Tired of checking things off your schedule and looking forward to some time off with no commitments this holiday? Count yourself lucky because some Harvard athletes have some pretty serious business to take care of over the holiday season.
During the December break, four Harvard teams will travel to different parts of the U.S. to compete in league and non-league games and tournaments and maybe, just maybe, get a few days at home with their families.
One might expect there to be more than a few grumbles from players upset about the prospect of missing so much vacation time, not to mention that none of the teams traveling this December is going anywhere remotely warm.
The responses were just the opposite, however. Harvard athletes from the four holiday-traveling teams made it crystal-clear that athletics take precedence over leisure. In fact, they were looking forward to holiday competition on the road as a chance to bond and grow stronger as a team.
Take a look at the men's basketball team's (4-2, 0-0 Ivy) holiday schedule and ask how this sounds for a nice holiday respite:
The 10,000 men of Harvard begin their epic journey tomorrow (the last day of classes) at 7:00 p.m. in Lavietes Pavilion against Dartmouth College. The Crimson will face the Big Green in their first league game and probably one of the biggest Ivy League games of the season.
Two days later, the b-ballers pack their bags and trek up into the netherlands of Colgate College for Friday's showdown against the Red Raiders (whom the Crimson beat last year).
The saga does not end there, as the Crimson then races off to the University of Vermont for a December 22nd game against the Catamounts--only three days before Christmas.
The team then gets four uninterrupted days to try and scramble home if they so desire and then must hightail it back to campus for their tournament in New Orleans on December 27th and 28th.
"I think most of us are flying home early on the 23rd and then we have to fly out in the afternoon on the 25th--so it's a little tight in there," sophomore point guard Tim Hill said.
A little tight? How about downright hectic!
But Hill, along with most of the other athletes, seem to agree that the hardest time to miss vacation time and play over the holidays is freshman year.
"I think last year [playing over Christmas break] was a little rougher for me since it was my first year in school," Hill said. "But basketball is a big commitment throughout the whole season--its just something we have to learn to accept and deal with. But I think the team will be focused throughout the holidays and we're looking forward to building up some momentum leading up to the league play which starts in January."
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