Sunday, August 19, 2012
We're down to our final hours in Central America, and what an amazing trip it has been. If you have been following the tales of our daily excursions, you know that the Akron women's basketball team (and support staff) has checked more items off its bucket list in a week's time than many people have in their lifetime. The scope of this experience is not just limited to the last nine days, though. In preparation for the international tour, the Zips were able to practice for 10 additional days back home, and with so many newcomers this year, those extra 10 sessions were huge heading into preseason.

Personally, I am grateful and humbled that Coach Kest and her staff asked me to come along on this trip. I will be traveling with the team all season long, and this was the first chance I got to really sit down with the team and the coaches and get to know everyone, both on and off the court. I can tell you that this program exudes class and has an incredible work ethic – it will be fun to watch them play this year.


Take a look & listen to Coach Kest's final thoughts on the trip:

 

Our last day in Costa Rica couldn't have been any better. We had the whole day to relax, and even though the team spent every waking minute together this week, they didn't stray from each other today. The weather looked questionable when we woke up this morning, but by 10:30 the sun was shining and the players were smiling. The Zips spent the day together at the pool reading, listening to music, trying out water aerobics and playing volleyball.


Dinner was at an outdoor seafood restaurant on the beach. Everyone dressed up and a nice time was had by all. After the meal, Coach Kest held a short team meeting to prepare the team for preseason workouts that start a week from tomorrow (which is also the first day of classes). The team will have six days to recharge its batteries before returning to campus next Sunday.

Wake up call is very early tomorrow, in just a few hours in fact. Another two-hour bus ride back to San Jose will get us to the airport in time for an 8:40 a.m. flight to Dallas, where we have a rather substantial layover. We are not scheduled to leave for Cleveland until 8:00 p.m. CST, which puts us back in Ohio around 11:30 p.m. EDT.

Before I sign off for the last time, here are a few odds and ends from my Costa Rica "notebook":


This is a Costa Rican fruit that the team and Coach Kest have become quite fond of over the past week. It is called Rambutan, better known by the girls as "eyeballs". The red spiky skin peeled off and the white part is what you eat, but you have to watch out for the large seed on the inside. This is the time of year to find good rambutan, and our tour guide told us they are actually a common snack in movie theaters down here.


Here is one of our many group pictures of the trip, this one taken just prior to our white water rafting adventure. As you can tell from the glare, the sun was intense that day!


The view of the bay leading to the Pacific Ocean from our hotel in Los Suenos.


A close-up of our Costa Rican money, called colones (500 colones = $1.00). Most establishments in the country take both colones and American dollars. The colones are much more interesting to look at, though!

Last but not least, check out UA's final newcomer, Cari Guyton (Akron, Ohio/Pratt Junior College/Firestone HS) and her take on transitioning into Division I basketball.


Thanks for everything, Costa Rica. Akron, we're coming home!

Saturday, August 18, 2012
Phase three of the Akron women’s basketball 2012 Foreign Tour is officially in full swing. We said goodbye to the Villa Blanca Hotel this morning, loaded up the bus and made our way to the coast, and our final destination: the Los Suenos Marriott.

For those of you keeping track at home, we have spent a lot of time on the bus this week. Every activity has come with about a minimum of a two-hour bus ride each way to and from the hotel. It hasn’t been too bad; most of the time the team will catch up on some much-needed sleep, or check out the landscape passing by through the windows. But it has provided our group the opportunity to grow very close to our bus driver, Roig, and our tour guide, Danny. Roig does not speak any English, but we were very grateful for his driving skills. The roads here are like the West Virginia turnpike on steroids – there doesn’t seem to be a straight shot in the whole country. We were sad to say goodbye to our two Costa Rican friends today, and of course had to take a picture to remember them by before they drove our bus off into the distance for the last time.


Before we made it to the Marriott, we made a pit stop to witness the largest reptiles found in Costa Rica, which can also be found in the United States – the American crocodile.

There were over 30 crocs underneath this bridge on the side of the highway. People pull over to stop and take pictures of them all the time. The reason that so many gather in one area is that there are fish that get stuck under the bridge because the water is so shallow, so it is a prime feeding ground for the crocodiles.


Around 3:00 p.m. our time, we made it to the Marriott. The property is just as incredible as any of the three we have stayed at on this trip, and it is located right on the Pacific Ocean. There are also condos on the outskirts of the hotel that sell for millions and millions of American dollars and are second (or third) homes to several celebrities, including Danny DeVito. There are multiple swimming pools spread out all along the coastline, which the team wasted no time testing out. 



