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Basketball Trip to Spain Has Lions Following the Footsteps of U.S. Expatriates

It may be the hottest topic among Lions basketball fans: What is the team reading this summer?

Spain basketball bannerWell, perhaps not the hottest topic, but one that fans haven’t raised yet. The student-athletes on the Loyola Marymount University men’s basketball team will explore the literature of expatriates during their Aug. 16 to Aug. 27 trip to Spain. In addition to four exhibition games in Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, the team members will earn credit in a literature class taught by John Reilly, associate professor of English. “The idea is to open the players' minds to what it means for them to be Americans and athletes traveling and competing abroad,” Reilly said.

In addition to exploring fictional literature on American expatriates, they will read two books: “Can I Keep My Jersey?” by Paul Shirley, and “The Rat That Got Away,” by Allen Jones with Mark Niason. Both books describe the authors’ experiences playing professional basketball in Europe. During the trip, the players will also keep journals that will use important or pertinent passages from their reading as a springboard for their own reflections. 

Reilly will travel with the team, attend the games, review the players’ journals and discuss their perspectives of themselves as fellow travelers on a possibly transforming journey.

“Spain has some of the best teams in Europe,” said Max Good, coach of the men’s basketball team. “This will be a good workout for the team. These games will be huge for them, and so will the cultural side of the trip,” said Good.

Once the trip begins, fans can follow the team’s progress through frequent updates here or by joining the alumni Facebook group.

Posted Aug. 9, 2010