Four women's basketball student-athletes and head coach Casey Kushiyama are in Italy for a cultural and educational tour. The Loggers are also split between two U.S. squads that will play against local club teams. Meghan Hamel writes about the first few days in Italy.
You know what they say - when in Rome, play basketball...or something like that. Going into this trip it felt like the trip of a lifetime. I would get to do my two favorites things: play basketball and travel! So far I have not been disappointed. We began our trip three days ago and have spent our time in Rome. As a history major, I'm like a kid in a candy store. I embraced my inner Roman as I walked on the grounds of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon and so much more. I would have been satisfied with just sightseeing, but after the walking tour on our first full day my team and I (the Etruscans) boarded the bus to go play in a real game against an Italian team.
Going into the trip I had very little awareness of how Europeans played basketball. Thankfully, things are mostly the same. The goal is still the same: put the ball into the basket. If you are curious about how European basketball rules are different from the American rules, some are that the key is a lot wider, the court is shorter, and tackling is an appropriate style of defense (just kidding!). But they, too, have refs that sometimes make questionable calls. The Italian team we played against was really just like us. They listened to Drake as they warmed up, played a little bit of 2-3 zone defense, and did the traditional high fives down the line once the game had ended.
Despite my teammates and I knowing each other for only 24 hours, and only having one team practice together, we were able to come up with the win!
So far I really have had the time of my life. I got to walk on the same grounds the Romans did and I got to play basketball in a foreign country. The best part is that we get to explore more parts of Italy and play more basketball!
PS. Mom and Dad if you are reading this please buy me a Vespa (: