July 29, 2014
CINCINNATI --- The Xavier University men's basketball team has started practice early this year for a reason. The team held their first practice July 21 and will practice the rest of this week in preparation for a nine-day cultural and athletic trip to Brazil. The Musketeers depart from Cincinnati this Sunday, Aug. 3, and will be based out of Rio de Janeiro for the duration of their trip until their return on Aug. 12. XU is permitted 10 practices at Xavier prior to the Aug. 3 departure.
Here are a few images from one of the practices, which also shows off the special Xavier/Brazil Nike jerseys made for this summer experience.
Click here for Photo Gallery.
The team will participate in four exhibition games against top level Brazilian professional and club teams. Xavier's squad includes six returning scholarship letterwinners, including soon-to-be senior returning starters Matt Stainbrook and Dee Davis. In addition to Xavier's current roster, the trip also provides a valuable basketball opportunity for several new faces. NCAA rules allow incoming student-athletes to compete in all games and participate in all practices related to this trip, which means the exhibitions will be the debut of six Xavier freshmen and junior Remy Abell, an Indiana University transfer who sat out 2013-14 due to NCAA transfer regulations.
In addition to the athletic experience the trip will offer, the student-athletes will also participate in a three-credit hour program held in conjunction with this trip. This program will blend an understanding of business with an emphasis on cultural competence and social justice. The students also have prepared for the trip during the month of July by studying the cultural, political, economic and consumer climate in Brazil. During their time in Rio de Janeiro they will receive lectures from local business experts allowing them to compare the Brazilian business climate with that of the United States. The students will also have an opportunity to visit local favelas, or slums, as a means of creating dialogue concerning the role of business and its responsibility to those less fortunate. The academic portion goes through all approval processes as any other study abroad program in the University.
The team will get a chance to see many of the wonderful sights of Brazil, including the Christ the Redeemer statue and a presentation by musicians and dancers from the Salgueiro Samba School. They will also get a chance to hold a basketball clinic with some "at risk" kids at the Olympic Center of Rochina.