The food has been getting better and better each day, and tonight we were treated to a barbecue buffet at the hotel. Now that we are settled at our last stop before heading home, all there is left to do is relax. The team has a wide open schedule on Sunday, most of which will likely be spent by the pool and the ocean, enjoying the last full day together on this international escapade.

Friday, August 17, 2012
Akron basketball's latest excursion took us to the Arenal region, about two hours north of our Villa in San Ramon, where we saw the volcano and swam in its natural hot springs. We didn't set out until about 10:30 a.m., so the group had a few hours to explore the jungle around the hotel. Some of the girls ran the nearby hills on the mountain, a few got up early to milk the cows, and even some of the staff got in on the fun.

When we got on the bus to head to the volcano our tour guide Danny, who has been instrumental in immersing us into the Costa Rican culture for the past six days, informed us that we were taking a detour to a special place called the iguana tree. It sounded like it was just going to be a tree full of iguanas, and that is exactly what it was, but it was pretty cool.

There were at least 10 iguanas in the tree, which is known as a horse whip tree because the branches are so thin that farmers sometimes remove them and use them as horse whips. It is also a mating tree for the iguanas, which can grow to six feet and over 50 pounds. The iguana eggs hatch in two months, and the animals have a 10-year life span in the wild.

After we saw the tree, it was on to the volcano. The Arenal volcano had its last big eruption in 1968, and at first its acid burned through all of the surrounding areas. In the years since then, it has turned into volcanic soil, and now many different types of crops are able to thrive in a several mile radius.


On the way to the hot springs, we also saw the country's largest man-made lake. We stopped on the side of the road, hopped off the bus and snapped a few pictures of the nice view. The team also spotted a family of monkeys in the trees nearby. They turned out to be howler monkeys – the girls had been dying to see a monkey all week, and it was fun to see them zip through the trees.

Finally, we arrived at the hot springs. The hot springs are natural pools of water of all different sizes that are warmed through the heat of the volcano. There were over 30 pools contained in the resort we visited called Tabacon, and the temperature of the water ranged from 80 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The waterfalls and tropical flowers enclosing the springs made for an extremely serene and tranquil experience. Everyone in the group had a good time exploring the grounds and trying out the different springs.


After a delicious dinner at the resort (a Mexican-themed buffet) the team returned to the hotel for its last night in the Villa. You learn a lot about your teammates when you are put in adverse situations, i.e. with no WiFi access, but it has made for some unforgettable bonding moments! Freshman Katie Nunan (Fairmont, W.Va./Fairmont Senior HS) talks a little more about the team's adjustments to life in the wild:


It’s been a great two days in the rainforest, but the team will be glad to head to the Los Suenos Marriott tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012
"Survive and adapt" was the theme for the Akron clan in Costa Rica today. Although things didn't go as planned, it was a successful transition day into phase two of the trip. Take a look at the map below to get an idea of where we have been so far.

 

The rectangle identifies San Jose, our first main city. The big black circle to the north surrounds the Poas Volcano, the area where we went zip lining on Tuesday. The long blue line to the northeast shows the route to the white water rafting site (the actual river is directly to the south, highlighted by the arrow). Finally, to the northwest, in the lined circle is where we are now in San Ramon.

The Villa Blanca is a little change of pace for the team from the past four days. The property is high on a mountain tucked into the middle of the rainforest, and is dotted with little cottages that will be our home for the next two nights. These cottages do not have air conditioning, Internet, or TVs, but they do have bugs – if you listen closely, you can probably hear the girls screaming all the way back in Akron.



To break up the two-hour drive from San Jose, we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant called El Jardin, where we saw these colorful gardens.


We didn't get much time to acclimate ourselves to our new surroundings this afternoon before we had to leave for the gym. Another 45-minute drive took us to Palmares, where the team was scheduled to face off against San Ramon at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Earlier in the day, it was decided that the team would put on a youth basketball clinic for the kids in the town. The gym was on school grounds, so many of the students came over to the clinic after class. All together there were about 40 Costa Rican boys and girls in attendance.

The coaching staff and players split up into four different stations and taught the kids shooting, passing, dribbling and layups. Most of the kids were of middle school to high school age, and the majority did not speak English. One small wrinkle in the plans came minutes into the instruction when the lights went out in the gym. It was around 5:30 p.m., near sundown, so there was still enough natural light to finish the clinic. However, we discovered that there was a power outage in three nearby counties and the game had to be cancelled. The Zips made fast friends with the kids though, and despite the unplanned blackout it turned out to be a worthwhile event for everyone.




