Many of today’s most influential athletes are deeply involved in their community. The ability to help those less fortunate than yourself is something that everyone should take advantage of, and both the men’s and women’s teams of Millsaps College were thrilled to serve the local community during their week-long visit to Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Sports Tours partnered with Rice and Beans Ministries to help make the Millsaps College Basketball trip the perfect balance of adventure, competition, and service. The teams were given an evening to settle into their hotel before hitting the ground running the following day.
After breakfast, the teams made their way to a nearby school, where they spent the day playing with children from severely impoverished neighborhoods. There was lots of fun to be had, including a couple of friendly basketball games, sing-alongs, and lots of hugs. The Millsaps men and women would return to the school two more times during their seven day trip to Costa Rica, with each day filled with more fun and laughter than the last.
There were also two friendly matches scheduled for each team. The first matches of the trip were against Costa Rica’s National Teams. The Millsaps teams were thrilled to compete against these professional athletes, and everyone involved had a blast and enjoyed a bit of friendly competition.
Millsaps was able to take what they learned and apply it to a second friendly match against the women of Coronado and the men of Colegio de Abogados. All of the games were exciting, and the athletes came away from each match with a whole new understanding of how their favorite game is played in different parts of the world.
“The tour was very well organized. The sightseeing was phenomenal, and the tour guides did an excellent job. I would recommend this trip to anyone!” – Jimmy Smith (Coach)
Costa Rica is made up of some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, flora, and fauna. The Millsaps men and women were able to experience everything this beautiful country has to offer. A walking tour of San Jose gave them a glimpse into the history of this country. A hike through the rainforest was filled with the opportunity to observe birds, insects, butterflies, and monkeys in their natural habitat, and ended with a stunning view of the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The teams even had a chance to relax on the beach and watch the waves of the Pacific Ocean crash against the shore.
“Exceeded all expectations! Very organized. Tour guides were awesome. Could not have asked for a better experience for our student-athletes.” – Justin LeBlanc (Coach)
Needless to say, this trip had a huge impact on the Millsaps athletes. They returned home after their seven day visit to Costa Rica with a whole new understanding of the world they live in, a desire to continue serving their community, and plenty of new skills to apply on the court as they continue their athletic careers in the USA!