Rafferty participates in Global Sports Academy, has experience of a lifetime

By Jesse Gaunce
September 14, 2011


Fran Rafferty, top row, second from left, spent part of his summer playing basketball overseas in Germany and the Czech Republic. -- Fran Rafferty / Submitted photo

Fran Rafferty, sophomore accounting major, had the experience of a lifetime this past summer. He was able to play basketball overseas against top competition.

Rafferty, the first one in his immediate family to travel to Europe, played against teams from the Czech Republic as well as Germany from Aug. 10-18 and cites it as “a great confidence booster.”

“Not many people can do that in their lifetime,” Rafferty said. “I recommend it to anyone who can go. It was an amazing overall experience.”

Rafferty said even though the weather was not ideal, he favored Germany a little more because his aunt is 100 percent German.

“I thought Germany was a little cooler just because my aunt is full-blooded German and it was fun to finally see all the different landmarks and other things that she always talks about,” Rafferty said. “I was just in awe of everything, despite the bad weather. I wasn’t just there to play basketball, I was there to see the world.”

Rafferty credits his friend, Andrew Radomicki, a student at Widener University for the text message that started it all.

“My friend Andrew texted me in early May about his coach at Widener taking people overseas to play,” Rafferty said. “I jumped at the chance.”

Rafferty took as many steps and reached out to as many people as he could to make his dream a reality. He reached out to family members and local businesses in King of Prussia, Pa.

“I went to my high school and handed out the fliers to everyone I know,” Rafferty said. “They were more than willing to contribute what they could. I also went to a pizza shop, the place I get my hair cut and the bar where my brother works. My family and I know the people who own all of them and we’ve been customers of all of those places for years.”

“I wasn’t just there to play basketball, I was there to see the world.” — Fran Rafferty

Rafferty and the group of players he traveled with, which included Radomicki along with one of Rafferty’s other close friends, Kyle Hammonds, a student at Kings College, spent four days in Germany and four days in the Czech Republic.

Rafferty described the group as “close-knit” and “a very easy group of guys to get along with.”

During the trip, Rafferty and company played in a couple of different stadium-type gyms that fit a few hundred people.

“One game had over 100 people in the Czech Republic,” Rafferty said. “That was a big turnout considering the Czechs were starting their pre-season.”

Rafferty states that he would definitely play overseas again if given the opportunity.

“I might do it again in two years when I’m a senior,” Rafferty said. “Money is always an issue for anyone these days but if you want to go, you’ll make it happen somehow. You just need to have the desire.”

After playing top competition overseas, Rafferty is as ready as ever for the Cavaliers to start their season.

“I think we’re going to be in the mix again to win the CSAC,” Rafferty said. “We should be ranked in the top 25. We have four of five returning starters and a great group of fresh talent coming in and the sky’s the limit for us.”

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Jesse Gaunce

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