Listen to what freshman Megan Barilla (Fairview Park, Ohio/Magnificat) had to say afterward:

We drove to a nearby city with electricity to a pizza parlor; a little taste of home for dinner. On the drive back to the Villa, the bus had to stop for cows in the road – another sign we're not in Akron anymore.

Tomorrow is another all-day adventure; we are going to see Arenal Volcano and swim in the Tabacon Hot Springs. The staff is looking forward to this especially, so we can come home looking younger than ever.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Today was a very special day in Costa Rica. August 15 is Mother's Day in this country, and it is a nationally recognized holiday so many businesses and banks were closed. Because of this, the traffic finally subsided (the jams we ran into last night were mainly due to last-minute shoppers) so we had no problem reaching our destination early this morning.

When it was lunchtime in Ohio, it was go time in Costa Rica. The Zips were rolling on a river for the better part of Wednesday afternoon, white water rafting on the Pacuare River. The team left San Jose at 6:30 a.m. local time for the two and a half hour ride to the rafting site. Once we passed the city limits, the scenery was unlike anything we have ever seen in the United States.


The ride didn't even seem that long when there was so much to look at through the window. In the picture below you can see the yellow river. Its color is due to the sulfuric acid from the nearby volcano, and can be compared to the fresh water river right next to it.

Shortly after we arrived at the exploration headquarters, we were packed onto a much smaller bus that took us to the beginning of the river. That ride took another 30 minutes, down roads so narrow they should not have physically been able to hold a bus full of college basketball players. Sure enough though, after weaving our way down the mountain, we finally made it to the starting line.

Our group of 24 fit perfectly into four rafts of six people, plus one tour guide each, and before we knew it we were geared up and rafting through the jungle. We learned a lot about the region – the foliage, the wildlife, the indigenous people – and by the end of the day we logged over 10 miles in the raft. Halfway through the trip, we stopped at a campsite and had lunch (highlighted by fresh pineapple, which is excellent here, even for those of us who don't care for pineapple back home). During the second leg of a trip which totaled about four hours, we floated through a canyon and everyone hopped out of the rafts to swim through the waterfalls, even a few girls who had never swam before.

When we reached the end of the river, there were native children there who greeted us, collected our equipment and helped us climb the rocks back to the headquarters. Click here to view a full photo gallery of Akron women's basketball holding its own on the Pacuare River.

On our trip back to the hotel, it began to rain as it has most afternoons since we have been in Costa Rica. Keep in mind it is not summer here; there are only two seasons in this country (similar to what we are used to at home – winter and not winter – only here it is summer and rainy season). The summer months are from November to May. We are in the heart of rainy season, and it rains almost predictably around 3:00 p.m. every afternoon.

It was a good thing the team didn't play this evening, because even after a nap on the bus ride home, the girls, and the staff, returned absolutely drained. Still, we were able to check yet another item off the bucket list in just a few short days in our new home away from home.

Tomorrow is a travel day for the Zips. We are scheduled to leave the Real Intercontinental Hotel at around 12:30 p.m. EDT for San Ramon and the Villa Blanca Hotel. The team's third and final game is set for 7:00 p.m. EDT Thursday night in our new city. Before we leave, check out this video with freshmen DiAndra Gibson (Ravenna, Ohio/Ravenna) and Jasmine Wood (Lansing, Mich./Lansing Waverly), talking about why they chose Akron and what they are looking forward to during their debut season in a UA uniform.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The days are getting longer and the nights are getting shorter for the Akron women's basketball team in Central America. Today brought with it one of many once-in-a-lifetime experiences of this trip, when the Zips went zip lining through the Colinas de Poas Canopy. More on that in a minute, though. The hot topic of the hour is Akron's second big win in as many nights over Costa Rica's national team, putting a 78-49 victory in a suitcase to bring home to Ohio.

Tonight's opponent was listed as Costa Rica national team #1, but the roster was identical to last night except for their best player who suffered a knee injury near the end of Monday night's contest. The Costa Ricans called and asked if we could start the game a half hour earlier than scheduled, because the Texas State men's team was on deck to play the Costa Rica men's team immediately after our game. As it turned out, leaving the hotel an hour earlier than planned got us nowhere but deep in the heart of rush hour traffic. What should have been a 15-minute ride turned into two hours as we inched along the Costa Rican highways.

