Final days in Brazil

Entry posted by Kyle Dumas '09 on August 20

Late night, August 18th

In honor of the 1992 Dream Team, Kyle Dumas '09 and Max "M. Night" Shillalies '11 combined to form a powerhouse spades duo, the likes of which the world had yet to see and may never witness again. In an eerie repeat of the '92 Summer Olympic Games, Dumas and Shillalies dominated little known amateurs Tim "Balding Eagle" Shaw '10 and Jonny "Bravo" Ciriello '11 from start to finish. Eventually, the four competitors joined the rest of their teammates for a much-needed night of sleep.

August 19th

For the first and only time since our arrival in Brazil, we mercifully dozed uninterrupted by wake-up calls. A few of us got up in time for breakfast and the Brazil vs. Argentina futbol match (Argentina 3, Brazil 0; a nation mourns), while others slept or relaxed until lunch. We headed over to the mall food court for a quick meal and then to the post office to send some post cards back home (what's up Marge and D-Murph). After a brief stop back at the hotel for jerseys and a team meeting, we set out for our fifth and final game.

Hamilton vs. Jacqueri

By tip-off time the gym -- a large, old barn near the center of the city with concrete steps for seats -- was nearly packed. We managed to take a small lead early on the strength of Joe Manns' mongoose-like reflexes in the press and our tenacity on the boards. We maintained the advantage throughout a physical and uptempo first half and into the third quarter. By the start of the fourth, the atmosphere was, in the words of coach Anderson, "tremendous, unbelieveable." Jacqueri took the lead with a strong run, and the outcome for the Continentals was in doubt. However, a clutch Tim Shaw three-pointer and a rare Lance Wilson '11 defensive play sealed the contest for Hamilton.

We shook hands, posed for a group picture and prepared for the rush of Brazilian basketball fans onto the court. Joe Manns '10 was again stripped naked by adoring fans and forced to leave the gym wearing only socks. Lance Wilson became encircled by throngs of admirers who undoubtedly mistook him for hip-hop sensation Ja Rule. One kid only wanted to know what version of Playstation I had and was delighted to discover we both owned PS 2. We finally escaped the gym and went out for another delicious pizza buffet. Our main man from Rio (false, Gaff), Fernando, ordered us some chocolate pizza for dessert and we all climbed back in the bus satisfied after another eventful day.

Enjoying Brazil's sights and sounds

Entry posted by Max Shillalies '11 and Jon Ciriello '11 on August 17

Yesterday we started the weekend with a scenic bus trip along the coast from Ubatuba to Paraty. After we ate lunch, we relaxed by a pool that overlooked a canal and some of the town. While at the pool we noticed lots of small monkeys in the trees surrounding us. Surprisingly, the monkeys were not very timid, as Harlee was able to feed one right out of his hand. We then toured the historic part of Paraty. No cars were allowed in this part of the town. The only way to get around was by foot or horse and carriage.

Our tour guide, Maria, took us through the cobblestone streets for about an hour and a half. She pointed out many historical sites, and told lots of stories about the town along the way. After the tour we continued to walk through the streets and shopped at many of the small shops and vendors. We cleaned up and went out to dinner in the historical part of town, enjoying live music with our food. We were lucky because we arrived during the festival de pinga. There was live music in the town square and stands served traditional Brazilian food and drinks.

Today we woke up at 10 a.m. for a boat cruise to the many small islands along the coast of Paraty. Thankfully, we had the best weather of the trip as the temperature reached 97 degrees without a cloud in the sky. We spent the entire day on the cruise and stopped four different times. On the way to our first stop, our guide pointed out a private island that was owned by a Brazilian writer, scientist and sailor, who was known most of all for paddling from Africa to Brazil.

The first stop was a snorkeling stop. We pulled into a small cove and jumped into the water with masks and snorkels. The deck hands threw lettuce and bread into the water to attract schools of fish. We snorkeled for about an hour then went to our next stop -- a small island where we all swam to shore and played beach soccer. The deck hands ran circles around us and beat us pretty badly, but we were all confident that if we could’ve found a basketball court we would’ve returned the beating.

