Kristen Mann’s Overseas Journal: Part 1
Checking in from France.
We’ve talked about it before, but there really isn’t an “off-season” in women’s basketball. After the WNBA season ends, players are lucky to have a week or two to see their families and pack before heading overseas to play professionally for seven months. SLAMonline is excited to bring in WNBAer Kristen Mann to give everyone behind the scenes access to the life of a women’s professional basketball player overseas. – Ben
by Kristen Mann / @dreamingtree44
My name is Kristen Mann; people call me Kris, KMann, Manny, the list goes on, and yes I’ve heard about every ‘Mann’ joke possible. Born and raised in Southern California in Orange County, not to be mistaken for LA; two completely different counties and almost two different worlds.
I went to school and played ball at UC Santa Barbara from 2001-2005…yes, I know, I’m getting old (cue long siiiiigh). I am currently playing over the pond in Montpellier, France. This is my 7th season professionally, and my 3rd season in France (not consecutively) and no, I do NOT speak French…yet. It’s a long process, but I still have hope that I’ll be motivated to try to learn the language, haha. I’m passionate about music, a hopeless romantic and I absolutely adore my handsome little puppy, Mr. Sawyer.
I suppose I can tell you all a little bit about the city I’m in and about my team. This might be the first time I’ve ever played in a big city and on the beach. That’s right, the water is only a 1-2 minute walk from my apartment…good life. But in all seriousness, I’ve played in some small cities and villages and those places do have their perks. They tend to be great basketball towns and always fill the gym (probably because there’s nothing else to do) but I like to think it’s because they’re avid basketball fans. And I’ve always said this and still believe it: It doesn’t matter what city I’m in, as long as I have cool teammates that I can kick it with and have good company, I could play anywhere. Well…I would also need the internet to survive. And of course, my guitar and my son, Mr. Sawyer.
Playing in this big city is a bonus for me. Lots of things to do on off days, I don’t have to stay inside my apartment and watch movies or television series all day to pass the time. Just last night I went to the movies to see The Help (great film by the way). I cried…a few times actually. I’m such a sap when it comes to movies and television shows. I swear I cry almost every episode of Grey’s Anatomy, lol – pathetic, but I can’t help it. I actually blame my mother for that; she’s worse than me. I think I’ve actually seen her cry because of a commercial once. Back to the movie, it’s crazy to me that we used to treat people that way. I don’t understand how people can be so heartless. I actually felt sick to my stomach while watching . I don’t want to say too much about the movie, don’t want to spoil anything, but I highly recommend it. That is, IF it’s still out in theater’s there. Sometimes Europe is a little slow on getting movies so maybe it’s old news back at home.
As for basketball, things are going well so far. We are currently 6-0 in the French league and 2-1 in Euro league. We just lost our first Euroleague game on the road in Poland vs. Wisla (Nicole Powell, Erin Phillips). Let me tell you about our amazing trip there…don’t forget, I’m in a BIG city in France so we have an airport here. You would think that we would fly out of here to Poland, right? Nope, nope, nope. We left at 8am, took a four-hour train up to Paris-CDG Airport, then chilled there for five hours, then took a two-hour flight to Poland… arriving at 8:30pm to our hotel. TWELVE HOURS TO POLAND! My flight from Cali to Paris is 12 hours! Crazy, right? Aaaand, we did the same thing on the way back. So, you can imagine how exhausted we were from that entire trip. I can’t wait to see what we do when we fly to Moscow later this month…
I’m going to do my best to be consistent with these blogs, and hopefully they are somewhat entertaining for you all. If not… well, don’t read it then, haha. I hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween, and wishing you a wonderful week. I’m off to take my handsome lil’ boy for a nice walk on the beach!