Monday, June 29, 2009

Rudy At Camp

Twenty four hours and one temporarily missing bag later, I am finally in Campanet, Spain for Rudy’s camp, or “campo” as they say here. As you can see, my grasp of Spanish grows by the minute. Que bueno, no?

All of the frustration of getting from Portland to Mallorca melted away as Coach Kaleb and I drove into Campanet. I can’t say for sure just what I was expecting, but I know it wasn’t this, and I say that in the best way possible. The city is like something out of a postcard. Narrow streets, old sun baked women in scarves waving from screenless windows, goats, sheep, centuries old olive groves, cobblestone streets. The whole old-world vibe. It’s not exactly the place you would expect an NBA player to conduct a camp, but that’s a testament to how much Rudy identifies with his homeland.

Life moves at a slower pace out here, which I suspect is one of the reasons Rudy has chosen to hold camp here. After doing nothing but playing basketball for almost a whole calendar year, it must be nice for Rudy to relax in a place where he’s almost completely anonymous.

That’s not to say the people here don’t know who he is. Far from it, but aside from the occasional handshake or friendly pat on the back, people let Rudy be. He sits by the side of the public pool like any other local. He eats what the campers eat and sleeps where the campers sleep. Here, he’s not Rudy Fernandez the NBA player. He’s just plain old Rudy.

You can see the difference in his appearance. He seems looser, freer. He speaks freely with anyone who comes within earshot. He’s animated as he tells stories and jokes. And he’s having a great time doing it.


Bjorn Vilhjalmsson said...

nice post. My second favorite blazer after Roy.

Sirio said...

Hi there

I think your post is fantastic. I've got a son in Rudy's Campus and besides his astounding qualities in a basketball court, we decided to enter our son in Rudy’s camp because of Rudy's qualities as a human being, his closeness. For us it has been an effort because we live in a little town a bit far away from the Balearic Islands, but we are already very happy for several reasons, our son has fulfilled his dream of meeting his idol Rudy and he has met a young man with his feet on the ground and so kind as to enter my son’s room to say hello on the very first moment he had just arrived to Campanet after a very long journey. Besides, he’s playing basketball and having fun. What else could he wish? You are lucky in Portland having Rudy the player, but especially Rudy the man. Have a nice stay in Balearic Islands and take a look at the rest of Spain. You won’t regret it.

anen said...

OMG I think I'm love with him xD I'm so jealous you are there & not me