Middletown, Pa. - The Penn State Harrisburg Men's Basketball team was given a great opportunity to play against the Division 1 United States Naval Academy a few weeks ago. In spite of the excitement of playing a DI team, the experience the men took out of the trip could have a longer standing effect on the season than the outcome of one contest.
The Lions took the first day of the two day trip to visit Washington D.C. and all of the historic sites that it has to offer. With the help of Penn State Harrisburg's Senior Lecturer in Homeland Security Paul Thompson and the help of PA Congressmen Charlie Dent, the men not only saw the sites, but received a VIP tour of the House and Senate chambers as well as the Supreme Court building.
When asked about the experience in Washington D.C. coach Friday had this to say. "It was a great bonding experience for the team and with the help of Professor Paul Thompson who helped organize the trip, it was an incredible experience that gave myself and the team memories that will last a lifetime."
After all the site seeing, Harrisburg hung tough and proved they weren't just there to say they played against a Division 1 team, but to prove that they could win. The Lions hustle and grit held Navy to 21 points and kept them within five points at the half. Eventually Navy was able to secure the win, but Harrisburg left feeling good about the overall outcome of the contest.
What the Lions need most now is to continue to build on the positive experiences they have put together as a team. This year's squad is made up of a unit of quality players, but they do not have the standout star player that scores a majority of the team's points as many teams often do. The Lions 2014-2015 season will be all about how well this group of fine young men can come together and play as one unit and hopefully experiences like they had in D.C. will pay off.
Penn State Harrisburg (1-8) will work on turning things around in the New Year, actually 12 hours early, when they host The College of New Jersey on December 31st for a noon tip-off.