Danielle's European Diary Part 2

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Kansas State senior guard/forward Danielle Zanotti is keeping a diary during the women's basketball team's 10-day trip to Europe. The following entries include the previous two days and K-State's game against the U-18 Czech Republic national team.

Danielle’s Diary

Entry #3 June 26

 

Hey Wildcat Fans!

We won our first game in Europe!!! But of course all you faithful fans already know that. It was definitely not the same playing in Prague compared to playing in front of 7,000 fans in Bramlage. We missed you guys!  But let me start at the beginning of our very full day.

 

We had to wake up early so that we could take a boat tour on the Vlatava River. We had a blast taking a bunch of pictures of the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. Even though it was only 10 a.m., Kari (Kincaid) and I bought ice cream bars for 5 dollars each but it was worth every Czech kruna.  After the boat tour we headed back to the hotel to eat some lunch and get a little homework done before we headed off to our game. It was an hour and a half drive to Hradec Karlove. The gymnasium where we played was really small and hot but they did have a pretty sweet warm-up tape. I’m still wondering why they listen to American music if they obviously couldn’t understand our English. Oh, and the lane was the shape of a trapezoid. You could pretty much get called for a three-second violation at the three-point line. The Czech team was really physical and athletic but thankfully we played well and handled our business. We gave up arguing the walk calls the refs kept calling on us because they looked at us with utter confusion anytime we tried to ask them a question. After the game we took a picture with the other team and I exchanged email addresses with their point guard. It’s pretty cool getting to make friends halfway across the world.

 

On the way back to Prague we got caught in some traffic so Kelsey Nelson, Marlies Gipson, Kari and I started playing a little game I like to call “Wave at the Locals” (with Erin Sunde serving as the official score keeper). It started out as a friendly competition between the four of us but it soon turned into a bloody grudge match to see which side of the bus could get the most people to wave back at them. After a long fought match my side won...like there was any doubt. ;) And if Kari or Marlies tell you any differently kindly inform them that you heard otherwise.

 

For dinner we all went out to this really cute pizza restaurant called Kogo. By this time it was probably 10:30 p.m., so as soon as they set our pizzas down we inhaled them. Coach Patterson decided we hadn’t gotten enough to eat so she took us back to that ice cream store from the night before. It was just as good as I remembered. But the night was far from over yet! Our entire group decided to hit up some of the local disco dance clubs. Our first club we went to was featuring 80’s music and we rocked out to some Grease songs before we felt the pressure to leave since we were dominating their small dance floor with our large group. By the third club we hit our stride. The strobe lights were flashing, the fog machine was in full effect, and the techno music was never ending! We immediately hit the dance floor and preceded to start a soul train line where Kari and I created a new dance move we like to call the Waterfall. We’re hoping it catches on in the U.S. so we can get featured in a music video or something. The Prague men loved our dancing style so we never had a shortage of dance partners. I won’t name names but there were definitely no wall flowers last night...coaches included!! Hahaha I think it was probably one of the best nights of my life! I honestly don’t know the last time I laughed that hard! Unfortunately the night had to end because we had lots of fun things planned for the next day...and our feet were killing us from all of the jumping around on the dance floor.

 

Lots of Love from Prague,

Danielle

 

 

 

Danielle’s Diary

Entry #4 June 27

 

Hey Ya’ll!

I feel like we’ve been gone for so long and we’re just half way through our trip. This morning we had to wake up really early, like 6:30 a.m, which is 11:30 p.m. central time (talk about a messed up sleep cycle). We had to drive about two hours to this city called Kartoly Vary, where the famous glass making company called Moser is located.  We did a tour of the facility and even got to go into the factory and see them blow the hot glass. We decided that Shalee (Lehning) would definitely not be able to work there because she would be bouncing off the walls with all that energy you guys are used to seeing during our games and that really wouldn’t be conducive with fire pits and delicate glass! After the tour we went into the city for lunch and a little bit of sight seeing. 

 

Once back in Prague, we got dropped off by the Prague Castle and St. Vitus’ Cathedral. There are no pictures that I could show you guys that would do this cathedral justice. It is absolutely enormous. We were all lying on the cobble stone trying to get full length pictures of the cathedral. As a girl that has a bit of an obsession with Disney princesses, it was a dream come true to actually be somewhere where real royalty has lived. The Cathedral has been around since about 950 A.D. and as soon as you step into it you feel like you’ve traveled back to that era. The high ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows are breathtaking. You could seriously spend hours in there, exploring all the different rooms and religious statues. One of the funniest parts of the day though was when Ashley (Sweat) and Kari (Kincaid) were torturing the guards outside of the castle who had to use all their will power not to break character as those two fools posed and snapped pictures with him. At the south side of the castle grounds you get the most awesome view of the entire city from the top of the hill. We took so many pictures there because I don’t think any of us want to forget that moment.

 

Next, we walked down the hill back through Lesser Town Prague (Mala Strana) over the Charles Bridge and back to the hotel. On the way, we passed by a hotel that Casanova and Mozart both stayed at. It was pretty cool to think that such important historical figures walked those same streets that we were on. Of course we had to do a little more shopping before we left Prague so a bunch of us stopped at a jewelry store. We were in there for probably an hour and after some bargaining with the salesmen, we all left pretty happy. We justified our spending with the thought that we will now have proof to show our future children that their mommies actually were pretty good ball players and even got to travel to Europe to play ;) ! We spent our last night in Prague by eating at a local pub and then coming back to the hotel to lift some weights (we think Coach Greenawalt would be proud that even in Europe we are thinking about him and the workouts that I’m sure he is cooking up for us for our return!). Afterwards, Shalee, Kimberly Dietz, Marlies (Gipson) and I took a dip in the freshwater pool at the hotel. After all the walking we did today we earned it. We even spent some time relaxing in the hot tub, where luckily there were no European men in their little Speedos like a few days ago when I was overwhelmed by underdressed Czechs as I was trying to get in a little R&R. It really makes you appreciate full length board shorts that are the preferred style in the States!

 

Unfortunately, we have to leave Prague tomorrow but we will be moving on to Bratislava, Slovakia to play the Czech under 20 team. We are all excited to see what this next country has in store for us!

 

Every year in my hometown of Mustang, Oklahoma we have a Czech fest that everyone goes all out for, so I’m crossing my fingers that my time in the Czech Republic will give me a step up in next year’s Czech princess contest!! If I can’t be a real princess, I will settle for that crown!

 

Wish us good luck in our game tomorrow! I’ll be sure to write and tell you how we did!

 

Go State!

Danielle