Van Haaften Coaches USA All-Star Team on Brazil Tour

Van Haaften Coaches USA All-Star Team on Brazil Tour

Van Haaften Coaches USA All-Star Team on Brazil Tour

Buena Vista University head men's basketball coach Brian Van Haaften, along with players Kennedy Drey and Nick Clark SL'16, returned to the United States on July 28 following a week-long Brazil Tour as part of the US Division III All-Star Team.

The trio played a pair of doubleheaders in conjunction with the USA Division III Women's All-Star team (July 21 and 22) in Sau Paulo as well as conducting a 'Skills Clinic for the Youth of Jundiai' on July 23.

From there, the team headed for Rio de Janeiro for games on July 24 and 26.

Aside from their competition schedule, the group was also able to experience educational, cultural and social aspects of Brazilian life through city, school and sports club visits. While in Rio, the team stayed on the famous Copacabana Beach and toured the Christ the Redeemer Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain; two of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. They also had the chance to visit sites and venues that will be hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro which begin on August 5.

"The trip was amazing," says Drey. "Not only was it an eye opening experience to see part of the world I have never traveled before, but also amazing to be that close to olympic venues - as I may never be that close ever again. The people were amazing, and it is a place that I would want to go back and share with others what I saw. The members of the team were great guys and so was the entire staff, family, and friends that tagged along. Definitely an adventure that will last a lifetime."

"It [Brazil] was definitely better than I had hoped for," added Clark. "It was a basketball trip, but we did so many other things that made the trip mean so much more. It was great to see the impact we had on the youth in the community at each of our games. Everyone in Brazil was excited to see us on and off the court."

The men's and women's Division III All-Star basketball teams.

Clark, Van Haaften, and Drey hold the Olympic torch.