Basketball 101 takes on women’s Border War Saturday

The world – and Wyoming – comes to Moby Arena Saturday, Jan. 30, for the traditional Border War — and Basketball 101.

Each spring, Basketball 101 brings international students attending Colorado State into the heart of campus life and American culture through an inside look at CSU athletics, and specifically, basketball. For the first time students from around the world have the opportunity to experience a game with the Rams 17-1 women’s team battling the rival Wyoming Cowgirls.

In another first, the Cowgirls are bringing their own contingent of international students from Laramie to be part of of the Basketball 101 experience. For an hour before the 2 p.m. tipoff, student from around the globe will learn about the game and game-day traditions from coach Ryun Williams and Albert Bimper, senior associate director of athletics and assistant professor of ethnic studies at CSU, then take a behind-the-scenes tour of Moby Arena, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

“We’re excited to be attending the women’s basketball game this year with international students from the University of Wyoming,” said Mark Hallett, senior director of International Student & Scholar Services in the Office of International Programs at CSU. “Both teams feature international student-athletes from all over the world, and the friendly rivalry is an opportunity for them to connect with new friends from Laramie.”

Nine of the 15 players on the Rams roster are international students, from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Romania and Brazil. Three Cowgirls have come to play from Spain, Greece and Finland. More than 100 students from both UW and CSU have signed up to attend Basketball 101, and will be joined by CSU staff and alumni for an afternoon of bonding over the fast-paced action.

Basketball 101 is sponsored by the CSU Office of International Programs, athletics and the alumni association. The program started two years ago, modeled on the award-winning Football 101 that launched in 2009 to help demystify the American game to students to whom “football” is played on a soccer pitch.

“Sports are culture, and college sports are an expression of college culture,” Hallett explained. “Basketball 101 does more than teach international students about the sport, it connects them with the longstanding CSU traditions and spirit that make us all Rams.”

A great Ram tradition on display Saturday will be an Orange Out, where everyone is encouraged to wear Aggie Orange; students will be provided their own orange T-shirt as part of Basketball 101.