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. Elizabeth Prewitt writes about her experience in Italy.
Buongiorno from Italy!
Wow, what a week it has been! I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to explore this beautiful country, take in these astonishing sights, meet new people, and experience basketball in a different culture.
After finishing in the Tuscany region we boarded the bus for the four-hour trip to the Venice region. While it was a long bus ride, it gave us the time to take in the beautiful countryside. It was all very green, filled with lots of farms and vineyards. I even picked out my future retirement villa and personal vineyard (better find a really good job). After a long and busy few days traveling through Rome and Florence, we had the afternoon off and took advantage of the BEAUTIFUL weather and outdoor pool.
We have been very fortunate to have great weather throughout the entire trip so far (don't worry lots of sunscreen has been applied throughout this trip). Following some great pool time, it was times to gear up for another basketball game. My team had already played a game so I was at least somewhat acquainted with FIBA rules, but I wasn't sure what to expect of the team in the different region.
My team played ASD Giants Basket Marghera. It was a close game and even though we didn't come out on top, it was still a great experience and had some good takeaways. Prior to the game, both the U.S. national anthem and the Italian national anthem were played. I really enjoyed being able to listen to their anthem and represent the U.S. as well. The game was very physical as the refs let you play, but it's fun to push through it and test your patience and mental toughness.
The following day, we explored the floating city of Venice! Again, we had beautiful weather which just magnified the beauty of the city. We walked through St. Mark's square, walked over the Rialto Bridge, and rode a gondola through the complex system of canals. We even spotted a giant medusa, or jellyfish, in a canal. The sights and the people we met were amazing. We also went to a glass blowing factory where we watched a demonstration of a vase and a horse figurine being made. It was incredible to watch the high level of skill involved and how quickly they are able to make these amazing products. It takes 10 years of apprenticeship master this art and is passed down from father to son. Now, off to Milan we go!
P.S mom if you're reading this please buy me a sidecar so I can ride Meghan's Vespa with her and Jamie.