Monday, August 16, 2010

Hoopin' in Brazil

Jasmine Greene
They grow their women's basketball players big in Brazil. Or at least that's the way it seemed to 5-foot-5 Jasmine Greene, the Hampton native and soon-to-be ex-Hollins University star (more on this later) who was part of a Division III all-star team that posted a 2-3 record during a five-game exhibition series in the cities of Jundai and Rio de Janeiro earlier this month.

"Their girls were like seven feet tall!" Greene said.

Seven feet? C'mon Jasmine.

"Hey, I'm little. Everybody looks big to me."

More of Greene's impressions about the trip:

On her feelings prior to the team's departure

"I was nervous about the food, but definitely excited about going. I mean, I have never even been out of this country before."

On the beauty of Brazil

"At night, the lights were amazing. We saw these incredible mountains - we went to the top of Sugarloaf. And the water was so blue! It's funny because when I was driving home from Norfolk International Airport and saw our water, I was like, Oh, my God!. I didn't realize how blue their water was until I saw ours.

On her Brazilian diet

I basically ate beans and rice every time. My stomach couldn't take they way they cooked and everything they ate.

On the Brazilians' physical play

When we thought we were getting fouled, they just laughed at us. They were like, 'That's not a foul around here.'

On how she celebrated her 19th birthday (Aug. 9)

After one of the games the team surprised me with a birthday cake. Really nice.

Overall thoughts

An unbelievable experience. Definitely once-in-a-lifetime.

Now, about this leaving Hollins business....

Basketball at Hollins wasn't fun to me. It was like a job. Plus I had to play some at all five positions. They even had me doing the jump ball. I won some, too! I'd just like to go somewhere where I can play my position and just have fun.

Greene, who averaged 19.2 ppg last season as a freshman at Hollins, said she will spend the fall tightening up her GPA at Thomas Nelson Community College. She then plans to enroll at Virginia State, possibly for the second semester.

"It will be nice to be closer to home," she said.

For more on the D-III all-star team's experiences in Brazil, check out Hendrix College's Christina Byler's daily blog on the trip.

The all-star roster:
Christina Byler (Hendrix College)
Courtney Carroll (University of Redlands)
Alisa Dickerson (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology)
Jasmine Greene (Hollins University)
Molly Martin (Hanover College)
Erica Nord (Concordia College)
Monique Salmon (Baruch College)
Melissa Teel (Western Connecticut State University)
Head Coach – Jon Prevo Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Ind.)

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