Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for December
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
Add your event FREE

Today

Videos


BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Cosmo&Nanu

St. Poelten basketball player writes down his memoirs

Review - 'Backspin' by St. Pölten basketball star Pete Strobl

By Maddy French

An LA-born professional basketball star who played for teams around Europe, including Austria's St. Pölten, has written down his experiences of life as an American expat sportsman in Europe.

Being the first sports memoir I have read, and having never even seen a live a basketball game, I wasn't sure how I would get along with Pete Strobl's 'Backspin'. Aside from a few pieces of basketball lingo that I was happy to skim over, I found the book was an easy and interesting read even for someone who don't have basketball running through their veins.

Really it is a book about an American living abroad and as the author spends time in a vast majority of Western Europe there are an array of experiences that most European expat readers will be able to relate to or at least recognise.

In the summer after he finished his degree at Niagara University in the US, where he was studying on a full athletic scholarship, Strobl was considering his options for his post-college future. And then a call from France came inviting him to come and join the Roanne team suddenly made his choices a lot simpler. He quickly accepted and with just a day to pack and say his goodbyes, Strobl was setting off across the pond to start his European adventure.

Strobl exhibits qualities that many people typically associate with American scholarship athletes - competitive, driven, focused. Early on in his book, at the start of his journey from US to European basketball, he is also sensitive of falling into the trap of an American expat stereotype many Europeans are quick to recognise and poke fun at.

A reluctance to sample foreign cuisine or learn a foreign language are some qualities that - perhaps unfairly - are commonly associated with visitors from the States and early on Strobl himself is made acutely aware of this. An embarrassing incident in a tobacconists during his first few weeks in France leaves him determined to master the French language. His early dismissal of smelly French cheese is also an incident that he looks back on with some embarrassment but by the time he comes to Austria, he admits he is slightly more open-minded and is quick to both learn the language and try local dishes.

After the stint in France, Strobl in 2001 began playing for Austria's UKJ St. Pölten basketball team, where he stayed for three seasons. Moving to Austria was in some ways more familiar for Strobl as it was the land where his father was born and he affectionately remembers his grandparents teaching him 'European ways' such as the proper way to hold a knife and fork.

The first chapter on Austria is called 'Back to my roots' and from the international demographic of his new team to his first taste of schnitzel and seeing the beauty of the old St. Pölten town, Strobl is quick to appreciate some of the best elements on offer in Austria. He stays at St.  Pölten for sometime, focusing on developing his talent and learning that every time he thinks he knows the sport, there is always someone there to teach him some new tricks.

After Austria, his journey then takes him to Germany and Ireland where he gets a position as a coach and finally to Switzerland, where his European adventure sadly ends on a bad note - but you'll have to go buy the book to find out why.

For European basketball fans this memoir comes strongly recommended as Strobl offers insight into both positives elements of the game on the continent and some of the problems he encounters with management and clubs. As not a particularly passionate follower of basketball, but an expat living in Austria, I found that the book was still an enjoyable read, not least because it offered the rare chance of seeing Europe through foreign eyes very different to my own.

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!


Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Tag cloud:
American  sports  French  ouml  Europe  adventure  Austria  Strobl  scholarship  least  journey  ways  qualities  expat  game  basketball  seeing  Backspin  France  associate

Latest News

 

Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.

Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!

Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.

Kid Left In Coma After Beaten By Teacher For Talking
This is the shocking image of a little Chinese girl before and after she was punished by her teacher - for talking in class.

Freezing Rain Causes Chaos In Central Europe
Freezing weather has arrived in Europe with a vengeance with a layer of ice blanketing parts of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic and causing traffic chaos.

Holey Smoke As Car Disappears Down Sinkhole
Motorist Wei Hsiao found himself in a hole lot of trouble in China when a giant sinkhole opened up on the road beneath him, swallowing his entire car.

Shock Moment Police Helicopter Explodes On Street
This is the moment a police helicopter exploded into a spinning ball of flame in Chile when a fire truck clipped one of its rotors.

More Than Twenty 100,000 GBP Motors Used In Bridal Convoy
A Chinese couple who wanted to have the most expensive wedding convoy possible arranged for a convoy of top of the range cars including a stretch Hummer followed by Lamborghinis, Porsches and other VIP motors.

Riot Police Star In Downs Syndrome Calendar
Spanish riot police have joined forces with Down's syndrome kids to take part in a special calendar for charity.

Chinese Nuclear Winter Smog Leaves Clinics Full
Fresh proof of Chinese scientists' claims that the country's toxic air pollution resembles a nuclear winter are shown by these images that show clinics and hospitals packed with patients suffering with trouble breathing.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers