Former UC Davis basketball standout Brynton Lemar's professional career is officially underway now that his team, SLUC Nancy Basket, competed in its season opener. As part of his exclusive diary, as provided to the Davis Enterprise, Lemar talks about his adventures as a member of this French-based organization, and life as an American residing abroad.
While getting ready for tonight’s season opener, I’ve been trying to stay posted with everything that is going on in the U.S.
I know school is in session and to think that a year ago I was preparing for my last UCD campaign instead of lacing them up as a professional… It’s just hard to believe what can happen in a year.
I know there is a lot happening there, but a lot is going on here, too.
I hurt my ankle and was sidelined for a few weeks.
When the doctor explained to me I had to sit out, it crushed my soul. Especially after I realized our first exhibition game was that same week. It’s always frustrating to think about your problems — but in the grand scheme, everything happens for reason.
I don’t mean to sound all cliché but sometimes we have to tell ourselves that everything is going to be OK. Recently, many thoughts have been running through my mind.
Since I’m being completely honest with you, I’ve been worried because I realize playing basketball is a business and I need to be on the floor. I’ve been talking to my loved ones, asking them why I have to go through all this and why does stuff always have to happen to me? Their response was, “You’ve come this far, and you wouldn’t have been put in a position to fail.”
If you are attentive, subliminal and pointed signs and messages pop up in times when you desperately need them. I was listening to a song that randomly came on in my car and the lyrics said, “It’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it.”
I’ve taken a step back and put aside my negative thoughts about the injury and looked at the positives. While watching on the sidelines, I gained crucial experience. I’m so used to going at 100 percent but when you have a chance to watch everyone else, you see things you wouldn’t normally digest when you are in the actual game. The season is long and I have to just keep reminding myself of that.
My team is doing well so far. We are 2-0 and we recently won a big cup game last Thursday. While I’m out, I’ve been trying to be the loudest cheerleader. I’ve gotten back on the court and expect to start tonight.
When I say the games are lit, I mean it! The games are really fascinating, and hearing fans and the team chant gives me goosebumps. We play in a really nice arena, which gets extremely loud. The gym can hold about 12,000 people and is by far one of the best gyms I’ve played in.
What’s different from American and European basketball games is that fans bring big drums and horns to the games. If you’ve attended any professional soccer games you will know how the atmosphere can get here at our basketball games.
Outside of basketball, I’m still learning many French customs. What I noticed is that the food is fresher in France, as well as less expensive. Can you believe I pay only about four euros for 20 slices of ham.
They also have a pasta place called Vapiano’s, which is probably the best food I’ve ever had. The pizza and pasta are to die for.
Three heavenly words: chicken alfredo pasta. Anyone who knows me knows I love that dish. I think my taste buds are expanding each and every day. I’m trying my hardest to taste new things and get out of my shell. But the chicken alfredo pasta … Some things never change.
Every day is a blessing and I’m excited to wake up to experience new people and things.
That’s about it, right now. I have to go lace ’em up.
I hope everyone is doing well from across the ocean.
So long from France, and don’t forget, every day is a new day to spread your happiness!