Men’s and women’s basketball travels to Europe

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Men’s and women’s basketball travels to Europe

Photo Courtesy of Bucknell Athletic Department

Photo Courtesy of Bucknell Athletic Department

Photo Courtesy of Bucknell Athletic Department

Brittany Willwerth, Sports Co-Editor

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Over the course of a student-athlete’s college experience, many are presented with the opportunity to travel abroad for athletic competition. For the men’s and women’s basketball teams, this opportunity became a reality for 10 days this past summer.

After touching down in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, the men’s team immediately immersed themselves with a guided tour of the city and a visit to the Anne Frank House. Later that evening, they competed in their first game against BC Apollo Amsterdam, striding to a 94-58 victory.

The next day, the team explored the town of Zaanse Schans (a destination known for its wooden clogs and gorgeous windmills) before eventually departing for Ghent, Belgium. After walking upon the cobblestoned streets of Bruges, the team prepared for what would be their second victory of the trip, a 107-90 win over the Ghent Hawks.

Then, with a visit to the historic Normandy, France, day seven of the trip proved to be a favorite among the team. Walking along the grounds of where so many had fallen brought a somber appreciation to the trip, but it remains a moment the young men will never forget.

Afterwards, the team made their way to Paris, visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre. In their third victory of the tour, the Bison overcame Bretigny 95-61, sending them home with a perfect record.

“The Europe trip was an experience my brothers and I will never forget,” said Ben Robertson ’20. “My favorite memories are all the times we practiced our French in restaurants, along with trying our best not to get ran over by a bicyclist in Amsterdam.”

Meanwhile on the women’s trip, the journey began after touching down in Berlin with immediate sightseeing. Some of these stops included the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie. Due to a mix-up with their opponent, the team battled in an inter-squad scrimmage for their first competition.

During the second leg of the trip the women traveled to Prague, but not before stopping for a guided tour of the Terezin Concentration Camp. Similar to the men’s experience, this eye-opening journey provided all involved with a new perspective on history and an appreciation for freedom.

Picking up back on the court, the Bison rolled to a dominating 134-46 win over Sparta Prague in a game that involved every member of the team. The following two days included some adventures in castles and plenty of delicious food. In their final game of the trip, the women defeated SBK Samorin, 72-56, in Slovakia.

“We had so much fun traveling together as a team,” said Kate Walker ’19. “The European cities we visited had such rich history and unique cultures and we embraced the opportunity to learn and live in each city.”

Upon arriving back in the United States, both teams returned with an incomparable shared experience with teammates and Bison family.

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