We finally made it to our destination, the San Jose Indoor Club Arena where the two teams faced off almost exactly 24 hours ago. After a quick stretch and warm up, the Zips got to work, and you would never have known they had just spent the last 120 minutes sitting on a bus.

Akron came out playing solid defense right away which turned into 12 steals by the end of the night, and allowed the Zips to run their fastbreak game for easy buckets.

Despite Akron's early flow, Costa Rica was able to hang around and kept the score close at the end of the first quarter, trailing UA 17-14.

In deja-vu fashion, the second quarter belonged to Hanna Luburgh as she exploded for 12 of her 17 points during the second 10 minutes. Luburgh knocked down back-to-back treys and completed a transition layup to spark what would be an Akron 17-0 run. UA outscored Costa Rica 23-5 in that second quarter.

The Zips never relinquished their hold on the game, putting together a fairly balanced attack in the second half to stay on top. Coach Kest collected 17 combined points from her newcomers, 13 of which came in the final two quarters.

Sina King was the leading scorer again, posting a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds. She was 10-for-14 from the charity stripe.

Take a look at the two post-game videos below. Coach Kest reviews the team's second run at Costa Rica's national team and touches on the zip lining outing, and freshman Anita Brown (Warren, Ohio/Warren Harding) talks about her experience during her first few weeks on the team.



Now to really get the adrenaline pumping, back to our zip lining adventure earlier this morning!

We left the hotel at 9:30 a.m. to head to the foothills of the mountains near the Poas volcano, which is one of six active volcanoes in Costa Rica. The ride took about an hour, as we traveled on the Pan-American highway out of the city where the roads soon became knotted with twists and turns and the scenery became more beautiful with every mile. Coffee plants grow on the side of the highway, and is one of the country's proud exports. Costa Ricans start drinking coffee when they are infants, however typical Costa Rican coffee contains just about 1% caffeine. The span of a coffee plant is 25 years, but they are only in season from December to February.


When we arrived at the canopy, we were fitted with a lot of gear to get us ready for the zip lining tour. Nerves were beginning to rattle as the anticipation built up to that first line through the trees.


There were several guides throughout the course that taught us proper technique before they let us fly. A handful of the girls had zip lined before, but for the majority of the group this was the maiden voyage. Much to our delight, it was not scary at all and once everyone got the hang of it, we were actually able to look around while we were on the line and take in the surroundings. 

All together there were about 12 lines throughout the forest that we went on, and for many of them we had to hike up to the platforms. The lines gradually increased in length and speed, and by the end we were looking at this:


The final line was a quarter of a mile long, and we were reaching speeds over 30 mph. It was an incredible way to end the experience, literally taking our breath away. Click here to view the entire photo gallery from our day in the trees.

Wednesday holds another early wake up call for the Akron family. As if anything could top today, next up on the itinerary is white water rafting. The river is about a two and a half hour drive from our hotel, so we are scheduled to leave promptly at 8:30 a.m. EDT (6:30 for us down here). The Zips will play their third and final international game on Thursday against San Ramon in Palmares.


Monday, August 13, 2012

The Zips continued to make themselves at home today as the team dug deeper into the Costa Rican culture and brought home a victory against one of the country's national teams. 

Coach Kest had her first look at the 2012-13 squad tonight in a 68-47 win over a scrappy Costa Rica team. The Zips started off cold and didn't pick up their first basket until nearly two and a half minutes into the game, when freshman DiAndra Gibson knocked down a mid-range jumper.

Costa Rica came out of the gate in a zone defense, forcing Akron to take quick shots from the outside. It took awhile for the shots to fall, especially from behind the extended arc, but once they did the Zips were able to take control. Hanna Luburgh started the fire, scoring nine of her 10 first half points in the second quarter and creating opportunities for her teammates, collecting four offensive rebounds in that first half.

Sina King was the story underneath, shooting 9-for-9 from the free throw line, leading all scorers with 19 points and picking up nine rebounds.

Redshirt junior Rachel Tecca and freshman Katie Nunan did not dress for the game. Akron is scheduled to play its second game of the trip tomorrow, Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. EDT against the Costa Rica National Team Squad 1.

Click on the video below to hear Coach Kest's initial reaction after the first international contest:

The San Jose Indoor Club Arena, where tomorrow's game will also be played, was an extremely nice facility that was an indoor/outdoor members only club with swimming pools, tennis and racquetball courts, weight rooms and basketball courts. We weren't sure exactly what to expect as far as the facility or the caliber of competition, and were pleasantly surprised on both fronts.


