Indiana Wesleyan University Men’s Basketball Canadian Journey with President Jim Walker

Wednesday October 16

An excited Indiana Wesleyan team departed at 8:30 am from Marion, Indiana for their day long bus ride to Niagara Falls, Canada. The hungry and tired team arrived just in time for dinner at the Skylon Tower Summit Buffet overlooking the Falls lit with colored spotlights in spectacular fashion. After eating and viewing the falls along with a 360 degree view of the surrounding area, the team made their way to the very comfortable Courtyard by Marriott hotel for a good night’s rest.

Thursday October 17

Following a great breakfast at the hotel, the team boarded the bus and headed toward their Hornblower Niagara cruise straight into the mist under the Canadian Falls. Riding into the mist was truly a breathtaking experience and was like being in a torrential downpour. Despite the ponchos everyone was wearing they were still soaked at the end of the cruise. Everyone then went for a walk along the Niagara River rapids, where the extremely fast river current travels at up to 50 km/hour and roars so loud that it is hard to talk to the person next to you. After picking up sandwiches for lunch the team continued to the TownePlace Hotel and Suites in London. They then enjoyed a great pregame steak dinner at Moxie’s Grill before continuing to a game against Western Ontario University. It was a great game decided in the last minute. Indiana Wesleyan led throughout the game and was up by seven with 4 minutes to play. However, Western went on a run to end the game and defeated the Wildcats 76-74. After some post game pizza, the team returned to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Friday October 18

After breakfast, the Wildcats drove to Guelph University for a morning practice on the court where they would play on Saturday night. They then practiced on the brand new 2,200 seat Athletic Centre basketball court in preparation for next night’s game against the Gryphons. Afterwards they drove into Toronto where Hawaiian Bobby, their bus driver, took them on a bus tour of Canada’s largest city with about 3 million residents. After virtually covering the entire city, the team stopped at the CN Tower for a trip to the top for some spectacular views of the city and Lake Ontario. The gorgeous sunset was particularly impressive. The team then drove on to Brampton for dinner and checked into the Holiday Inn Express & Suites.

Saturday October 19

In the morning the team enjoyed breakfast before driving to the Black Creek Pioneer Village for an axe throwing competition amongst themselves. The competitive nature of the players resulted in a very spirited event and lots of fun for everyone. In the afternoon the players and coaches rested in preparation for their upcoming game. In the evening game the Wildcats jumped out to an early lead against the Guelph Gryphons and led by 11 at the half. Guelph made a run in the third quarter to close the gap to 2 before Indiana Wesleyan outscored the Gryphons 16-3 in the last 3 minutes of the quarter to lead by 15 at the end of the third. The Wildcats led by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter before clearing the bench and winning by a final score of 103-90. After a short drive back to the hotel, the team retired for the night with a long drive home coming up in the morning.

Sunday October 20

Up early the next morning, the team packed up their bus for the return drive to Marion, Indiana and Monday classes and practice. They took with them their memories of some excellent competition and great team bonding experiences that helped them prepare for the upcoming season and a run in the post season.