FILA Nationals report so far

Suwanee, GA – Today is the second day of this large tournament just north of Atlanta. Yesterday began with 152 teams, and by the end of the night, that number was whittled to 76. At the end of two rounds today, that number should be reduced to 19.

In the absence of pictures for now, here’s the setting……..

This is a beautiful area, full of lush greenery and wide open spaces. But the price residents pay for this is deluge rain at times, and constant humidity. People’s ideas of “not that far away” here means the destination is at least 3-5 miles out.

The Suwanee Sports Academy and the Dobbs Center are the sites for this tournament. SSA is a nice facility with two large gyms that house eight courts. The Dobbs Center is several miles down the road, and has no air conditioning. There are eight courts there as well, and playing there is a miserable experience. Heck, it’s not fun to be a spectator. We are all wondering why Michael T. White would choose to have Dobbs Center as one of his locations – especially in Georgia in the summertime. Fortunately, however, most teams will only play there once.

The impressive array of teams here are from all over the country. It’s really a privilege to be able to see teams I would never see otherwise…..New York, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia and Texas teams, to name a few. I’ve seen a lot of talent so far, and have stories in the works that I don’t want to get too much into now because I haven’t yet conducted the interviews. But lots of interesting teams, people and situations here.

There are also a heckuva lot of coaches in attendance. I’ve seen every coach from the PAC-10, and coaches from a few colleges I’ve never heard of before.

At our hotel, there are interesting folks. I met an east coast basketball mom yesterday who gave me one of my story ideas. Late last night I wandered into the dining room to use the microwave and ran into a low-key drinking party. It was some coaches and parents from a Virginia team. They were pretty funny; invited me to join them. It’s fun because wherever we go, people are speaking girl’s basketball, i.e. that’s what the conversations are about. I wish I could live in that world more often.

Besides the humidity, the three-hour time difference is a big adjustment. Traveling east is always more difficult than going west.

More later…..gotta chill for a bit because there are three more games I’m going to check out tonight. Looking forward to posting the pictures.