Columbia women’s basketball is on a week-long overseas tour through Morocco and Spain. The Lions will spend three days in Tangier, followed by two days in Granada, Spain and two more in Seville.
GoColumbiaLions.com will post daily updates on the whereabouts of the Lions, including photos and videos from the tour. Check here every night for a full summary of each day.
DAY 6 – Exploring Seville
The team left Granada around 9am en route to Seville, where they will spend the remaining days of their overseas tour. The Lions arrived in Seville around noon and had two hours for lunch and free time in the city center.
🚎 Granada ➡️ Seville 🇪🇸
— Columbia Women’s Basketball (@CULionsWBB) August 26, 2022
After lunch, the team reunited for the first of two self-guided tours. The first was held at the Royal Alcazar of Seville, which took shape under Muslim rule in the 11th century by King Al-Mu’tamid. It was later built by Castilian Christians on the site of an Abbid Muslim alcazar, or residential fortress. The fortress was destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville in 1248.
The second self-guided tour of the day took the team through the historic Seville Cathedral, which was consecrated in 1507. It was inscribed in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the adjoining Alcázar Palace complex .
Felt the love from our Spanish families today in Seville!
— Columbia Women’s Basketball (@CULionsWBB) August 26, 2022
The day in Seville ended with a flamenco show and dinner at Tablao El Arenal.
DAY 5 – Alhambra Game & Exhibition #2
The team’s first full day in Spain began at 9:30 a.m. with a guided walking tour of the Alhambra, one of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture and one of the best-preserved palaces in the historical Islamic world. The team toured the historic monument for three hours, which included stunning views of the city of Granada.
After the tour, the team had a chance to rest for a few hours before preparing for their second exhibition game of the trip. The Lions were booked against Armilla Baloncesto at 8pm local time and, just like their opener, they dominated from start to finish. Jaïda Patrick led Columbia with a game-high 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting, followed by 27 of Hsu Abbey and 21 each of Kaitlyn Davis and Nicole Stephens. Hsu also added a record 14 rebounds and Carly Rivera delivered a record 10 assists, as the Lions came away with a lopsided victory, 136-30. Marie-Lobona native of Valencia, Spain, played 20 minutes and scored 18 points (9-10 FG) with eight rebounds and five steals.
DAY 4 – Arrival in Spain
The team started early Wednesday morning, leaving their hotel in Tangier, Morocco at 6:10 a.m. to prepare to board the ferry for Spain. The ferry arrived in Tarifa, Spain at around 10:45 a.m. local time, followed by a 175-mile bus journey to the city of Granada. The team stopped for lunch mid-term in Malaga before arriving in Granada around 5:30 p.m.
Before dinner, the team took an hour-long sunset walk through the hills of Granada. During the visit, the team was able to see the Alhambra, a medieval Nasrid citadel and palace. It is one of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture and one of the most visited tourist sites in Spain. The team will visit the Alhambra on Thursday.
DAY 3 – Chefchaouen & Gameday
Columbia’s third day in Morocco began with boarding the 9am bus for the city of Chefchaouen, taking a 70 mile bus journey of over two hours to the infamous Blue City. Nicknamed the “Blue Pearl of Morocco”, Chefchaouen is known for its traditional houses painted in blue and white. The historic city was founded in 1471.
After returning to Tangier, the Lions quickly prepared for their first exhibition game of the Foreign Tour. Columbia took on IR Tanger Women’s Basketball Club at Ziaten Hall. Before the start of the match, a ceremony took place on center court as IR Tangier welcomed Columbia, posed for a group photo and presented the team with gifts from Morocco.
Columbia dominated the game, moving to 18-3 without allowing the hosts to score a single field goal in the first quarter. With Columbia starting the second half 25 points clear, last year’s top scorer Hsu Abbey hit straight threes to start the third quarter on his way to a game-high 29 points in 28 minutes. She hit eight of her first 10 looks from the perimeter and then finished 10 for 17 from the field. Jaïda Patrick finished with 19 of 8 of 16 points from the floor and paige lauder added 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. The Lions won, 93-26.
DAY 2 – CAP SPARTEL, CAVES OF HERCULES & MOROCCAN WEDDING
Columbia’s second day in Tangier began at 10 a.m., boarding the bus for Cape Spartel, which is about 13 km west of downtown Tangier. Built in 1864 by Sultan Muhammed III, Cape Spartel is home to a lighthouse and the legendary Caves of Hercules. The team climbed the lighthouse and explored the caves before heading to the beach for a camel ride.
After a morning filled with activities, the team had free time in the middle of the day to explore the city and have lunch. The evening began with training at Ziaten Hall in Tangier, home of the Ittihad Tangier basketball team. The practice was Columbia’s first in Morocco in preparation for an exhibition game on Tuesday at Ziaten Hall.
Columbia returned to the medina for the evening and shared a meal with the parents, players and family members of the IRT Tangier women’s team. To the surprise of the Columbia players and staff, the Moroccan hosts had traditional wedding dresses for the team to change into before dinner. Once changed and introduced, staff and hosts re-enacted a traditional Moroccan wedding celebration, complete with food, dancing and henna tattoos designed by a local artist.
DAY 1 – DEPARTURE & TANGIER
The women’s basketball team departed John F. Kennedy Airport Saturday night around 9 p.m. ET and landed in Madrid, Spain at 10 a.m. local time. The Lions then took a connecting flight from Madrid to Tangier, Morocco, flying over the Strait of Gibraltar and arriving in Tangier around 12 p.m. local time.
After exploring near the hotel for lunch, the Lions hopped on a bus for a walking tour of the “Old Town” section of Tangier. The old town (medina), surrounded by 15th century ramparts, is dominated by a casbah, the sultan’s palace (now a museum of Moroccan art) and the Great Mosque.
The first day ended with a traditional Moroccan dinner of soup and chicken tagine, which are pieces of chicken braised with spices, garlic, onions, olives and candied lemons.
Columbia WBB Foreign Tour Itinerary:
August 20 | Depart New York for Tangier, Morocco
August 21 | Land in Tangier, guided walking tour
August 22 | Visit the Caves of Hercules and Dar el Makhzen
August 23 | Chefchaouen Day Trip, Exhibition Game #1
August 24 | Departure from Tangier to Granada, Spain, guided walking tour
August 25 | Visit to the Alhambra, exhibition game #2
August 26 | Seville, Spain Bike Tour and Flamenco Dance Show
August 27 | Visit Seville Cathedral, Exhibition Game #3
August 28 | Back to New York
Fans can follow the team’s journey by following @CULionsWBB on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Daily blogs with photos and videos will also be posted on GoColumbiaLions.com.