Rising Stars founder Paul Savramis has encouraged coach James McCullough and his 15U Rising Stars to follow the dream of traveling to Greece throughout the year. Coach McCullough has developed a unique bond with this team since he began playing with Rising Stars in 4th grade. The opportunity of expanding the team experience through cultural exchange and competition in Greece was a dream that has come true.
Coming up on July 19th, the team will be going to Athens.
This trip has been over a year in planning, stated Savramis, and was completely self-funded by the families. Paul Savramis adds, "Cultural exchange and being part of a team that can experience new challenges and opportunities together is a life-changing event." Paul Savramis has been and continues to be a huge proponent of travel, whether local, national, or international.
“It's hard to explain how much the traveling experience is enhanced through sharing it with teammates and families,” continued Paul Savramis. “Everything you do becomes a special event, from playing a game to sharing a meal. It's extraordinary.”
Savramis is no stranger to traveling and has offered Rising Stars camps across the country, the Caribbean, and in Europe.
Savramis describes his Rising Stars camp in Israel as one of his best memories and as a life-changing event. Says Paul Savramis, “I was asked to go to Israel and train kids through a connection here in the United States that was a former colonel in the Israeli army. He and his associates made it possible for me to visit Jerusalem and made every evening one to remember, with people that made me feel like I was one of the family.”
Paul Savramis also recalls the eight years Rising Stars spent doing camps across Switzerland and how that impacted everyone that attended. “I didn't speak a word of the language,” said Savramis, “and yet there was never a problem with communication.” That, Paul Savramis explains, is one of the best byproducts of sports and the power of teams: mutual understanding through having a language all of its own.
“I envy coach McCullough,” concludes Paul Savramis. “But I feel gratified in knowing how he and these families will return and share what they experienced. I still think this is an incredibly important part of growth. Knowing how much more alike we all are, no matter where we go or where we come from, is best learned from actually being there.”