Every day during the Illini basketball team’s overseas trip, the pride of Fisher, Illinois junior Zach Griffith,will check in. Today’s entry:
Wednesday started off with breakfast at the hotel followed by a tour of Lake Como.
Although it was an overcast day, the breathtaking beauty of the monumental lake was unaffected. Our guided boat tour started at about 9:45 a.m. local time.
The tour guide was terrific and extremely knowledgeable on the current status and history of the lake. After touring the southwest finger of Lake Como, we made a quick stop in the town of Bellagio to grab a bite to eat and explore the local boutiques. Here, we discovered the best gelato in the world, according to many, and I couldn’t disagree as the pistachio flavor was phenomenal. At noon, we headed back to the south end of the lake and made the 90-minute trip to our hotel to prepare for Wednesday night’s game.
Although our 112-63 win didn’t reflect it, the Gazzada All-Stars were much better than Tuesday night’s opponent, CUS Insubria. The standing-room only crowd was incredible, and the atmosphere in the gym was unlike anything I’ve ever played in. Like Tuesday night, we were carried by a balanced scoring attack, led by Alan Griffin (31 points), who received MVP honors. Both our man-to-man and zone defenses were successful, much in part to communication and selfless hustle. After the game, 50 or so kids came on the floor and asked for pictures with the players.
Some even shared their dreams of playing in the United States some day. Wednesday marks the end of the first segment of our foreign tour. On Thursday morning, we will travel to Florence and tour the city on our day off.
While those of us still in Champaign-Urbana are in the thick of Illinois football training camp, basketball never stops. Ever. Even with the I…