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.

After departing the center, we began our four-hour bus ride to the famed Arenal volcano located in the rainforest region of the country. The scenery throughout the ride was breathtaking as we climbed through the mountainous terrain to views dubbed “postcard worthy” by Price Hamilton. We arrived at the base of the Volcano to take some snapshots of the scenery and to explore the surrounding lake. Later that night we traveled to a resort to experience some of the natural hot springs formed by the active volcano. The resort included 11 different hot spring pools of various temperatures with the hottest a scorching 122 degrees. The most popular aspect of the resort was by far the three water slides which we rode for a good two hours straight.

Today we began our day with a white water rafting trip through the rainforest. With some views that seemed to be taken straight from the Jurassic Park series, we traveled more than 30 miles downriver that we all enjoyed except maybe for Alex Vital whose screams of terror from the rapids echoed throughout the forest. We ended our trip in a traditional lunch that included everything from chicken, beef, to fresh sea bass which I found to be extraordinarily delectable. Exhausted from our rafting workout and a long day in the sun, we are now enjoying a few hours of relaxation at the hotel before another great meal later tonight. Tomorrow we leave bright and early for Playa Hermosa on the Pacific coast of the country to partake in a couple of days of sun and zip lining through the rainforest canopy which has been giving Tyler Cerone nightmares for the whole trip thus far. So far, the trip has been much more than advertised and by far the best vacation I have ever had the privilege to be a part of.”

The story continues!  Read Part 3.
Did you miss Part 1?

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