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Team Highlight Video

Hello to all my GoTorey.com followers!  We are approaching the New Year!  I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable New Year.  I am posting videos of my team PGE Turow and the highlights of the games we have played.  Here is my first edited video vs Anwil.  Please check it out and leave comments or feedback!

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!

Brandon Mcknight – Faithful Traveler

What’s up world! This is Brandon McKnight from South Bend IN, i attended Purdue University and I’m currently playing in Le Havre France. My team name is Le Havre which is about two hours from Paris. I arrived here two weeks ago so everything is still pretty much knew to me. I finally got the deal I wanted in a great league and country, but the process waiting at home got kind of tough at times. I kept my faith in God and he blessed me with a great opportunity to showcase my skills in a great league. This is my sixth season playing professional basketball. I have played in Turkey, Sweden, Israel, and now France. All of these countries are unique in their own way and I have learned a lot by being apart of all the cultures. I learned to speak Turkish fluently after living there for two straight years and believe me its a difficult language to learn.

My team here in Le Havre is currently is sixth place in the league. We are coming off a great win saturday with a layup at the buzzer!! I’m so thankful to be able to take advantage of my gift and getting paid doing it. Its rough sometimes being away from family and friends, but when your pursuing your dream its all worth the ride. You can keep up with me and my team on www.eurobasket.com we are on the hunt to make a big run here. Since i been here we are 2-0 and looking to make it 3-0 before Christmas break. Stay tuned i will be blogging more after we come from break. God Bless world!!

BIG Gallery Update!

Hello my Gotorey.com followers! I have some good news today for all of you that are interested in watching some basketball photography. Today I have made a big update to my website gallery. In it you will find shots from our last 3 home games here in Turów where w played against AZS Koszalin, Polpharma Starogard Gdanski and Siarka Tarnobrzeg. All of the photography has be provided to me by Grzegorz Bereziuk of www.ksturow.eu who I would like to thank once again.

Also a special treat for all of you Holy Cross fans, there was a big update to my college galleries (you’ll need to scroll down the gallery section). In there you will find 4 game picture galleries and one preseason photoshoot gallery. If any of you Holy Cross fans have some personal pictures taken of me during the course of my college career please send them over, I would love to post the fan pics! You can send me the links via the contact page.

Please visit my Gallery Page right now and check out the shots, I hope you will like them.

Team Turow – Visits Youth Center!!

Signing Autographs for kids - Photo G. Bereziuk

Socio-threapeutic Center for Youth in the name of Janusz Korczak in Zgorzelec is a multi-function facility covering wide range of work and care for children and teenagers as well as their families. The structure of the center is based on three co-ed groups for 36 kids/teenagers that have to be stationed in the center on full-time basis or as two groups (20 children per group) that are taken care of as a “daily stay” type of visits.

In order to make the grades of kids better and to maximize the number of kids graduating their classes there are made extensive actions in order for schools to adjust their needs to the evaluations made by psychotherapeutic doctors. There are special meetings made with teachers in order to give a full psychological evaluation and full child information. There are also actions made in order to get scholarships for kids. The money is later used to buy books and cover school needs that each of the children has.

The core purposes of the facility is providing help to children who had educational difficulties, used alcohol or drugs and skipped school. The staff of the facility is educated in a way to understand the addiction and work against it. Crucial factor of the help is targeted into teaching children and teenagers about the dangers of alcohol and drug habits.

We are role models in the community and anytime we have the opportunity to put that on display we are welcomed with open arms. The kids in the youth center were extremely enthusiastic about us coming to their center. They were well prepared with chants when we walked into the front door really made us feel special and comfortable. The kids acted out a skit that was very fun, interesting and showed that they put their effort into it.

Team Turow was there to support this youth center and show our faces in the community who really supports our team. We gave out gift bags for all the kids in the program, signed autographs, and interacted with the youths. It really put us in the holiday spirit of giving!

If you are from the Center and you follow gotorey.com please write your comments – both polish and english will be answered by me directly! Jeśli poznaliście mnie w ośrodku i czytacie gotorey.com proszę piszcie do mnie komentarze – zarówno te po Polsku jaki po Angielsku dostana odpowiedzi wprost odemnie!

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