After the game, we grabbed dinner at a Costa Rican burger joint with milkshakes and all. Although the meal consisted of food that may have been a little more familiar to the team, it still tasted different from its American counterparts.

Besides the deciding victory, the highlight of the day was definitely the tour of downtown San Jose. After an amazing hotel breakfast, our tour guide Daniel took us on a combined bus and walking tour of the city. We learned a lot about the history of the country and saw some of San Jose's landmarks. 

The name Costa Rica was coined by Christopher Columbus, because he saw natives wearing a lot of gold and assumed the region must be rich (it wasn't). Costa Rica literally means "rich coast". The schools in Costa Rica are in session from the second week in February all the way until the second week in December. We just missed their spring break, which was the first two weeks of July.

Costa Rica's signature phrase is "Pura Vida". Translated literally, it means 'pure life', but it is used in the context to describe anything in life that is good. If someone asks how you are doing, you can respond with "pura vida"; likewise if someone asks you how your meal was or how your team played tonight, you can also say "pura vida". Its multiple uses can be compared to "Aloha" in Hawaii.

Also, even though Costa Rica uses the metric system, we found out that a gallon of gas here is around $5.40 (and we thought it was bad at home). 80% of the population doesn't own a car; public transportation is very popular. We had to keep our head on a swivel when we got off the bus and walked the streets, because pedestrians do not have the right of way in this country.

When we got off the bus, we walked to an outdoor market where the team was able to shop for authentic Costa Rican souvenirs. Click here to check out the photo gallery from our tour!

 

By the time we were back at the hotel tonight, everyone was exhausted. It was an early night for curfew but it will be an early morning tomorrow – our next activity on deck is ziplining! A highly anticipated event of the trip by everyone, even Tom Wistrcill, our AD who joined us this afternoon and will be with us for the next few days.

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FIBA vs. NCAA
Coach Kest and the team will see their first opponents of 2012-13 this evening when they take on the Costa Rica National Team #2 at 8:30 p.m. EDT (6:30 p.m. Costa Rica). The games during the Foreign Tour will not be played by NCAA rules, but will follow FIBA guidelines, the same rules that applied in the Olympics. Below are some of the major differences between the two:

  • Three-point line. The FIBA three-point line matches that of the WNBA, which is just slightly further out than the NCAA (About 20 ft. 6 in. from the center of the basket, vs. about 19 ft. 9 in.).
  • Playing time. Games will be played in four, 10-minute quarters with five minute extra periods, as opposed to two, 20-minute halves.
  • Shot clock. FIBA: 24 seconds vs. NCAA: 30 seconds.
  • Time-outs. Teams are allowed two time-outs in the first half, three in the second half and one per extra period (unused time outs do not carry over). All time-outs are 60 seconds, there are no 30 second time-outs. Additionally, players are not permitted to call time-outs on the court. The coach must call a time-out through the scorer's table.
  • Foul shots. Two free throws will be given on the fifth team foul in each quarter, unless it is a player control foul. During free throws, there can only be a maximum of five players in rebounding position along the lane, as oppposed to the six allowed in the NCAA. The shooter has five seconds to attempt a free throw, vs. 10 seconds in the NCAA.
  • Backcourt. There is an eight second time limit for the ball to cross half court. The count is not reset if the ball is deflected out of bounds or if possession is retained from a loose ball. This will be an adjustment because in the NCAA women's rules there is no time limit in the backcourt other than the shot clock.

We may see some unique jersey numbers on the court tonight, as FIBA allows players to wear one and two-digit numbers that we do not see on the court in the U.S. college game (i.e. 6 through 9).

This morning the team will embark on a guided tour of San Jose to further get a feel for life in Costa Rica. We are scheduled to leave for the San Jose Indoor Club Arena, where two out of the three games will be played, at 7:00 p.m. EDT, with tipoff at 8:30. We also have another member of the Zips family joining our group today - Tom Wistrcill, our Director of Athletics, will be in the country in just a few hours!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Update: 10:00 p.m.
Team dinner tonight was another great bonding experience. We walked back over to the mall and went to a sit-down restaurant where the entire menu was in Spanish, but the group managed just fine. With the first full day in Costa Rica in the books, everyone is looking forward to a little sightseeing, bartering at the market downtown, and of course hitting the basketball court. We'll give you a refresher course on FIBA rules and regulations tomorrow morning, which is how the games will be played while we are down here. If you watched any basketball during the Olympics you will be familiar since they played by the same rules, but there will be some adjustments that Coach Kest and her team will have to make tomorrow night against Costa Rica's National Team Squad 2.