Our next stop was another beautiful cove where we ate a delicious lunch prepared by the boat's workers. After we finished lunch, we headed for our final stop to a small island where we were able to swim and relax on the beach for about 45 minutes. After the final stop we all got back on the boat and headed back to the dock. We left the boat and were were able to walk around the small shops again. We headed back to the hotel and relaxed by the pool before dinner.

A win and a loss in Brazil

Entry posted by Tim Shaw '10 and Jay Simpson '10 on August 15

Due to the lack of wi-fi at the hotel, we couldn’t update until now. On our third day in Brazil, the team traveled to a nearby beach that sported a large mountain. It was overcast and somewhat rainy, but we enjoyed ourselves with a little swimming and an intense hike up a steep portion of the mountain. Later that day we traveled to Peruibe for a game against a team that featured a guard that played at Kansas State University. The gym's atmosphere was great, but we could not say the same for the referees.  Every call seemed to be going Peruibe's way and the free throw margin at the end of the first half was 26-2 in favor of Peruibe. The game went into overtime and unfortunately Peruibe won on a VERY disputable three-point shot. We had a great experience regardless of the outcome, and had a great time interacting with the opposing players and fans. 

On Wednesday the 13th, we traveled four hours north to Ubatuba (a warmer place in the southern hemisphere). Since it was a travel day, we didn't do much. After we checked into the hotel, we had practice and several players enjoyed a very "cultural" lunch at McDonald's.

Today we took a tour of the islands near Ubatuba. One island featured an old prison that was the scene of a 1952 rebellion and was very similar to San Francisco's Alcatraz. We also enjoyed some snorkeling, hanging out on the beach, jumping off the boat and swimming to shore. 

After our tours, we got ready to play against a team in the Ubatuba area. We didn’t play as well as we could have and our shooting wasn’t as good as it could have been. However, we won the game and again enjoyed interacting with the fans and signing autographs.

The first game in Brazil, tales from the beach

Blog posted by Joe Manns '10 on August 13

Day two in Brazil was an amazing cultural experience. At breakfast we were introduced to a unique combination of meats and cheeses that we truly enjoyed. Later that day we went to a beautiful beach and took surfing lessons. Overall, the players were very good surfers, with the exception of coach Anderson and myself. But we gave it our best effort and had a lot of fun.  

Later around 4 p.m. it was time to get our minds set on basketball. We had pre-game shootaround to get a feel for hoops at their gym and the atmosphere in which we would be playing later on that night.  We were very sharp and vocal, which guaranteed we were ready for that night's challenge.  

After shootaround we made a stop at a grocery store to pick up fruits and things to get our bodies ready for the game. The majority of foods in the store were the same as what one would find in American grocery stores, but of course they had very different flavors because they eat different fruits and veggies.  

Finally it's game time. We're pumped up and ready to compete and have a good time. The style of play in Brazil is very different than what we were accustomed. The court is lined differently and the referees did not blow their whistles much at all. For those of you who know my style of play you know that this is right up my alley because I play physical and I'm usually in foul trouble. Basically I could bear hug and sometimes almost tackle my opponent and it was perfectly legal. Ha-ha. That's kind of pushing the truth but I'm sure everyone gets the point. After the game the teams exchanged gifts. We handed out our uniforms, tops and bottoms, and some players even asked for my undershorts. Yes, my sweaty undershorts. Luckily, I had extra Hamilton basketball shirts in my gym bag and gave those away. The opposing team lived above the gym and took me up to their room to ensure that I had something to wear back to the hotel. Ha-ha.  

Dinner that night was delicious. We ate at a high-class Brazilian restaurant and they fed us so much that we threw in the towel after eating about 10 different meats. Of course, 6-foot, 7-inch Max Shillalies, aka "Big Homie," was in there until the end.

