LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s basketball team will take three days out of its Christmas break this season to help build houses in Mexico as part of a six-day humanitarian and basketball-playing trip, from Dec. 16-21, that will take the team through Mexico and southern California.
Working with Homes for Hope, the Spartans will build two houses for local families in Ensenada, Mexico before playing two games in three days in California against Point Loma Dec. 19 at 2:00 p.m. and Azusa Pacific Dec. 21 also at 2:00 p.m.
The team will build two prefabricated houses for a pair of previously selected families whom the team will have the opportunity to meet. The first family is the Roldan Guzman family, which includes, Lourdes, a single mother, along with her two kids: nine-year-old Hulda and seven-year-old Yireth. Lourdes has been separated from her husband for three years and supports herself and her two daughters by working in the fields.
The second family is the Canedo Jacobi family. The father, Jesus, and the mother, Jessica, have been married for five years and they have two children: Abril, who is four years old and has been diagnosed with cerebral paralysis and Isaac, who is three years old. Jesus supports the family by selling candy.
While the trip’s focus in Mexico is to construct houses, the adventure abroad is also an opportunity for the Spartans team members to travel and work alongside their mentors, whom they have developed a relationship with over the past several months. A mentorship program was established last spring in an effort to connect students with likeminded individuals who are already working in the students’ desired field.
The trip will allow both the students and the mentors a chance to work together and continue to develop their relationships while building and furnishing these homes.
“It’s a pretty simple trip but we want the guys to keep on serving not just in our own community but also a little further out,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “It’s a good chance to spend time with our mentors. During the trip, they’ll be spending one-on-one time with their mentors, which will help build upon what has already been a successful venture in helping our guys set goals and prepare for positions beyond university.”
While the trip will no doubt bring the mentors and mentees closer, Allen is also hoping the opportunity to work with each other as teammates will help bring the group – one that started the season with six new faces – even closer as a unit.
“Maybe it’ll teach us that it’s more important to be giving and I think that’s something we need to learn as a team,” Allen said. “I hope this trip helps build some more trust with the guys which will help them play more for each and sacrifice for each other on the court.”
Along with Allen, the trip has largely been organized by Spartans supporters David Bentall, Thane Stenner and Werner Spanghel.
The Spartans, who went 2-6 through their first eight games of the Canada West regular season, will return to Canada Dec. 21 and then, after a brief break, will be back on the court for the second semester Jan. 6-7 when they host Lethbridge and Calgary.