As an athlete, representing your school is expected, but representing your country is something very few athletes ever get the opportunity to do.
For juniors Katie Sommer and Miranda Murphy, as well as head coach Bob Amsberry, that opportunity will come this summer. The trio will be traveling down to Brazil as part of the USA DIII Select Team. Sommer said this a great opportunity that she hopes to get the most out of.
“It’s an absolute honor to get to play the game I love, for the country I love, it’s a special feeling,” Sommer said.
Amsberry also said it is an honor to coach this team and he knew from the moment he was offered the job, it would be something he would love to do. He said having two of his players with him makes it even more exciting.
“Beyond being great players, they are great people and I know they will represent us well,” Amsberry said.
The team, which is made up of players from around the country, will travel to Brazil and compete in the South American country July 17-26.
Last season, Amsberry was named the Iowa Conference coach of the year and both Sommer and Murphy were 1st Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-American selections. Even with all the accolades the classmates have received, both know they can continue to improve and hope to learn from other players during this tour.
“I think it is a great chance to learn from others. These are some of the top girls in the country and we have a great opportunity to learn from them and other people involved with USA Basketball,” Murphy said.
When the team goes through their orientation and first practices, Amsberry believes he may lean on his current players for leadership among the group.
“I know those two well and I know how to get the most out of them,” Amsberry said. “It is all about building relationships and connections.”
This will not be the first time this group has gone international as Murphy and Sommer were both part of the team that went to Barcelona after their freshman year, two summers ago. They both think this trip will be similar in some ways, but will provide them a chance to see another part of the world and experience a new culture, both on and off of the court.
What is the thing that excites them the most though? That fact they will be playing together.
“There is no one more deserving than Miranda Murphy and I am just so excited to share get to this experience with one of my best friends,” Sommer said.