Men's basketball team arrives in Brazil

August 11 entry posted by Harlee Wood '09

Today and yesterday were easily the longest days of our college careers. For many of us, Sunday began at around 10 or 10:30 a.m. with a shower and last-minute packing. After we loaded the vans and cars, we left campus around 1:30 p.m., and headed towards JFK airport in New York City. This trip would easily have been four hours, but turned into a five-hour trip because of all the traffic. We made it to the airport only to find out that our 10:20 p.m. flight was delayed 40 minutes. Then 11 p.m. turned into 11:30, which turned into midnight. We finally took off somewhere around 12:30 on Monday morning. By this time most of us were tired and ready to sleep away the 10-hour plane ride. Although a few people had trouble sleeping, most of us got plenty of sleep on the plane, and we arrived in Sao Paulo at 11:40 a.m.

After we made it through customs we met up with our tour guide, Fernando, who advised us to withdraw money from the ATM for some Brazilian currency. Now that our money situation was right, we boarded a shuttle that was driven by our man Rodriquez, and embarked on the 2-hour, 30-minute ride to our hotel.  On the way to the hotel, Fernando explained some of the economic problems that Brazil faces. The place where we flew into -- Sao Paulo -- is responsible for 35 percent of Brazil's gross domestic product. However, there is really no middle class, which means most people are either very wealthy or they are poor. While riding in the shuttle we were able to see many of the "shanty-towns" that were set up by people from the North and Northeast who came to Sao Paulo to create a better opportunity for themselves and their families.

After Fernando finished our mini-history lesson, we stopped at this restaurant where one of the other college teams, Ursinus, had just finished eating and was about to play a game. This restaurant had an all-you-can-eat salad bar that included roast beef, fried bananas, baked chicken and many other foods uncommon to a U.S. restaurant's salad bar. We were warned not to fill up on all that stuff, because the best food was yet to come. In a matter of minutes about six or seven waiters came out with huge amounts of meat on skewers, and before we knew it we were eating everything from chicken hearts to top sirloin. Needless to say, we enjoyed every bit of it and were full for the rest of the bus ride. We had only driven for about a half hour so we still had two hours to go. Some of us chose to take this time to sleep off all the incredible food we just inhaled, while others chose to look out the window at all the beautiful scenery surrounding us.

We finally made it to our hotel at 5 p.m., just in time to drop off our stuff, take off the clothes we had worn for the last 30 hours or so, and get dressed in our practice gear. We left the hotel at 5:50 for the 10-minute bus ride to the arena where we are going to play tomorrow night. Practice began at 6 and lasted for only one hour because there was a game scheduled for 8 in the same gym. After practice, we came back to the hotel for most of the team's favorite part of the night -- showers! We were finally able to shower after being on the go for the last day-and-a-half.

After everyone showered and dressed, Fernando took us to a pizza place about 10 minutes away from the hotel. The pizza place had all kinds of different pizzas. I believe we started off with the Portuguese pizza, which consisted of eggs, cheese, ham, onions and some other things I'm not accustomed to having on my pizza. I think we ended with a pizza topped with chicken fettucine. We finished the Brazilian pizza experience and made a quick stop at a Wal-Mart type store to pick up some bottled water and juices, and anything else we might have needed or forgotten. Now we are back in the hotel for some much-needed down time. It is already Tuesday on account of the one-hour time difference in Sao Paulo (one hour ahead of us), so I am going to get some rest for our surfing lessons tomorrow/later on this morning at 10:30.

Follow the Men's Basketball Team

Welcome to the Men's Basketball in Brazil Blog.

Here, you can follow the men's basketball team as they travel to Brazil for nine days in August.

The players and coaches will be updating this blog from Brazil as they play four games against Brazilian club teams in different parts of the country.

The Continentals will be staying in San Paulo from August 11-19.

A Facebook group has also been established.

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