Men's basketball plays overseas

Photo+courtesy+Mercer+Athletics

Photo courtesy Mercer Athletics

Photo courtesy Mercer Athletics
Photo courtesy Mercer Athletics

The Mercer University men’s basketball team recently embarked upon a trip to Europe to compete against professional and national teams as well as do service work with younger children.

The team left the United States on Friday, Aug. 9 and returned on Monday, Aug. 19. During their 10-day excursion, the Bears competed in five games and worked at three different basketball clinics for children.

“We have the opportunity every four years by NCAA rules to go on a foreign tour, and we wanted to combine that with a mission/service trip,” said men’s basketball head coach Bob Hoffman. “It was a great learning and educational experience.”

Most of the trip was spent in Lithuania, but the team was able to spend time and site-see in Frankfurt, Germany as well.

Although the teams that the Bears competed against were very skilled and experienced, Mercer was able to still earn some wins. The Bears went 2-3 with the professional and national teams. Hoffman explained that all of the games were great games, with exception to the game against the Latvia National team.

“They beat us pretty bad, but they’re playing in the world championship in a couple of weeks, so they’re a really good team.”

During the day when the team wasn’t playing games, players helped teach orphans and other young children to play the game of basketball as well as hang out and encourage them.

Throughout the trip, the players were able to really bond on their own, as well.

“We did team building to try and get stronger, not only as individuals, but in every aspect of our lives.”