The UMKC Men’s Basketball team returned this past weekend from a pre-season tour of Italy which proved to be both an athletic and cultural experience for all involved. After completing a combined 11 hours of flights, the Roos embarked on a ten day tourist-style trek through Europe’s most beautiful country. But competitive games against Italian A and B league opposition lay in store as the trip came to a close.
The team definitely suffered a culture shock and as tiredness kicked in Senior Dustin Dibble even joked that 6’ 8” center Bernard Kamwa could “bench-press most of the automobiles they drive in Bologna!”. Bologna was the first destination for the team and after sampling the gelato and local cuisine the team toured historical sights before hitting the road for the Northern Italian city of Ravenna.
Venice was next in line on the Roo schedule, and the water taxis and healthy cuisine of the Italian people was sampled in this Riviera-filled city.
But business soon approached and the Roos were 95-40 winners against Grossetto with Estan Tyler leading the team with 18 points.
Saving the best for last, the team visited Rome to witness the breathtaking sights of the Colosseum, Vatican City and magnificent Sistine Chapel. The Roos comfortably beat Stella Roma 111-48 as Trinity Hall scored 20 points. Virtus Flaminio was the next victim, losing 63-44 and again in a rematch 92-58.
All four games were played with four quarter segments and the Roos’ clean sweep of their opposition served to make this pre-season tour a very successful one indeed.
The UMKC women’s basketball team was not to be outdone by its male counterparts’ ‘vacation’ to Italy as it toured Costa Rica this past week.
San Jose was the destination for the Lady Roos and the landscape surroundings of Costa Rica completely baffled those fortunate enough to be part of this epic tour.
Taking in the natural beauty of the isthmus was one of the many qualities the team took from this trip, but it also made it its business to give back to the communities of San Jose.
The Roblealto Child Care Center was the location for community services filled with games, songs and dances before the players took to the court to comfortably defeat Goicochea 89-20.
Next, the team was educated about the impact of Costa Rica’s first female president Lauren Chincilla before a nighttime 50-31 victory over Coronado.
From here on, the tour seemed to get extremely boring.
Rafting tours, visits to Montezuma beach, zip-lining and viewing the vast scenery of Costa Rica were clearly too much hard work.
“No one questioned why Jurassic Park was filmed here,” sophomore guard Elise O’Connor was quick to point out.
In fairness to the Lady Roos, they did turn up the heat in their contests and beat against the Costa Rican National Team 85-27.
Junior Emile Blakesley lead the team with 1 points, followed closely by 13 from senior star Dayon Hall-Jones.
Clean sweep, high scores, a respect for the underprivileged communities and some sun to go with it, I think it is safe to say the women’s basketball team appreciates all that Costa Rica had to offer.