After a season playing in the Beko BBL in Germany, the second all-time best scorer of the Gee-Gees basketball program, Warren Ward, is rising to new challenges. After his fifth year in the CIS, the former Gee-Gee was recruited by a Pro A team, TBB Trier club, to play as a shooting guard for the squad. In 2014, the team fell short of a playoff position but for Ward, it was still a true learning experience.
Game wise there were some adaptations to make for the Brampton, Ont. native, who averaged 6.7 points per game this season. “The hardest ones to adapt to are the speed, physicality, attention to detail, and the room for error. I had to become a better decision maker and shooter,” explains Ward. “The most difficult challenge is just staying positive when things are going poorly. Playing so much, practicing so much, you're bound to have a bad game and multiple bad practices but you really have to know that your work will carry you.”
“On a scale of one to ten my first year was a seven. It was a solid year but there are some things I would have done differently. An up and down year, inconsistent, but definitely worth it,” mentioned Ward.
Another aspect of this life experience was to adapt to a new country, new language, and new lifestyle. However, Ward notes that the club organization was very welcoming and made sure he experienced a smooth transition. “They did well in making me comfortable; they provided me with a house, car, a phone, and everything else I needed.”
In Germany, he managed to visit and learn some of the local language. He had to adapt to the culture during his transition as well. “The major culture shock was the size of the roads, and the fact that everything closes so early. After 8 p.m. you're pretty much out of luck. Many places close early,” he mentions.
For Ward the best part of living overseas was the independence and freedom of having no other obligations. Even with his two-a-day practices and his games, he did travel to Holland, Luxembourg and France during his year in Germany, giving him the full experience of playing overseas.
The former uOttawa no.10 is still undecided where he is going to play next year. His next stop is Minneapolis, Minnesota where he is going to train and work on his game in the off-season. One thing is sure, he is going to keep working hard and continue to develop his game in order to reach his highest potential.