In addition to playing and practicing at the Vietnam VBA professional basketball tournament, foreign soldier Edward Horton of Danang Dragons Club often spends time hanging out with teammates at popular restaurants and cafes along the coast of Da Nang. The relaxing time together helps domestic players, Vietnamese players and foreign players close the gap. Thereby, communication and coordination on the field is also more effective.
Foreign soldier Edward Horton integrates well into the Vietnamese basketball environment
Before coming to Vietnamese basketball and VBA, the American defender born in 1985 played for many years in many international environments such as the US and Canada. At VBA 2022, Edward Horton is the number 1 hunter in the “Han River Dragon” squad with an average of 19.3 points and 4.8 assists per game. Although he could not go deep with Danang Dragons to the semi-finals, foreign soldiers from the US still left an impression with their steadfast spirit and breakthroughs that “left the right and right conflict” scored with their left hand.
Edward Horton (left) with his teammates of Danang Dragons Club
Besides the “imported” pitcher of Danang Dragons, foreign player Flenard Whitfield of Nha Trang Dolphins Club also spent time “vi vu” with his teammates. However, due to lack of confidence in driving, American foreign soldiers often choose the position of the back seat of a motorbike and let a female member of the club accompany them. The image of the 2.02m tall “giant” crouching on a motorbike is far from the strength on the wooden floor that is enjoyed by many Nha Trang Dolphins fans.
Foreign soldier Flenard Whitfield of Nha Trang Dolphins Club tries the feeling of riding a motorbike
The basket guard of Nha Trang Dolphins also shared about adapting to Vietnamese culture. “Food and weather in Vietnam are the things that cause me the most difficulties. But I’ve played in many countries, so I quickly got used to it,” said the pitcher, who has nearly 20 years of playing professional and semi-professional basketball. “The VBA tournament is actually stronger than I thought. Foreign players are strong, internal players are also strong. I’m slowly adapting to the tournament and I think I’ll prepare better next year. Injuries have affected the team, but nonetheless, all the brothers on the team have grown together, progressed together as a family,” said Flenard Whitfield.
Coach Todd Purves, who made the VBA season memorable for the Nha Trang Dolphins, also has a close relationship with the internal soldiers. The former head coach of the Vietnamese basketball team used to attend the wedding of his beloved Dinh Tien Cong (Hanoi Buffaloes) as well as eat and drink with his longtime students in Vietnam. “In general, I love basketball fans in Vietnam the most, you guys are very enthusiastic and support us wholeheartedly. I hope the fans continue to be like this. Thank you very much.” Coach Todd Purves.