Editor's Note: Former WVU point guard Darris Nichols is spending the 2008-09 season playing professionally in Hungary. Nichols, West Virginia's all-time leader in games played, has agreed to keep us posted periodically on his new life and career overseas.
The first day I arrived in Hungary I did not know what to expect. It was different, looked too "Euro" for me. One of the team managers picked me up from the airport, so I decided to try and have a conversation with him on the two-hour drive from Budapest to a small town called Paks (that's where I live). At first, I was wondering why he was not answering me or responding but it did not take long to realize he did not understand me. Instead of trying to talk, I gave up and decided to nap.
I really haven't been doing very much since I have been here. I have so much free time. We have two two-hour practices a day then the rest of the day is free. No school work (I'm loving it!) but it is a lot of free time so I decided to download a program on my computer to teach me Hungarian. It's not working to well. It is hard for them to understand someone with a Southwest Virginia accent!
I have to play a lot of charades when I talk with some of the people here. The older Americans that have been playing in Europe for over ten years told me I need to develop an accent. The V's have the W sound and the W's have the V sound, For example, I would say something like, "I vork wery hard." I don't know it's crazy.
The adjustment on the court is not too different. To get fouled you have to do a lot of acting. I think I have mastered that already because in the tournament this past weekend, I shot an average of five to eight free throws a game. We ended up coming in second even though we were without our other two Americans. I averaged 15 points for the tournament and between five and six assists a game.
Crazy story. I was sitting in my team restaurant the second day in Hungary. I could hear the music playing in the background over my headphones and I heard something that sounded like "Country Roads". So I take my headphones off and that's exactly what they had playing on the radio! It brought a little smile to my face.
I will keep you posted throughout the weeks. Good luck to the football team, keep working. Shout out to Bill Stewart. To the basketball team I know Midnight Madness is coming up. That night is fun but you know the next morning is going to be hell..hahaha. Ding it in!