Today was game day! But first we spent the morning sightseeing - we cruised down the River Thames, then took a ride on the famous London Eye.
On our river cruise, we saw many famous sights, including Big Ben and the houses of Parliament, Shakespeare's Theatre, St. Paul's Cathedral and the old port of London. After driving over them yesterday, we rode under London Bridge and Tower Bridge and learned that if someone waves to you from the Tower Bridge as you sail under, it means five years of good luck!
After the cruise we boarded our pod on the London Eye - a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the Thames - to get one of the best views of the entire city. It was amazing being able to get a bird's eye view of such a historic city!
When we got back to the bottom it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the first game of our tour. After our traditional pregame meal of pasta, chicken, steak, baked potatoes and salad, we boarded the bus for the hour ride to Barking Abbey, a school and sports academy that plays in England's top division and has played teams like Georgia Tech and Notre Dame in recent years.
Before the game, we conducted a clinic with some boys and girls coming through the academy. Coaches and players ran the kids through drills on ball handling, post moves, shooting, one-on-one moves and defense.
Then it was finally game time! After a bit of a slow start as we got used to European rules, including the 24-second shot clock, we rallied with a 17-10 second quarter - we played four 10-minute periods - to take a 39-34 lead at halftime. Barking Abbey hit a number of three's early in the third quarter to keep it close until we broke it open with a 15-4 run over the final 2:56 for a 67-53 advantage after three. Junior Aaliyah Brown had seven points in that spurt while sophomore Shannon Cranshaw had five.
A 16-10 fourth quarter gave us an 83-63 win! It was fun to end the game with all five freshmen on the floor together - they scored eight of our final 12 points and combined for 25 points in the game, including nine from forward Kelli Prange. Sophomore Hannah Schaible led the way for the Colonials with 18 points, while Brown scored 14.
Tomorrow we'll board a train and take the Chunnel to Paris where we know more amazing sights await us, and we can't wait!
Don't forget you can also follow us on social media throughout the trip! check us out on Twitter (@GW_WBB) and Instagram (GW_WBB) and at the hashtag #EuroColonials.
So today was the day I was most looking forward to because we got to go to the London Eye, but more importantly it was GAME DAY IN LONDON! First game of our tour was a success! We won 83-63, it was beautiful. Team basketball at its finest. Before the game we got the chance to host a clinic for some kids, mostly teenage boys. I definitely felt like they walked away from the clinic with some knowledge they didn't have before. That's a job well done in my book.
But before all that, we finally got a chance to get on the London Eye and take a river tour to learn a little history. If you know anything about our team, you know we are always singing, danicng or coming up with some beat so we can freestyle. So of course, our whole ride was entertaining. Don't worry, we got it all on camera and the videos will be posted soon! I know y'all want to see!
Tonight is our last night in London, our train to Paris is tomorrow around 1 p.m. I can't even put into words how excited I am. It's going to be an incredible trip. We are back at the hotel for the night and we are SO READY to continue our tour in a new country! Of course I'll tell you guys all about it tomorrow!
P.S. I have been recording every day and the videos will be uploaded soon!