Three Puget Sound women's basketball student-athletes (RaeAnn Allen, Giavanna Sorn, Sammie Swartout) and two coaches (Casey Kushiyama and Kayla) are in Spain with Beyond Sports Tours. The Loggers are teaming up with NCAA D-III student-athletes and coaches from across the U.S. for four games, community service initiatives, and tours throughout Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona.
Sammie Swartout writes about the final days of the trip.
Our tour guides have done such an incredible job leading us through Spain! Our last stop in Barcelona has been fun and interesting. The first night here we got to see flamenco dancing – Coach Kushiyama and Coach Reeves busted out a few dance moves, too! We also went to La Sagrada Familia and learned about Gaudi and his gothic architecture. They are predicting to be completely finished with the project by 2026 – 100 years after his death.
Playing against Spaniards has been different compared to any level of basketball I've played before. There are different rules, the game is physical, and it's difficult to communicate with the refs. It has been quite the basketball experience!
As we near the end of the trip, I've been reflecting on all I've been able to experience in Spain. Not only have I been able to see historic sites and play basketball, but I've also made new lifelong friends.
Though I'm sad to leave Spain, I'm excited to drink free water and sleep in my own bed!