Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Molto Monday: Roman Holiday

Buon giorno tutti! As a little surprise for everyone, including The Guru, I am posting directly onto the blog this morning (afternoon now for me). Mel has been urging me to do so for awhile now, and after a failed attempt last week, here we are.

by Acacia O'Connor


ROMA, Italy--I spent this past weekend in The Eternal City, Roma, visiting with a small tour group from my hometown. I love Rome, so any excuse is good enough to take the three and a half hour train ride from Bologna there.

The reason I went, however, really was more than just a “good excuse” and a lesson in what things and which people influence your life and decisions the most.

And once again, there is a reoccurring theme: some of the greatest influences in my life have resulted from my experiences with and through sports.

In 2002, at the age of 16, I made my first journey to Italy with an ACIS Go-Play Tour headed up by my high school soccer coach, Paul Hemsley.

(Note to readers: Before attending Vassar, I played soccer for most of my life as well as basketball, often coincidently. I nearly played soccer at Vassar as well, but decided to make a choice of one varsity sport or the other.)

ACIS Educational Tours is a division of the American Institute of Foreign Study.

The Go-Play Tour took us on a trip through the northern half of the country, hitting the hot spots—Roma, Firenze, Padova, Verona, Siena, Venezia—and giving us an opportunity to play Italian women’s club teams in friendly matches as well.

The group consisted of about 20 girls from two schools—Bishop Grimes, my high school, and South Jefferson High School in Watertown, NY.

Over the course of 10 days, we played four games and ate roughly 50 portions of gelati.

After the games we would have meals prepared by the families and paesani of the Italian players, all together.

These meals still remain in my mind as unforgettable and unique cultural experiences.

That trip laid the foundation of everything that has happened since—taking Italian for five semesters, spending last summer in Siena, and now this five month stint.

“It could have been any country. Spain, France, Germany. But it was Italy,” I said the group’s ACIS tour guide over a cup of espresso Saturday night.

And I know that in large part, it was Italy because of soccer, because of the first trip and especially because of the encouragement of Hemsley.

Now, I’ve included this slightly tangential backstory to show how this weekend was a sort of coming full circle.

Maybe not entirely full circle, but a small circle in a series of life circles, anyway.

The Syracuse participants of this ACIS tour were, in all: three girls from Bishop Grimes, one of their mothers, my 9th grade earth science teacher Ms. Elsenbeck, her 16-year old son, and another woman from Syracuse.

Even though this was my fourth time in Rome, it could have just as easily been my first, for as much as I enjoyed it.

The group was unbelievably hospitable to me and I was glad I could help them out a few times with my ever-improving Italian language capabilities.

It was good to see people from home. Not because of the language, because I can speak English if I really wanted with my program peers, but because of my recent homesickness for my hometown and my family.

Hemsley was a storyteller, as he always has been.

Spending a few days with him was almost like seeing my parents, especially my dad. (They are good friends and they coach together at Bishop Grimes. There are many similarities, including a shared penchant for corny jokes.)

I had to remind myself Saturday night that I would not be returning to the U.S. with them. Instead, I took a morning train back to Bologna.

Was I sad to see them go?

Sure. The three months still in front of me had never seemed so long as in that moment.

But as I walked through the misty rain back to my dorm, with the Bolognese tower barely visible in the fog, it wasn’t Syracuse or Vassar—but in a way, I was home again.

5 Comments:

Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 09.03
louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin, ralph lauren polo, michael kors outlet store, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, burberry factory outlet, longchamp bags, uggs on sale, louis vuitton outlet online, replica watches, uggs on sale, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet, louboutin uk, uggs outlet, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, ralph lauren outlet, ray ban sunglasses, cheap jordans, uggs outlet, prada handbags, michael kors, gucci handbags, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, nike outlet, michael kors handbags, louis vuitton handbags, burberry outlet, nike air max, michael kors outlet online

4:24 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

coach outlet, sac guess pas cher, coach purses, kate spade outlet, louboutin pas cher, true religion outlet, longchamp pas cher, true religion outlet, chanel handbags, true religion outlet, nike air max, hermes pas cher, true religion jeans, converse, lunette oakley pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, hogan sito ufficiale, nike blazer pas cher, vans pas cher, north face pas cher, nike air max pas cher, vanessa bruno pas cher, timberland pas cher, mulberry uk, longchamp soldes, michael kors, new balance, kate spade, nike tn pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, coach outlet store online, nike roshe run pas cher, michael kors outlet online, burberry pas cher, michael kors uk, lululemon outlet, nike free pas cher, coach outlet, lunette ray ban pas cher, jordan pas cher, hollister uk, north face uk, ray ban uk, polo lacoste pas cher, nike air force

4:27 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

softball bats, polo ralph lauren uk, nike trainers uk, reebok outlet, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, nike roshe uk, hermes handbags, asics running shoes, p90x workout, north face outlet, nike air max uk, abercrombie and fitch UK, hollister clothing, beats by dre, abercrombie, nike air max uk, jimmy choo outlet, nike air huarache, longchamp uk, chi flat iron, lululemon outlet, herve leger, giuseppe zanotti, abercrombie and fitch, ghd hair, nike roshe run, bottega veneta, iphone cases, soccer shoes, vans outlet, nike free, new balance shoes, instyler ionic styler, mcm handbags, mac cosmetics, celine handbags, mont blanc, valentino shoes, insanity workout, nike air max, wedding dresses, babyliss pro, soccer jerseys, salvatore ferragamo

4:28 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

hollister, swarovski uk, michael kors outlet, thomas sabo uk, oakley, nike air max, replica watches, supra shoes, ray ban, doke & gabbana, marc jacobs, converse shoes outlet, timberland boots, montre pas cher, wedding dresses uk, pandora uk, swarovski jewelry, sac louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, pandora charms, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, polo ralph lauren, links of london uk, louis vuitton uk, karen millen uk, bottes ugg pas cher, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, michael kors outlet online, lancel, converse, michael kors handbags, juicy couture outlet, gucci, sac louis vuitton, hollister, ugg uk, juicy couture outlet, toms shoes, ugg pas cher, coach outlet, louboutin, vans scarpe
ninest123 09.03

4:31 AM  
Blogger mmjiaxin said...

michael kors outlet online
michael kors outlet store
cheap true religion
tiffany and co

tiffany and co
tiffany and co outlet
http://www.huaracheshoes.uk
tiffany,tiffany and co,tiffany and co jewelry,tiffany necklace,tiffany bracelet,tiffany ring,tiffany earrings
http://www.cheapairjordan.uk
cheap oakley sunglasses
Air Jordan 11
tiffany and co jewelry
michael kors handbags
air huaraches
michael kors outlet
http://www.kobebasketballshoes.us.com
kobe basketball shoes
fitflops clearance
michael kors handbags
gg

9:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home