 The team before dinner tonight

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The team has been in Costa Rica for a few hours now, after a full morning of travel. We are two hours behind Akron time, so after landing and making it through customs, we officially arrived at our first hotel around 1:00 p.m. Costa Rica time. There was a short layover in Miami, but both flights were three hours or less and relatively smooth and painless, even for some of the team who had never flown before.

Akron WBB invades CR! The team right after making it through customs. 

It didn't take long for reality to sink in that we are not in the United States anymore. The weather is warm and muggy, but overcast. Signs everywhere are in Spanish, including the highway signs, but most of them have the English translation in fine print underneath. The Zips have already been put to the test to see how much Spanish they can remember from high school. The scenery so far is interesting; very green with a lot of hills and mountains, even though we are near the heart of downtown San Jose.

On the bus from the airport to the hotel, we met Daniel, our tour guide who will be with us for the majority of the trip, showing us around the country and taking us to the various extracurricular activities over the next few days. He explained the Costa Rican currency which is called colones. The exchange rate is one U.S. dollar equals 500 colones. He also said that a lot of the clothing in Costa Rica is more expensive than the same clothing in the United States due to import taxes, so natives will often travel to the U.S. to purchase clothing.

The hotel we are staying in, the first of three on the trip, is an Intercontinental Hotel which is said to be the nicest in the city. All of the celebrities and musical artists will stay here when they come to Costa Rica to tour.


The team had its first trial run in the city for lunch today, venturing over to the mall across the street. It was extremely busy and a little overwhelming, but overall made for a good first impression (and the girls found that the clothing was indeed pricey). The food court there was very similar to an American food court with all of the normal fast food chains. It was weird to see the prices listed in colones; although the stores and food places will take American money, they give you change in colones.

After a pretty tiring first day, the team has some free time now for the next few hours to unwind until we get back together for a team dinner later this evening. On deck for tomorrow is a tour of San Jose in the morning, and the Zips' first international gameday! Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. EDT). Don't forget to check out the Costa Rica prospectus prior to gametime.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Costa Rica experience started a day early, with Coach Kest surprising the team and the staff with a hands-on teambuilding exercise. Everyone met at 5:00 p.m. in the locker room and we headed to the team room, where we found out we would be participating in what could have been an episode of "Top Chef", Akron women's basketball style.

There were five different stations set up around the room representing different courses of what would soon be our dinner. We were split into groups and assigned to a station, where we had 30 minutes to prepare 22 identical plates of that particular portion of the meal. In the international spirit of the weekend, the food was inspired by the region of South America the team will be visiting (lots of corn, salsa and beans...but unfortunately not much guacamole).

Each station had a chef advisor to guide the process, but the group was only permitted to ask their chef one question during the 30 minutes. At the end, one person from each group had to present their plate in front of the "judges" and a winner was declared.

What tied the "Top Chef" experience to the basketball court was the in-depth discussion about teamwork and leadership that took place after dinner. The advisors and Coach Kest analyzed the group dynamic and how they saw teammates working together to achieve an end goal. A few of the most important takeaways from the night were don't be afraid to ask a question, and there is more than one way to get to the same place. Some of the groups hit some roadblocks along the way, but they overcame the obstacles and got the job done, and there was plenty of food for everyone (and it wasn't half bad!)

By the way, the dessert team was crowned the winner. Taylor Ruper had the idea to turn the cake into a volcano like the one we will see in Costa Rica.

The team only has a few hours left in America. The bus leaves the JAR bright and early at 3:45 a.m. for the Cleveland airport.

Thursday, August 9, 2012
Thank you for visiting the Akron Women's Basketball Costa Rica Blog! This will be the place to follow the Zips throughout their 2012 Foreign Tour. Visit the blog for daily updates, game recaps, photos, videos and more. You can also follow the team on Twitter at @ZipsWBB. The coaching staff and SID Twitter feeds can be found to the right. For more information on the trip, including the preliminary itinerary, check out the "Countdown to Costa" guide here.


 



Sunday, August 19, 2012
Coach Kest's Costa Rica Review
Cari Guyton

Friday, August 17, 2012
Katie Nunan

Thursday, August 16, 2012
Megan Barilla

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DiAndra Gibson and Jasmine Wood

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Coach Kest on Game 2
Anita Brown

Monday, August 13, 2012

Coach Kest on Game 1