Thursday July 02, 2015
Saint Michael’s College women’s basketball head coach Shannon Kynoch traveled to Italy recently with the American International Sports Team (AIST). As head coach of the AIST basketball team, with a roster of 12 college student athletes from Division II and III institutions from around the country, Kynoch’s squad took on Italian opponents whose players’ ages ranged from late teens to early 30s.
“We played a total of 4 games and it was certainly different than here in the states. They had different rules and the game was much more up-tempo,” reports Kynoch. She continues, “I didn’t know much about my players before the trip so I had to learn about the way they played and their style on the fly. It was fun getting to know them in that sense and incorporating strategy to allow us to compete at a high level.”
According to its website, AIST has taken top-level athletes to compete in tournaments in more than 22 countries since 2002. In addition, the program also creates memorable experiences for all of its athletes and coaches, including learning new cultures, sightseeing, and personal growth. While abroad, Kynoch and her team were able to visit such cities as Florence, Milan, Rome and Vatican City. Kynoch says her favorite part of the trip was their last leg in Lake Como, noting,” It was breathtakingly beautiful and really encompassed the amazing pieces that Italy has to offer!” Kynoch added that the trip was made more special because she shared it with her mother, Lynn Kynoch. She added, “It was incredible to have her there to take in all the amazing sights and experiences.”
Now back in Vermont, Kynoch looks forward to building on the success she had during the 2014-2015 season. This past winter, she led Saint Michael’s Purple Knights to 12 wins and a spot in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship, where they fell in the first round to eventual tournament runner-up American International College by a 52-43 count. In thinking about the upcoming season, Kynoch says, “We have an amazing group of core players returning and some key people coming in to join the team. I think we have the potential to do some really amazing things both on and off the court!”