Monday, June 24, 2013

Basketball Refereeing

I received some more pictures from a buddy this weekend and figured I would share them.  This is from the first semifinal game that took place Saturday evening.  The team in the white and blue ended up winning. 
I referee; I have gained so much respect for referees in the past 6 months.  It’s not easy these are men with college bodies, basketball fundamentals of a high school JV team, the pace is fast and it took a while to get used to it and get in a groove since I refereed little kids when I was in high school.  Its great experience and I enjoy it and it’s something that I want to try and do when I go back to the states.  My friend that was a basketball ref in the states says this is tougher than high school in the states to ref.
Dealing with a coach
Some of the things here that are different is the lack of knowledge of rules and the simple fact that refs have no respect, coaches and players are riding you all the time and every call seems like a battle, especially now since it is playoff time.  The fans are nothing like the fans in the states, they don’t really cheer or clap or complain its relatively quiet during the games unlike in America.
I just tell myself that I am helping these men develop their skills and that this is a great opportunity.  If you would have asked me before I left is I would be a basketball referee for a national basketball league in West Africa I would laugh at you, but now I love it and thoroughly enjoy it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gambian Basketball

I mentioned in my last post about basketball and The Gambia.  It took me awhile but I have some pictures from the international friendly with Mauritania.  I also have some pictures of the Gambian cheerleaders who throw candy into the crowd at the end of their performances. 
Gambian Cheerleaders

Mauritania warming up

Both teams warming up

Gambia in the huddle


 I also included some pictures from our basketball training from last weekend.

Defense training

Mike helping the girls

Lost soul

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Trek and stuff

I have been busy busy the last month or so.  I went on a trek for a week, we traveled over 600 miles in 6 days.  We were out developing new sites for new volunteers and checking up on current volunteers.  We were at the last town in the east of the country and came across a hand powered ferry so we loaded up our car and went across below are some pictures of it.
Doing work
Sam eating
Gambian Laundry service
Later in the trek we were traveling near the southern Senegal boarder and came across a sign warning of landmines.  I have been told that in the early 90’s it was more dangerous than it is now.  I think in the two years I have been here three have gone off. 
I have been working with The Gambian National Basketball League helping referee league games and the playoff start Monday.  I also helped run the 24 second clock for an international friendly basketball game between Mauritania and The Gambia. 
This past weekend in between refereeing I attended the a soccer game between The Gambia and Ivory Coast that The Gambia lost, it was a fun time despite the poor outcome.
I also have been playing ultimate frisbee twice a week to stay in shape