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Journal Entry #1: Coach Coleman and the Nigerian Team Face Russia

Journal Entry #1: Coach Coleman and the Nigerian Team Face Russia

Sept. 13, 2006

Clemson Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach Itoro Coleman writes to the Tiger women’s basketball team about her experiences playing for Nigeria at the 2006 FIBA World Basketball Championships. Nigeria will play the US on Wednesday at 6:30 pm on NBATV.

Hey Gang,

I hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to give you an update on what’s going on here in Brazil. I guess my old age is catching up with me (smile). I managed to sprain either my I.T. Band or hip flexor. I’ll have to get that checked out when I get home. There are not many trainers out here like Donna [Bullock, Clemson Assistant Athletic Trainer]! The weather is the same as it is in South Carolina. I thought this was really weird: in the hotel we’re staying in, they don’t have heaters. Sometimes not even hot water. Coach McKinney says that every time she goes overseas she has a better appreciation for the USA and I know exactly what she is talking about!

Now for the games, I don’t know where to begin. Going into the game we knew that Russia had good shooters. What we failed to realize was the fact that you have to play TWO HALVES. We play 10-minute quarters just like the WNBA. It seems like it took forever to play. We started off by playing really well. The halftime score was 37-29 Russia. Then we failed to come out and play in the third quarter. After the third quarter, I don’t remember what happened. All I know is at the end of the game we lost by 34 points.

Personally, I had an OK game, I really mean OK game. I shot 2-10 from the field. Those were all lay-ups. ALL LAY-UPS! Russia had two 6’8″ people on their team. I had to alter my shot and it just kept going over the goal. I did, however, manage to get 7 rebounds and 7 assists.

We lost the game by 34 points and there were people telling us that we played so well. I’m not sure what their expectations were of us. I get upset because I want us to do well. The reality is, Nigeria basketball has not caught up with the rest of the world. The good thing is that it is heading in the right direction.

With that being said, we have a huge game against USA tomorrow [Sept. 13]. It comes on at 6:30pm on NBATV. You know as well as I do that the USA is loaded. They, by far, are the best team here. We will try our best to compete. This should be interesting.

I will give you an update later.

Until next time, take care and GO TIGERS!

Coach Coleman