Saturday, June 30, 2012

Game 2: USA vs. Czech Republic


Today's game is scheduled at 1:30 (Iowa time 5:30 AM) so the TEAM did not go to the gym for a shoot around. The pre-game meal was breakfast at 10:00 with the TEAM meeting following. They watched clips of last night's game and discussed what needs to be done. They also watched clips of Czech Republic's game.  Thanks Sam for the excellent job with the films!

Video of warm-ups


Gold Standard #5: COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY. We are committed to each other. We win together.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Opening Ceremonies

Opening ceremonies were held between our game and the two evening games.  Lithuanian dancers started the ceremonies, then gymnastic dancers and then drummers were added.  The flags of all the 12 countries competing were presented.  Dignitaries welcomed everyone to the games.  The Lithuanian national anthem finished up the ceremonies.

Coaches and staff eating out after the game & ceremonies.

Let the Games Begin! USA vs Australia

USA 89 - Australia 67.  Way to go, Team USA!

Gold Standard #11:  UNSELFISHNESS.  We’re connected.  We make the extra pass.  Our value it not measured in playing time.

Game day for the U17 World Championships has arrived.  Team USA is READY!  We play Australia this afternoon at 3:45.  Lithuania time is 8 hours ahead of Central time where my family lives.  As I type now my computer tells me it's 2:39 AM at home - 10:39 AM here.  No wonder I've been jet lagged and mixed up!

The Team had practice this morning and will have a pre-game meal around 12:30.  We played Australia in the pre-games tourney in the Canary Islands.  But all is a new start now.  We are glad to report that all team members are ready physically to play - Joel and Jabari will be great additions now.

Pre-game meal in the dining hall.

Watching film in the team room.

Waiting in the lobby for the bus.

The team and coaches lined up for the National Anthem.

Game time tip off!

USA vs. Australia

VICTORY  recorded on the big game screen.

Way to go Team USA. Game 1 in the W column. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Practice Day in Lithuania

Gold Standard #14:  PERFORMANCE.  We’re hungry.  We have no bad practices.

We are scheduled for the practice gym at the arena from 10:00 to 11:00 and 4:00 to 5:00.  The players were intense and mindful of the job at hand.  Go Team USA!
Waiting in the lobby for the bus to practice.

Team trainer Debi with her kit.

Time to practice!

We are staying at the Park Inn.  Just a block from our hotel is a wonderful tree-lined pedestrian only street with shops and restaurants.

At one end of the street is St. Michael the Archangel Church.  It has all the architectural traits of a Russian Orthodox church.  It was designed by russian architects and built for the Kaunas Garrison.  During the Soviet years, the church was turned into an art gallery.  Presently it is a Catholic church. 
St Michael the Archangel Church

Park Inn - our hotel

Modern Lithuania gained its independence from Russia in 1918 following World War I and the dissolution of the Czarist monarchy. However, in 1940 Lithuania was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but this proclamation was not generally recognized until September 1991, following the abortive coup in Moscow. The Soviet Union recognized Lithuania's independence on 6 September 1991. A constitution was adopted on 25 October 1992. The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently has restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday - Travel Day Again!

Gold Standard #10:  FLEXIBILITY.  We can handle any situation.  We don’t complain.

After a short night in a hotel in Frankfurt, Germany we gather for a 7:00 breakfast, board a bus and shuttle back to the airport.  We have confirmed flights in three different groups.  Group One will fly to Copenhagen, Denmark then to Lithuania at 9:30 AM, Group Two will fly straight to Lithuania at 10:50AM, and Group Three (yea that's me!) will fly straight to Lithuania but not untill 8 PM!  When each groups gets to Vilnaus we will be bussed to Kaunas which is our final destination.  The players and coaches are in Group One and Two along with some USA personnel.  They plan to get in a practice later today.

Latest report at 5:00 pm Germany time:  Group One is somewhere in their last leg of the flight.  Group Two is now bussing to the hotel.  Group Three continues to wait it out in the Frankfurt airport.  Four of us managed to get into the Red Carpet Club - they sure were particular about 1 guest per card.  2 cards = 4 entrances.  Caroline (USA media), Diane (team doctor), Madison (granddaughter of Coach Gray) and myself enjoyed the hours and hours napping, snacking, working on the internet, reading, working (Diane and Caroline), eating, showering, etc.


Madison enjoying ice cream

Diane catching up on some work.

Caroline working on USA Basketball media.

Vilnus, Lithuania airpot

Group Three reaches Kaunas, Lithuania about 1:45 AM.

 Coach Showalter and BJ meet us with our room keys in hand at the Park Inn.  TEAM USA all in one place again.  Yea!

Tuesday - Travel Day

We start with breakfast at the hotel in the Canary Islands, board a bus for transport to the airport, fly to Madrid, gather bags and go through security and .......missed our next flight.  With some kind of miracle all 23 of us manage to fly standby to Frankhurt, Germany.  Once there we could not get the flight to Vilnaus, Lithuania.  After much waiting/sleeping/waiting we head to a hotel for a VERY short night.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pre-Tourney Games: USA vs Australia

Australia beat Spain (71-55) last night so Australia is our next opponent.

Time line today:  breakfast - 10:00, team meeting 10:45, practice 11:00, snack, pre-game meal - 5:00, game - 8:30.   USA wins 89 - Australia 64.  We play Australia in our first game in Lithuania at the World Championship.

The view from our hotel

The arena where we play is next to our hotel.

Poster advertising this tournament.
Warming up

Exchanging gifts with the opposing team

Game time!

MVP - Jahlil Okafor
BJ (USA Basketball) and coaches with trophy
The Team receiving first place!

Team at the Italian restaurant
Sam with his lobster pasta.
Enjoying the pizza
and lasagna!