Watch Out for Hungarian Deer.

Just imagine you in this scenario with me;

I was driving down the road on a cold fall night and have my whole family with me. My 4 year old daughter, 9 month old son, wife and a teammate who I was giving a ride home. The sun just went down and I just exited the freeway heading down a country road in the middle of nowhere. Everything is quiet and my family is in the back asleep or dazing off. I stare off into the reach of my headlights as the lines pass one by one. Cruising along at exactly the speed limit, 110 km (68.35 mph), when out of nowhere this runs into the middle of the road;

One one-thousand, two one-thousand… BAM! The deer hit the front rolls up the hood and smashes straight into the windshield with a sudden burst of cold air. Broken glass, crunching medal and tire screeching are the only sounds I hear as I slowly open my eyes and see a deer the size of a horse flying off the car and onto the side of the road. It twitches for a few seconds and dies.

The result;

Looking down I see blood pouring onto my pants and then the thought comes… my family. Looking in the back seat I see if everyone is ok. Two kids are screaming but my wife assures me everyone is fine. With blood on my shirt and pants I had no idea if it was my blood, the deer’s blood, or someone else’s. Lucky for me it was mine, so I went into Rambo mode and took my shirt off and tied it around my head. Trying to assess the situation I could not figure out what the taste in my mouth was. As I’m spitting I realized it was deer hair.

I go around to the back to get my kids out of the car and glass was everywhere. My son is screaming with glass all over his hair and clothes, same for my daughter. As I am getting my son out of his car seat a notice a huge pile of deer feces, yes shit, right next to his car seat. It just missed him. Everyone gets out of the car and we do our best to dust off the glass.

Luckily two things happened. I had a brief instant of clarity and flashed back to my driver’s safety course… just hit it, don’t swerve. If I would have pulled the wheel we would have rolled into a deep ditch on either side. Second, there were cars that stopped and helped us out. They called an ambulance, directed traffic and even gave my daughter some candy. Needless to say we were all pretty shook up and tried collecting our things scattered everywhere when the ambulance arrived.

We took the ambulance to the hospital in Kaposvar. On the way we again noticed the glass all over us. My daughter had it in her underwear, I had it in my ears and my teammate Soma had it in his eyes. It was absolutely everywhere and we found it in apartment all over for the next few months. The worst part, for my wife, was after picking off the glass we begin to notice something else in our hair and on our clothes. Deer Ticks. They were all over us.

Now needless to say it was a traumatizing experience. Luckily we walked away from it because we could have very easily died. I had a big cut on my forehead from… the deer hitting my head? The glass hitting my head? The GPS flying? No idea but besides a few cuts on my wife and I, we were all safe. So phew right? We’re all safe, we can put that behind us.

Well not quite. I continued playing and our team was doing well. Moved up to as high as 6th in the standings and I managed to score a season high 31 points at Szolnok a few days after the accident. A few months passed then in January I get a letter in the mail. The police found me liable for the deer/accident even though I was going exactly the speed limit. Because they found me liable they are going to take my license away for three months. Not only that but I am responsible for paying for the deer that I just killed with my car ($150- $5,000).  That’s right pay for the deer. To top it all off the insurance company would not cover the costs of the car because there was a deer warning sign next 7 kilometers on the road. So because my contract stated that if I’m found negligent in an accident I would be liable for the damage I now owe the club a substantial amount of money. Awesome.

Now if this happened in your home town this would be a pretty big deal. But compounded on the facts of the accident, we were in a foreign country where the Police on the scene didn’t speak English, the paramedics that arrived didn’t speak English and I have NO clue what any letter that comes in the mail says when it’s in Hungarian. Thankfully my teammate Soma was there to not only make sure my wife was in the back seat safely (thanks Soma) but to speak to everyone at the scene. The crazy thing is we randomly ran into Soma at the mall in Budapest and I asked him if he wanted a ride home rather than taking the train (we lived 2 hours from Budapest and there are several major malls in the area). It was fate that Soma was there but I’m guessing he wished he would have taken the train.

So this incident has left me fearing every brown bush on the side or the road, cringing any time I see a car wreck on TV and I’m pretty much terrified of deer (don’t be surprised if I become an avid deer hunter… with something besides a car).  And I am not kidding you this deer was at least 12 points and was taller than the car. Look at the minimal damage to the front end in that picture compared to the top of the car. IT WAS HUGE! So here in Helsinki I don’t drive a car…. I take the tram.

Watch out for deer in Hungary!

If you want to know more about me visit my website www.joshwilsonbasketball.com, check out my highlights on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApGzS3h-csQ, or check out my basketball academy at www.rootsbasketball.com

Season update; Finished the last game with 29 points on 7/7 from 2 3/6 from 3 and 6/8 from the line. By far the best game of the year for me personally. We also won which is big because it’s the team we’ll most likely play in the playoffs. Highlights of the game- http://youtu.be/n_5eoHbabbo

Advertisements

From Hungary to Finland

A ton has happened since my last post so I have some catching up to do. A few weeks after my last blog my family and I decided to leave Kaposvar in Hungary and pursue other opportunities for reasons I’ll explain in a later blog. We arrived here in Finland Jan 22nd and are just now getting settled in and comfortable in our new life in Helsinki.

There are very striking differences from Hungary to Finland both in lifestyle, people and the style of basketball. The biggest difference can be noticed immediately after getting off the plane, the weather. This was to be expected but is not as big of a deal as I thought. As long as you layer up and have a good coat it’s not a problem at all. Today was -15 Celsius and my wife and two kids did just fine getting around the city.

