Sun guard Jasmine Thomas is spending the WNBA offseason playing in Israel. Here is the first in a series of blogs about her experience.
I’ve officially been living in Herzliya, Israel for one month and now that I’m settled, it’s a good time to update you all on my experience thus far.
I am here playing for one of the top teams in the Israeli league, Bnot Herzliya. This club won the Israeli Cup last season and has replaced last season’s foreigners with myself, Keisha Hampton and Michelle Snow. We have already played two games, starting off the season at 2-0 by defeating Ramat Hasharon and Ashdod, the Division 1 Israeli defending champions. Unlike many other countries I’ve played in, Israel is very small. Many of the cities with women’s basketball teams – with a few exceptions – are about 15-25 minutes apart. I’m looking forward to not having any flights or having to endure lengthy bus rides to travel to road games! There are only eight teams in the league this season, so instead of the usual one game per week, some weeks we will play Monday and Thursday.
I know that you all in the States have been seeing and reading the news concerning the violent events occurring here. Most countries have their own issues. We can understand this for sure given the tragic, nonsensical violence we seem to be experiencing more frequently in the States each year. What you see and read in the news is not indicative of the environment in the entire country. All that I can say about the situation here in Israel is that I feel as safe as I do when I am at home. I continue to educate myself on what is going on, I gain insight from my teammates and club management about what is going on, and I always observe my surroundings. I’m happy to be here in Herzliya experiencing a new culture. My city has a nice marina and beautiful beaches, all of which are about three miles from my apartment. The weather is perfect, the food has been delicious, and the people have been nice and supportive.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a live stream of our games but you can follow the game results and box scores here: http://www.eurobasket.com/Israel/basketball.asp?Women=1. I’ve attached some photos from media day and from the first couple games as well. I’m really looking forward to a successful season and I’m excited to continue blogging so that you all can follow me on this journey!