American Football is thriving all over the world, especially in Europe. To help develop the sport and keep competition at a high level, American players are “imported” onto club teams in various capacities. These players get paid to play the game they love while seeing the world and experience different cultures. The Badalona Dracs (Spain) American import, Hunter Lee, allowed me a detailed interview about his experiences in Europe.
THE ROUTE TO BADALONA DRACS
How did you get here?
Heard about the European Football League from a friend, so I made a profile with Europlayers.com. I was contacted by a few teams and decided to commit to the Badalona Dracs.
LIFE IN SPAIN
How do you like it in Spain?
I love it. The lifestyle is very laid back and relaxed, and the city is great. They have this pastry called the xuxo, its life changing.
How do you like the People in Spain?
They are great. I’ve met so many kind and generous people. So many people willing to share or get something for you. They have treated me very well.
What is your go to meal in Spain?
When I cook its chicken, broccoli and rice. Pretty weak. When I find myself going into the city I am almost always hitting up my favourite pizza joints.
Do you spend a lot of time with teammates or on your own/with other imports?
Most of my time is spent with other import players. Since all the local guys have jobs, it is difficult for them to spend time.
FOOTBALL IN SPAIN
What do you see as some of the biggest differences between football in the states compared to Europe/Spain?
The football here is very relaxed. Schedule is not as near as crazy, but I like it. The biggest difference is how much more popular the sport is in the States. In the U.S. kids grow up playing the sport very competitively, so they have a greater understanding of the fundamentals.
How have you personally helped your teammates and coaches develop their American Football knowledge during your time abroad?
I have taught my teammates some of the things I have been taught throughout my career. Mostly tips on route running.
What are your plans after the season concludes?
Getting married. Honeymoon. That’s all I have planned for now.
What advice would you give to someone playing football in Europe/overseas for the first time?
Make the best of it, go see some other parts of Europe if you have the chance. You never know if your next season will be your last.
Can you sum up what American Football means to you?
The sport has helped me grow in so many ways, building discipline, and giving me the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures.