Taj Gibson goes to Thailand: Part I

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By Sam Smith | 08.05.2014 | 11:30 a.m. CT | asksam@bulls.com | @SamSmithHoops 

Taj Gibson recently returned from an NBA trip to Thailand for the Jr. NBA Thailand 2014 National Training Camp presented by Foremost. Gibson helped coach participants from throughout the country vying to become Jr. NBA Thailand All-Stars and play against counterparts from other countries.  The NBA recently added similar programs in Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. There was an open Selection Camp that led to 64 boys and girls aged 14 and under advancing to the National Training Camp at the New International School of Thailand, where Gibson helped provide counseling and training. Gibson with the assistance of NBA International Communications provided a three-day diary of his experiences that will appear this week on Bulls.com. Here is Part I. 

Friday: 

“I worked out this morning. I stayed with my regimen of weights. Then we had the tip off ceremony for the National Training Camp, which was great. We went back for our first day and got to meet and be with all the kids. They were great kids. I talked to a lot of them and it was a lot of fun and interesting because so many spoke multiple languages. There really were a lot of kids there with a lot of talent. One kid caught my eye; plays exactly like Jeremy Lin. Had a great jump shot, very smart on the court. I think there’s a lot of talent here and they are just learning. Then we got a chance to walk around Bangkok, which is the capital. Walking around and seeing the sites and enjoying some good and different food was fun. We got to meet some great local people. There’s a lot of respect (for the NBA). I did go get a foot massage; that was great. I really needed it really bad (with all the coaching and walking around). It was an amazing experience. We got to see some of the nightlife. We went to the Sky Box (63rd floor bar in the Sirocco restaurant in the lebua all suite luxury hotel). It’s where they (filmed scenes) from the movie Hangover Part II. It was an amazing view. Then we went to the U.S. ambassador’s house for a reception. The ambassador’s house was a big, old school, great kind of mansion. Ambassador Kristie (Kenney) is a Washington Wizards fan. But she knows all about sports and was really nice to me and my family. We talked all night and she really knows the game even for a lady. It was great. It was just a great day around the Thai people.” 

Part II

Part III