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Yale Men’s Basketball Team Takes Trip of a Lifetime to Greece

ATHENS – CTInsider.com covers Connecticut, the postcard-sized state that boasts an  impressive history and some big institutions – including the renowned Yale University. Harvard University boasts the most Supreme Court justices – but Yale is right next to it in those standings.

Most of those alums care about the other kinds of standings, the ranking of their alma mater’s sports teams, the Yale Men’s Basketball team not least among them. Anything that is good for the team, is worth reading about, and CTInsider Staff Writer David Borges, focused on the squad’s recent visit to Greece, which in addition to being a fun trip was also billed as a team-building exercise – complete with games against the Thessaloniki All-Stars as well as the University of Calgary.

“Yale’s 10-day excursion, which began on Aug. 6 in Thessaloniki and culminated on Aug. 16 in Athens and a couple of days on the water, was a life-altering experience for everyone who made the trip,” Borges writes.

“It was phenomenal,” senior captain August Mahoney said. “It blew us away, way more than anyone expected. Seeing a different culture than most of us hadn’t seen in our lives, it was eye-opening and a great time to bond with the coaches and teammates.”

Borges tracked down a Hellene on the team. ”It should come as no surprise that John Poulakidas, a junior on the Yale men’s basketball team and a second-generation Greek-American, thoroughly enjoyed the Bulldogs’ recent trip to Greece. He even brought his parents along.”

The article noted that, “the team visited landmarks like the Parthenon and the Acropolis. They had dinner on Krabo Beach and at a restaurant owned by Yale hoops alum Steve Leondis, and took a ferry out to the island of Aegina, where they rented paddle boats and enjoyed their final day of the trip.”

It is a pleasant surprise to read that, “the highlight seemed to be a visit to the Meteora Monasteries, a precipitous rock formation in Thessaly on which Eastern Orthodox monasteries were built.”

senior captain August Mahoney said,

“To see the rocks, and how they were built so long ago, it was a beautiful thing to see.”

Head coach James Jones, a history buff and big fan of the movie ‘300’, concurred.

“The history of the country is tremendous, just how things have been built, how long it took them to build it… The architecture and science that had to go into it … these places still standing today, they’re just incredible structures.”

“It was great to bond with the guys,” Mahoney said, adding that, “we got practices in, and to hang out with the guys for 16 days in the summer was amazing.”

After being so immersed in history, they are ready to make some of their own – as basketball players as well as outstanding individuals.

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