Aug. 13, 2012
After Team Spicy Meatball's devastating loss in the scavenger hunt around Rome yesterday, I bounced back, and today proved to be a better day. The day started with practice, and it was great. The team put in some new plays that the guys, especially the freshmen, are picking up very well. Today's emphasis at practice was defense. Coach urged us to continue to communicate with one another as much as we can to make playing defense easy. Coach always tells us, "Great defenses are noisy." We made good strides in the right direction, but it was not that difficult because Cully Payne and Ben Averkamp like to talk so much.
After a great lunch after practice, the team went back to the basketball arena to listen to a presentation about the community service that a local Rome professional basketball team performs. It was very eye opening to see how much they did and gave back to the community by helping underprivileged and homeless children from all nationalities and bringing them together under the Italian culture and basketball. It was a huge reminder to the whole team and staff that were present about just how blessed and fortunate we are. As leaders in our community, we look forward to bringing back what we learned and giving back to our own community in Chicago.
Once the presentation ended, we got back on our bus, and our guide gave us a tour through the 1960 Olympic village. It was so cool to see all the different buildings and sports arenas that were built for the world's greatest sports stage. On the tour, rain happened to start pouring down and the guide told us that it was the first rain that the city had in three-and-a-half months... How'd we get so lucky? It didn't stop Ben Averkamp, Matt O'Leary, and myself from running a lap around the Olympic track in the rain. I won the gold, followed by Ben, and then the freshman O'Leary finished last with the bronze.
After the track meet, we made a special stop at Loyola's Rome Campus up in the hills of Rome. It was so cool to see the branch of our school, and the pictures of my fellow classmates who have studied there. The view was unbelievable as we looked through the pouring rain at the entire city. We could see all the amazing places that we had seen like the Vatican and the Pantheon, but seeing the whole city from that perspective was something that I will never forget.
This is JC, checking out.