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- SPORTS: Men’s and Women’s Basketball
- WHO: College Players Ages 18+
- WHAT: College Exhibition Tour
- WHERE: Spain/Italy
- WHEN: May 31 – June 9, 2016
- ITINERARY: View Sample Itinerary – View Final Detailed Itinerary
- HOW MUCH: $4,400 if paying in full for all travelers at time of enrollment. $4,700 if using a payment plan or adding additional travelers to a group. Please see the CONTRACT found on the ATHLETE APPLICATION page (Step 7) for payment procedure and details.
- DEPARTURE: American Flight 66 departing New York (JFK) 5:40 pm on May 31, 2016 (non-stop to Barcelona)
- ARRIVAL: American Flight 235 arriving New York (JFK) 1:40 pm on June 9, 2016 (non-stop from Rome)
- [NOTE]- airline may change flight times before or after ticketing
Staff / Coaches / Chaperones
Drew Richards, Men’s Basketball Coach (Lumberton, NC) – Coach Drew Richards just finished his second season on staff at UNC Pembroke, currently serving as Associate Head Coach. Prior to his time at UNCP, he was the Assistant Coach at Cameron University and Missouri State-West Plains, winning a regional title & molding a Top-10 defensive team. Additionally, he spent time as a successful AAU coach, where he helped place more than a dozen student-athletes into NAIA, NCAA Division I, and NCAA Division II programs. As a player, Coach Richards was a four-year letter winner at Missouri State, competing in 118 career games (69 starts) and helped the Bears compile a collective 80-49 (.620) record and three trips to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). He started in 56 games during his final two seasons as a collegian and led the club in blocked shots in each of his last three years in Springfield, Mo. His career was highlighted by a host of honors as well, including the ‘Guy Thompson Award’, which is given annually to the team’s most outstanding senior on and off the court. Coach Richards currently ranks third all-time in MSU annals with 132 career blocked shots, while also ranking among the program’s all-time top 10 in games played. After college, he moved on to the professional ranks, where he was a fixture in the starting lineup for the Erdgas Ehingen Steeples in Ehingen, Germany. He finished ninth in the league in blocked shots and 12th in rebounds per game in 2008-09. After his playing days, he served as color commentator for the radio broadcasts at Missouri State from 2009-11. Coach Richards earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Missouri State in 2008, while also earning his Master’s Degree in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy in 2013. He and his wife, Caeli, currently reside in Lumberton, NC. Read more at http://www.uncpbraves.com/sports/mbkb/coaches/Richards_Drew
Rachelle Matthys, Women’s Basketball Coach (Buffalo, NY) – Coach Rachelle Matthys is experienced in coaching internationally, serving as our U19 Girls Basketball Coach at the United World Games that won the Silver Medal last summer (2015). Coach Matthys is currently the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Medaille College (NY). Prior to coaching at Medaille, she was the Assistant to the Director of Player Performance for the WNBA’s New York Liberty. As a player, Coach Matthys was a four-year standout letter winner at the University at Buffalo (NY), finishing her career as Co-Captain. After college, Coach Matthys played four years of professional basketball in Germany, Australia, & England, capturing a championship title for the DBBL in Germany. During her time abroad, she coached basketball for several different players and teams, as well as serving as the Strength & Conditioning Coach. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with a Concentration in Coaching and a Master’s Degree in Science Education. Read more at http://www.medaillesports.com/coaches.aspx?rc=387&path=wbball
Silas Oppermann, Delegation Managers (Barcelona, Spain) – Our delegation managers will meet us at the airport when we land and will be with us for the entirety of our trip. They will travel with us and stay in the hotels with us. The advantage of having a ground crew is having a local who knows the ins and out of the country we are in. Our partners in Europe have been doing this for a long time and will take great care of our group.
A NOTE FROM SILAS – First of all, let me congratulate you on representing your country in Europe. My name is Silas and I will be your delegation manager during your awesome Basketball trip in Spain and Italy. I will be the first European to greet you at the airport when you guys fly in and the last one to say good-bye! I am have already taken care of many awesome US delegations but I am sure you guys are even cooler than the rest! 😉 My role as a delegation manager is to ensure the quality of the trip and of all services (hotels, restaurants, guides etc.), but most importantly to make sure you guys are having the best time ever! Please keep in mind I am not a tourist guide, so I might not immediately have an answer to all of your tourist questions but I will make sure to find those answers for you! I will meet you outside of the baggage claim area in Barcelona. Can’t wait to meet all of you over here in Europe! See you soon, Silas
Parents – In addition to our Staff, Coaches, and Delegation Managers, we will also have a good number of parents of our athletes travelling with us. While they have no duties other that to enjoy themselves, they will be able to assist in some chaperoning of the teams. About 50% of our athletes will travel with family and 50% will travel alone.