The Colgate Scene
November 2006

Hoops team gains cultural experience, builds bonds in Spain
In August, the men's basketball team concluded their summer immersed in another culture —— on a nine—day tour of Spain in which they went 4—1 against teams in Madrid, Marbella, and Barcelona.

Head Coach Emmett Davis cited the level of competition in Spain as the primary reason for choosing it as their destination. In addition to the Spanish teams being composed of professionals, the games were played under FIBA rules, and the Raiders encountered a different style of play as well.

The trip, funded entirely by alumni contributions, was a team building experience, said Davis, as well as a rare opportunity for the varsity scholar—athletes.

"So many students study abroad, but our guys play basketball in both semesters, so they can't do that," said Davis. Spain, in fact, helped to expose senior captain Jon Simon, a Spanish major, to the culture and language.

Each player contributed to a daily team blog, and some kept journals, excerpts of which give a window into their experiences —— from sightseeing and trying new foods to the games themselves.

We just attended a [training camp] leadership session with General Martin . . . I already see my teammates forming into better leaders than they already were. Today in practice it seemed like I couldn't make a layup if my life depended on it. My teammates saw that I was getting frustrated and went out of their ways to give me that extra push that I needed to keep going. — Tim Pounds '08

The 7:30 p.m. contest with our first Spanish opponents went well. The first quarter was a little bit rocky —— as we adjusted to the international rules and tried to overcome jet lag. By the end of the contest, though, we . . . won a sound victory. The game was followed by a reception with our opponents at a tapas bar . . . — Peter Minchella '08

. . . The huge difference between American meals and Spanish meals is the length. Spaniards truly do enjoy themselves a lot more at meals than we Americans are used to. I'm used to eating my meal all at once in about 10 minutes, while in Spain they bring out about seven different dishes of food. — Todd Checovich '07, captain

Toledo is extremely beautiful! . . . The first stop was Cathedral de Toledo . . . a truly moving experience. Tim Pounds, a newly reformed born—again Christian, was a "tiger lost in the forest of God," says captain Todd Checovich. I would have to agree. — Kyle Roemer '08

We stick out like a sore thumb . . . My feet as well as my height became a well—known tourist and local attraction . . . I took about two years of Spanish and was hoping to use some of it, but when in conversation I ended up thinking of words in both English and German . . . The people are very welcoming though, and do try to help us when we don't understand. I did run into a couple of basketball players that spoke both English and Spanish, and we invited them to come to our basketball game. — Marc Daniels '06, captain

The rules over here are a little different. They give you 3 steps instead of 2 after your dribble, which definitely took some getting used to. Also the lanes are wider and the 3 point line is longer. But anywhere you play the goal is the same, "put the ball in the hoop" . . .

I really liked all of the artwork that is posted throughout Spain. Many of the walls are filled with graffiti, but the graffiti is so well done it almost acts as art. . . .

Visiting three total different parts of the country gave me a great overview of what Spain was all about, not to mention a great opportunity to practice my Spanish . . . The trip gave our team a lot of confidence in our strengths, but also, maybe more importantly, showed us some areas of improvement that we need to work on. — Jon Simon '07, captain

To read the team's entire blog, go to www.colgate.blogs.com/mbasketball.

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