A Fourth Of July Celebration Abroad
July 3, 2011 • Riga, Latvia
Just because the USA squad of players, coaches and staff were over 4000 miles away from the shores of the U.S., that didn’t mean they missed out on one of the country’s most patriotic holidays – the 4th of July.
Busing Sunday morning from Liepaja to Riga, Latvia, where the second round through medal round games of the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men are being played, and before checking into their Riga hotel, the USA team stopped off to attend the annual Independence Day Family Picnic that the U.S. Embassy in Riga holds each year.
There were all the ingredients of a proper Independence Day celebration – families of young and old; Marine Corps color guard; hamburgers; hot dogs; cokes and a variety of deserts. There was an assortment of live music - patriot and country; plenty of flags; speeches; red, white and blue decorations, and of course balloons.
The U.S. team was warmly greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Latvia, Judith Garber, and took a photo with her. They answered questions from others attending the picnic and took photos.
After eating their fill, including McDonald’s apple pies, the USA U19 squad was back on the road. After checking into their hotel in central Riga that will be there home until they depart July 11, the team got in a 45 minute workout in Arena Riga where the games will be played.
The U.S. has business to attend to Monday, the Fourth of July. The American team will face Canada Monday in their first of three second round games. But that's fine with them, after all, they already celebrated the Fourth!