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LJWorld.com weblogs Tyrel Reed: Diary to Home

Entry No. 1: Introduction to Belgium

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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 roars after a dunk by teammate Thomas Robinson against Baylor during the first half on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed roars after a dunk by teammate Thomas Robinson against Baylor during the first half on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. by Nick Krug

How do I write a basketball diary? They never taught me this while I was at Kansas! But my friends at Ascend Books proposed the opportunity for me to let KU fans know about what is going on in my life, and how different — and at times difficult — it is to take yourself to a new country, far away from your comfort zone, and play a game you love in front of fans that you have never played in front of in the past.

It's very different than playing on the road at say Mizzou or Oklahoma or Texas. At first I was skeptical, like any basketball player being asked to write outside of school, but after further examination I thought it would be a great way for people to get to know me, learn some things about European basketball, and also learn some of my random takes on various topics.

Currently, I am playing for Voo Verviers-Pepinster in Belgium. I was notified that I would be playing in Belgium on August 17th and left on a plane four days later. Upon arrival in Belgium with my wife, Jessica, we soon learned we were going to be challenged with some real interesting changes in our lives.

When our plane landed we went straight from the airport to the team’s gym in Verviers. After a quick physical evaluation, I participated in practice that morning at 10. Can anyone say JETLAG! Try focusing on a basketball hoop and dribbling a ball when your legs are begging you to go to sleep and rest! That was my first real introduction into European basketball.

The rest of that week was a blur for me.  Sleep...practice…eat…sleep…practice…eat…sleep and then start it over again.  Kind of like a rat inside a maze.  After the first week I had finally adjusted to the 7 hour time difference and was getting more comfortable in my new surroundings. Now it was time to get down to earning a living in a far off land.  Stay tuned.

"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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