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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Men’s b-ball takes ‘unforgettable’ trip a Italia

Published: September 21, 2007
Section: Sports

Italy. Un bel paese, a beautiful country, as any Italian would explain. A land of remarkable art, history, architecture, andbasketball?

While pallacanestro (basketball) may not be as mainstream in Italy as it has become in the United States, the games popularity is constantly growing, with Italy playing an active role in international basketball affairs. As such, during the summer, the members of the Brandeis Mens basketball team were presented with a unique chance to travel, for ten days, to Italy to play the sport that they love.

The trip, as the team soon realized, was more than just an occasion to play basketball in a new setting;

it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

As Kwame Graves-Fulgham '08, a starting point guard, said, the Italy trip was definitely an unforgettable part of my life. I was with my best friends in a beautiful country playing basketball, what more could I have asked for?

From the New York City of Italy, Milan, to the canal-laden city of Venice, to the eternal city of Rome (and, of course, many places in between), the Judges faced off against three teams.

Initially, the Judges played against two club teams. First, they played the Selezione Dream Team Italy of Lombardia, who they beat by forty points. Following suit, they faced the Olympia Cadorago team, beating them, coincidently, by forty points as well.

The first two games were blow-outs, according to Manager Gabe Marwell. Soon afterwards, the Judges played a quite different opponent from those they are used toa professional team, U.C. Piacenza. Adjusting to a level of higher competition, with both luck and skill (mostly skill, though), the Judges were also able to defeat U.C. Piacenza, albeit by a margin of 10 points.

On the court, the team played its heart out. When not playing basketball, the team was able to take in the sights that the country had to offer. Compared to even the famous sites in Boston and the surrounding areas, few places can rival either the Italian clash of modern and ancient buildings or the simple beauty of the countryside.
After visiting places such as Lake Como, a well-known destination especially popular among sailors and windsurfers, and the various tourist spots in Venice and San Marino, the team ended its travels with a walk around Romes famed streets and a short outing inside Vatican City, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the smallest country in the world. Above all else, the trip, as Marwell added, was a true team building experience, that got the team focused for our upcoming season.
Was the trip without its laughs? Of course not. After all, what is a trip without its memorable moments?

As we were walking to the dock to leave in Venice, commented Marwell, Yao Ming was walking into the city with his new wife. One of the guys on the team said he and Yao made eye contact, sharing a moment between tall people. Basketball, friends, fun, and great memories – now, thats a trip!