Drew University Men’s Basketball Canadian Journey with President Jim Walker

Friday October 5th

It was an exciting day as following classes the team, joined by President Jim Walker, gathered at Drew University in front of the Baldwin Gym for a 3:00 pm departure by charter bus towards Niagara Falls, Canada. In route there was a stop for fabulous dinner at Mama G’s, in Rochester, NY, before arriving around 10:30 pm at the Signature Inn Niagara Falls for check-in.

Saturday October 6th

Following great breakfast at Sunset Grill, the team boarded the bus and headed toward their Hornblower Niagara Cruise around the Falls and a truly breathtaking ride. Riding into the mist from Niagara Falls was like being in a torrential downpour and despite the ponchos everyone was wearing they were still soaked. After picking up sandwiches for lunch, the team continued to The Welland Canal Center in St. Catharines. They arrived in time for a picnic lunch and a chance to observe a large ship on its journey through the locks from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. Observing how the locks worked was very interesting. The team was then back on the bus towards the first game site, Western Ontario University in London. The games at Western were played by two Drew teams using a split squad system of two nine man teams that were named Drew and Rangers. In the first game Western Ontario defeated Rangers by 20 points and in the second game Drew defeated Fanshawe College by 7 points.

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Following the games, and a post-game pizza party for all teams involved, the team checked into the TownePlace Suites by Marriott in London and enjoyed a steak dinner at London Moxies. Needless to say, sleep came easy tonight.

Sunday October 7th

Following breakfast at the hotel, there was another double header in which Drew was defeated by Western Ontario and Rangers lost a close game to Fanshawe College. While the split squad teams did not produce great results it did allow everyone to get valuable experience on the floor. After the games, both teams joined together again, this time devouring a large number of party subs while getting to know each other a little better. Once everyone was done enjoying the food and Gatorade, it was time to get on the bus for a drive to Toronto, Canada’s largest city with almost 3 million people. On arrival at the Hampton Inn Brampton, everyone checked in and then enjoyed a great team dinner at Paisano’s, a local Italian restaurant. After the meal everyone headed to their rooms for some much-needed rest.

Monday October 8th

After breakfast at the hotel this morning, local tour guide Barry met the team in front of the CN Tower and joined the group for a Toronto city tour, exploring much of an exciting downtown Toronto.

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After a great tour with Barry the group unfortunately learned that the overcast day had fogged in the top of the CN Tower and nothing could be seen. It was decided to set out on foot to explore some of the areas of the city they had missed on their bus tour with Barry. During the walk the team had lunch at Toronto’s Big Smoke Burger and enjoyed one of Toronto’s culinary delights, specialty hamburgers.

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They then continued their walk before finding the bus which took them to their team-building activity, Canadian axe throwing. This proved to be one of the highlights of the tour. Split into two teams they competed against each other by throwing axes at targets. Although a difficult activity, the team took it to heart and competed against each other with much “gusto”.

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After a whole day of sightseeing and axe throwing the hungry team headed to the Mandarin Buffet for a gourmet all you can eat experience which everyone enjoyed immensely.  The team returned to the hotel after the meal.

Tuesday October 9th

After breakfast at the hotel this morning, it was time to say goodbye to Canada and board the bus for the trip back to Madison. They arrived back at school that night with many wonderful memories and great experiences.

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