By Jacob Johnston,
Augustana men’s basketball
Today was game day and the Augustana men’s basketball team is now 1-0 at the start of our European expedition.
We had an early start to our morning, with a great breakfast at our hotel, and then made our way to the gym for our first contest at 9:15 a.m..
Our opponent, the European Basketball Academy, had five Americans, so it wasn’t that much different than playing back in the United States. However, how the referees called the game was a pretty big adjustment for us. All you have to do is ask junior Dylan Sortillo and sophomore Pierson Wofford as they got hit with a few travelling calls throughout the game.
The referees are much more strict on players footwork, which resulted in a lot of turnovers for us. Regardless, we played hard and together and came through with the win with the final score being 84-73.
After our game concluded, we headed back to our hotel to clean up, and then we had some free time to explore the area. With this time we went to local restaurants for lunch, and then went to the beach. The guys really enjoyed the beach and Mediterranean Sea is beautiful.
Following a couple of hours of viewing the city, we got back on the bus to downtown Barcelona for some site-seeing.
Our first stop was at Guell Park, located on the side of a mountain in Barcelona. Here we learned about famous architect Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi designed many of the houses of the affluent families in Spain and he lived and designed parts of Guell Park in the ladder years of his life. Gaudi’s focal points in his work were religion, nature, and function, and his work is very unique, so seeing it in the park was very interesting.
Once we finished touring the park, we went downtown to see the Sagrada Família which is an enormous church that Gaudi and other architects worked on. The structure is still being worked on today even though construction began in 1882, and by 2026 it will be completed and will be the tallest structure of Catholic worship in all of Europe. Sagrada Família was so large and unique that words and pictures don’t really do it justice, it was truly breathtaking.
This was our last stop for the day and we went back to the hotel afterward for dinner. That concluded day three of our journey and will continue tomorrow with a day of site-seeing and a game against another professional Spanish team, AE Boet Mataro.