Men's Basketball

SMU Basketball - Tour d' Africa



SMU Men's Basketball Visits Goree Island, Then Falls By Five To Senegalese National Team

The Mustangs visited Goree Island, also know for the Door of No Return, where slaves were housed before traveling to the Americas. Below are links to a couple news pieces written about the history of the island.

The Mustangs then faced the Senegalese National Team at Marius N'Diaye Stadium. The game was played with international rules, which will be the same for the other three games during the trip. SMU lost by five to a well-respected national squad. The Senegalese National Team, with Bamba Fall as a member, finished ninth in the 2007 African Games.

Wednesday is the team trip to St. Louis, Senegal. That is the hometown of Bamba Fall and Papa Dia. Thursday is game two of the trip as the Mustangs face SEEDS Academy, which Dia and Mouhammad Faye attended while living in Dakar.

The team and its trip to Africa is featured Wednesday's Dallas Morning News. Here is the link in case you missed it.

Blog - May 27
Head Coach Matt Doherty

"Goree Island"

Today we took a ferry to Goree Island. It was a sight to see. It reminded Kelly and me a little of Charleston, SC with the old architecture and the light colored buildings. Goree is best known for the housing of slaves before they were shipped off to the Americas. We toured the holding cells where they would split up families, putting the men in one cell, the mothers in another, the children in yet another split up by sex. Imagine that horror when you had your family ripped apart, knowing you would never see them again.

History came to life as we got to see, first hand, the cold, harsh reality of an ugly past. To walk into cells that housed men, women and children before they were dealt for guns, wine or sugar....families split up and having their names stripped from them only to be given a number.....then they are given the name of their "masters" on the other side of the ocean. Africans were the slave of choice because they were big and strong, plus the average life of an African slave lasted about seven years, longer than other types of slaves.

The most dramatic sight was the "Door of No Return". This is where the slaves left the building, left Africa, to board the ships. You could see forever on the ocean's horizon. Imagine what went through the minds of the men and women who walked out that door preparing to board a ship that would take them to the far away places of South America, North America and Cuba?

This is a history no one is proud of, not America, nor Africa.

Game Day
Tonight we played the Senegal National Team and lost by 5 points. Senegal was a very talented team that was well coached. They played an aggressive defense and ran a nice offense that utilized good screens. I was impressed with them. We didn't handle the ball very well and we took too many ill advised shots. We were down by double figures in the fourth quarter, yet we cut it to three points, but couldn't get any closer. In preparation for this trip I was thinking that I would be OK with our games, win or lose, but I found that not to be the case. I sit in my bed disappointed in our play while my mind is racing with thoughts of how to improve our team. That is good, I guess, as I feel the fire.....even in an exhibition game in Africa.

Tomorrow is another to St. Louis for the day to see the home town of Bamba and Papa.

Pony Up!
Coach Doh

Player Journals
Tomasz Kwiatkowski
"The gym we played in was unique. I mean... no air conditioning, no windows, and circulation was provided from the outside. But I still had a lot of fun!"

Bamba Fall
"I was last in Senegal last August, and this year, the biggest difference I see is the roads. They are much improved. Last year the roads were very bad."

"The stadium is different from the arenas that we are used to playing in. It is really old, but it gets the job done."

Alex Malone
"The people are always outside and are either walking or running. I asked Bamba why do they run all the time and he told me that it is fun and it beats having to pay for a taxi!"

Ryan Harp
"This day almost seemed like a dream to me. On the bus it seemed as though each window was a television showing the discovery channel. When we stepped off the bus, it was almost like a different planet for me. The people, the smells, and the culture are all new to me. The one image that stuck in my head from my first day was seeing a Mercedes Benz on the road right next to a man on a cart pulled by a horse."

Mike Walker
"Exiting the plane a feeling came over me, a very awakening experience. This is Africa. To me, the most majestic continent in the world. I came to realize I'm in a totally different world, one that I've been wanting to go to for a long time."

Robert Nyakundi
"My parents have never seen West Africa and for them, Africa is their birth continent. I wish they could be here with me, but also I feel very privileged to be here and I also understand how special of a trip this can be for everyone in their lifetime."

Mouhammad Faye
"Exiting the plane, for some of us it was a feeling of fear and anxiety about discovering Africa. And for others, it was excitement about coming back in our homeland, seeing family and friends, but also sharing this environment with some really close people."

May 18-24 - Preparation - Class & Practice
May 25 - Dallas to Dakar, Senegal
May 26 - First Practice
May 27 - Visit Goree Island
May 27 - Game 1 (Senegalese Nat. Team)
May 28 - Trip to St. Louis (Bamba/Papa's Home)
May 29 - Clinic 1: at SEEDS Academy
May 30 - Dakar to Johannesburg, South Africa
May 31 - Clinic 2: Vodacom Mandeville Indoor Centre
May 31 - Tour Pretoria (capital of S. Africa)
June 1 - Game 3: vs. South African National Team
June 2 - Tour Soweto
June 2 - Visit Lesedi Cultural Village
June 3 - Safari at Pilanesburg Nat. Park
June 4 - Game 4: South African Club Team
June 5 - Johannesburg, South Africa to Dallas

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