Bo Overton: A China adventure
Bo Overton was not at the OU basketball alumni weekend. He was needed elsewhere. Overton this week began coaching in China, a team called Liaoning Hengye of the China WCBA.
Overton played at OU for Dave Bliss and Billy Tubbs, then was an assistant coach for Sherri Coale. This is Overton’s first coaching gig since being forced to resign from the WNBA’s Chicago Sky two years ago. This week, he filed four straight days of emails about his new adventure. Pretty educational stuff about China. I thought I would share it with out.
“OK folks, everyone is wondering how the China adventure is going. Been writing a few things down and thought I would give you a sample. Couple of rules first: I will not stop to spell check (Coach Coale) or look up anything, seeing that I just can’t find any time (No TV in China or Facebook).
So here goes. 9 a.m. practice. Wie and Tiff (you’ll get to know the players as we go) banged up, did not go live. Got money exchanged and went to McDonald’s, 20-minute walk.
Man did that taste good. Interesting to order at Mickey D’s, They don’t understand me so I just point at pictures. Big Mac, fries, I think you get the picture. I don’t know what the money deal is yet. I just held out some money and the nice girl took it. I think I just bought a Big Mac for a hundred dollars. Another factoid, I’ve never seen a fast food joint run so efficiently.
Trying to get internet to work but still no luck.
Going to dinner with Hong and Bai Yu, pleasant surprise. They said they wanted to take me to Pizza Hut, want me
to feel at home. By the way, there is only one Pizza Hut in this town of five million people. Interesting Pizza Hut, they have
other foods such as soups, tuna, of course fish and other stuff I can’t pronounce.
Walked outside, Hong and Bai Yu want to take me to mall. See a donkey pulling a cart in middle of downtown, of course
I took a picture.
Yang is with us also. He is my interpreter, could not pull this off without him. If you remember the old movie “Sixteen Candles,”
with the Chinese visitor, he sounds just like him. When he talks sometimes I have to keep from smiling. Anyways, back to the
mall. Very nice mall. The players said it was a mid-level mall. Movie theatre is on top floor. Of course, there’s a lot of Jackie Chan stuff. Excited to see one of the eight movies is in English.
“Transformers 9.” Good, I haven’t seen it yet. They said it’s hard to get tickets to movies. Must get them in advance.”
“Don’t worry, I can’t send these every day but wanted to catch up while I could remember stuff. Lot better waking up today, 7 a.m. instead of 4:30. I think my body is figuring it out.
“We are off today, so I’m starting this book about a pro basketball player that plays overseas. He did the same thing I’m doing, he just wrote things down. It’s actually pretty good if you need something to read by the pool. It’s called “Can I Keep My Jersey?”
by Paul Shirley. He played at Iowa State about eight years ago. I walked the other way from our Olympic Center in search of a grocery store.
“Just so you know, those stick figure people that turn green on the crosswalk light? You know, the ones that tell you it’s safe to walk? Well, here is what I’ve figured out they mean. 1) Look left quickly, right turns don’t stop for anything! Any bike, bike with cart in front, moped, scooter, bike with motor, cart from Vietnam or mule drawn cart have the right of way, not pedestrians. 2) Even though there is green stick figure walking, left turners from opposite direction make turns on two wheels! 3) While crossing six lanes, they never give you enough time to get across. So luckily, I have done a 30-minute hamstring stretch and I can sprint the last three lanes hurdling the family with the strollers (still don’t know if they made it or not).
“Well, I couldn’t find a store but I found a fruit stand (in a building). Said the only Chinese I could muster up and a small boy about eight with his grandfather started laughing and asked me in English if I needed any help. He was great, pointed me in the right direction and I was off.
“Saw another mule pulling a fruit cart (did not take a picture, guess I’m getting use to it).
“Yang (interpreter) called and said Big Boss (what they call owner of team) was in town and wanted to have lunch. ****! I was going to McDonald’s! But we went and again, what a lunch. At one time there are 10 to 12 entrees on table. I found some broccoli and fish soaked in I don’t know what and then toughed it out and ate everything he pointed at. Probably some frog in there somewhere. They poor wine and have many toasts (11:30 a.m.). I think most of them were to the effect that ‘if you don’t bring me a championship you will be working in rice fields until you’re 85!’
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