Back in the States!

Well what a great trip, we’re on the bus headed for the 906. We got out of customs and I think 90% of the team headed for McDonald’s. I’m going to put together a slideshow of lots of pics and videos from the trip. Hope everyone enjoyed the blog, sorry I wasn’t able to update it more often. Everyone had a great time and it’s something that none of us will ever forget. Thanks again to everyone who donated to make this trip possible for us. Lots of good stories! Go Huskies!

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Victory over Basket Pamphilla

The Michigan Tech Huskies were victorious on back to back nights in Italy. Tonight everyone scored once again in the 114-56 win. Ali Haidar led the way with 27 points. Wake up call set for 5 am so I’m off to bed. We arrive in Chicago at 340 pm and we’ll be more in contact tomorrow.

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See you tomorrow!

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Last day in Rome

We spent the morning roaming freely around Rome and spending more time at the sites we liked and doing some shopping. We’re headed to our second game at the same gym we practiced at a few nights ago. Then we’re headed back to the states in the morning. Sorry I didn’t have to update more today. When we return to American soil I will put up a lot of pictures of the team and the games. Go Huskies!

Couple shots from roaming around today

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First Official Game

After lots adventures and sight seeing the huskies finally played
Citta de Castello.  Michigan Tech used an early 18-1 1st quarter run to put the
game out of reach.  Alex Culy led the way with 15 points thanks to five 3-pointers. Ben Stelzer added 13 points and Ali Haidar had 10 points and seven rebounds. Austin Armga was also in double figures with 11 points.  All 12 Huskies scored in the 96-28
victory after leading 45-14 at half.  The crowd was energized by dunks
by Phil Romback, Matt Esters, and Ali Haidar.  After the game, Tech players
took pictures with local kids and fans for nearly a half hour before
having a great Italian dinner with the opposing team.

Monday’s game was cancelled with Stella Azzira. Instead the Huskies
practiced and then scrimmaged with some local Italian players.  The
Huskies have one more game on Wednesday before returning to America.

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Game vs. Citta di Castello

Everyone got in the scorebook this evening in a Husky victory with the score of 96-28. The Huskies scored 30 points from behind the arc with Alex Culy contributing 15 and Ben Stelzer with 13, respectively. Kyle Stankowski, Connor McLeod, and Jordan Chartier all scored their first baskets in gold uniforms. The fans loved the dunks from the Huskies even though they were getting scored on. We’ve arrived back at the hotel and it’s 2 am so I’m off to bed but I’ll post more pictures in the morning. Here’s just a few from tonight. After dinner we went and ate with the team that we beat and they were still the friendliest people, so happy to host us, a very cool experience. We were talking about how Kobe must feel when he goes to a different country because the kids loved the Huskies.

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By the way, the colosseum and ancient Rome was awesome this morning.

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96-28 Victory vs Citta di Castello

Everyone scored in a 96-28 victory vs. Citta di Castello. There was a near full gym and lots of fun competition. More to come when we get to hotel.

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Day 2 in Rome Complete

Well day 2 was a busy one and an amazing one as well. We awoke to an awesome cappuccino/espresso machine in this beautiful hotel.
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We then boarded the bus in collared shirts and headed for Vatican City. After bypassing over a thousand waiting customers in line we went through a quick customs/security and headed inside. Mario is our tour guide and he’s been great this whole trip. A great tour guide makes a big difference.

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I feel like everytime we are driving through the city with our bus driver, Pino, Mario knows a fact about each and every building on the left and right side. He’s been great. We went into the Vatican and went to a park in the middle where Mario explained to us the meanings of the paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and then walked through 2.5 miles of museum before entering the chapel. The museum had every type of sculpture and art you could imagine. The team was very impressed as was I.

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The picture above is of a ceiling of one of the hallways of the museum that I found extra special. The pictures appear 3D but are actually only two dimensional, a special painting technique used by the French. Many more pictures will be posted on the photo gallery page if I have time before going to bed tonight.

After the 2.5 miles of museum we finally made our way into the Sistine chapel but werent allowed to take pictures so I have no pics of that but the guys will tell you how amazing it was. After learning about how they choose the Pope and the different facts about the pope we made our way to the St. Peters Cathedral which was 80k square feet. It was massive!! The detail that is put into these buildings is unbelievable and then you think about how it was done 300+ years ago, it’s incredible.

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If you can see the letters near the top of the wall in the above picture, they are over 2 meters tall to put into perspective how big it is. After about an hour of listening to Mario in our earpiece we moved out into the square of Vatican City where the Pope makes his appearance after being chosen and on Easter and Christmas.

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After leaving there we had the option to either go back to the hotel or get on a bus and go to the city center of Rome as Mario calls it. I chose to explore some of the non touristy Rome and went walking around, found this fountain, can’t remember the name of it though and also the Spanish Stairs.

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Enjoyed a delicious ham and cheese sandwich on a cobblestone street and watched a sprinter van hit a building. Returned to the hotel by bus and then did some grocery shopping with Bitts which was kind of a struggle but we made it work. We then ate and received the message that the team had cancelled and so we went anyways and ended up having a good practice with a scrimmage at the end. The gym was like a sauna inside the bubble and the rubber floor was more slippery than
normal so it took some adjusting to.

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Husky fans attending practice!

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After 1 hour of normal practice drills two Italian guys showed up so they divided into two teams and had a 15 minute scrimmage before we had to leave the gym. Bitts even played, what a surprise. Both these guys are on the team that we will play Wednesday night. One of them is from Oklahoma actually and played Division I basketball for Oklahoma State.

We enjoyed a nice Italian meal with some exceptionally delicious ice cream desert for Kyle Stankowskis birthday and were off to bed as we have a full day tomorrow. Colosseum and Ancient Rome in the morning then leaving for our game which is two hours away then we’ll eat with the team we play and then return around 1 am. This team has been promoting the game so hopefully there’s a good turnout. Probably won’t have a chance to connect tomorrow as its going to be a full day. Go Huskies!

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