Wright State junior Kendall Griffin traveled halfway across the world to make some new friends from back home in the United States.
The highlight of his trip with a team from Athletes in Action to Ivory Coast, a country in West Africa, was playing with and getting to know a group of fellow Division I college basketball players on a 10-day trip that began Aug. 10.
“It was awesome connecting with other athletes,” said Griffin, a 6-foot-4 guard from Avon, Ind., who averaged 6.3 points per game last season, “not just on a basketball level, but on a spiritual level. It was cool to meet those guys from all over the countries.”
Griffin traveled to Italy with Wright State two years ago, but had never been to Africa. He described it as a different world and the trip as an eye-opening experience. The team spent most of its time in Abidjan, the nation’s largest city.
Joining Griffin on the team were Nick Kellogg, of Ohio University, and his dad Clark, the lead college basketball analyst for CBS, as well as Michigan’s Jordan Morgan, St. Louis’ Dwayne Evans and players from UNC Charlotte, Southern Idaho, Elon, Iowa State, Indiana State and East Carolina. Morris Michalski of Athletes in Action coached the team.
“Athletes in Action is a ministry that uses sports to minister the word of God,” Griffin said. “There was already an Athletes in Action team over there, and we just did whatever they needed us to do. We went on a national TV station and talked. We did some community service, put on some coaching clinics and basketball clinics for kids.”
There was also plenty of basketball played. The AIA team faced several national teams — the Ivory Coast B team, Cape Verde and Tunisia — to get them ready for the African National Championships, or AfroBasket.
With the start of his senior season months away, the trip should help Griffin’s game. Playing with and against different players was invaluable.
“Everyone keeps asking me who the best player (on the AIA team) was,” Griffin said. “Everyone was really good.”
Women’s soccer: Emilie Fillion was named the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after being involved in all three Wright State goals the week before.
Fillion scored the tying goal in a 2-1 overtime win over IPFW on Aug. 23 and then assisted on the game-winner in the second overtime period. She scored the Raiders’ only goal in a 1-1 tie with Ohio State on Sunday.
The Raiders (1-0-1) played at Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif., on Thursday and play at Nevada in Reno on Sunday.
Men’s soccer: The Raiders won their last two exhibition games, 1-0 over Slippery Rock on Aug. 23 and 4-1 over Duquesne on Sunday. They open the regular season today at Kentucky.
Chris DuPont scored of the team’s four second-half goals against Duquesne. Wesley Cain and Brett Elder also scored.
Baseball: Wright State is raising money for the baseball program with a golf outing Oct. 5 at Heatherwood Golf Club in Springboro. Cost is $100 for 18 holes, bag service, unlimited range use, dinner and two drink tickets.