Coach Berenato's Trip for the Troops: Day One
I met Billy Kennedy, Mike (Jacksonville St.) and Dugger(VMI) in the DC airport. We all had long layovers but were anxious to get on the plane. I can tell we are going to get along and have great chemistry. Orlando (La-Monroe) met us when we landed and he too, is a treat!! Funny, we all know people in common. No matter how far away from basketball, coaches always talk hoops. It has been fun.
The flight was good, long but comfortable. I knew right away we were in for a life changing experience as the movie screen had everything written in a different language and it was read right to left, not our left to right. I slept some but really I tried to read the manual to my camera since I am a total techno idiot!! I am more confused now than when Andrew showed me how to work it at home.
As we debarked from the plane, the heat smacked me in the face. It was 122 upon landing, like when you open the oven and bend to check on a cake...it just stayed that way!!! We were met by two official hosts, who were informative and anxious. Ron leaves for home Thursday and Nino returns to his home in a few weeks. Both are anxious but are appreciative of our visit!! We were brought to the army base where we were given our rooms. As warm as it is outside, it is cold in those rooms. They are small, neat and clean. A quick tour of the facilities and a peek in on karaoke made me realize how lucky we are in the USA. These troops really forge through everyday. One man, Steve, stopped me, a huge Tn fan and we chatted basketball and Mayfield Ice Cream!! He gave me and Billy (Kennedy) our first foreign money, a bill that is about a dollar. How sweet. He just thanked us and thanked us!! One guy came up to me and said he saw Pitt on TV -- he was from Montana and it was when we beat his Grizzlies!!
We are back at the barrack and the rest of the coaches are sleeping. We have a big day tomorrow so I will sign off. We are so lucky to have our men and women fighting for us and keeping us safe.
Till tomorrow, there's no place like Pitt!
Game on, Ab
First Published August 12, 2009 12:59 am