Nearly everyone in Finland speaks English. I read in an article that 90% of the people in Helsinki speak English. That is pretty impressive. They have a very good economy, education system and everything seems very modern. To an American Finland is great. The local stores have all of my favorite American food Mt. Dew, Peanut Butter, Doritos and even the impossible to find Ranch. My only complaint is the cost of living. Everything in Helsinki is expensive and that’s not even considering the exchange rate from Euro to Dollar. A small example was a 16 ounce bottle of coke at the gas station was 2.50 Euro. That means it was $3.29 for a coke. Huh? I highly recommend Finland to professional hoopers, atleast from what I’ve seen so far. Of course, I am in Helsinki.

The style of play here is also much different. Everyone asks me what is a better league Hungary or Finland. Generally they are considered the same from the people  I’ve talked to but I think there is a big difference. Hungary has a ton of good big men and is a very physical league. The refs really let things go and the games can easily turn into a slugfest. Finland is the complete opposite. The refs are super touchy so I am having to shed all my bad handing checking habits I’ve developed over the last few years. Finns also play extremely hard and so far seem to be very organized. I may form different opinions by the end of the year but these are my first impressions.

I’m very excited to be here in ToPo. The city is great, the people are very friendly and my team has a ton of potential. I struggled adjusting to the style of the refs and just getting comfortable my first few games but we finally got a much needed win tonight. Also, best of luck to my former teammates in Kaposvar, keep on keeping on. I know this was a very short blog but I was necessary. Very soon I will explain the whole Hungary situation and share some of my thoughts on my favorite perk of this job, seeing the world.

If you want to know more about me you can watch my highlights on YouTube (http://youtu.be/ApGzS3h-csQ) or follow me on twitter @jdubball21. Josh Wilson (188-PG-87, agency: Hightower Law Firm, college: N.Arizona)

Eurobasket

It’s been over a year since my last post and I have to apologize for the lack of urgency. I have been busy and completely lost track of my goals for this blog. I am now refocused and revamped my blog site to gear up for timely posts. This is actually a coincidence because I was just asked to blog for eurobasket.com. Below is my first post so if you want another intro to this blog check it out below;

The world of European professional basketball is not at all what is seems. From the outside it is only the glamour of seeing the world, making tax free money and playing the sport that we all love for a living. While every bit of that is true, the constant grind and sheer turmoil that takes place over here can be hard to deal with. Throw in a wife and two kids and you’ve made a very volatile situation. I have a daily fight to become better as a player and a person and I hope with this blog you can follow my journey.

A little about myself, I am Josh Wilson a Northern Arizona University graduate, where I am the school’s all-time assist leader. My dreams to play European basketball almost ended with an injury plagued senior season that was cut short by a broken foot. I rehabbed hard for three months to prepare for NBA workouts that my agent had lined up for me and I hoped would get my goals back on track. Fate had other plans though as weeks before my workouts I stepped on a foot and broke the same bone for the second time. Needless to say I was a little stressed about my chances to make it across the pond. I had surgery in July and wasn’t cleared until mid-August. I toyed with playing in Qatar and few other places but failed to have any solid interest.  Then in early September I got a call from Erdgas Ehingen Ursingshule in Germany. I was only a few weeks out of a cast but they were willing to take a chance on me and I couldn’t have been more grateful.  In my second game, with plastic cast like ankle braces, I managed to score 29 points after not playing a game for 7 months. I finished the year averaging 14.5 ppg and a third best in league 6 assists.

The next summer I had some big changes in my life. I married my beautiful wife in July and became a father to her amazing 2 year old daughter. Lucky for us we found a team in mid-July which made for a much needed stress free summer (basketball-wise). I suited up in the fall for my current team Kaposvari Kosarlobda Klub here in Hungary. We fought some tough battles as a team both in games and internally as a team. I personally put together one of the best season of my life. I finally had the green light that every hooper is looking for and put together 19.5 PPG to go along with 4 assists and 4 rebounds. In early October a posted a career high 43 points and a much needed win for our team. We fought hard to post what seems like an insignificant 10-16 record. Not making the playoffs was a first for me in my career and left a very sour taste in my mouth. Luckily the year was sweetened by the birth of my son on February 21, 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.

This summer was jam packed as I finish my Masters in Business Administration and opened the doors to my basketball academy Roots Basketball, LLC. I did my best to juggle providing for my family and preparing myself for the upcoming season. As almost all professional basketball players know the market this summer was ROUGH. The NBA lockout and current conditions of the financial markets around the world really did damage. With offers from Israel, Poland, Austria, Hungary and Macedonia I was one of the lucky ones. After a long drawn out process I decided to return to my club here in Hungary. No one matched their offer and we figured we’d enjoy the benefits of knowing the situation. So far this seems to be the right decision. After a rough start we managed to get on track and win 5 of our last 6 games. I am currently averaging 17 PPG to go a long with 6.2 assists (2nd in league). Hopefully my team can keep up and improve on our current pace. We have all the tools to be a great team and with hard work I know we’ll make some noise here in Hungary.

I have been fortunate enough in my time in Europe to see places like Venice, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Berlin and Bratislava. I have had the unique experience of having my son born in a foreign country. I am also deeply rooted in a battle to keep playing the sport I love for a living while maintaining what’s best for my family. Hopefully these unique experiences and the daily happiness/struggles of my life as a professional basketball will make for some quality reading for the good folks here at Eurobasket. All of us hoopers have fought hard to get to where we are and have our hoop dreams come true. I am proud to be able to share these experiences and thank Eurobasket for this opportunity. If you want to know more about me check out my website www.joshwilsonbasketball.com or follow me on twitter @jdubball21. Much more to come.