Friday, August 16, 2013

It's All Greek

TigerBlog saw the story about Oprah Winfrey and the $38,000 purse in Switzerland.

Forgetting what else did or didn't happen, TB is struck by the idea that a purse could cost $38,000. How in the world could a purse cost that much, unless it came with, oh, $37,900 inside it.

TigerBlog has been to Swtizerland. Twice. He liked it very much, though it was a long time ago.

In fact, here's a list of European countries that TigerBlog has been to in his life:

Ireland, Spain, Israel (unless that's Asia; TB has never been sure), Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, Belgium, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Greece.

He isn't counting Italy and France, two countries whose airports he was in but only to connect to other flights.

He was in the Rome airport in 1974, as he and his family tried to get from Turkey to Greece, something made harder by the fact that the two countries were essentially at war in Cypress at the time.

TB's memories of that particular moment in time involve people in Greece who couldn't imagine why anyone would want to have been in Turkey, people in Turkey who couldn't imagine why anyone would want to go from there to Greece and a rather exciting cab ride to the Istanbul airport with a cabbie who probably went on to a successful career on the European Grand Prix circuit.

TigerBlog has never been to England, though he'd love to go sometime. This would be a good weekend to be there, actually, as it's the opening weekend of the EPL season.

TB's top four this year: Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and someone else. Actually he'll go with that every year.

TigerBlog has great memories of each of those countries, and he's been very lucky in his life to have had the opportunity to travel.

His time in Greece consisted of a day or two in Athens and then a cruise around the Greek Isles. He can't remember exactly which islands he went to, though he remembers that it was pretty nice. And the people were very friendly.

Niveen Rasheed will be beginning her professional basketball career in Greece. She will playing for a team called Ippokratis Kos, on the island of Kos, TB assumes. The team is moving into the Greek first division for women's basketball.

To be honest, TB is surprised that Rasheed isn't in the WNBA. She seems to have the complete skillset, with size, athleticsim, tenacity. She can score, pass, defend, dribble.

Maybe this is the first step for her into the WNBA. Hey, it's certainly a path that men routinely have taken.

TB thinks it has to be ridiculously exciting to be a recent college graduate able to play basketball in Europe, even if it never leads back to playing in this country. There will come a day when Rasheed is sitting at her desk in an office somewhere when she'll be glad she chose this path.

Rasheed is without question the finest women's basketball player in Princeton history. She was the catalyst for what is also without question the greatest era in Princeton women's basketball history.

Princeton had never been to the NCAA tournament before she arrived. Now it's been there for four straight years.

Princeton is the first women's basketball team to win four straight Ivy titles in the round-robin format that dates back more than 30 years. Princeton's women's Class of 2013 is one of two in Ivy history (along with Princeton's men's class of 1992) to win four league titles since freshman eligibility in the 1970s.

Rasheed was the straw that stirred the drink, as it were. Were it not for a torn ACL her sophomore year and the fact that Princeton won so many games in blowouts, she would have come close or even reached 2,000 points for her career.

And now she's off to Europe.

Certainly seven other Ivy schools are happy that she'll be there and not here this winter.

There are so many examples in college sports, and Ivy sports, of programs that excelled because of one great player or one great class and then came back to Earth after graduation.

For TigerBlog, the 2013-14 Princeton women's basketball season is a fascinating storyline.

Princeton has graduated Rasheed, fellow 1,000-point scorers Lauren Edwards and Devona Allgood and wildly valuable role players Laura Johnson, Lauren Polansky, Meg Bowen and Kate Miller in the last two years. Those are some of the best players the program has ever known, and they are clearly the most successful players the program has known.

TB, though, is still high on the Tigers. And he can't wait to see what happens.

As for Rasheed, TB wishes her luck in her first job out of college.

Just as he won't be surprised to see Princeton back in the NCAA tournament in 2014, he also wouldn't be shocked to see Rasheed in the WNBA one of these years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Question for TB, only indirectly related to Niveen Rasheed'13:

What, if any, means exist to transfer or upgrade an existing subscription to the Princeton TV service, from Princeton only to the new Ivy Digital Network? I purchased a full-year subscription at the beginning of last year's basketball season. Is there any way to upgrade this subscription to watch Tiger away games this fall?