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LJWorld.com weblogs Tyrel Reed: Diary to Home

Entry 4: Seeing familiar faces overseas

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Former Kansas basketball guard Tyrel Reed is writing a diary during his free time in Belgium, where he is playing professional basketball.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed (14) chases down a loose ball with teammate Josh Selby and Oklahoma State guard Roger Franklin (32) during the first half on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed (14) chases down a loose ball with teammate Josh Selby and Oklahoma State guard Roger Franklin (32) during the first half on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The game of basketball in Europe has some similarities and differences to the game in the States. I would have to say the biggest difference is the style of play.

In college, the game was played at a very fast pace and contact usually signified some sort of foul. In Europe games are played more possession-oriented with an emphasis placed on a team's ability to slow down the pace of the opposing team. Also, the refs allow more holding, grabbing, and body-checking so the game can get kind of ugly and physical at times.

With the added physical play, guards like me can be much more aggressive when playing defense because of using hand checks. Reaching for the ball is also part of playing defense, something you often get called a foul for doing the same thing that back in the States. But in the end, basketball is still basketball no matter where it’s being played.

I have gotten pretty close with two of my teammates on the team since I arrived in Belgium:  Devan Downey, who played at South Carolina and Mike Singletary from Texas Tech. Both guys, like me, are new to European basketball, so it's nice to have someone else experiencing the same things. Also, Mike recently got married like me and his wife also came with him to Belgium. It’s extremely nice for my wife to have someone to talk to and hang out with when we are at practice or traveling.

We have also played against a few players that may be familiar to Kansas fans back home. In late September we played against a team in France that had Lavoy Allen from Temple, and Justin Harper from Richmond. Both were drafted in the 2nd round of the NBA (draft). I faced both in college, including when we beat Richmond in the Sweet 16. We ended up beating the French team by 1 in a game that I had 14 points. So far it's been a great experience for me, and I hope to share more experiences with you soon.

"Reed All About It: Driven to be a Jayhawk" is written by former Jayhawk Academic All-American guard Tyrel Reed. The book, from Ascend Books of Overland Park, is now available at most local bookstores as well as select grocery stores and specialty retailers. This book is also available on all popular e-book platforms including iPad, Kindle and Nook.

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