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


Events for October
M T W T F S S
29 30 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
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:
basketball  Backspin  journey  Europe  ways  sports  France  French  seeing  scholarship  Strobl  ouml  least  American  expat  game  associate  adventure  Austria  qualities

Latest News

 

Halloween At The Zoo
Pumpkin pie might be the order of the day for people this Halloween but now zoo animals are also getting in on the act.

Baby Naked Mole Rats Born In Vienna
With their pink hairless bodies and fangs for front teeth, these baby naked mole rats were never going to win any cuteness contests at Schonbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Jihad Girls Gunpoint Retraction Of Desire To Go Home
Austrian anti-terrorism police believe that an interview given to a French magazine allegedly with one of the two teenage girls who fled to Syria to join in the jihad was probably carried out at gunpoint.

Get Shorty As Confused Bald Ibis Gets Lost Again
A rare bald Ibis that seems to have a different sense of direction to her fellow birds has once again had to be rescued after getting stuck trying to find a different route to the southern Italian feeding ground.

Alpine Trains Venture Into Space As The Final Frontier
Austria’s national railway line the OeBB has raised eyebrows after offering themed toilets including one that is supposed to "look and smell like outer space".

MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.

Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.

Mega-Station Opens
There was a festival atmosphere as Bundespresident Heinz Fischer opened Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof Friday morning.

Apple Truck Causes Traffic Jam
When 24 tonnes of apples are catapulted across a road it can only mean a jam.

Farmer Cleared Over Wolf Shooting
Furious animal rights campaigners have accused an Austrian farmer of lying after he shot dead a wolf that he claimed he thought was a fox.

 


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