Opportunity of a Lifetime

Aug. 18, 2015


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. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.


VENICE, Italy — Six cities in six days plus one victory.


The University of Iowa women’s basketball program has been busy soaking up Italian culture, chowing down on authentic cuisine, and sharing unique and new experiences with one another in Rome, Florence, La Spezia, Cinque Terre, and Venice, while also checking the first win off its to do list in Pontebuggianese.

Whether they’re taking a gondola ride in Venice, grabbing gelato in a café, shopping in the markets, visiting the Colosseum in Rome, or hooping on the court, the Hawkeyes agree. It’s all better together.

“It’s amazing to have this opportunity,” senior Nicole Smith said. “To be able to travel with your best friends like this to beautiful countries that you see in pictures and movies is amazing. We’re here in real life.

“Being here with all my best friends has been the best experience, especially being a senior. I know everyone so well.”

“The best part is getting to know my teammates and having fun with them,” freshman Tania Davis said. “Rooming with Alexa Kastanek has been fun, too. We’re making memories that will last forever.

“We have gotten closer on this trip, especially the freshmen coming in and getting to know this group. We’ve come accustomed to hanging out a lot, so that has been fun.”

With several activities planned each day for the team, every Hawkeye has their own favorite experience. Some enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, picturesque scenery, and pebble beaches of Cinque Terre, while others may reference the fun they’ve had bartering at the shops, making post dinner gelato runs, or seeing the historical sites.

“So far I’ve enjoyed myself,” said Davis. “Each stop has been beautiful, but I don’t think anything has been as beautiful as Cinque Terre. We all enjoyed ourselves there and the culture, sight of the coastline, and the village.”

“Coming in on the boat in Venice has been my favorite part,” Smith said. “To see all the restaurants and the houses on the water is amazing.”

The Hawkeyes have today to explore Venice and the hotel, which is located on its own island, before heading off to Trieste for its second game of the Italian Tour against Asd Pallacanestro Muggia. Iowa will play its second game in as many days, when it squares off against TK Hannover on Wednesday in Inverigo.

The final stop on the trip is Varenna, the setting of Romeo and Juliet. While there the Hawkeyes will spend time in the Lake Como area, experience a walking tour of Milan, view Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” and spend time in Bellagio.

“It’s great to be a Hawkeye,” said Davis. “I’ve enjoyed my experience thus far on this trip with the girls. They’re a bundle of joy and I love them already. I just can’t wait for what’s to come.”

To keep up with the Iowa women’s basketball team’s trip, visit the Italian Tour Central Page at hawkeyesports.com. Player blogs, video content, and photo galleries are posted daily to keep fans updated.

Additional exclusive content is available on our social media accounts. Follow @IowaWBB on Instagram, follow @IowaWBB on Twitter, and like the team’s Facebook page for updates.

Print Friendly Version