The Greenville Men’s Basketball team was NCAA approved to take a four-day-long trip to Canada to scrimmage against three Canadian Universities. Before the trip, the team was approved by the NCAA to have 10 days of practice, which no other team in the SLIAC was allowed to do!
In Canada, however, some of the rules are different than those in the United States. The universities in Canada play by the International Rules, also known as FIBA, which is slightly different than how the game is played in the USA. The main differences are the shot clock is 24 seconds instead of 30 seconds and the 3 point line is 1 foot farther.
On Friday, October 11th the team traveled 11 hours on a charter bus to make it to Ontario, Canada where they would play their first game Saturday morning. The first game was played against Windsor University. This was the first-ever played game by the new 2019-2020 roster for Greenville Basketball. Windsor University is a well-known team in Canada and made great competition for the Panthers. Unfortunately Windsor came out on top, but it was a hard-fought and competitive game.
The same day, the basketball team traveled to London, Canada where they would play their next game against Faunsclaw University. This was a good game by both teams. The game went back and forth with the leads switching several times. The Panthers fought their hardest putting in a great effort, but ended up losing by a few points at the end.
On Sunday, the Panthers had no games and took the day off. They were able to explore the great nature in Canada. The team traveled two hours from London, Canada to Niagara Falls to see the gorgeous natural waterfalls. Niagara Falls is so high that the splashing water makes it feel like it was raining. Walking along the sidewalk, the Panthers were able to see the Falls on one side and New York on the other side of the water. “This was one of the prettiest views I have ever seen before, and I probably would have never gotten a chance to see it if it weren’t for basketball,” said Chris Jackson a player for Greenville University.
The following Monday, the Panthers played against Western University, a very large and well-known university in Canada. The game was very physical between the two very competitive teams. After 40 minutes of the Panthers fighting till the last second, Western University got the victory. Even though the Panthers lost, they did not give up and left all that they had on the court.
During the trip, the Panthers had devotions as a team every morning before starting their day. The Panthers discussed lessons from Luke 8:43-48, John 4:4-26, Mark 3:13-19, and Luke 19:1-10. These devotions were a lesson created each day to encourage players to incorporate them not only their daily lives, but during the basketball games.
The trip to Canada as an amazing experience for the Greenville Basketball team. Every player was able to play and experience a different culture than what they are used to. Assistant Coach Stephen Groves said, “I thought the trip was great. We had several memorable experiences and also got to play some really good teams. I was glad we played really strong competition because I think it will prepare us well for our regular season.” Seeing a new country, nature’s beauty, meeting new people, and making connections with other players from around the world through the game of basketball is an opportunity of a lifetime. The Panthers will never forget the journey taken together to experience basketball in a new and exciting light.