Aug. 9, 2013
Day 2 in Dakar, Senegal was another blast for the Seminoles. FSU kicked off the day with a safari and got to see giraffes, monkeys, wild antelope and rhinos among many other animals. The team got to take some fantastic photos.
Later, Coach Sue and the rest of the team stopped by the tiny village of Sindia on their way back from the safari early Friday and handed out basketballs and bracelets to some of the local children. The town was far away from the more industrialized Dakar and gave the team a much truer view of how much of Africa actually is. There was a woman getting a perm done outside right near the group and various tiny huts and shops. None of the people in the village could speak any English, but they all had smiles on their faces and the Noles had the people of Sindia doing the Tomahawk Chop by the time the bus pulled away.
Head Coach Sue Semrau on Day 3
We had a few basketballs in our car and Morgan Jones asked me if we were saving them for something. It was her idea that we would stop and give some to the children in a village we saw driving back from the safari. It was incredible to see the joy on their faces and their welcoming spirit even to have us visit much less to give them a basketball. I’m speechless. It really touched us all.
The chief of the village of Sindia came over to us and I got to speak to him. He was very interested in the fact that we were basketball players. He was in charge of a lot people in the village. It’s a concept so much different from here and getting to experience this different culture was amazing. He wanted me to make sure that I saw the boy in the village who was the top basketball player. He was about 10 or 11 years old and had on a Boston Celtics t-shirt. He was grinning from ear to ear with the opportunity to meet American basketball players.
It was a great opportunity for us not only to see a safari in Africa – when you get a chance to see a giraffe, a rhino and a zebra up close its pretty cool – but we also got to experience the true Senegal villages. We’ve seen so many different aspects of Senegal and it has been incredible.
Lauren Coleman, Redshirt Junior Forward, on Day 3
On the safari we saw monkeys, crocodiles… we saw a whole family of giraffes. We saw antelopes, including African mask antelopes. Our guide gave us a ton of information, although we couldn’t always understand him. He was cool. He said the giraffe weighs 400 pounds. We saw a pregnant giraffe, too. The buffaloes were over 1,000 pounds. We saw impala’s too, like the car. We saw the only two rhinos. We got to get really close to them. It was pretty scary. I think Morgan Jones had the most fun. She was pretty excited. We all had a blast at the safari, though.
I didn’t get to feed any monkeys but I was standing next to Gabby (Bevillard) and she was, so I was pretty close. It was pretty cool. You could’ve pretty much touched them. They came and took the bread no problem.
I liked the giraffes the most. As we are tall women, we can relate to the giraffe, haha.
It was incredible driving to the safari because it was an hour drive. We drove by a bunch of tiny villages. In a lot of the villages people live in little cement huts. They looked like abandoned buildings that people settled in. It was very humbling. They don’t have electricity and they probably have to walk to get water. We don’t realize how good we have it.
We left the safari and we stopped at a village, and we gave these little boys some basketballs. The littlest one had the biggest smile on his face.
Today is the end of Ramadan holiday and most of Senegal practices Islam. On the way up here we saw everybody had their nicest clothes on and were walking to mass to pray and to celebrate.
Ramadan is a 30 day fast where they fast from sun up until sun down. At the end it is kind of like Thanksgiving. They have a big feast and give thanks to their god, Allah.
The crew on their first ever safari! pic.twitter.com/NCu1j0O3eY
Following the trip to the village, FSU had a fun quick stop at an old outdoor workout area where they took some hilarious photos on the old equipment located right on the edge of the ocean.
Florida State capped Day 3 with a second game against the Senegal National Team, which made up entirely of professional players. Freshman guard Brittany Brown announced her presence by exploding for 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the first half, and finished with 19 points overall in the game. Seniors Natasha Howard (14 points) and Cheetah Delgado (seven assists) also had great games, but Team Senegal held on for a 69-58 win on their home court. An encouraging part of the two-game swing was the play of Brown and Kai James, who tallied a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the first game. The Seminoles head to Italy on Saturday night and will play two more games against club teams next week.