Skip Navigation

Owls Go International; Win Five Games During European Trip

Owls Go International; Win Five Games During European Trip
Owls Go International; Win Five Games During European Trip

From Stuart Kaufman, Sports Information: Recently returning from a 10-day, five-game trip to Europe, Keene State men’s basketball coach Rob Colbert said he was initially concerned how his team would gel on the court.

Traveling to Greece and Italy on a tour run by USA Athletes International, Colbert had three of his former Owl players, Travon Little, Kevin Ritter, and Matt Hickey, on his nine-man squad. But with limited practice time, he did not know how the KSC trio would work with the other six players (who came from several New England schools, including LEC rival Rhode Island College, Lasell College, and Mount Ida College).

Colbert’s anxiety lasted until the start of the first game in Greece when his team got together for a pregame cheer. Before heading out on the court, the players got together and in unison yelled out “U-S-A.”

“When they put on that USA basketball jersey everything changed,” said Colbert. “You could see the look in their eyes. They were no longer from Keene State or Lasell; they were Americans representing their country.” The team did America proud, winning all five games on their schedule against competitive club programs made up of lower-tier national players. For the most part, the American team adjusted well to an international game that included a deeper three-point line, a trapezoid lane, and an eight-second backcourt rule.

Surprisingly, communication between players wasn’t much of an issue. Following the games, which took place in the evening due to the oppressive daytime heat, the players would get together for dinner and converse about the games, referred to as “friendlys” because no championship was awarded. Instead of exchanging addresses and numbers, the players swapped jerseys and permission to be on each other’s MySpace or Facebook pages.


Courtesy Photo; KSC players at the Acropolis (Front: Travon Little, Matt Hickey, Kevin Ritter; Back: Coach Rob Colbert)

Contact Marketing & Communications

Sarah Kossayda
Director of Marketing
☎ 603-358-2119