Courtesy of GoXavier.com
CINCINNATI — The Xavier University men’s basketball team will have the unique opportunity to participate in a nine-day cultural and athletic trip to Brazil in August. The Musketeers, who will depart from Cincinnati on Aug. 3, will be based out of Rio de Janeiro for the duration of their trip until their return on Aug. 12.
“This is a great educational opportunity as well as a chance for our team to grow together on and off the court,” said head coach Chris Mack.
From an athletic standpoint, the team will participate in four exhibition games against top level Brazilian professional and club teams. Xavier’s squad includes seven returning scholarship letterwinners, including soon-to-be senior returning starters Matt Stainbrook, Justin Martin and Dee Davis. In addition to Xavier’s current roster, the trip also provides a valuable basketball opportunity for several new faces. NCAA rules allow incoming student-athletes to compete in all games and participate in all practices related to this trip, which means the exhibitions will be the debut of Xavier’s national-ranked 2014 recruiting class, including Edmond Sumner, J.P. Macura, Trevon Bluiett, Makinde London and Sean O’Mara. Junior Remy Abell, an Indiana University transfer who sat out 2013-14 due to NCAA transfer regulations, will also be permitted to participate in all games and practices. XU will be permitted 10 practices at Xavier prior to the Aug. 3 departure.
In addition to the athletic experience the trip will offer, the student-athletes will also participate in a three-credit hour program held in conjunction with this trip. This program will blend an understanding of business with an emphasis on cultural competence and social justice. The students will prepare for the trip during the month of July by studying the cultural, political, economic and consumer climate in Brazil. During their time in Rio de Janeiro they will receive lectures from local business experts allowing them to compare the Brazilian business climate with that of the United States. The students will also have an opportunity to visit local favelas, or slums, as a means of creating dialogue concerning the role of business and its responsibility to those less fortunate. The academic portion goes through all approval processes as any other study abroad program in the University.
“One of the tenets of Xavier’s mission statement is to prepare students for living and working in an increasingly diverse and interdependent world, study abroad programs are an important part of achieving this mission as students have the opportunity to learn these lessons first hand,” said Tom Hayes, Ph.D., Xavier University Chair and Professor of Marketing.
Rio de Janeiro will be the center of attention in the sports world over the next few years.
From June 12 to July 13, 2014, Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Rio de Janeiro was selected as one of the twelve host cities within Brazil to hold World Cup games, with matches played at the Estádio do Maracanã, the recently renovated 76,935 seat complex. In addition, Rio was identified as the “base camp” for participating teams from Brazil, England, Italy and the Netherlands.
From August 5-21, 2016, Rio de Janeiro will serve as the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics. After a two-year bid process, Rio was selected over other finalist cities; Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid. The Estádio do Maracanã will serve as the site of Opening and Closing Ceremonies.