San Sebastian, Spain (Thursday, August 21, 2014)
Today was game day for BYU women's basketball. They played their second of four games on their 10-day tour of Spain. The team was the Basque National Team, Euskady (EUS) and the contest was played in San Sebastian.
Blog #6 Makenzie Nielson, the team manager provides us with a report on the day’s events. A summary of the game from a player's perspective is given by Micaelee Orton
What did you do and see today?
After breakfast and our shootaround, we saw the Spanish countryside as we traveled from Bilbao to San Sebastian. It is beautiful and so green.
How does San Sebastian compare with Bilbao and Madrid?
It is nothing like Madrid. It is super green and looks like it could be in Portland. Madrid looks like Las Vegas. They are very different.
What is unique about San Sebastian?
San Sebastian is unique because it has the most expensive real estate in Spain. It is an extremely beautiful city.
Did you buy any souvenirs?
We bought a game that is similar to ping-pong. It has paddles and a ball and you hit the ball back and forth to try and keep it from hitting the ground.
What were your meals like? What did you eat?
Today for lunch a lot of us were really hungry and we wanted to eat something that was familiar so we went to McDonald’s. Then we had a delicious dinner after our game. We had salad, rice and chicken and yogurt and fruit for dessert.
What was the itinerary for today?
Today was a really relaxed day. The team woke up and went to shootaround. Then we went to San Sebastian, ate lunch and then played on the beach for a couple of hours. After the beach we went to our game and then straight to dinner. Then finally we rode the bus back to Bilbao to sleep.
More on the game vs. the Basque National Team, Euskadi, from Micaelee Orton
What was this game like?
We come out strong right form the tip. I think we were ahead the entire game. The starters really set the tone and executed very well. Our defense was really good as well. I think we surprised the other team.
Tell us about this team …
This team was definitely better than the first team we played. It’s their national team so they executed much better and were more organized, the skill level of the girls individually was much better and they were also a lot taller. I think the difference between our first game and this one was that we were just more ready to play.
Did you have to make any adjustments to the game/format, etc.?
This game was a little different because we only had a 24-second shot clock and only eight seconds to get across half-court. We played four 10-minute quarters, which was different also. It kind of made the game feel like it went by faster. After five fouls we went into the bonus, shooting two shots, so that was new as well. It’s kind of weird that we can’t yell when the other team is shooting. I’m so used to yelling “shot!” when they shoot. I even did yell it a couple of times when I was playing because I forgot, but luckily I didn’t get a technical.
Where did we play, what was the facility like?
The facility was definitely the nicest one we’ve been to here. We also had a pretty decent-sized crowd, and our BYU fans were awesome and good in numbers as well.
How did we play?
We played great and had fun. Morgan Bailey came out in beast-mode right from the start and just dominated. Kylie handled the ball and set the pace very well too. We seemed more relaxed and more focused. We wanted to beat these girls.
Did we get together with the team afterwards? Gift exchange?
We got with them before and after the game. Before the game, we gave them t-shirts and they gave us a small decorative flag and t-shirts as well. After the game, we all got together on the court and took a group picture.
Did you get to have a conversation with a player or two?
I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with any of the players. Everything was happening kind of fast. But it was okay because I was saved from the embarrassment of my poor Spanish-speaking skills! I have none.
Did you find out anything unique or interesting about the players?
I thought it was very cool that they are the national team. Not many teams get the opportunity to not only represent their university, but their country as well. When they played our national anthem at the beginning of our game for us, I felt very honored and fortunate to be here and play their national team while representing our country at the same time.