Aug. 8, 2011
Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre — UI women’s basketball players are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey today when they depart on the team’s 12-day European foreign trip.
The Hawkeyes will visit four cities — Prague, Czech Republic, Vienna, Austria, Bratislava, Slovakia and Paris, France. Three games are scheduled during the trip with the remainder of the time set up for team-building and sight-seeing.
“I am excited to play European ball, but am also looking forward to seeing some sights that I’ve only dreamt about seeing,” said junior Morgan Johnson. “Sights that I never thought I would get an opportunity to see. I am very excited to go and see these different places and cultures.”
After arriving in Prague on Aug. 9, the team will visit the Prague Castle and the Terezin Concentration Camp before playing its first game against Strakonica on Aug. 11. In Slovakia, the team will see Old Town, the Bratislava Castle, Martin Cathedral and Old Town Hall before playing its second contest against Bratislava BBC.
“The coaches are awesome about that (sight-seeing) anywhere we go,” said junior Jaime Printy. “They try to let us have a lot of fun. They have books and packets planned out for us, so we’re going to do a lot of fun things over there.”
After spending two days in Vienna, where the team will see St. Stephen’s Cathedral and The Hofburg, the Hawkeyes fly to Paris. In the “City of Light”, the team will take a boat tour on the Seine River, passing the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral.
“I am really excited to go down the river in Paris and go on the boat tour there,” said Johnson. “I think it is going to be a pretty scene.
“Honestly, I just want to go and sit in a coffee shop in Prague and look at people and see what the culture is like. The little things that they do different is what I am interested in.”
All but two of the current Hawkeyes — freshmen Kathryn Reynolds and Bethany Doolittle — have never been to Europe. One of the other barometers the team will have to overcome is the language barrier. Two Hawkeyes — Doolittle and Samantha Logic — are able to understand and speak French.
“Bethany and Sam will be my translators… I am going to take them where ever I go,” said Johnson. “I get the honor of having Bethany as my roommate, so I have first dibs.”
Along with the experience of traveling abroad, the team will use the time in Europe to grow as a collective unit in preparation for the up-coming season.
“I think this is the perfect time for us to go on a trip like this,” said Johnson. “We’ve all had all summer to get to know each other, to get beyond that awkward stage when the new players arrive.
“I think this is going to be a great opportunity to grow as a team and really get to know people personally in how they work individually. It’s really going to be a great opportunity.”
Hawkeye fans can follow the trip via Hawkeyesports.com, which will feature complete coverage with video, play blogs, box scores and game recap