Women's national team, pizza, Indy 500. A free-for-all Friday
If it’s Friday, it’s a bunch of little things that may or may not be important but things that are wildly entertaining and marginally informative.
Had an entirely delightful late morning yesterday at McMaster catching up with the women’s national team (here are the fruits of that labour in case you somehow missed it) and one thing struck me.
Yes, there are a lot of veterans back from the Olympic team but, relatively speaking, there is almost as much to get excited about with the young women in the national team pipeline as there is with the men.
No, they don’t get nearly the hype and, frankly, the stakes aren’t quite as high as they might be for NBA-bound young men but there’s a group of teenagers and young collegians who have the program definitely headed in the right direction.
And Canada Basketball deserves some credit here. Almost everyone I talked to who had been connected to the program for years mentioned the fact the support now is greater that it’s ever been.
There is an ambitious schedule that includes exhibition tours of Europe (Czech Republic, Serbia and France that starts this weekend) as well as China and Brazil later this summer but it’s more than that.
There are better medical, therapeutic and training programs in place, they added a welcomed video assistant coach to the staff and there just seems to be a more professional atmosphere to the women’s program.
And, since the women have been far more successful over the last seven or eight years than the senior men have been, that’s good to hear.
For the longest time, there seemed to an outsider – and some insiders – to be a bit of a disparity between the two senior programs. That’s not the case now and it’s good to hear the athletes and coaches are happy with what’s going on.
Not sure when we’ll catch up with the women in person again – they’ll be based in Edmonton for most of the summer – but the fact is that they are making as big strides in their program as the men are in theirs and are being given every support mechanism available to do it.
And now for something entirely out of character but my horizons are somehow expanding.
This ought to make for a feisty start to a Friday, no?
The work goes on, even if no one is absolutely in charge of the HOTH.
While we’re waiting for and developments on the Masai Ujiri front – everyone kept radio silence all day yesterday – and even without any draft picks, the Henchmen have been in Jersey this week for one of those gang workouts for possible second-round picks.
Why? Well, aside from basic due diligence in case they obtain a pick somehow, there is a summer league roster to fill out and the majority of the kids at the Jersey workout will go undrafted and be looking for summer jobs.
Last I heard – and like everything with this team it could change whenever a new guy gets the job – they are planning their own little free agent camp here in early July to find bodies to fill out a summer league team that’s going to include the likes of Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy. There’ll be some workouts in Vegas before (Jonas is scheduled to be there before he fulfills some Lithuanian national team obligations) and much of the regular roster will be around to take part.
And then there’s the actual summer league season which we can all ignore, right?
Most of the morning and day free and since I think sleeping in a bit on Saturday is a wonderful idea, why don’t you all send me some mail to putter around on.
Thanks. You know how, it’s email@example.com and you’ll be glad you did.
Here’s one for you:
Let’s say you’re at some upscale Italian joint and it’s time to order and you feel like pizza.
What do we get on it?
Now, you can mix and match, you don’t have to go with the veggie one (those slices of eggplant are huge and, basically, tasteless) just like you don’t have to go with the all-artery-clogging salami, hot salami, pepperoni and beef one.
There’s about a hundred choices and the world’s your oyster.
Me, I’m going with sausage, perhaps an onion, maybe a mushroom if the people insist and if you wanted to toss some tiny hot peppers on there – not too many – I’m quite fine with that.
Oh, and it should be thin crust – regular, not whole wheat – with not big crust-edges and it should be square.
And you know what I wish restaurants would have? Little baby clams. When I’m rolling out the dough to do stuff at home, a little can of clams sure tops off a nice dinner.
And here’s one rule that is not even open for discussion, ever:
NO PINEAPPLE. EVER.
Fruit on pizza? Gak!
Anyway, there’s today’s dietary digression.
Told you so:
Got an e-mail early this morning from a friend who doesn’t spend an awful lot of time in regular airport terminals because he tends to travel in a more comfortable manner and this is all it said:
“I forgot what a dump LaGuardia is.”
Now, I know there will be people far more well-rounded than I who will pay rapt attention this weekend but, really, isn’t there an over-riding feeling that the Indy 500 has lost a lot of its allure?
I actually had to ask a friend if it indeed was on this weekend and that never used to happen.
It was always something that caught a little bit of attention through the qualifying and bump day or whatever that last Sunday before the race is but now it’s kind of a “oh yeah, it’s this weekend” kind of thing.
I guess it’s because the personalities in the race don’t seem quite as compelling now to me, maybe it’s simply the proliferation of other races that don’t allow it to stand out as much as it did, maybe it’s the lack of a Canadian storyline although the Hinchcliff fellow seems entirely intriguing.
But there’s no denying that in many circles, it’s not quite what it used to be.
That true all over or is it just me?