International Success in Basketball


Coach Brian Horneck, Athletic Director Valeri Banchev, and Dean Tam Smith lead members of our boys basketball team on a successful trip to Tel Aviv to participate in tournament hosted by the Walworth Barbour American International School.

Four-games-in-three-days later, the boys won a second place medal.

Mr. Horneck wrote: "Highlights included playing in front of the entire student body on Friday and placing second in a four-team tournament on Saturday. In addition to the games, we received a healthy dose of history and culture as we roamed Jerusalem and other major sights. The people at AIS were wonderful hosts, and our boys were gracious guests."

"We started this process last year," Dean Smith said. "We had a fantastic opportunity because one of our former colleagues, Tom Marshall, moved to Israel to teach at Woolworth Barbour American International School. Last November we started the dialogue about how to bring the two schools together."

The first plan, to have the trip before the end of that year, proved to be too last minute. So the next window of opportunity was this February. Later in the term would not be convenient to the seniors who ended up being six out of the eight players that went to Tel Aviv.

Dean Smith: "Our goal for this year was to have the very first international sports trip from the college, obviously, and number two to make it a success. And success for us meant safe travel, building international relations with the school, the students and the families, and of course having fun playing sports. That was the third goal. And the fourth – if we win, great. That's a bonus. Certainly not the only reason for going, but certainly a big reason for going, to compete and win."

They ended up being runners up in the tournament. Our team got to second place against two professional basketball academies and the American International School.

Dr. Richard T. Ewing, Jr. also commented on the success: "Our boys played well and conducted themselves admirably as ambassadors of our school. This is the sort of international competition, performance, exhibition, and/or exchange experience that we hope to do more of in the months and years ahead."

This achievement of the boys basketball team comes on top of an extremely successful local season. The boys won the National Amateur League in Basketball for the first time in school history, and in December, they became champions of Mladost.