Blog #3: Getting Ready for the Championship

July 6, 2016 | Hotel / Resting for one more preparation game

Hello Dear Jackets,

First of all Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone had a great holiday, with a lot of fun and excitement! Hopefully you all were able to spend the Independence Day with your friends and family, creating new moments and living new adventures.

So this week it is the final countdown. The championship is starting on Saturday and I couldn't be more excited. We have been working really hard on practice, fixing all the little things, paying attention to the details, and enjoying the process.

  

We had a scrimmage yesterday against Belgium, and we won. And we also had another scrimmage on Saturday, against Spain. It was a really good test to see where we were at that point, and we definitely had good results. They are currently the best European team, since they hold the title from last year. We lost the game, but only in the fourth quarter. We were winning until the fourth minute in the fourth quarter. So it was a great experience, and I have even more confidence on our team. We learned the errors and we fixed them. And now we can only get better with them.

Wish us luck for Saturday!

Blog #2: A Tournament and Team Fun

June, 28, 2016

Hello dear Jackets,

This past week was amazing, and I don't know about you guys but I had a lot of fun, oh and I am also really tired. I was trying to think where to start. So I guess from the beginning is always a better option.

 

We started the training camp in Lisbon before we were headed to France, where we had 3 practices. We had some delay on the departure from Portugal, something quite usual lately. We played on the next day against France. It was a really tough game for our team for many reasons, it was our first time playing together, France had a really tall team as usual, the opposite from us (we're always one the smallest teams), they also played aggressively. All of these details made it a hard, tough and fun game. We lost, but we definitely enjoyed and used a great opportunity to grow and develop as a team.

We played Belgium on the next day and we won. It was another great opportunity for our team as we had to look for different options and game strategies, because this time we had more size inside the paint. Although that made it harder because the Belgians knew that we were planning to use our size against them, but it was another great game. We had to be really aggressive on defense and on the boards. It was another great experience as we tried to follow our coach’s plan.

The last game was Italy, and we won. We definitely had to grind it! We were behind throughout the whole game, but we never gave up, and we kept fighting, with hard defense, a lot of fighting on the boards and a lot of toughness as we followed the game plan. It was a really intense game, but I think it was my favorite because we showed a lot of strength as a team, and heart. We grew throughout the game, we kept making better decisions, being more aggressive, and we improved on defense. We only won by 2 points, and in the last 5 minutes of the game.

           
We got 2nd place in the tournament, and I actually was elected to be one of the best 5 players during the tournament. I got in as the best post player. It was a surprise I have to say, it really makes me want to work harder, and it gives me more confidence for this championship. I'm on the right path to help my team in the best way I can, achieving greatness. 

It was a really good week to find out what we're made of and what we're capable of. I knew we could be good but now I think that we can do really great in this championship. We believe in each other, we have known each other for years now, and above all we believe in our ability to achieve. There isn't enough size or talent to beat our strength as a team and the work we put in.

I'll update next week as we start the championship. Wish us the best of luck. I'll be back soon dear Jackets.

 Fight Club 2016 U20 it's on.


 


Chelsea Guimaraes Blog: Hello, from Portugal!

Monday June 20, on my couch after the longest nap ever

Hello Jackets,

Well this is my first time writing a blog, in English at least.

My name is Chelsea Guimaraes and I play on the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team. I’m a rising sophomore, I’m majoring in architecture (super easy! ... just kidding), and I’m from Portugal, although I was born in Angola, but since I have lived almost all of my “long life” in Portugal, I identify myself as Portuguese.

Yesterday, I left Atlanta to join the Under 20 Portuguese National Team. The first flight was actually quite smooth, gladly for me since I’m not a fan of airplanes, but the second flight was a different story. We had mechanical issues as we were about to leave Washington, so we couldn’t take off. We were to stay in the plane so that the technicians could resolve the issue with the system, for 15 minutes, but guess what? We stayed there for one hour and 15 minutes, so we didn’t start on a good tone, but the time went by relatively fast for an eight hour flight. We get to Portugal and I was ready to get out of that plane, but guess what? The doors were not working so we had to wait for them to get fixed for another 30 minutes, at this point my patience levels were below 0, but once those doors opened, I put on a smile, my mood went back up and I almost ran out of the plane! I was home again!

So the reason why I’m writing this blog is because I’m joining the U20 Portuguese National Team to play on the U20 European Championship, happening in Porto, Portugal, from July 9-17. I’m joining the National team this Tuesday for two days of training camp followed by a tournament in France. I couldn’t be more excited for it. A lot of my oldest friends are on the team, so I know we are going to have a great time, plus we are playing the championship at home (meaning Portugal), in front of our families and friends, so there is going to be a lot of energy and emotion. I can’t wait to see my teammates tomorrow. I have great expectations for the team, for each and every single one of my teammates, and for me!

Alright Jackets, next time I will be updating from Paris, France. Wish me and the Portuguese national team the best of luck.

  

All packed and ready to go to home to Portugal!