Arrival to Nan’an. Games to Start tomorrow.
The sounds of consistent car horns, used to somehow direct traffic, once again ring a familiar tone to the ears of a 30+hour travel weary women’s basketball all-star team, ready to represent the USA in China. Yep, 30+ hours is no joke, in fact, for some of the group coming from the Midwest it was closer to 40 hours.
Prior to leaving out of LAX, the team headed down to Manhattan Beach to do an impromptu walk through sand practice before heading back to board the absolutely massive plane for our flight to China. Massive is an understatement as almost 600 people boarded this plane, one line to board the “lower deck” and one to board the “upper deck.” Though I must admit this double decker plane had ample room to get up and walk around.
15 hours out of LAX and we arrive in Guangzhou, 3 hours of layover, 1 hour to Xiamen(sounds like Sha-men), 1 hour or customs and a final food stop at KFC(thinking this will be our last somewhat “western” of a meal) and then 2 hours on bus to the city of Nan’an(about halfway between Hong Kong and Shanghai) we finally arrive at our Hotel!!
A Tiny View of Nan’an, according to our translator- population 5+million people. A Small Town for China!!
Much to our surprise, as we arrive at the hotel, we literally walk into a wedding, at 11am on a Tuesday morning!! The team is already posing for pictures and this time with the Bride and Groom.
Time for a Nap!! But it’s not even noon here! Sunrise felt like Sunset and we’re a little out of step. A short nap for everyone and we got ourselves together to head out to training. Lucky for us, at this stop on the tour, our arena is just 200 yards down the road, so we take the option to walk.
POLICE ESCORT!! On a walk, you say?? I’ll have to get a picture from some of the girls, but yeh, we literally had a police escort to WALK to practice. One on motorcycle and two on foot. It’s apparently a national holiday so everyone is off work and out in the street markets carrying on and it’s wall to wall traffic n people. Literally all merged into the streets as one somewhat cohesive, semi-fluid mass!
Arriving at the gym!
Practice #1 and off to bed. Plenty of sleep is in order for all. One more round of practice and then the games will begin!!
Thanks to Assistant Coach Ryan Johnson for keep us all up to date on our USA team in China