November 26, 2007
I always knew the first road trip of my college basketball career would be something that I wouldn't and probably couldn't ever forget. Well, I was right. It was unforgettable. For starters, the trip was to Hawaii (actually pronounced Huh-Vie-EE in the native tongue) which is an unforgettable place on its own. We went down there to play two games as a part of the Oahu Classic, but actually came back having had an incredible experience that was about a lot more than basketball.
We lost both of our games down there which tended to put a damper on the whole "fun" aspect of our island excursion. The team was resilient though and allowed the tropical sunshine to brighten our spirits. Okay, so maybe it was the sunshine, beautiful, robust, sun-tanned natives and the presence of the Cheesecake Factory a block and a half away. That is neither here nor there though. I know that last sentence was completely unnecessary, but I have wanted to say neither here nor there in one of my blogs for awhile now. Anyways, while we were down there we managed to do quite a lot of activities besides play games and practice. We snorkeled, visited the Polynesian Cultural Center, went to a luau, went to Pearl Harbor and went shopping of course.
There is one particular incident though that I want to tell you about because I promised my teammates I would. It was a randomly ludicrous situation, but also very funny in some ways, not that funny in others. It was Sunday morning and we had just visited Pearl Harbor. We got back on our bus and began listening to our "cousin" (bus driver/tour guide) chat away like there was no tomorrow. FYI - apparently Hawaiians commonly refer to one another as cousin, brother, sister, family, etc. We figured he was just going to take us straight back to our hotel and from there we could hit the beach. Boy, were we in for a treat. It actually ended up being a two-hour tour of bloody Honolulu. It was not literally bloody, I just used that word for emphasis. In some ways it could have been informative, but unfortunately our cousin spoke with such a heavy accent you could honestly only make out every fourth word that he said. It was charmingly annoying. At first I was like, ok he is just going to take us a few places and then this will all be over. Well one cemetery, 1500 houses, 12 motels and one Wal-Mart later we only had one more hour to go! He talked about everything including: fully loaded Honda Accords, Spam and rice and plasma TVs. Finally Jess, Baker, Syd and I decided to control our natural tendencies to get really pissed off and instead laugh and make it a grand ole time in the back of the Polynesian Tour Bus. In the end, I had a sore stomach from laughing and a camera full of hilarious pictures, including one of a pleasantly plump Hawaiian lad with no teeth. It was awesome.
Obviously, the trip would have been better if we would have won our games. But in ways I felt like we got better. It is hard to be positive when you lose but ultimately that is just what you have to do. You have to learn from it and then forget it. Of course, Hawaii always tends to lend a giant helping hand to that cause.