(John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune )
Many WNBA players suit up for teams overseas during the offseason. That inclues seven of the 13 players currently on the Sky roster. RedEye chatted to three of them about their favorite—and least favorite—parts of living abroad.
JESSICA BRELAND: ISRAEL
Best food you tried overseas that surprised you? "I stay safe, I haven't really tried anything out there [that's] new. All their food is different than over here. I stick with chicken and rice."
Worst food? "Israel is kind of Americanized, so we have a lot of Americanized food. Sorry."
Most overrated country? "Maybe Turkey, I didn't really like it that much. I was in Istanbul. Shall I say, I was afraid of it because it was so big. No one speaks English. In Israel a lot of people speak English, so I was kind of afraid to go out and venture out in Istanbul—it was intimidating to me."
Most underrated country? "Maybe Switzerland. I didn't play pro over there, but when I was in college, we went to play over there and it was so beautiful."
Playing overseas is better than the U.S. because … : "The season is longer and you'll have one or two games a week, where in the States, you'll have three or four games back to back. Cramming a whole season into three or four months."
Playing in the U.S. is better than overseas because … : "You get to play in front of your family and friends. You get to play in the country that you love, sometimes you get to play in cities where you're from."
SYLVIA FOWLES: CHINA
Best food tried overseas that surprised you? "I'm not very adventurous. I was not trying to try anything that was out of my comfort zone. My translator was very good and straightforward with me, and when she told me what it was, I couldn't pump myself up to eat it. I stuck with the rice and the vegetables and the normal food. I wasn't trying to step out of the box in China."
Worst food? "I tried some goose, but it was filled with sticky rice so it was some syrupy rice inside of a smoked goose, which wasn't bad, but the fat on it—can't do the fat. I could do the sticky rice all day."
Most overrated country? "I haven't found one yet. I've only been to three places and that was Russia, I was in Moscow, I've been to Istanbul, Turkey and I've been to Shanghai, so I wouldn't say any of them were overrated. Russia just was too cold. I really liked Istanbul—a lot [of] sunshine. It got cold in the winter, but not so, so cold. China just was a different experience."
Most underrated country? "None that's underrated. I think you see a lot in China that you wouldn't see in the other places that I played in."
Playing overseas is better than the U.S. because … : "It is not."
Playing in the U.S. is better than overseas because … : "You get to spend time with your family."
ALLIE QUIGLEY: POLAND
Best food you tried overseas that surprised you? "I tried a lot, most recently in Poland, they had these potato pancakes. It's a meal, like a dinner, and they do it a little differently over there. They have these fried pancakes and they put goulash beef meat around it and sour cream on top. That's part of the meal."
Worst food? "Poland is known for pierogies, and they're growing on me, but at first I hated them."
Most overrated country? "I wouldn't say any of them are overrated. I've really liked everywhere I've been, actually. If anything, they're underrated, people don't know about them."
Most underrated country? "Probably Hungary. I don't know if anyone knows it exists, even. It's just beautiful. It's a smaller country and I just liked a lot [of] the buildings, especially Budapest, the capital city, is pretty, really pretty."
Playing overseas is better than the U.S. because … : "I'd say I had more free time to relax and go to cafes."
Playing in the U.S. is better than overseas because … : "I get to see my family and speak English."
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