K-State WBB Italy Diary: No. 1

Aug. 11, 2013

K-State Athletics

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COMO, Italy -
Buon giorno, K-State family!

Well, after one bus ride, two flights, and a combined 20 hours of traveling we finally made it to Italy! It was a long, exhausting day of travel, but it was well worth it as soon as we touched down at 9:30 a.m. local time (2:30 a.m. Manhattan time) and began touring the beautiful city of Milan. As soon as we left the airport, we hopped on the bus and drove straight into the heart of Milan where we met our tour guide, Alfonza. We only spent a few hours in Milan before hopping on the bus and heading to our first overnight stop in Como. Upon arriving in Como, a few of us players and all of the coaches took a tram up to the top of a mountain overlooking the city of Como and Lake Como. On the way up the mountain, we found out that Bre (Lewis) has an extreme fear of heights and refused to open her eyes the entire 7 minute ride to the top; ironic considering she's 6'5". When we arrived at the top, and finally coaxed Bre into opening her eyes, the views were incredible! After the tram we all went out to dinner and then came back to the hotel. We had all been up for 36 hours straight (minus Haley who literally slept the ENTIRE 9 hour plane ride) so as soon as we got back to the hotel and contacted our families, we were all in curled up in bed asleep before 10.

Today we started our morning with a boat tour of Lake Como. I know it's early in the trip, but this was definitely one of the coolest and prettiest things we've done so far. The tour was filled with amazing views again....villages, waterfalls, bridges, mountains, islands, and not to mention incredible villas. Our tour guide Alfonza made the mistake of pointing out where George Clooney's lakeside villa was located, and in turn had to suffer the consequence of listening to all of us girls, coaches included, yelling "hey George" and hanging out of the boat just to wave at his house. After riding all around Lake Como, it was time for us to return to land and get some lunch and rest to prepare for our first GAME DAY. So after eating some pizza and pasta, and sneaking in a short nap, we loaded the bus and made the 45-minute drive to the game.

Before the game started we exchanged t-shirts, pens, and handshakes with the other team, but as soon as the ball was tipped it was go-time. The game was tight in the entire first half, but as soon as the second half came around it was easy to see that we had figured things out and when the buzzer sounded, we were ahead by 20 points! After being stuck on the sidelines for about 9 months, it was an amazing feeling to finally get to be back on the floor! All of the hours and hours of treatment, biking, swimming, running, shooting, and rehabbing with Luke (editor's note: Luke Sauber, K-State athletic trainer for women's basketball) over the past several months were all worth it as soon as we stepped out there with the rest of the team tonight! I loved every second of it and am so grateful that we were able to step back on the court for the first time in Italy, and get a win! We couldn't have asked for a better first game back!

That pretty well sums up our first two days in Italy. We have another game tomorrow, so hopefully the next time you hear from me we'll have win number 2 under our belts!  Go Cats!


Kelly Thomson