Written by Kahlil Garnes '19
In the perfect start to our weeklong fall break trip to Ireland, the team boarded a six hour (11 hours with time difference) flight to Dublin Friday night (October 12). The flight had minimal turbulence which is always a good sign and some of the popular movies watched were The Incredibles 2, The Avengers, and Interstellar. Ireland welcomed us at 9 a.m. their time with clear, cloudy skies and a beautiful rain shower.
After greeting the bus driver Greg and meeting our trainer Melissa Cruice at the airport, we boarded a two hour bus to Galway where we would call home the first two days. On the way, we stopped at an authentic Ireland rest stop complete with the best Burger King I've ever eaten at. Upon arriving in Galway, we practiced at a local gym, before retiring to our hotel for the night, where we had dinner, and a few guys walked around town before going to bed.
After waking up and eating breakfast, the team traveled to Kylemore Abbey where an order of Benedictine nuns lived. During the trip, we passed some amazing views of the mountains, herds of sheep, and crystal clear Loch Idagh. We stopped to take in the scenery at one point. At said point, Joe Scibelli accidentally soaked his shoes by stepping in water, Joe Wujciak played with real turf, and Joe Hartman snapped pictures of the sheep and scenery. Twenty minutes later, we found ourselves at a huge castle, complete with statues, a lake, a garden, and pointed roof.
We spent around two hours traversing the grounds, taking pictures of everything from beautifully decorated gardens to 250 pound pigs lounging around and also ate some locally raised food before embarking on the bus back to the city. We arrived into the city at around 1:30 and spent the next few hours walking around in groups, exploring. Not quite as big as New York, the city was nevertheless decked out with shops including a foot locker, a dozen fashion stores, and a mall that charged 20 cents to enter the bathroom.
After leaving the mall, it was time to get ready for our first game. We arrived at the local gym at 6 p.m. when we warmed up and played a full four quarter (10 minutes per quarter) game. We got off to a quick start with strong scoring bursts from Joe Scibelli, Michael Wiper, Grayson Roth, and Jack Cork.
In addition to that, we also had Joe Wujciak, Joe Hartman, and Jonathan Lang play outstanding pressure defense against a physical Ireland Super League team, Moycullen Basketball Club. Everybody contributed: Jesse Turkson played well in his first game after tweaking his ankle, Josh Love got hit before knocking down two consecutive free throws, and Pietro Berghella and Steve Flanders had some key buckets down the stretch.
It was a tough shooting night from three as it took some adjusting to the longer three-point line but Josh Radin knocked down his first three of many this season while Kahlil Garnes chipped in as well from three-point range. Kyle Goldfarb and Grant Primer both, unfortunately, had to sit out but cheered the team on after filming some snippets of the game. The final score was 85-61 Fords, and we posed for a nice picture afterward with our new Irish friends. After the game, we ate dinner at the hotel, and explored the town taking in the late-night Irish scene, and mentally prepared for a four hour bus ride to Belfast the next day.