Unless you’re in the famous NBA bubble nestled snugly in Disneyworld, your daily schedule as a professional basketball player is going to look profoundly different — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The same can be said for former Service High School stud, Pindo Drammeh, who signed with the Lich Basketball Club in Frankfurt, Germany this summer after collegiate tenures with Sierra College (CA), Clarke University (IA), and Jessup University (CA). The current pandemic did “not really” affect his initial search for a professional basketball gig nor his decision to sign with Lich, Drammeh said.
Since arriving in Frankfurt in early August, Drammeh has spent his first official days as a pro hooper balancing playing for a pro club, attending graduate school, and acclimating to a new country.
Flying to a new country isn’t without its caveats, Drammeh has found out — pulling the occasional all-nighter thanks to jetlag from the 10-hour time difference from his home in Anchorage.
Drammeh typically wakes up around 8 a.m. however, and starts his day with some reading and a hearty breakfast fit for his 6’9” frame.
“Even after being in Germany for about a week now, I am still feeling the effects of being jet-lagged. To start my day, I typically read an hour of Driven from Within by Michael Jordan… [and] I usually eat an extremely big breakfast which includes a big bowl of cereal, scrambled eggs with strawberry yogurt, turkey bacon, a banana — and can’t forget the apple juice.”
Aside from the obligatory practice and team matters which take up a bulk of Drammeh’s average day, Drammeh has had plenty of time to soak in German culture and all it has to offer. Sampling local eats has been Drammeh’s go-to for lunch during his first week in Frankfurt since his team has yet to issue a dedicated meal plan.
“After I try most of the food here this country has to offer, I will stick to a more disciplined meal plan as the season goes on. I will usually go into the practice 30 minutes or an hour early to get warmed up for whatever [we do that day].”
Practices aren’t every day, it's really important to get time in — whether it’s going for a run or getting shots up.
Since Lich doesn’t hold their practices every day, his evenings have been flexible enough to allow him to knock out work for his graduate school program, get to know his teammates, explore more of Frankfurt, or work on his game. Evenings are Drammeh’s “me time,” where he opts to focus on himself and his priorities.
“I am currently doing grad school through an online program [and] that’s where I dedicate most of my time in the evening. But when I take breaks, I would typically walk around the city with some teammates to get accustomed to the culture as a whole. [With] the team I am on right now, practices aren’t every day, so it is really important to get time in individually — whether it’s going for a run or getting shots up.”
For budding young hoopers looking to make it to the professional level, Drammeh stressed the importance of confidence and believing in one’s own abilities, but put an emphasis on leaning on one’s support system when they need to.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help when struggling with certain aspects of basketball. Although I’m here by myself in Frankfurt, I could not have done it without the help of many people.”
Joey Carrreon is a Filipino-American journalist from Anchorage, Alaska whose work can be found in the Anchorage Daily News, The Spenardian, and The Northern Light.
Joey graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public communications and is passionate about basketball, food, pop-culture, and the oxford comma.