BLOG #4: The Cats Depart Rome, Experience the Beauty of Siena

Kansas State will get a jump start on its preparations for the 2016-17 men’s basketball season with a 10-day trip to Italy and Switzerland in mid-August during which it will play five games.

The Wildcats will depart on Monday, August 8 and return Friday, August 19 touring the Italian cities of Rome, Siena, Florence, Mestre, Venice, Verona and Lake Como as well as Vatican City before concluding the journey in Montreux, Lausanne and Lake Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to the cultural opportunities the tour will provide, the Wildcats will compete against various club, select and national teams, including LCC International University [August 10], BC Silute [August 11], Italian Select [August 13] the Kosovo National Team [August 16] and BBC Lausanne [August 18].

The NCAA permits teams to make an international trip once every four years and this will be the first by the men’s basketball team since Weber’s inaugural season of 2012 when it played four games in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Overall, this will be the program’s fifth trip outside the country, which includes excursions to Japan in 1981, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden in 1993 and Vancouver, British Columbia in 2004.

One player and a member of the staff each day will blog about their experiences in this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Senior Wesley Iwundu
We arrived in Siena and was able to take a tour of the beautiful town. We first looked at the great view of the whole city from the St. Dominic Cathedral. After we were finished, we then went on a walking tour of the city. One of the coolest parts about the city was that it was separated by 17 districts that still stands today. Twice a year there's a horse race and each horse represents each district. The race is one of the main attractions in the town and brings in about 20 to 30 thousand people a year. The winning horse receives 500 thousand euros and the district gets special privilege until the time of the next race.  It was cool because we got to explore the horse track and see them set up for the race since it is later this week. The town was filled with tourist because of the upcoming race. The town itself was very beautiful and I really enjoyed it. 
Administrative Assistant Bailey Bachamp
Hello from Florence! Today we started our day with a tour of The Accademia Gallery, which is the home of Michelangelo's statue of David.  Then our guide showed us around the city of Florence. After the conclusion of our tour, our group walked through the shops near our hotel and learned a lot about the leather and gold sold in this area. Tonight, we traveled a hour and a half to Livorno for a delicious pizza dinner and to watch the Cats play the Italian Select team. It was a fun game and we won 90-55.  We're looking forward to the next stop on our trip, Lake Como. Ciao!