Rockets take Corinthian tour of Temple of Apollo, win another game in Greece

August 9, 2013 | News, UToday
By Steve Easton

A visit to Corinth, Greece, Thursday provided the Toledo men’s basketball team some breathtaking views and a glimpse of what life was like in the Middle Ages.

The men's basketball team visited the Temple of Apollo in Greece.

The men’s basketball team visited the Temple of Apollo in Greece.

“This has been a tremendous cultural experience for our entire program,” Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “It’s something that all of us will remember for the rest of our lives and our very thankful about receiving this opportunity.”

The Rockets’ day began with a trip through the Corinth Canal, which connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland. There were several attempts to create the canal in the first century A.D. before it was completed in 1893.

The team then traveled to ancient Corinth, which was one of the three major powers in Greece in the fifth century B.C. The city was destroyed by the Romans in 146 B.C. before Julius Caesar resettled it in 44 B.C. and started a new period of prosperity.

A guided tour was provided of an archaeological site that was dominated by the Temple of Apollo, which was built with monolithic columns; seven still stand. The area evolved into a commercial cultural and religious center of the city and included the agora, sanctuaries and temples, theaters, fountains, and public buildings. The site also included a tribunal from which St. Paul spoke to the Corinthians in 52 A.D.

A museum displayed the rich finds yielded by the excavations in the area; these included pottery, figurines and tools; objects from the Geometric, Archaic and Classical periods; statues of Roman rulers, floor mosaics and wall paintings; and Roman and Byzantine pottery.
See the Toledo Rockets Facebook page for a gallery of photos.

Toledo also won its second game during the trip. The Rockets burst out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a 92-51 victory over a Greek All-Star squad Thursday.

“We certainly faced a much better team today,” Kowalczyk said. “They had some college players and a couple of pros on their team, and it was a more physical game than yesterday. I thought we did a really good job in transition as well as with our half-court execution. We’re still gambling a little bit too much defensively, but we’ll get that cleaned up. But from an overall standpoint, I’m very pleased.”

Toledo will be idle from game action for the next four days and head to the Greek island of Mykonos.

The Rockets’ next game will be Tuesday, Aug. 13, in Athens against Kimi SC of the Third National Division.

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