Editor's Note: Senior forward Matt Betley is chronicling the Lafayette men's basketball team's trip to Italy on May 19-28. This is the first of his journal entries. In upcoming editions, he may receive a literary assist from his classmates.
Another great day in Italy. We woke up early and headed towards Venice. It was tough leaving Lake Como but we WERE going to Venice (Venezia) so there were absolutely no complaints.
About halfway to Venice we stopped at the beautiful city of Verona. Verona offered us two great monuments. Our team's first stop was the Roman Arena in Verona. It is the second biggest arena in Italy (the first is the Colosseum in Rome), and it was quite a site. It was enormous and very well-preserved. It was interesting to hear that our coach, Fran O'Hanlon, had actually played in the 2,000-year old arena when he played professionally in Italy. We won't make any jokes here...but you can see how easy it could be. Today, the arena is used for special concerts and attracts many tourists.
Paul Cummins tried to challenge some locals to a Gladiator battle but they didn't want any part of the Irishman. The other famous monument in Verona was the balcony of Juliet. This balcony is famous because apparently there is some famous scene in a play called Romeo and Juliet by a guy named Shakespeare. The balcony was very interesting and was full of couples pursuing lifelong happiness in their love lives. Awwww!!!!
After leaving Verona, we continued on our way to Venice-Mestre. Our hotel was right outside Venice and had a swimming pool so our team could continue to work on our tans. We were all excited to play our second game that night at 8:30 p.m. against Marghera. The gym was better than our first game but it was extremely hot in the gym. We played much better in our second international game and once again came out victorious. The play of the game was a pass from Ted Detmer to Everest Schmidt for a powerful dunk that almost brought down the basket. The fans were great once again and some of the younger females in the crowd stayed after the game to meet the likes of Jeff Robinson and Bilal Abdullah. (I know this because they told everyone about 10 times on the bus.)
Tomorrow we venture to Venice. From what we've heard, it is going to be amazing. I heard there might be a cloud in the sky tomorrow, so we are all pretty upset. Hope all is well in the States....