The Amalfi coast

By Chrishawn Orange
Augustana men’s basketball

My day to write and it began with a wake-up call at 7:30 a.m. from assistant coach Jordan Delp. He told me in the most monotone voice I’ve ever heard “wake up”.

We headed down to breakfast, which was pretty good. They had croissants with lemon powder on them and it was the best croissant I’ve ever had. From there we lined up in a single file line and started our morning walk down to our bus, so we could visit one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world – the Amalfi Coast. On the busiest street in Sorrento, because of the people heading to work, our bus driver was making tight turns and not at a low speed.

Traveling on the bus we were able to see some breathtaking views. The kind that look like they belong on a post card. Seeing views we have never seen before and at some points it almost looked fake because of how beautiful they were. With no sun out there was a calm fog on the water and it made the scenery look very majestic.

When I looked out onto Mediterranean Sea I couldn’t tell where the water ended and where the clouds began and it was truly unbelievable. Driving to Amalfi Coast we ran into some major traffic congestion. At one point we almost crashed into another bus and the locals around the area helped us maneuver out and we made it to Amalfi Coast in one piece.

There was bumper-to-bumper traffic and we were barely moving. With all of the houses on the mountain it created a vertical city. This was remarkable because in city of Positano all of the houses are on a cliff. It’s crazy to see how people built a city on a mountain and with the limited technology they had it still is maintained today. We maintained a positive attitude, despite the slow going, because of all of the picturesque views we saw along the way.

When we arrived at the Amalfi Coast, we split up into groups. I enjoyed my day at Amalfi Coast with fellow sophomores Nolan Ebel (Regis Jesuit HS, Englewood, Colo.) and Pierson Wofford (Springfield Lutheran HS, Springfield, Ill.) and Nolan’s parents. We all went out to lunch at an authentic Italian restaurant. There I had an unusual dish that I wasn’t sure, if the combination went together until I ate it. It was ham and cantaloupe and it was incredible.

After lunch I met up with my roommate Dylan Sortillo (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) and we went down to the coast-line to take the famous picture we always see other people take. The kind when they are in the water and the beautiful building are in the back.

We headed back to Sorrento where we finished our day doing some shopping. This is where Coach Delp made his first purchase of the trip and bought his mom a bottle of olive oil.


Last day in Spain, remarkable sights and a win!

By Dylan Sortillo
Augustana men’s basketball

Today was an unbelievably eventful day filled with breathtaking sights and good times.

First we started off the day with a phenomenal breakfast provided by the hotel, then embarked on our journey to our first stop, Montserrat. This religious site is one of the most popular of the religious pilgrimage sites in all of Spain. This in itself is cool because of the vast history behind it so we were all extremely excited. Excitement grew from most of the guys as we whirled and winded on a narrow two-lane road in an enormous bus nearly 4000 feet into the sky, providing an amazing view we’ll never forget.

Once we arrived at the Monesserat we split up into our own groups. Some guys, including myself, and even some guys terrified of heights conquered their fears and hiked even further up the side of the mountain to check out the layout. Others checked out a museum that included paintings from world famous artists such as Pablo Pacasso, Salvador Dali, and Claudia Monet. After, our free time we collectively gathered in the Chapel and took in the moment.

Next we hopped on the bus and headed to our next destination, Sitges, the beautiful beach coastal village on the Mediterranean Sea. Many of the premier athletes and famous people of Spain reside there so you can imagine the quality of the village and the beach. We enjoyed our fun in the sun on the beach and the majestic waters and waves of the Mediterranean. Some (Brandon Schattner) spent a little too much time in the sun and got a nice sunburn.

After an authentic Spanish lunch, we headed back to our hotel to prepare for our nighttime game versus a premier Spanish opponent AET Boet Mataro. The program was recently bumped up to level one professional team, the highest league in Spain, so we knew we were going to have our hands full.

We ate a steak dinner at the hotel and celebrated sophomore Nic Uhlir’s 20th birthday, then headed to the stadium. We brought the energy from the start and jumped out to an early 10-point lead thanks to a hot start from senior Jacob Johnston. He even gave the “finger pistols” after a big three so you know he was feeling it.

But, of course they battled back and even took the lead in the fourth quarter with physical play and impressive European-ball movement. Thanks to solid contributions by everyone, including the energy from the bench and our fans we hung tough and gave ourselves an opportunity to win. Down the final stretch sophomores Pierson Wofford and Chrishawn Orange stepped up big and we were able to pull off a huge 74-73 victory. This was an ultimate grind-it-out game and was really big in bringing us together as a team.

Tonight we will go to bed happy and gear up for our flight to Naples, Italy in the morning.

Overall, our time in Spain was wonderful to us and we even came out with two HUGE wins.

Go Vikes!

