The University of Wisconsin- Green Bay’s (UWGB) athletics are not unfamiliar with the idea of traveling. As for a division one athletics department, traveling across the country is expected; however, the Men’s Basketball team has just broken the mold for phoenix athletics and has taken a trip outside the U.S. for the first time in school history.
The Phoenix Men’s Basketball team traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica, for the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic Invitational. The team played two games; the first took place on November 18th against Queen’s University, and the second game was on November 20th versus Utah Valley.
The invitational was separated into two separate divisions. This allowed the teams to get a chance to play different teams outside of their usual conference.Player Brock Heffner explains more about the overall experience that took place on the jamaica trip. Heffner stated, “The experience was great, we got to go on a little vacation, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are things we need to work on with our game… After all, that is why we are there, to play basketball.” The team fell short in both games played, and Heffner explained that there is still a lot of work that the team needs to focus on before it can begin to function like the well-oiled machine it is intended to be.
Another player, Cade Meyer, explained, “This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… not many people get to experience what we did.” The coaching staff and the organization understand that there is more that goes into the sport than just playing the game, and the practice is one that understands the synergy that goes into it. Making sure that the players’ needs are met in every way and even in some ways that they might not have even known of. This opportunity to travel out of the country gives a team a chance to see the sport from a different perspective as well as a chance to give players a different mindset when it comes down to playing the game.
The UWGB athletic department is putting into this team in hopes of something in return, and only time will tell whether or not events and travel like this is worth it. Overall, the quality time spent together and the bonding that has taken place throughout this journey will only make the team stronger and work better together. The only other thing that is left for this team to achieve through its practice, travel, bonding, and dynamic abilities is to start to win in-season games.