Three years ago the Luther Women’s Basketball Team set off for South Africa expecting to see the country, play some basketball and hang out with local children. However, what South Africa held for our team was a lesson in spirit and hope that would exceed the expectations we had.
Every 3-4 years the team has traveled internationally to different areas of Europe, but after our last adventure to South Africa, it was obvious that this is where we would be returning. Players travel with trip leaders, coaches, and a team academic advisor. They look forward to visiting different communities, teaching basketball, playing games, sight-seeing, and learning from everyone they meet.
The purpose of trips like this is for our girls to give back through basketball and share their love of the game with others. This is a great opportunity for our girls to understand that they are playing for more than wins and losses, and that their successes are bigger than the score at the end of the game. Regardless of culture, or traditions, basketball is a universal language that speaks of love, hope, and teamwork.
As the coach of this team, it makes me very proud that our girls have this opportunity, and that they are so willing to give to others. I know that these trips will only bring them closer together as a group after their lives are touched and changed by the people of South Africa and other countries.