Aug. 11, 2011

-- Photo Gallery of Day 4

Kelsey Simon's video journal

ISTANBUL, Turkey - The Miami women's basketball team used a suffocating defense that forced 33 turnovers in a 62-58 win over Galatasaray Thursday during its fourth day of its Turkey/Greece tour. Courtney Osborn led the RedHawks with 14 points, while Lillian Pitts contributed 11. Kirsten Olowinski pulled in 16 rebounds.

Prior to the game, Miami took a tour down the Bosphorus strait, which separates the European side of Istanbul from the Asian side. Afterwards the team returned to the Grand Bazaar since they enjoyed it so much on Wednesday and wanted to have some more time to shop there. From there it was onto the game.

For more information on the day's activities, here is today's journal from sophomore center Kelsey Simon.

Dear Journal,

Today was our last day in Turkey even though it seems like we just arrived. We went on a boat ride on the Bosphorus today, and it was great to see the city of Istanbul from a different view. The city looked very different because I was able to see it from the outside. The buildings were stacked high and on top of each other. The set-up of the city is very different from what I am used to since the neighborhood I am from has acres in between each house. Istanbul is unique because it is on two continents, Europe and Asia. Since we were on the Bosphorous, I was able to see the Asian side as well as the European side of Istanbul. This was exciting because I have never heard of any city standing on two different continents. I saw the difference between the two sides of it. The structures and architecture of the buildings were very different.

After we went on the Bosphorous, we had time to shop again at the Grand Bazaar. This was my favorite part of the trip, since I love shopping! It was different that shopping in the US though, since I was able to bargain and compromise the price of items. I think I bartered some good deals! It's so different than the U.S. where it is a set price and that`s what you pay. I bought souvenirs for my mom, brothers, and grandparents without spending a fortune.

We also played our second game this evening. We played at a different facility today. It was definitely an unforgettable experience. Hannah, Rachael and I went on a quest for the bathroom. We walked all around and couldn't find one. Then I asked where one was and we followed a man outside, all the way down, and around the corner to the bathrooms. I never thought bathrooms would be outside. Good thing we brought our own toilet paper like our tour guide warned us!

As for the game, we won again! I felt better today about our team defense. Sometimes we reverted back to old habits, but for the most part it keeps improving. We were much more aggressive today.

After the game the other team gave us key chains and we took a picture together. It was nice that we could be rivals on the court but after come together and show our appreciation for the experience and opportunity. They were also very nice to us. The club provided Turkish sandwiches for us and gave us a tour of the facilities. We saw the arena, restaurant, soccer field, and hotel. I never expected it to be so big. I really appreciated how much hospitality we received from the Turkish team and staff.

It was a pleasant surprise, and I'm so glad I got to experience this whole trip. Many people are not fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to a different country as well as play a foreign team. I am so thankful that I am. On to Greece!


We would like to thank Tim Morrow and Maria Fantanarosa for their financial donations and all of their support.