Spectacular sights and fabulous food await the Stanford women’s basketball team on its trip to Italy in September.
Except for incoming freshmen Mikaela Ruef and Joslyn Tinkle, who are barred by NCAA rules, the entire team will make the trip. They’ll be joined by the four coaches – Tara VanDerveer, Amy Tucker, Bobbie Kelsey and Kate Paye – along with trainer Marcella Shorty and manager Kerry Blake.
Amy gave a rundown on the itinerary during a recent interview in her office:
Aug. 31 – Arrive on campus for physicals.
Sept. 1-3 – Practice.
Sept. 4 – Afternoon flight from San Francisco to Germany and then to Rome.
Sept. 5 – Arrive in Rome, settle in, take a walking tour.
Sept. 6-7 – Sightseeing in Rome, including several hours at the Vatican and “eating as much gelato as possible,” Amy said.
Sept. 8 – Bus to Florence.
Sept. 9 – Sightseeing in Florence, including visits to the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, known as the Il Duomo, and the Uffizi Gallery, considered one of the finest art museums in the world. “It’s a great walking city,” Amy said. “The kids will have a great time.”
Sept. 10-11 – Sightseeing in Venice. Because of the team hotel’s location, the luggage will arrive by water taxi.
Sept. 12-13 – Sightseeing in Lake Como, where the team hopes to reunite with recently graduated Jillian Harmon, who’s playing with Lake Como’s professional team.
Sept. 14 – Go to Milan and fly home.
During the visit, the team expects to play three games against Italian club teams, but the details hadn’t been finalized by the time of the interview. Club teams can be any age group, but the players might be older than the Stanford women, Amy said.
Amy has visited Italy several times, but as far as she knows, it will be the players’ first venture there. Italy is a great place to visit because of the “sightseeing, good food – it’s about as good as it gets,” she said. “The kids are very, very excited.”
Immediately upon returning to campus, the basketball regimen starts. The team is allowed to assemble Sept. 15 and to begin two hours of basketball workouts with the coaches and six hours of strength and conditioning each week.
Classes start Sept. 21. Regular practices begin in mid-October. Competition starts with an exhibition game against Vanguard Nov. 1.