Manchester University
Oak Leaves

February 15, 2019

wbball trip (6)

The women’s basketball team, along with Dr. Heather Schilling, Coach Kurt Kurtzhals, Coach Josh Dzurick and former assistant coach Jocelyn Hamilton play lifesize games in the lobby of their Marriott hotel in Dallas, TX. Dzurick won the Coaches Connect Four Challenge by beating two other basketball coaches from other colleges.

Women's Basketball Team Travels to Texas for Winter Break

Marcus Zwiebel


Manchester University’s women’s basketball team visited Dallas, TX, this Dec. 26–31 to participate in two games as well as provide a cultural experience for the team and develop overall season morale.

The women’s basketball team took an active break after Christmas Day from North Manchester’s bleak winter and caravanned to Chicago, where they then flew to Dallas. The trip was initially hindered by Dallas’s weather—severe thunderstorms which resulted in the team’s 4:30 a.m. arrival at their hotel—yet was still marked as a successful and enjoyable trip by the team. They experienced two losses while in Texas (against McMurray and Concordia) but still were able to contribute to positive team experience before resuming conference play in Indiana.

“We try to do a team trip at least every other year with the focus on building team morale, while still playing a few games and giving the team a cultural experience,” said women’s basketball head coach Josh Dzurick.

After participating in a trivia event and receiving a pep rally in the hosting hotel, the team played the two games and also explored numerous locations in and around Dallas, including the Reunion Tower, the famous Dallas shopping mall, an escape room (which a two-thirds majority of team members were able to escape) and a restaurant in the heart of Dallas’s arts district, which was selected by education faculty member Dr. Heather Schilling, who also went on the December trip.

The team additionally toured the Grassy Knoll and final route of the motorcade carrying former President John F. Kennedy, prior to his assassination.

To plan their trips, the team and coaches brainstorm locations that would have an appropriate tournament venue for a couple of games and would simultaneously provide a beneficial and engaging experience for the team. These locations are also cities or regions where former student-athletes live and who may provide the coaches and the team with some information regarding the location. Dallas is home to alumna Kelley Meiklejohn, who knows the city well.

Once a location is selected, team members are asked to fundraise in numerous ways—most prominently including the North Manchester FunFest. Former trip locations include San Antonio (twice), California, Florida, and even the Bahamas.

Jocelyn Hamilton, who was then the women’s basketball assistant coach and alumna of Manchester University, explains the purpose of this travel. “The trips let the team experience a city where an alumni lives and a place that few of them have visited before,” she said.

She further elaborated that the trips are rarely ever simply trips and are instead intense bonding experiences which are, as she characterized them, “often something that the members of the team remember as some of their favorite memories during their time at Manchester.”

The women’s basketball team resumed the regular season Jan. 2, after returning from Dallas. The team also recently gained two conference wins against Earlham and Anderson and will continue the season until mid-February, when conference play—and the season—ends.

The Lady Spartans fell to the Franklin Grizzlies on Monday, Feb. 11, with a score of 89-71. Their next game is Saturday, Feb. 16, at Rose-Hulman.