Part 2: OU Men’s Basketball Scores in Costa Rica with Competition, Volunteering

Oglethorpe rising senior Andrew Steioff checked back in to share more about the Oglethorpe Men’s Basketball team’s travels in Costa Rica.

“Halfway through our excursion through Costa Rica has our team feeling cultured and a bit tired. The past couple days have been filled with a game against the five-time defending champs of the top professional league in Costa Rica, a community outreach activity, sightseeing at an active volcano, a relaxing night indulging in natural hot springs, and a whitewater rafting trip.

Our game against Barva was highly anticipated by my teammates and me—we wanted to see how we stacked up against top flight international competition. We would not be disappointed as the Barva team was one of the biggest and most athletic teams I have personally ever played against on the collegiate level. Undersized and considerably younger (most of Barva’s players were around 28 or 29 years old), we struggled to compete early as Barva jumped out to an early double digit lead. Our team once again showed tremendous heart and defensive effort as we clawed back to take the lead halfway through the third quarter, only to eventually fall to the Barva squad. Barva’s best player, a wing from Panama, was one of the most athletic and best physical specimens I have ever shared the hardwood with. Once again, Alec Pitts was named the MVP followed closely by Sam Purdy who was once again lights out from 3-point range. Two other players rounded out the night with double figures: freshman Tyler Courson and me.

The next morning we embarked on a community outreach activity at a local children’s center in San Jose. We came bearing gifts of candy, coloring books, clothes, and of course some stuffed “Peteys” to share with the children. Unanimously, the most rewarding part of the trip thus far was when we spent a few hours with the kids playing on the playground. Their most favorite activity was being carried on our shoulders through the playground. Not to be outdone, Coach Ponder had a record crowd as he shared with the children some of his famed magic tricks. When the time to depart came it was hard to tell who was more upset we were leaving: the children or the players. Continue reading

OU Men’s Basketball On the Road for International Competition

The OU Men's Basketball team won their first of three games Monday night over professional squad Escazu, 74-71.

It may be summer break, but the Oglethorpe Men’s Basketball team continues to sport the black and gold.  The Stormy Petrels have taken their game on the international road to Costa Rica, mixing competition and culture in an overseas team-building experience.  Head coach Philip Ponder, assistant coach Andrew Tulowitsky, and nine players from last season are spending seven nights in the country, competing in three international games and taking in some of the country’s famed cultural and educational excursions. 

“This should be a great trip for our student-athletes,” said Coach Ponder. “The guys will have a chance to experience another culture while also playing some top-notch basketball games. Team building outings like this can really help with group chemistry.”

The team is set to tour the National Museum and Theater, visit the Supreme Court,  go zip-lining, and take a whitewater rafting trip in the country’s tropical waters.  In true Oglethorpe fashion, the guys also will spend time volunteering at a local shelter for disadvantaged youths.

Even after a long day of international travel, rising senior Andrew Steioff took time to report to the OU Blog from the road:

“My name is Andrew Steioff, a communication major from Duluth, Georgia and a member of the Oglethorpe basketball team which is embarking on a week long tour of the country of Costa Rica.  Before the trip, my teammates and I were all anxious and excited to see what the trip had in store for us.  Little did we know that our first day would end up being a little hectic.  Continue reading