Augustana Basketball Goes to Brazil

August  01, 2013

Augustana College basketball players are preparing to face South American competition. Both the men's and women's teams leave this weekend for a week in Brazil. They will play several games against professional and club teams and take part in service projects.

Men's coach, Grey Giovanine, says the trip will be a great experience.  "It's like a little mini-season. And then you go down and play this great competition in a hostile environment, and you can't help but expose your weaknesses and help your team really grow and mature. So from a basketball perspective, it's a tremendous event. Every time we've done this since I've been here we've come back and really had good teams. And I expect that to be the case again," Giovanine says.

One of the men's games is against RC Flamengo, a professional team that beat Kansas State during a similar trip last year, and Northern Iowa in 2011. The women's opponents are not yet finalized, but one will also be professional. Both teams will also work with underprivileged children.

Women's coach, Mike Beinborn, says this will be just as important as the games. "It's bigger than basketball. And I want them to always understand that. Yes, we want to play, we want to continue to grow, we want to continue to build as a program, but there's always something, you know? There's kids looking up to them in their own backyard, and as we go on this trip, we're going to find kids in South America that are going to look up to them, and that they can leave an impact in their lives," Beinborn says.

The men's team will give a basketball clinic for young players in Sao Paulo. The women's team will volunteer at a sports camp, and also conduct its own basketball camp for children in Rio de Janeiro. The Augustana basketball teams will also do some sight-seeing, and visit Copacabana Beach and the "Christ the Redeemer" statue.