Featuring Forbes - Gary's Blog From Panama - Updates From Days 7 & 8
August 17-18 - Days 7 & 8 - Adios Panama
Well today is my last day here in Panama, I am definetly going to miss the food. I think I gained five pounds from just eating, that's good because I think I lost about 10 playing in that gym.
I appreciate all those who read this log and those that sent me emails while I was here, your support is much appreciated. We really didn't do anything special on the final day, we had a walk through at the gym and then we were given the rest of the day off to do minor things before we leave.
I was able to do some laundry and get a haircut out here during the day and packed all of my things. We had a meeting at 6 pm to give us our sweat suits and practice gear and itenary. We leave tomorrow at 5 am from the hotel to go the airport for our flight to Miami at 7 am. From Miami we have a direct flight to Las Vegas where we will be staying at the PALMS hotel.
Should be nice.
This isn't my first trip to Vegas so I pretty much know my way around. For the rest of the blog I have decided to talk more about the team and my expectations for our four games in the First round.
We play Uruguay on Wednesday, this should be fun because it will be our first real test together against good competition. I feel we are prepared and are going to be real fast. Thats all our coach has been preaching, he wants us to get up as many shots virtually possible. Our team consists of:
No. 4 - Joel Munoz- really fast point guard who pushes the ball non-stop and can shoot it as well.
No. 5 - Jamahr Warren - another point gaurd who is more of a scoring point, very active and does everything, also can play the off guard position as well.
No. 6 - Danilo Pinnock- wasn't there for the training sessions due to family issues but from what I know, he is very athletic at the off gaurd position, and can score. You all know him from GW.
No. 7 - Maximiliano Gómez - one of our best shooters on the team, thats basically his job and thats all he does is shoot the ball, and makes them.
No. 8 - Jamaal Levy- small in size for a power forward but can score and has wirey strength, playing in the ACC at Wake Forest and now overseas in Argentina gives him alot of experience on how to play aginst bigger guys.
No. 9 - Jorsua Chambers- another off gaurd, very aggresive driver to the basket and very physical.
No. 10 - Amir Alvarado- a small forward who does a little bit of everything.
No. 11 - Gary Forbes- Come On!
No.12 - Reyjavick Degracia- played at an NAIA school in Arkansas and runs the floor like a deer and can rebound well and has a very good touch from the outside, also another undersized big.
No. 13 - Antonio García- One of our biggest guys at 6'8, rebounds the ball well and can pass well for a big.
No. 14 - Jaime Lloreda- Most experienced player, played at LSU and broke Shaq's rebounding record there. Good post player and can handle the ball for a big.
No. 15 - Alexis Smith- Our most athletic big and youngest on the team. 20 years old and currently plays for the College of William & Mary.
That's our team in a nutshell, hopefully we can outrun and out score everyone, I going to go ahead and get tucked, wake up is at 4 am on Sunday.
Thanks for everything again and can't wait to be in Vegas representing UMASS!!!!!!!
August 16 - Day 6
Today was the same schedule as all the other days, except for the fact that I didn´t wake up early to go and lift weights or even breakfast. I felt sick this morning after trying some nectarine juice last night. So I didn´t wake up until about 2 in the afternoon. I ate some food and then went back to bed to sleep again. I finally woke up and felt better around 4 o´clock, got my stuff together and then went to lift and from the weight room straight to practice.
The most difficult thing to do in Panama I think is catch a cab. I spent at least a half hour of my day trying to catch a cab. Either they don´t stop for you and go to female passangers or they tell you they are not going in the direction you tell them.
Practice was intense today, we had a full game scrimmage. The coaches kept score and tracked fouls. They didn´t keep individual score so I couldn´t tell you how much I had. I´m going to be modest and say I had about maybe 18 or 20 points. My team lost by three points. Tomorrow we are going to scrimmage again so we are going to try and get a win tomorrow. Only two more days of practice left before we leave to La Vegas, so I´m just steady counting down the days.
Tomorrow I am going to eat with some more of my family members I didn´t get to see on sunday.
So until then, Hasta Mañana!
August 15 - Day 5
Well today was Panama Viejo and we had about an hour practice. We practiced at 2 pm today with the worst heat of all. All the other days were bad but it was raining so there was some coolness from the rain. It has been raining everyday here. It is the rainy season so that's somehting to expect. It rains here about seven months out the year.
The strange thing that I found out today is that kids here go to school from April until December and have January through March off. That crazy, nuts their rainy season is our fall and winter so I guess it evens out.
Practice was just basically some walk through stuff of our plays. We had a couple of drills and then went over our plays. I was sweating as soon as I walked in the gym and didn't stop till I took a shower at the hotel.
I saw some funny stuff today as I walked around. We all know that Panama is a third world country but I didn't know some of the things were that bad in certain areas. There kids walking through traffic trying to sell stickers and fruits and that made me think and be glad for all the things that I have in life.
I did see people trying to hustle tourists. For example, I saw one guy as we walked by him dragging himself on the floor like he couldn't walk begging for money and as we passed him and some gave him a dollar and drove off he got up and started speed walking passed us and went to a different location. That definetly tripped me out.
I went to the mall and walked around but couldn't find anything my size due to the fact that most panamanians arent 6-6. Also there were no size 13 sneakers or shoes in any store so it was bad luck for me at the Albrook Mall.
Another intersting thing that you should know about Panama is the way of travel. In the states taxi cabs are expensive and so are buses. Over here buses are 25 cents anywhere and the cabs cost two dollars to go most places unless you are going to the other side of Panama, then its like five dollars, still not bad right?
Well tomorrow should be fun, we have weights, individuals and practice, I look at saying to myself, its only three more days left of practice before I'm on that plane to vegas.
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