Several basketball programs took advantage of the last month of the summer before classes to go on trips abroad with Sport Tours. There was a common thread among all the teams; the coaches and players in each program made it clear that the trips were invaluable for team bonding, building chemistry and generating lifelong pleasant memories.
South Alabama Takes on Montreal and Quebec City
South Alabama women’s basketball kicked off August with a nine-day sojourn north of the border to Quebec, Canada. The trip began in Montreal with the team posting video and images via social media with the hashtag #JagsTakeMontreal.
After a couple of days of sightseeing, a bike tour and zip lining, the team took on their first opponent in Montreal. The Jaguars defeated the Montreal All-Stars 68-50.
The team spent the middle of their trip in Quebec City, a jaunt that included a contest against local team Laval. While the Jaguars fell to Laval, head coach Terry Fowler was pleased with the play of the freshmen and sophomores. Players had a chance to wind down and lift their spirits postgame with a tour of the historic neighborhood Old Quebec.
The team ended their trip with a 73-47 victory over Bishops when they returned to Montreal.
"As we finish our journey, I believe we were able to accomplish a lot of things on and off the floor," Fowler said of the trip. "I'm proud of our student-athletes in how they represented themselves, their families, our program, our athletic department and the University of South Alabama. Our program will be forever grateful for this opportunity."
For a full recap of the South Alabama trip, check out the team’s blog here.
Madrilenian and Catalan Adventures for Tulane
Tulane men’s basketball spent 10 days in Spain beginning with a stop in the Spanish capital, Madrid. After arriving on Aug. 10, the Green Wave took in the sights for a day before playing the first of four opponents during the trip.
However, before that first game, the team visited the immense stadium that serves as the home of the world-renowned soccer team, Real Madrid. Tulane won both of its games Madrid.
Four days into their trip, the Green Wave took to the air to travel to the Barcelona, the Catalan capital on the coast of the Mediterranean. While in Barcelona the team played two more games and won both for an overall perfect 4-0 record in Spain.
While the team had time to visit many of the city’s famous architectural marvels, coaches and players also took time to participate in a moment of silence for victims of the terrorist attack in the city at Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished temple, La Sagrada Família.
For more on Tulane’s trip, read the team’s blog entries on the Green Wave website.
Trailblazing Travel in Cuba for Louisiana Lafayette and Siena
Louisiana Lafayette men’s basketball and Siena women’s basketball had the rare opportunity to travel to Cuba and play against the country’s national teams. The programs followed in the footsteps of the few teams that have visited Cuba without special permits since travel restrictions were lifted a few years ago.
While in Cuba, coaches and players on both teams were enchanted by the classic cars in Havana, the capital city’s diverse historic architecture, the lush Cuban countryside and the pristine beaches of Varadero.
The Ragin’ Cajuns headed to the island on August 7 for a week of games, salsa lessons, exploration and classic Cuban cuisine. To hear more about the team’s trip, listen to the head coach Bob Marlin talk about his team’s adventure on “The Starting Lineup” podcast. You can also read a recap of the team’s last game in Cuba, a 70-64 victory over the Cuban National Team, on the Ragin’ Cajuns website.
Siena arrived in Cuba Aug. 14, a day after the Ragin’ Cajuns left. In addition to playing three games, the Saints conducted a youth clinic and visited the U.S. Embassy in Havana and met the Consul General, a Siena alumnus. In addition, the Associated Press covered the team’s trip with an in-depth feature article.
For more on Siena’s trip, read the team’s blog.
Escape to the Bahamas for Chicago State
The Chicago State men’s basketball team had a chance to escape the city and enjoy the tropics in the Bahamas. The Cougars had three games scheduled for the trip in between taking in the sights and fun in the sun.
The team took their competition seriously and ended up going 3-0 during the Bahamas trip. After their last game, they had fun at a water park and ran into Washington Wizards Center Marcin Gortat. What a great way to end the trip.
Chicago State student-athletes chronicled their trip with an “Adventures in Nassau” blog series.
Hoops Mania in Puerto Rico
Three men’s basketball teams spent a week in mid-August in picturesque Puerto Rico. Hampton had great success on the court in between enjoying the weather and scenic tours. The Pirates opened their trip with an 88-60 win over UC Bayamon in Guaynabo. Their winning touch continued as they finished their trip 3-0. Read a recap of the team’s final victory in Puerto Rico.
Alcorn State also started their Puerto Rico trip off on a good foot. The Braves defeated Metropolitan University 82-70 to begin their undefeated stint in the tropics. After their last game, a hard-fought 81-79 win over UC Bayamon, head coach Montez Robinson expressed his pride in the team.
“This trip was about growing as a team and bonding, and I feel like we accomplished both of those goals. This has been a great trip and something our guys will never forget.”
Check out the recap of the victory here.
Like their other NCAA counterparts on the island, Green Bay enjoyed a successful trip to Puerto Rico bonding with each other and showcasing their skills on the court. In addition to tours, paddle boarding and other fun water sports, the team played four games.
Even with their busy schedule, the Phoenix managed to leave the island with a 4-0 record and some great stats. They averaged 98.0 points per game and shot over 44 percent from the international 3-point line!
“It was impressive to see how well we shot the ball there,” said head coach Linc Darner of his team’s offensive prowess.
For a full recap of Green Bay’s trip, check out the team’s blog on the program’s website.