Sun guard Jasmine Thomas is spending the WNBA off-season playing in Israel. Here is the third installment in a series of blogs about her experience. You can find her second blog here.
As some of you may already know, in the Israeli league, there is no break in the schedule during the holidays so the foreign players are not able to go home. This is now my second season spending such a family-oriented time away from my loved ones. It’s always tough missing out on the family traditions you’ve grown to love from childhood and not being able to create or share new memories with your family. On Christmas Day, my older brother, Darrell, proposed to his amazing girlfriend who our family loves so dearly. My brother and I are very close and it was difficult being the absent one (once again), but I am so proud of him and not a single thing in this world will keep me from that wedding!
On the bright side, I spent both Christmas and New Years Eve with so many great people. It was probably the best holiday-away-from-home experience anyone could have. We hosted Christmas dinner at our apartment, which was a delicious success. My teammates all participated in Secret Santa and I, by far, had the best gift-giver—thank you Yael Galili! On New Years Eve, after a very important win against Jerusalem, I was able to go out in Tel Aviv with so many of the American players. It was exactly how I would have brought in the New Year at home. While there was plenty I missed out on back in the States, there was too much for me to be grateful for right here in Israel.
My team still holds the second position in the league at 8-3 and I’m playing well. While it has been a battle for us, we are fighting to be a much better team and maintain or raise our position in this second round. We have a tough rematch against league-leading Ramat Chen Monday followed by our first game of the Cup against Petah Tikva Thursday. Yalla bnot!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to sharing my next post with you, as it will be filled with many experiences from sightseeing with my friends visiting from Virginia.
Happy New Year!
(“Yalla bnot” means, “let’s go ladies” in Hebrew! J.)