CORPUS CHRISTI – Every day during the Islanders men's basketball team's overseas tour in Italy, GoIslanders.com will bring you Postcards from Italy – a combination of photos from the day's activities and a brief recap on the events from members of the men's basketball team.
For our final installment, Zane Knowles takes a look back at the trip as a whole, and our photos are a selection of those taken by members of the team during their time.
The experience I got from going to Europe was unforgettable and one that will stick to me for a lifetime. People always talk about it but there is nothing like being there in person seeing everything with your own eyes. Even pictures can't give the in-person experience.
From the time we first got there it was like a whole different atmosphere. The trees we would see the entire time as we drove were green and beautiful along with the view of many mountains. The roads were smaller but the buildings were just amazing.
It made me wonder how man can make such beautiful buildings back then when technology was not nearly as good as it is today. Just the sculptures and details along with texture on the many historical buildings we saw were unbelievable. The cities were just beautiful overall.
Personally, the experience for me was an eye opener and exactly what I wanted it to be. I am now a senior and am looking forward to playing professional basketball after graduating, so I wanted an experience that will give me a great idea of what to expect if I ever went overseas to play professionally.
I now have a much better feel of what it's like to live over there. The food is different so that is something I will have to adjust to. I would have to learn how to communicate and speak the foreign language because English isn't very common. The people were also very nice.
We got to see the Colosseum, which was another highlight of the trip. The statue of David was the most amazing thing to me due to the fact of how detailed, smooth and massive it was. It was perfect from head to toe and stood tall up to the roof of the museum we were in.
Overall I think the trip was an awesome experience for the whole team. We had to face adversity with many things, like the fatigue from travel all day on tours, to the non-air conditioned gyms to getting our minds back focused on basketball again, which was the main reason for going there. It was a challenge for us that I think we did well against and only made us more bonded as a team.
Our team chemistry is great and is very strong which is great and something we never had before. I took many pictures, but like I said, pictures will never relive the experience of being on this trip in person. I am so thankful to for having that once in a lifetime opportunity.
A new component of Postcards from Italy is Coach Wilson's rating of the gelato from various places throughout the country. This came after Maury Hanks, the leader of our trip, told Coach about the quality of the gelato in the town of Bellagio.
In the end, Maury's prediction came true, with Bellagio scoring the highest rating. But aside from one wayward day in Milan, the quality of the gelato was pretty strong throughout the tour.
Day 1 – Milan – 8
Day 1 – Varese (Buosi Gelato) – 8
Day 2 – Varese (Varese center) – 6
Day 3 – Varese center (Blueberry/Raspberry) – 7
Day 4 – Bellagio – 9
Day 5 – Florence – 7
Day 6 – Florence – 7
Day 7 – Rome – 5
Day 8 – Rome – 8
Day 9 – Rome – 8