The Candice Wiggins Overseas Experience
Candice aims to introduce WNBA fans in America to the world of European basketball.
by Candice Wiggins | @candicewiggins
I can still remember the first day I arrived in Valencia, Spain. It was in January of 2009, as I was preparing for my new life as a professional overseas basketball player. I was fortunate enough to land on Ros Casares, not only the best team in the country of Spain, but one of the best teams in the world as well. And it was in one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. When I first got to Spain, I couldn’t help but revert back to one of the only references I had of this country: the scene in the cult classic movie Love and Basketball, when Monica played overseas.
I had lunch upon arrival, and I ate my first meal in what would become my favorite restaurant in the entire city of Valencia. This restaurant was a small café where the waiters soon learned my name and would later make a birthday cake for me in February. Although I was scared and worried about the next four months in this extremely foreign world, I felt very secure once I had my first bite of paella, which is one of the most famous dishes of Spain, and rightfully so.
The greatest moment of my very first day in Spain? While I was eating lunch, music was playing in the background. Soon the song changed, and they were playing the EXACT same Spanish song (Carlos Santana’s “Oye Como Va“) that was playing in the movie Love and Basketball! I remember thinking to myself, “This is so incredible!” I knew from that point on that I was going to love my time there, and Spain would be dope.
I was right.
We ended up winning the Spanish League title, and we also captured the “Copa de Reinas” or “Queens Cup” in a game that I would probably consider the toughest battle in my basketball career. My rookie year proved to be such a great learning experience, as I played with and against veteran American and European players, including my childhood favorite player from the Sparks, Delisha Milton-Jones. I was truly blessed.
It is my belief that the incredible experiences I have had playing and living in Spain far surpass anything that words can describe. My desire to properly convey these experiences have lead me to what I believe is the best way in which I can share them with you personally.
The Candice Wiggins Overseas Experience aims to bring all the women’s basketball fans in America to the world of European basketball, in a way so dynamic and “out of this world” that it’s even difficult to accurately promote. And what better place to start in 2011 than where it all started for me? In eight days, people can come and see where your favorite female athletes not only play, but LIVE. Experience what we’ve experienced in a very personal and all encompassing way. I look forward to returning back to the first country I played in, and experiencing the fun and joys of Spain all over again.
Except this time, I’m taking you with me