Hello basketball fans! As many of you know, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy for 10 days and coach a team of small-college basketball players against international competition for American International Sports Teams (AIST). Here is the run down of the tour over the 10-day stretch. Our team won the Gold by going 5-0 and we ate a lot of Italian pasta and pizza. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I have to thank AIST for giving me the chance. The team was made up of an NCAA Division I player, two NCAA Division II players, five NAIA players, and one NCAA Division III player. The level of competition we played was just below the level of their high-caliber professional teams, and we played one national team from the Republic of San Marino. The sights and views were amazing!
May 25: Arrived in Rome and toured the city. That afternoon, we toured and visited the Vatican City, St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, and a few other Vatican Museums.
May 26: Took a tour of downtown Rome and visited the Trevi’s Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Roman Forums, and the Coliseum. That evening we played against Stella Azzurra and won 88-80. USA 1-0
May 27: Traveled to the Republic of San Marino. Along the way we stopped at Porto Recanati for some leisure time. Then we continued to Pesaro for the women’s game.
May 28: Took a tour of La Rocca in the Republic of San Marino that is very ancient and characteristic. Visited a few of the castles that make up the Republic of San Marino. That evening we play against Nazionale San Marino and won 89-69. USA 2-0
May 29: Traveled to Tuscany and stopped at Bologna along the way. Viewed palaces with 100 meters high towers.
May 30: Traveled to Florence and stopped at the Adriatic Sea along the way to enjoy the beach. Took a tour of the city and visited the Goldsmith bridge, the Signoria Square, and the Giotto’s Dome. That evening we played pallacanestro Don Bosco and won 119-65. USA 3-0
May 31: Travel to Milan to visit the fashion capitol of the world.
June 1: Traveled to Como and viewed Lake Como that sits between the Alps. That evening played against Robur Saronno and won 105-64. USA 4-0
June 2: Traveled to Switzerland and played our last game against the Lugano Tigers. We won 123-86 and finished the Como Games with a 5-0 record and winning the Gold!
June 3: Fly back to the United States from Milan.
2011 AIST Italian Tour Roster
Gerald Boston, Barton College
Brenton Burris, Indiana University-East
Ryan Cook, Maryland-Baltimore County
Charles Evans, Edward Waters
David Sanders, Indiana University-East
Rondu Stevens, Missouri Baptist
Matthew Van Pelt, Spring Arbor
Nicholas Wilcox, Bethany College (W. Va.)
Brandon Williams, Chestnut Hill College
Head Coach: Jason Kline, Park University