Spring 2012

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Campus Life

Basketball Beyond Borders

Two former Wildcats — Mike Capocci and Juice Thompson — share their experience of basketball abroad.

Mike Capocci (WCAS11)

Mike CapocciHometown: Lombard, Ill.
Now playing: For the Durham Wildcats in Durham, England, in the British Basketball League, averaging 16 points per game. He is also working toward a master of science in banking and finance at Durham Business School at Durham University.

What was the biggest transition for you in living and playing overseas? 
The biggest transition for me has been leaving my family and friends. I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and make new friendships. I quickly realized that although it’s a small city in England, Durham attracts people from all over the world.  

What’s the biggest difference in the style of the game? 
Transitioning from the greatest conference in college basketball to the British Basketball League has been an interesting but nonetheless very enjoyable experience. There a few slight differences in the rule book, but the biggest thing to me is the change of pace due to the 24-second clock.

Have you had time to travel? If so, what was your favorite trip?
I haven’t had time for personal travel yet, but we’ve made a few trips for matches into Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow) as well as various cities across England. They’ve all been great so far and I'm looking forward to the spring and summer when I will hopefully get some to time to get out and travel Europe more extensively. 

How are you adapting to the new cuisine? Any favorite dishes? 
I'm pretty sure that England isn't known for its cuisine, but there are some local spots that have excellent chicken curry.

What do you miss the most about Northwestern? 
Aside from all the guys on the team, I miss the lake. I loved being able to go and unwind near the lakefront. It’s just a really nice place to be. Also, the food at Bat 17 deli — that place was my go-to spot in Evanston. 

Michael “Juice” Thompson (C11)

Juice ThompsonHometown: Chicago
Now playing: For the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt, Germany, in the Basketball Bundesliga, averaging nine points and two assists per game.

What was the biggest transition for you in living and playing overseas?
The biggest transition living overseas is being alone in a foreign country. Obviously you have your teammates, but it’s tough being away from your family. During my tenure at Northwestern I was 10 minutes away from my family.

What’s the biggest difference in the style of the game?
The biggest difference in the style of play is that on pretty much every possession a ball screen is involved. As a point guard I had to learn how to use ball screens offensively and how to defend them. I am still learning.

How are you adapting to the new cuisine? Any favorite dishes?
The cuisine in Frankfurt, Germany, is amazing. Fortunately, Frankfurt is Amercanized so I’m eating a lot of American food. I have a favorite restaurant, Vapiano. It's an Italian place with amazing pasta!

What do you miss the most about Northwestern?
The things I miss most about Northwestern are the amazing people, the support from the Northwestern community and being on a safe and competitive campus!