July 10, 2006
Irish sophomore Luke Zeller is overseas in Taipei, Taiwan with Athletes in Action to compete at the 28th William Jones Cup. The tournament, featuring teams from Japan, Korea, the Phillipines, Qatar, Chinese Taipei and Australia, will be held July 8-16.
Zeller plans on updating Irish fans throughout his trip with periodic updates and reports of his game on www.und.com.
Hello fans the Chinese word of the day today is noodles (mein) and cooked noodles is (tzo mein), which is where we get chow mein. Sorry that I have not written in a few days. It has been crazy. Monday and Tuesday were more of the same. We had Bible study in the morning and then we had two practices, ate and went to sleep.
Wednesday we had Doug Pollock come in to speak to us about sharing our faith and building relationships with people. He talked a lot about carrying out Jesus’ commandment of loving others and how the Bible says that we are supposed let others know about Jesus by the love that we have for each other.
Wednesday we had one last practice and then packed up for the long trip that was ahead of us. The time zone change (due to recent legislation) is 12 hours. So, some of us tried to stay up for most of the night to change our nights and days around. I stayed up until about 4 a.m. and then started packing. I was done and asleep by 4:15.
We left at 7 a.m. for the airport. Drove to the airport and our flight to Chicago left at 10 a.m. We arrived in Chicago and had a small layover. We left at noon on Thursday from Chicago and arrived in Tokyo, Japan at 2 on Friday. By my math, it took us 26 hours to get there, but the flight only actually took us 12 hours. Christian Moody and I ate in Tokyo. The food was interesting.
We had noodles with eggs on it and some soy green beans or something like that. I was hungry. We also tried some Japanese crab cakes that were recommended to us. It was a bad recommendation. We left Tokyo at 5 p.m. and got into Taipei at 8 p.m. Then, we got to the hotel at 10 p.m.. Then we had a meeting and went to sleep.
On Saturday, we woke up at 7:45 a.m. and then had a walk thru at 8. Then we had some breakfast in the hotel and then had a bible study. We had a little bit of time until the game at 1. They told us not to sleep to get our bodies adjusted to the new timezone. It was a tough thing to do. But we all made it and we played Australia today and won 70 – 51. We started off the game well and then got a little bit comfortable and the kept it close. We began to pull away and were up 33-26 at halftime. We played well, but not as well as we can.
There are a lot of things that we can work on. I had 3 fouls in the first quarter and started off slow, but adjusted and we played well for our first game. We, then had lunch and walked around a little bit. The Taiwanese people love the Jones Cup. The gym is packed for our game.
Walking from the hotel to the game is wild because all the people want to stop and take pictures or get autographs.
The tough thing is that my Chinese is very limited. Some know English, but not much. Tonight, we had the opening ceremonies for the tournament and then came back for dinner and a team time and went through another bible study.
Now, I am very tired and am going to get some sleep. Tomorrow is another busy day.
We play Korea at 3:00. So I am going to crash.
Today was a good day. I slept great last night. We didn’t have our meeting this morning until 10 a.m. and it was nice to be able to sleep in a little bit. I got up about 9 a.m. and had some breakfast.
My roommate, Dominique (Kirk of Texas A&M) had been up since about 6:30 or so because he is still adjusting to the time difference.
JaRon (Jefferson of Montana State) woke up this morning at 6 a.m.and waited until breakfast at 6:30 and then went back to sleep. So, we are still adjusting to the time. We had our team time this morning and Steve took us through the story of Samson. It was really good it was a different perspective than I heard previously about Samson. I had always just heard that Samson was the guy that had his hair cut off because he told the lovely lady his secret and lost all of his strength. Steve does a great job of relating the stories in the Bible to us personally and that is how
I see the Bible when I read it. More of something that God wrote to me to learn from than a history book. He talked about how Samson was called to be of the Nazirite lifestyle, where his life had many boundaries and rules, but this is where his strength was. He talked about how as Christians God gives us rules and boundaries in our lives. These are for us to stay away from things that God knows will not help us. He sets these boundaries to protect and provide for us, not to be some guy that is a jerk setting up a ton of rules.
It was good to listen to.
Then a few of us decided not to eat the buffet today and went to the Subway nearby. It was interesting to try and order with our very limited Chinese.
They knew enough English though that they understood what we were saying. Some lady got up on a chair to try and make herself as tall as me. She said some stuff when she did it and a couple of them laughed a lot, but I have no idea what they were saying. The subway was good. The honey oats had some crunchy oats or something on it that was a little different, but other than that it was good. Then we rested up a little bit. We watched the movie SWAT with some Chinese subtitles that I would never know how to read. I asked a lady on the airplane how many characters you have to learn to be able to write out the Chinese language and she told me four – five thousand characters. Can you imagine saying your alphabet growing up in China or better yet alphabet soup?
We had our game at 3:00 p.m. today. We won 93-89. We saw the Korea team play a little bit last night and they shot quite a few threes, but tonight they shot 45 against us. Coach Jarvis said that is the most threes that he has ever had shot against him. It is just a good thing that they hit 15 and not more because they were a good team. We won the third quarter 31-16 and that helped to push us ahead. We were up by as much as 18 in the game, but with the amount of threes they were putting up, they made quite a few runs in the game and made a run on us late in the game. We held on for the win.
After the game, the walk back to the hotel took longer than it would if the Jones Cup were not going on right now. There were a lot of basketball courts outside with people playing and a bunch of games that people could play. The people wanted to take pictures and get our autographs. I was walking back with our translator and tried to have him teach me how to say how are you doing today. He taught me and I decided to try it out on the elevator in the hotel, then he told me that they didn’t speak Chinese right away. There were another couple of people on the elevator and he said they speak Chinese hurry up and try it. I tried to hurry before they got off the elevator. I tried to say it and actually messed up a little bit (at the end of the phrase was how-ma). I asked the ladies, how is your mama? They laughed and got off of the elevator.
It was interesting.
We had dinner and then a meeting tonight. Then, we finished our study on Samson. It was good. Now, we have the rest of the night off and I am going to hit the hay for the night. God Bless all of You!!