Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
I first met Nicole Louden in 1997 when she was a freshman at Kennedy High School in Paterson, NJ. She went on to become the all-time leading scorer — boys or girls — in Passaic County before earning a full scholarship to Auburn University. I wrote my first book, “She’s Got Handle,” thanks to the cooperation of Nicole and her family. Now she’s playing professionally for Valosun Brno in the Czech Republic. Here’s a guest blog from Nicole, who’s back in Paterson for the holidays:
Hey! It feels great to get a mental and physical break from practices twice a day, games twice a week, and my home away from home (THE GYM:). I am playing in the Czech Republic, central Europe, and the season has been amazing thus far. We currently sit at third place, behind Lindsay Whalen’s (USK Praha) and Tamika Whitmore’s (Gambrinus), respectively. Being able to compete against the likes of Linday Whalen, Swin Cash, Tamika Whitmore, and many other high caliber players makes me realize how blessed I am to have the greatest profession in the world:) I had the opportunity to watch my once cross town high school rival, Essence Carson, compete against Tamika Whitmore’s team. Although Essence’s team lost, she played very well. Then I realized how mind boggling it is to have watched her play so many miles away from the US, and I never see her in our hometown.
Initially, when I started my pro career in 2005 the transition from American style basketball to European style basketball was a bit of a challenge. Europeans seem to be married to the 3-point shot, they have a variety of moves, that Americans may consider a travelling violation, and fouls…well, lets just say HANDS OFF at all times!
I think it’s great that Europe has given women’s basketball players the opportunity to compete against players from all walks of life. Many believe that the WNBA reigns supreme. However, when the season ends most WNBA players flock to Europe to compete on a very high level, and get paid very well while doing so. Europe also allows many talented players who aren’t in the WNBA the opportunity to continue their passion and pursue their dreams of playing basketball professionally.
I often run into people who ask, “What are you doing with your life nowadays?” My response, ” I’m still married to Spalding, and divorce is nowhere in sight.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.