Oglethorpe says arrivederci to Italy

Oglethorpe’s men’s basketball team recently completed a nine-day trip to Europe and checked in with Division III basketball fans from time to time. Wade Weldon is our correspondent.

Hello everyone! This is my final blog and I want to start off by getting everyone caught up on our last weekend in Italy and all the activities that took place.

On Saturday, the team took an evening tour of the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. We had a great time because this area of Rome is a very popular spot to hang out on a Saturday night. There are many great restaurants and gelateria cafés as well as excellent shopping.

On Sunday, we took a day trip to the beautiful city of Florence, the capital city of Tuscany. Our bus picked us up around 7 a.m. to hit the road after for our second to last day of touring. On the way the team enjoyed the picturesque views of the countryside as we drove through Tuscany. I enjoyed watching Ferraris and Maseratis fly by us on the Italian freeway.

The first place we went to in Florence was the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo). This Basilica is one of the biggest churches in Europe and is known for its solid marble exterior. Following the tour of the church we ate lunch at a Tuscan restaurant and enjoyed authentic Florentine pasta, breads, and cheese. Following lunch we walked around the city for a few hours and then headed back to Rome. We ate a late dinner in Rome and went to sleep so we would be rested for the Vatican City.

On Monday, our tour guide picked us up at 6:45 a.m. and we headed to the Vatican City. This landlocked city-state, ruled by the Pope, is the smallest independent state in the entire world.

Upon arrival, we went to the Vatican museum. This museum features numerous galleries of Greek and Roman sculpture. The team was a little worn out on sculptures after going to all the museums in Paris so we moved our way through the crowd and headed to the final and most popular gallery in the museum. The last gallery of the Museum is the Sistine Chapel. This historical chapel offers some of the greatest Renaissance frescos of all time. The team was fascinated by Michelangelo’s beautiful ceiling and his famous, “Last Judgment,” standing behind the altar. When I walked into the room, I immediately had goose bumps and pictured Michelangelo standing on a wooden platform 70 feet from the floor, painting the ceiling for nearly 5 years straight.

After the Sistine Chapel, the team went to the largest church in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica. I was awestruck by the size of this church and its beautiful art and sculptures including Michelangelo’s famous “Pieta” depicting the body of Jesus laying in the lap of Mother Mary.

After touring the Basilica and St. Peter’s Square, we were wiped out and needed food and a nap. We went back to Rome and napped for a few hours then ate our final team dinner. We ate a 5-course meal at a fun Italian restaurant with live music and dancing. After dinner we slept for about 4 hours and woke up at 3:45 a.m. to go to the airport.

After traveling for more than 12 hours, the Oglethorpe men’s basketball team landed safely in the US with three victories and many unforgettable memories about the trips to France and Italy.

Two wins, Italian food, the Colosseum and sleep!

Oglethorpe’s men’s basketball team is on a nine-day trip to Europe. They will check in with Division III basketball fans from time to time. Wade Weldon is our correspondent.

Bon Giorno from Rome! Then Oglethorpe men’s basketball departed to Rome at 7:10 am on Friday. Before our departure we played our final game in France against a local semi-pro team. We opened up with a 12-0 lead and their coach called a time out within the first three minutes of the game in attempt to dwindle our fire. We continued to move the ball as a team and cruised to a 94-69 victory. We hit 14 three’s and continued our undefeated streak on foreign soil.

After the victory, we had a quick three hour nap before heading to the airport for our 7:10 a.m. flight to Rome. We landed in Rome half asleep, and hit the ground running with a three hour bus tour of the city. Luckily, we had free time after the tour and caught about a three hour nap before our final game in Rome on Friday night.

Once again, we opened up hot despite the tired legs. We started the game with a 10-0 lead and finished with a 102-76 victory. The speed of our offense and our zone press was hard for the local team to adjust to. The 24 second shot clock caused our opponent to panic and turn the ball over. After the victory, the Italian fans and kids were very excited to meet us and we exchanged our jerseys and other paraphernalia with their home team. After a short bus ride back to our hotel, the Petrels celebrated our 3-0 winning streak with a four-course, local, Italian meal.

Today we woke up after a rejuvenating 8 hours of sleep and took the metro to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. It was amazing to see the ancient Roman architecture and wonder how it would be to compete as a gladiator in the Colosseum. After touring the Colosseum, we went to the Roman Forum and walked around and took great pictures of the city skyline.

You always hear about the pick-pockets in the Roman metro and today we experienced it first hand. One of our chaperons had 40 euros taken out of his fanny pack by a team of local thieves including a baby as a decoy. From now on, we will keep a closer eye on our belongings and watch out for gypsies trying to make a living off American tourists.

Today we dined at a local pizzeria near our hotel. The team enjoyed fresh mozzarella, mussels from Naples, and authentic Italian pizza. Tomorrow, we are taking a day trip to explore the beautiful city of Florence. I will update you the next time I find an internet cafe. Ciao.