Women’s basketball takes competition to Italy

Michael Thompson, Staff Writer

With most of the student body preparing for the year ahead, NYU’s women’s basketball team is wrapping up a 10-day trip to Italy, where the team is mixing leisure and culture with international competition.

It has been a busy three weeks for the team, who prepared for the trip with 10 days of practices and Italian classes before their August 19 departure. Head coach Lauren Hall-Gregory and her players landed in Rome, where they went to see the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Junior Kaitlyn Read detailed some of the Violets off the court activities.

“Each day we do a few hours of tours around the cities and then we get most of the day for free time to explore, shop and do some extra sightseeing,” Read said.

After a day of sightseeing in Vatican City, the team traveled to Florence and dismantled Dream Team Italy Select, 67-45.

The team next took in the sculptures of Michelangelo and the Boboli Gardens. After volunteering at Camp Dynamo, a retreat for special needs children, the Lady Violets were victorious in their second international exhibition, steamrolling Montecchio Maggiore by 20 points.

For sophomore Lindsey Oldshue, this Italian trip with her NYU teammates is her second international stint of the summer. Oldshue competed in the Brazil Tour as a member of the USA DIII Women’s Basketball Team. The trip, Oldshue says, made her a better individual player and a more effective teammate.

“Being able to play with and compete against such high-caliber players I think really helped me improve my game,” Oldshue said.

Even with wins under their belt, the Violets have faced challenges on the court. Senior forward and captain Megan Dawe detailed the differences between NCAA basketball and Euroball.

“It is definitely a more physical game here in Italy and the referees really let the teams just play, which was the biggest adjustment we had to make,” Dawe said. “But once we got a feel for it, we were able to compete and be successful.”

The team is confident the trip will help bring them together and make them a more cohesive unit.

“We basically spent 20 straight days with each other,” Dawe said. “It has really allowed us to focus on team building and spending time with each other outside of the pressures of season.”

With the trip nearing its conclusion, hopes are high for the upcoming season, where the Violets will look to build on the previous season.

“I think we’re going to be even better than last year,” Read said. “We lost some important seniors last season, but I think we’ll be able to fill their roles in a way that will improve our gameplay.”

A version of this article appeared in the Saturday, August 29, print edition. Email Michael Thompson at [email protected]