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Now Blogging for www.eurobasket.com!!

Photography - Sadowski & Maz / Plugimages.com

All of the gotorey.com visitors! I am very happy to announce to you that I have been selected by Eurobasket.com. From now on I will be blogging some of the more interesting pieces about my European Journey for the Eurobasket fans. I hope that all of you following GoTorey.com will see this opportunity as one more step towards spreading the word about Polish basketball. And of course I will always represent all of the countries that I have visited  on my european travels, Holland! Sweden! Turkey! Great friends and great memories!

My name is Torey Thomas and I am from White Plains, New York. I graduated from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2007 with a degree in Sociology and Pre-law. I am currently playing in my fourth season Professionally in Europe. I am the point guard on PGE Turow Zgorzelec basketball team in the Polish league (PLK). I chose to play for PGE Turow because I have heard that this club was very professional and had a winning mentality. The city Zgorzelec borders Gorlitz, Germany so I can be in Poland at one time and in Germany five minutes later! That’s called Country hopping! Life in Poland has been pretty good we practice twice a day and we play once a week usually Saturday evenings. Now the travel is a different story! We have bus trips that are ten hours long to go to games! Luckily I have enough songs on my iPod to help me through half of those hours. I can’t imagine when it consistently snows and is -15 degrees Celsius outside it probably will be a whole day of traveling to get to some games. Nonetheless, when I do get to the games it is always electric in the arenas! The fans are up chanting from the tipoff until the final buzzer.

Many people ask questions about European basketball: what are the similarities what are the differences? I want to point out an interesting difference. Unlike the United States every country has their own respective league. Each country has their own local league games in which the teams from that country compete with each other and they only travel to games inside that country. This concept changes when a team participates in either Euro league, Euro cup, and Euro challenge then they will travel to different countries to play teams in their pools. In most leagues the games domestically are played once a week usually on the weekend and the whole city shuts down to see the game. In Poland every game that we have played the crowds have filled the stands and even a record-breaking attendance game between Asseco Prokom and Trefl Sopot of 10,015 People!

I have yet to witness many similarities in the European game in comparison to the United States game. The three second lane key is not a trapezoid anymore it is a rectangle. We play with three referees and the make the same hand gestures when you hit a three point shot or foul offensively and defensively. The style of basketball is totally different in my opinion. You definitely have to adapt to the way the game is officiated.

Aside from basketball I really urge players to get immerse into the culture of the country. Find out what the people of the country like and dislike and also when they have holidays. I believe if your going to be over here for nine months at a time learning about the country your playing in is important to your overall experience of playing in Europe.

Thanks for reading my introductory blog for Eurobasket.com!

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