RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU Women's Basketball team will embark on a 10-day international trip to Cape Town, South Africa where the Rams will play two exhibition contests against the South Africa National Women's Basketball Team, tour historic and scenic landmarks as well as assist in community service. The trip will take place Aug. 9-19.
Per NCAA rules, teams can take a foreign tour every four years and will allow the Rams 10 additional practices. The team will experience the culture of South Africa and venture to sights such as Table Mountain and the Robben Island World Heritage Site, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. The Rams will also receive surfing lessons and take a safari tour among other ventures.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to take such an incredible trip to South Africa. It's definitely a once in a lifetime experience for our players. I am really looking forward to our team giving back through the community service outreach programs and gaining valuable experience through our extra practices and competition with the South African National Team. All of this will be a great way to prepare for our upcoming season," O'Boyle said.
The Rams will face off twice against the South Africa National Women's Basketball team, who are nicknamed the Proteas. The Proteas are led by coach Kimathi Toboti and made an appearance at the 2015 FIBA FIBA AfroBasket Women's Tournament.
As part of the community service leg of the trip, the team will spend time working with the Goedgedacht Trust, an organization that aims to develop a creative, effective, sustainable and replicable model for community development in rural areas, offering children and youth safe spaces and opportunities to break out of the cycle of poverty.
The team and staff will also assist with Baphumelele, an organization that provides temporary shelter for vulnerable, orphaned children and young adults with chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Baphumelele also provides skill development for the unemployed, early childhood care, alleviation of poverty, and healthcare information to the community.
"I'm extremely excited for the opportunity to go to South Africa. Not only does it give our team time to bond, but it will also help establish chemistry on the court. I can't wait to face the South African National Team and experience everything the country has to offer," said sophomore guard Jailyn Maddox.