Courtesy: Providence Sports Information
The NAIA women’s basketball season officially ended on March 20. Graduation for the University of Providence was on May 5. Even so, the 2018 season is, in a way, not yet over for UP’s women’s basketball team. The squad, which went to its third NAIA Championship tournament in the last four years, has four more games on its schedule, and all four are decidedly road games.
From May 9 through May 18, the UP women’s basketball team will be taking a trip to Italy, for some culture, some fun, and some basketball. The Lady Argos will be playing four games against Italian teams while visiting Rome, Florence, and Pisa.
“We’ve been talking about doing this for a few years now. We really wanted to give the girls an experience overseas and let them see something different,” Head Coach Bill Himmelberg said. “We think we’re building a great program and this is the next step. We also it helps with the girls’ education to see the world a little bit differently.”
It will be more than just the coaches and players making the trip, with a full party of 40 people coming along. That group including some families of current players, along with University of Providence President Dr. Anthony Aretz, and voice of Argo Athletics, STAR Radio’s Jim “Sarge” Sargent. UP’s graduating senior class of Kallee Wilson, Molly Herron, and Stephanie McDonagh will also be making the trip.
Along with providing the team with a dose of culture, the trip also gets the playing significantly more basketball than they otherwise would be at this time of year. The Lady Argos have been running practices in the week leading up to their departure and will play four games against professional Italian teams from Serie B.
The games will be played by FIBA International rules, forcing the Lady Argos to play a different brand of basketball than they’re used to.
“For them to see a different type of basketball is great. It’s a faster game, there’s only a 24 second shot clock and it only resets to 14 seconds after a shot,” Himmelberg said. “Learning that pace and learning that tempo will make a big difference in developing the girls for the future. I think it’ll give us a jumpstart for next year.”
The trip itinerary includes visits to such landmarks as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Duomo, the Colosseum, and the Vatican.
This will be the international trip for any team from the University of Providence. The Lady Argos will also be the first Frontier Conference team to travel overseas for offseason competition.
Updates from the trip will be posted on the @UPArgos social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also listen to updates from Sarge through STAR Radio.
Friday, May 11 vs. USD Santa Marinelle Basket (Rome)
Saturday, May 12 vs. Athena Basket (Rome)
Tuesday, May 15 vs. TBA (Florence)
Wednesday, May 16 vs. TBA (Florence)