Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A basketballin' Georgian

They play basketball in Georgia. In this case, it's the country and not the state, now a separate entity since the Soviet Union dissolved but one that recently clashed militarily with Russia. One such Georgian, Lasha Parghalava, has made it to the shores of Hawaii and looks to be a baller who will be helping Hawaii in the backcourt this season.

Georgia On his mind
Hawaii guard Lasha Parghalava's homeland was invaded two months ago
Brian McInnis
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Octpber 21, 2008

Lasha Parghalava found it hard to concentrate. Here was an opponent he couldn't read, touch, intimidate or defeat.

Parghalava knew he needed to complete his final exams at Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College to qualify for his commitment as a guard for the University of Hawaii men's basketball team. But his mind kept straying to thoughts of family and friends halfway around the world, where conflict escalated in his native country, the Republic of Georgia.

While the rest of the world's eyes were trained on the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in August, Russian and Georgian forces clashed over the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia, and soon fought in the heartland of Georgia itself.

"I was in a restaurant, just finished eating," Parghalava said. "You know how the restaurants have the little TVs? I was watching and they were talking about Georgia, blah blah blah, and I was like 'Wow, it's my country.' And then, I call my parents and that's how I find out, then it gets harder and harder to communicate with my parents. The lights were out. They was bombing Georgia, and it was a real tough situation for me..."

Go here for the remainder.

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