During Christmas and the New Year’s holiday, most overseas basketball players get a break to go home to be with their families. Here in Turkey however, it’s predominantly Muslim which means there are no holiday festivities, but with there being other foreigners here, we were able to create our own.
On Christmas we had practice, but after we finished all the other foreigners and a couple of the Turkish girls on my team got together for a Christmas brunch. We all decided to dress up in our Christmas pj’s and my teammate Kahleah cooked an American breakfast for us. We had pancakes, french toast, home fries, grits & fish, eggs and so much more. After we played games (Heads-Up, Uno, etc.) and just enjoyed each others company. And what made the day even nicer was that it snowed. It was just perfect having a taste of home on Christmas Day.
For New Years my teammates and I spent the week in Istanbul. It worked out perfectly for us because our last game of the year was in Istanbul and our Eurocup game later that week was there also. On top of already being in the city, our coach gave us 3 days off! So we definitely enjoyed the city. It was nice being in Istanbul because there are a lot of other American/Foreign players in Istanbul and many who came for New Years like us. So its nice that we could all meet up and enjoy the holiday together. And that’s exactly what we did. My teammates and I got together with some other players at a small apartment party for the countdown and went out to celebrate bringing in the New Year. The next morning we had a New Years brunch at the delicious Raffles Hotel. I would definitely say we brought in the New Years right!
Although I was away from home, I can for sure say I had an amazing time during the holiday season here in Turkey and I am glad my teammates and I made the best of it.