I haven’t posted about my Club Basketball team in a while, so I wanted to update you all about the team that I am playing on at the University of Edinburgh! If you missed my other post about my team, check out my post about my basketball game in Stirling during my brother Kevin’s visit to Scotland.
The culture of university sports at the University of Edinburgh (and in the UK) is very different from varsity sports at American colleges and universities. To put that in perspective, both the A and B basketball teams practice only 1-2 a week and play games against basketball clubs from other Scottish universities on Wednesdays. The best basketball players actually play for national teams exclusively or in addition to playing for the university teams; they can even get payed to play for such teams while they are undergraduates. Wednesday is the day that all club sports have their games and matches and is the weekday that clubs and societies have their social functions. Because of this piece of the student culture at University of Edinburgh, there are not many lectures offered on Wednesdays; in fact, this semester I just have one tutorial for my Modern Scottish History course each Wednesday.
By becoming a member of EUBC (Edinburgh University Basketball Club) this semester, I have met a great group of students at the University. Like the diversity of nationalities of my flatmates, my basketball team has girls from many places, including Inverness in Scotland, Gibratrar (a British territory adjacent to Spain and the Mediterranean), Devon in southern England, Ilava in Slovakia, Galway in Ireland, Kansas City and Chicago! I feel fortunate at the University of Edinburgh to have met so many awesome students from around the world.
On a Wednesday in early November, I went to Malones Irish Bar on Forrest Street in Edinburgh. This is a pub that supports many of the uni sports teams; every EUBC games each Wednesday night, members of EUBC (and numerous other clubs) get a “free buffet” of buffalo wings, onion rings, and ‘wedges‘–which my British friends have told me can neither be called ‘fries’ nor ‘crisips’.
EUBC also had planned some fun social events on the weekends; this semester they have planned a Pub Basketball night (a pub crawl while everyone is wearing old-fashioned basketball uniforms), a ceilidh (the traditional Gaelic social gathering with folk music and folk dancing), and a Christmas Club Meal. Pub Basketball took place on Saturday November 10, and players of all of the four basketball teams dressed up for this night of fun!
For Pub Basketball, we went to four or five pubs in Old Town and then to Potterow, the student union building that has a club atmosphere with a dj and a dance floor on Saturday nights. At one stop along the pub crawl, I ran into some Hoyas who are studying abroad here; they were certainly curious about the massive group of tall university students who were dressed like old-fashioned basketball players!
On the following Wednesday in November, both the girls’ and guys’ B teams had bye weeks, so we organized a friendly scrimmage at the university Center for Sport and Exercise (the ‘CSE’). After two fun hours of playing basketball, a group of us went to Malone’s for our free buffet!
I’m enjoying playing basketball on the club team and getting to know the other EUBC members. They are super nice–although they do often pick on my American pronunciations of words including ‘aluminum’ ‘basil’, and ‘oregano’. I’m so glad I joined the team because being a member of a club at Edinburgh is a lot of fun! I’m looking forward to my first ceilidh, which is a fundraiser for EUBC, later this month!