UP women’s basketball team playing in international tournament

The University of Providence women’s basketball team is headed to Mexico to represent Team USA in the 2022 FISU Games.

The Argos will play five games in five days against teams from North, South and Central America.

The FISU America Games are a multi-sport event sanctioned by the International University Sports Federation, or FISU, according to a UP release.

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Alternating with the Summer and Winter World University Games, which invite all the countries of the world for the biennial events, the FISU America Games are a regional event like the Pan-American Games for FISU member-countries of North and South America held in even-numbered years.

Normally, Team USA is represented by an NCAA Division 1 program, but due to COVID, the games were moved to the fall so an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics team was chosen, according to the UP release.

“Because of connections in the coaching profession, the Argos were brought up and Head Coach Bill Himmelberg readily jumped at the opportunity,” according to the release.

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“The reason we got asked was because of the Parkers, the Emilys, the Kerstyns, the people that were here before. It is not just about the people here in the last four or five years, it is the people who have built our program over a long period of time. It is a great accomplishment for everyone who has been in our program, but would I have liked to have Parker and Emily out there? You bet,” Himmelberg said in a release.

The Argos staff and players held a summer camp for the first time, playing with the basketballs they’ll use in Mexico and learning different international rules, according to UP.

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We are very blessed and fortunate to get to live here and sometimes people get all hooked up on the politics of the day and what is going on and they forget what it really means, how fortunate we are to be living in the country we live in. Being able to do that makes me proud. Both my grandfather and father served in the military, so it means a lot to our family, and it means a lot to all the people in the military who have served. Being from Great Falls I think with the military being here, we have the Air National Guard and we have the base here, I think, not that we are more patriotic than any other city, but here sometimes it resonates a little bit more when people are going off to fight for our country, we have people not coming back here to Great Falls, and people do not come home, sometimes you try to represent your country well in every situation when you go overseas. You think about those things, and those families and the sacrifices people made for us to be in the situation for us to go be able to play the game of basketball,” Himmelberg said in a release.

The Argos will play five games in five days and also spend some time exploring the area, according to UP.

UP begins the games on Oct. 21 playing Argentina, then Brazil on Oct.22 and Mexico on Oct. 23. After those games, the Argos will be bracketed based on results and play further games Oct. 24-25.

Complete coverage from Mexico, and love game broadcasts will be on the Argo website.