Morristown, N.J. (July 27, 2015) – Arrivederci, America! CSE athletes had a "molto bene" time playing basketball in Italia early this summer.
Ashley Pledger '16, Sharolin Sanders '16, Daneesha Triplett '17 and Alivia Roseboro '17 were invited to play basketball in Italy by AIST (American International Sports Teams), an organization that allows student athletes to gain a cultural experience through international travel, while also enhancing their personal growth and improving their sports skills.
Pledger said, "We experienced a new part of the world while sharing the love of the game with athletes we had never met before."
In the 11 days the girls were in Italy, they played four games: some against Americans and some against Italians. The games consisted of 10-minute quarters, and girls were substituted in and out so that every player was placed with new teammates. Roseboro could not participate in the games because of a previous injury, but "she was our number one supporter from the sidelines," Sanders said.
Although the athletes did not have much time before the games started to get to know one another, the bonding happened immediately after their one and only practice of the trip.
"It wasn't difficult to bond with the other girls we had never met before," Pledger explained. "Everyone had their own skill level, but everyone was a good player."
Sanders commented, "I liked playing with my group because they were mostly Division 2 players; I learned a lot by playing with them. Even if I made a mistake, they were always very encouraging."
When they weren't competing, Pledger, Sanders, Triplett and Roseboro had the opportunity to see the country. "The weather was great and the experience was unforgettable," Pledger said. They visited hotspots like Rome, Venice and Milan to name a few.
Among the breathtaking sights they discovered around the country, Sanders explained she and her teammates new-found love for gelato: "We created a game called the "Gelato Challenge:" we had to choose a different flavor of gelato for every day we were in Italy."
Pledger, Sanders, Triplett and Roseboro learned a great deal from their experience in Italy. "Watching the other athletes play only makes me want to get better so I can play at the next level," Pledger said.
"As an athlete, this experience made me realize that I need to be disciplined, relentless and work harder on certain skills to be a better basketball player," Sanders explained. "As a student, I realized that I can always learn something new; it never hurts to learn about others' histories and cultures."
The girls give a special thanks to their CSE coaches, AIST and each other for making a memorable time in Italy.