Howdy! Or as our Italian friend says, “Audi!” Any loss is tough to take. As coaches, we strive for excellence in all areas for our players and ourselves and can only ask each other to learn and get better from the previous day.
In our fifth day in Italy, Florence to be exact, we arose begrudgingly from our beds for a short walk to “The Academia.” The museum housing the original statue of “The David” by the world-renowned artist Michelangelo. With the early Florence sun shining on all our faces, we knew we were here for a reason. Hearing the story of how Michelangelo was forced to paint the Sistine Chapel for the Pope, because his true passion was for sculpting the human body, it gave us time to reflect that we all love what we are doing right now and are honored to be in such an historic setting. Michelangelo learned to paint a canvas standing vertical for 4 years, and took 3 years to sculpt “The David,” as people we can all do great things in our given position.
After our brief tour, it was time to bear down and focus for our second game of the Italy trip against our first opponent, All-Star Italy. Within the first two possessions, we experienced an energetic and excitable Aggie team. Courtney Walker set the tone with her defensive intensity and Kristi Bellock provided focus on the offensive end early. A good start lead to a good finish and all 14 players fell in line with the starting five for the Aggie “W.”
By the time we all had the opportunity to eat and settle into the hotel, the alarm rang again this morning for a 3-hour bus ride to Venice. Players took the time to catch up on sleep; music and movies while the coaching staff broke down film. Upon arriving to Venice, the view was amazing. If you have ever been to Key West, FL, imagine the cause way but take it to early architecture of buildings and a New York City atmosphere. The only way to travel in and out of Venice is by boat (water taxi as they say), which we all enjoyed after a few hours on the bus.
Our first stop was to Saint Mark’s Square to educate us further on the history of Venice. The most surprising fact I took away was the entire city is slowing sinking. Just think, in a couple of hundreds of years, much of Venice could be under water. And I was able to experience the city through being a part of the A&M family! It was a truly exciting day!
The highlight of the day came at the Venice Glass Factory. The staff there was very gracious (and handsome) and took the time to make two pieces of glass in front of our eyes. It was interesting to see the quality of product and showed why Venice glass is the best.
The day concluded with shopping and eating and a late night water taxi ride back to the bus. Venice is a city that I will never forget for its appearance, but also the fact it may not be here forever. Each day is important and I am thankful to have the opportunity to travel with Aggie women’s basketball!
Photo galleries of our tour of Florence and Venice can be found at http://www.facebook.com/AggieWomensHoops.