The Big E Diareee: Echenique Blogs About Venezuelan Tryouts

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Gregory Echenique
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Creighton center Gregory Echenique is trying out for the Venezuelan National Team. While he's away, we'll have periodic updates on in this segment we're calling "The Big E Diareee", thanks to a Facebook contest suggestion from Tyler Anderson.

Below is his first entry.

July 20
So far we had six hard practices. Our head coach is very intense. Even though he is on crutches now because he injured his left foot, he manages to make his way around the court and yell at everyone if we are not doing what he wants. For some this is new to have someone who coaches this way, at least I could say I have seen that before. Also I m pretty much the translator for the team. Every time coach says something I say it in Spanish so everyone can understand, which is also helping me to be more vocal because now I have to always speak so everyone understands. Also there is a guy who doesn't speak any Spanish (his name is Dwight Lewis, he went to USC last year), so when something is said in Spanish I have to translate it in English.

Practices are very competitive and physical. To score sometimes is hard because not that many fouls are being called at the moment, but coach does make a lot of emphasis on the defense. He feels that's the only way we can have a chance to win games once Argentina comes.

I feel like I have been doing well and as practices have gone by I feel even better because I adjust to what coach demands from us.

We have been going 2-a-days. The first one starts at 9 am, the second at 5 pm, so the days are long. We have meetings at times in between practices with the general manager to make sure we have what we need, or the teams psychologist to make sure we are mentally ready.

Tomorrow we have practices #7 and #8 and at the end of the month we will be playing against Japan.

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