Jerome’s diary entry #10: You play like you practice

We had a nice day off on Monday. The Americans could relax. I had to head back to school. It was alright though. My school seems very Jerome Bridgewaternice. I got lunch with my teachers. I did not introduce myself as a ratiopharm Ulm player. I don`t know. I got some strange looks though. Seemed like some kids did recognize me or know that I am playing basketball for Ulm.

I had a horrible practice week. I don`t know what is going on. I am getting killed at the defensive end at the moment. Not talking about getting crossed or something. That never happened. But defensive Rebounding against Rocky Trice. It is hard. It is probably harder to box him out then Robert Maras for example or Aleksandar Nadjfeji. He is so quick and fast. And it is hard to put your body on him, because he is so small. He will outjump you all the time. You got to put your body on him.

We were having another pre season game against BG Leitershofen, a 1.Regionalliga team. I do not really want to talk about this game. They have not lost a pre seaosn game yet and were ready to play. The first quarter was an up and down. But they couldn`t keep up with us for the whole game. They were hustling though. We were heading with an 20-point lead to the locker rooms.

Rocky was dominating. He is a Rebounding machine. Chris told me if he was 6`7″ he would be definately in the league. Well I did play a lot this game and every other youth player also did. It was a great opportunity for Michael Wenzl or Nemanja Kekic and also Darko Jukic to show their potential. They did really play well. I do not want to talk about my performance. I probably have had my worst game ever. It was alright defevensively. My man didn`t do nothing. But I really threw the ball away on offense. I had 3 turnovers in the fourth quarter. Missed two fast break lay ups. One against nobody. You do really play like you practice.

Well, I am really glad that the other guys learned and experienced something out of this game. Michi (Michael Wenzl) was really playing hard inside and had a double double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Basti was doing everything he wanted to do out there. He could just run towards somebody and take the ball from him. He was playing Power Forward sometimes and can run almost every position. He told me that if he was 4 inches taller, he would be the best Post player in the league. I give him that. We won the game by a lot. 101-62.

We went to the McDonalds after the game. I had a small talk with our manager Thomas Stoll, while we were eating. He told me that I should tell our Athletic Coach to work on my lateral quickness much more instead of body strenght. I was really impressed and amazed. I think it is a good thing, if even the mananger knows his players and is capable of seeing their strengths and their lacks. Thomas was attending every home and away game so far. Sitting on our bench. not too many managers are doing this in the league or better in this country.
We will head to Austria on Friday for our first rough tests on the road. Mike told us it sould get us ready to become a great road team.

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