Italy Day 10
ROME, Italy – It’s not a typical day when you visit two countries, get to see the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica and then play a basketball game.
Welcome to 10 day of the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team’s tour of Italy.
The basketball portion of the day was ant-climatic to the day’s earlier events as the Lobos fell to the Netherlands National Team 54-41 on Wednesday night. After playing to a 28-28 tie in the first half, UNM hit a cold streak in the third quarter.
Freshman Cherise Beynon was a huge bright spot, leading the team with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Antiesha Brown added 10 points and four rebounds, and Khadijah Shumpert had eight points and nine boards.
The Lobos finished their exhibition tour with a 2-2 record. But they leave Rome with a little more unity and a lifetime of memories from their excursion.
“I thought this was a great trip for us,” head coach Yvonne Sanchez said. “We played four tough games, which were good for us. And we were able to spend a lot of time together – just like a family because that’s what we are. I couldn’t be more proud of our girls both on and off the court.”
One day after see imperial Rome with the Forum and the Colosseum, the Lobos went to Vatican City, which is considered a separate country from Rome, to learn about the spiritual center of Italy.
The team’s Rome tour guide, Mia, gave a fascinating account of how Michelangelo became the artist to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – that he actually turned down the offer – repeatedly – which the Pope did not accept as an answer.
Michelangelo thought the Pope had commissioned him to do some sculpting for church, but finally accepted the task of painting when he was told he would be given freedom to paint the ceiling however he chose.
It took him four years to accomplish (1512-1515). He later came back to paint “The Final Judgment” 22 years later.
The only drawback to the tour was that photography is not allowed in the Sistine Chapel – although rumor has it that a certain Lobo post player (with the initials K.K.) may have snuck a photo or two. At this point, we cannot confirm or deny that rumor.
The team was scheduled to depart Rome on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m., meaning a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call at the hotel in Rome. The team is scheduled to arrive in Albuquerque at 6 p.m., which makes for 16 hours and 30 minutes of travel.