Former European basketball player John Mietus is new Globe sports scribe
August 28, 2008 · Updated 12:19 PM
MARYSVILLE Meet John Mietus, the new sports reporter for The Marysville Globe.
Mietus comes to us from a two-and-a-half-year stint playing basketball in a European league. Meitus was a forward for the Horsens Pirates in the basketligaen for the small town of about 75,000 souls on the east coast of Denmark. Horsens is a suburb of the larger city of Aarhus, with 350,000 people, and the club averaged attendance of 250 to 500 people per game. Still, he was playing competitive basketball and hoping for a chance at the big show until a pair of surgeries of both of his shoulders put an end to his dream of an NBA career.
Mietus graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. and flew out to Europe for tryouts, crashing on a friends couch while waiting for the phone to ring between practices. His playing days on the hardwood were a good preparation for covering prep sports, as he said he took a bunch of crap from the newspapers once in a while after every substandard performance. Fans and writers in Europe think every American is supposed to be Michael Jordan, Mietus laughed.
When I went to Europe, I had to hustle, he said as he settled into his new office. One of the things about Europe, unless you are from a big Division I team, youre just doing it to play basketball.
He was in the newspapers all the time and a long day was only three hours of work, giving him time to write a novel on the side. He wasnt going to get rich, but Horsens was a place to play.
Its definitely a living wage they gave us an apartment, so that helped, Mietus said.
Before Europe he signed on to the defunct ABA team the Portland Reign (That was a debacle.) and experienced the same let down many other college-level players face after meeting the real world.
Everybody thinks they are the man, he explained, noting how many college players try to get a foot-hold in the CBA, ABA or one of the European leagues. Its very mercenary.
Mietus was born in Sacramento, Calif. and spent his first decade there before moving to Spokane, his home until college days. At Lewis and Clark he majored in Hispanic studies and physics. As part of his studies he lived in Sanitago, Chile for eight months. The outgoing people in that Westernized society were a sharp contrast to the closed society of Europe, where folks were not as friendly.
Sanitago was really western; it would remind you of a European capitol. Its not as spaced-out as an American city, Mietus said.
At college he said he was not a basketball major but applied himself diligently to his studies. He thinks his time on the hardwood gives him a better understanding of what to focus on covering sports for the Arlington, Lakewood, Marysville and Darrington school districts. Having felt the claws of critics he said he knows how their barbs can sting.
I think thats one thing Im excited about this, because I want to promote these sports in a positive way, Mietus pledged.
Do you know a local athlete who deserves recognition or a team or sports that warrants coverage? Call Marysville Globe sports reporter John Mietus at 360-435-5757 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.