnovers or more in the first quarter. Both team looked rusty out there.

I was already playing in the first quarter. We were down by 7. We had the last possession of the quarter. Lee was penetrating and did hit me on a cut I pumped faked it. My man left both feet from the ground. I leaned a little bit into and got the shot off before the buzzer. I made it. It felt great. I got some high fives from Lee and Mike. That shot did cut the lead to 5.

I checked in very early in the second quarter. We were able to take the lead. I had a play. The play was designed for me to get a back screen. But my defender cheated already and was waiting in the zone. So I faked the cut and was waiting for the ball. Chris passed it to me. I was wide open at the perimeter. I didn`t hesitate a second. I just took the shot. It felt so good. So confident. One motion. I could really feel that this shot is going in. My feeling wasn`t lying to me. Swoosh!!!
The half was ending. The all-Stars were leading by 3 points. Nobody did know why. They were not playing very good or aggressive. But sometimes those teams are hard to play. Mike gave us a wake up call in the locker room. It helped. We were able to control the game and we did really dominate this guys. They just had a bunch of scorers, so it wasn`t really easy to get a comfortable lead. Darko Jukic had the highlight of the game though. He just took off, after a long distance miss, and tip-dunked it with one hand over Christian Burns and Rocky Trice. It really looked spectacular. But I never had the feeling or the impression that we would lose this ball game. Rocky was really playing his heart out. He finished the game with 15 points and 15 rebounds. This is a tremendous performance for a wing player of his size. He is really a good role modell for me. I am trying to learn and pick up stuff from him. He is an allrounder. He is just doing everything on the court.

Well we were ableto extend our lead to 11 points with 5 minutes to go. Mike put a very young line-up on the court. Lee was the only veteran out there. I don`t know how it happened. But somehow the All-Stars couldn`t miss and somehow we couldn`t make a shot. I cannot really tell why. But the All-Stars were able to tie the game 89-89 with 18seconds to go. It was really weird and confusing to me. We didn`t turn over the ball. I also grabbed two offensive boards in this time and did hit Lee for a wide open three. Well, Chris was able to hit the last shot with 5 seconds to go. Game, Set, Match.

Ulm won for the first time the Fritz and Mazciol Cup. It is great to be a part of history. Part of history? Who knows? We may have to accomplish bigger things to become a part of Ulmer history. But the weekend showed us that the potential is there. Overall the cup was a great experience for me. It was good to play at home. I lost all my signs of being nervous. That is a good thing. I get more comfortable and confident on the court. I hope that I can keep that up and gain more experience in the next pre seaosn games.

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