Two weeks ago our team competed in a second tournament, this time in Kakhovka, a medium-sized city two hours by bus down the river towards the capitol, Kherson. To our disappointment, only two other teams showed: Kakhovka (the hosts) and Rohachyk (a small, funny sounding village north of Lepetykha - I guess that's the pot calling the kettle black). Our team was joined by three recent graduates who now study at the institute in Kherson: Yura, Zhenya, and Maks. Yura is great with the ball and a lights-out shooter, probably the best player on our team. Zhenya hustles and drives to the hoop like he's Allen Iverson, which has mixed results. Maks is lanky and can shoot 3's. These three, myself, and Kostya (Rubanovka's star player, who joined us for the tournament) made up the starting five.
We beat Rohachyk like a rented mule. The second half they only scored two points. If that game had been the movie "Police Academy," their team would have been the bad guys and our team would have been Tackleberry(sp?).
Kakhovka is the best team in the Oblast, and although they beat us, we gave them a run for their money. I think we had the skill to beat them, but they had the psychological edge. This was partly due to homefield advantage and partly to do with the ogre they had playing guard. He was great with the ball and could slam dunk. He also had a bad attitude. The rest of their team was mediocre, but we just couldn't calm down. I think we lost by six.
The next Wednesday was the annual student-faculty game. We also rocked them, our four against their five. Myself and our phys. ed. teacher, Valentin Oleksandrovych - Valik, could play. The two janitors (male teachers are rare in Ukraine) could not. It was quite a spectacle. Faculty represented.
I know it probably seems like I am obsessing over basketball, but honestly speaking that's the most interesting thing I've got going on right now. School, GRE prep, and the search for grad programs aren't much fun to write about. I read a lot (John D. MacDonald, Stephen King, and a book on the Russian revolution most recently) for fun, play a little bandura, and travel every other weekend. I'd say boredom is a sure sign I've adjusted to my environment. Fortunately March and beyond are shaping up to be rather interesting. I'll do my best to update you on the progress.
coming soon: My birthday & St. Patrick's Day in Kyiv, Spring Break in the west (Poland? Katie?), and the Hanes Invasion.