McDaniel College Men’s Basketball Canadian Journey with President Jim Walker

Friday October 13th

An excited McDaniel College Men’s Basketball team departed from the front of Gill Gymnasium in Westminster, MD, around 3:00 p.m. for their charter bus ride to Niagara Falls, Canada. They met their Sports Journeys International tour manager, Tracy Tripucka, at the Buffalo Airport before crossing the border into Canada. The group then went to the Hampton Inn in nearby St. Catharines for a good night’s rest.

Saturday October 14th

Following breakfast at the hotel, the team boarded the bus and headed toward their Niagara Falls cruise straight into the mist under the Canadian Falls. Riding into the mist was indeed a breathtaking experience, like being in a torrential downpour. Despite the ponchos everyone wore, they were still soaked at the end of the cruise. After taking some team pictures, it was on to the impressive White Water Walk, a boardwalk along the Niagara River rapids where the swift and loud river travels at up to 50 km/hour, and the waves are as high as 5 meters. Everyone was in awe of the powerful rapids. Then it was time for a pregame dinner at the popular and stunning Mandarin Buffet and a gourmet all-you-can-eat experience, which everyone enjoyed immensely. The team was then back on the bus to the Welland Canal Center in St. Catharines. They arrived in time to observe several large ships on their journey to and from Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Watching how the locks worked proved to be very interesting. The next stop was Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, for the team’s first game. The Green Terrors played well and won the game 69-61. Afterwards, they enjoyed pizza before heading to Toronto and check-in at the Hampton Inn Brampton, their hotel for the next three nights.

Sunday October 15th

After a late breakfast at the hotel, the team headed into Toronto. They stopped first at the CN Tower for a trip to the top and spectacular views of the city and Lake Ontario. One of the Seven Wonders of the World and, until 2007, the tallest free-standing structure in the world, the Tower provides an excellent overview of Toronto and the lake. Next, they had lunch at the St. Lawrence Market, called by many “the World’s best food market.” With hundreds of vendors and just about everything, including nonfood items for sale, the Market provides a tapestry of Toronto. After eating and roaming the Market, the team boarded their bus for a guided city tour. They managed to dodge the Toronto Marathon runners and see some of the many city neighborhoods and universities. After taking a picture at the City Center Toronto sign, the team made its way on foot to their pregame dinner at Moxies, one of Ontario’s best steakhouses. The next stop was at Sheridan College for the second game of the tour. Despite leading 41-40 at halftime, the Green Terror fell victim to numerous turnovers and lost the game 97-78. A trip to Popeyes for a post-game meal finished a long day.

Monday October 16th

After breakfast at the hotel, the team headed to Toronto for a Graffiti Walking Tour of Toronto. Combining several planned graffiti neighborhoods in downtown Toronto, their guide, Jason, was able to give the Green Terror a good understanding of the development of Toronto into a major world city. They stopped for lunch in the Big Smoke Burger, one of Toronto’s best specialty burger joints. Next up was one of the highlights of the tour, the Leaside Curling Club and everyone’s first encounter with the Olympic Sport of Curling. After an hour of instruction, the Green Terror formed teams, including coaches and players, for enthusiastic competition. After a short drive, the team enjoyed pregame dinner at Piasano’s, a popular Italian family restaurant in York, a Toronto suburb. Next, it was on to the third game against the Centennial College Colts. Playing their best game of the tour, the Green Terror came from behind to lead 68-66 with 9.7 seconds on the clock, only to have the Colts hit a buzzer-beater 3-point shot to defeat them 69-68. After driving back to the hotel, the team enjoyed a pizza party before calling it a night.

Tuesday October 17th

After an early morning breakfast, the team checked out of the hotel for the long ride home to Westminster. Stopping halfway for lunch, the Green Terror arrived back at school with many wonderful memories of their great experiences.