Cooling Off at the Pool

Yesterday we went over to the Košutnjak Pool which is a large sports complex owned by the city. It is located near the sledding hill in the suburb of Banovo Brdo (Ban’s Hill). It was our first time to pool and we were impressed by the facilities. There were five outdoor pools, restaurants, changing rooms, in a nice woodland setting. It looked very communist, but it was well maintained. The only problem was the 1000 other people enjoying the pool. That is one thing you get in Belgrade during the summer. Any water is just full of people. The kids enjoyed it and it was refreshing. Europeans are in so much better shape than Americans and not as body conscious. There was plenty of flesh of all ages on display. There was a baby pool and it is a nice place for families, although I recommend getting there when is opens at 10:00 AM and leaving around noon when the crowds pull in.

My bow-legs are visible as I dive into the pool

For lunch we went to restaurant nearby for some BBQ lamb and sausages which was delicious. We finished the day with some tennis at the school and saying goodbye to friends who are leaving today for the USA.


Budućnost Defeats Red Star



Pionir Hall View from our Seats, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Last night Owen, Ollie, and I attended the Adriatic Basketball Association game between our favorite Red Star and Budućnost of Montenegro. It was an important game for both teams as they are in 7th and 6th place in the league standings respectively.

The superior guard play of Montenegrins and the weak defense of Red Star contributed to the 88-77 win by Budućnost. I was very impressed with the backcourt tandem of Goran Jeretin (26 points) and Nikola Otasevic (a 6 foot guard who can reverse dunk). They really controlled the game. Red Star did make a run and tied the game with 4 minutes left in the third quarter at 56 apiece behind a couple of nice plays by Red Star import Mike Taylor.

Budućnost pulled away from that point outscoring Red Star 32-21 the rest of the way. Red Star has several problems. Number one is they don’t play defense with intensity. The two guards for the Montenegrins kept penetrating and passing effectively the whole game. Second, Red Star has no guards and play makers. The team is heavy on tall, stiffs with few ball skills. Our favorite player, Vladimir Štimac played little and was constantly being yelled at by the coach. I would find a new coach ASAP if I was Red Star management. I would also find a slasher/scorer at the 2 or 3 position as well as a solid point guard.

We got to stay for the whole game. Ollie most loved the popcorn and running around the stadium. It is a great night out for the kids. I bought a ticket for 200 RSD ($3) , the kids were free, and the boys had popcorn and pop for another 200 RSD. The crowd was enthusiastic, but not violent or rude. Serbians love basketball (košarka) and play it well. Serbs are a tall, athletic race in general, and it shows with the quality of basketball. There are many Serbs in the NBA and US universities. They also play all over Europe and Partizan, the defending champion of the NBL, went far in the Euroleague Basketball last season.

We also had a final day in the snow. The weather was above freezing yesterday and much of the snow melted. We took advantage of the snow again yesterday morning, and went to Banavo Brdo (Ban’s Hill) a suburb of Belgrade. They have a big sledding hill and boys loved it. I promised no more snow videos or pictures but I couldn’t resist. Here is Owen heading down Ban’s Hill. As I update this late on Wednesday evening, the snow is almost gone.