2012 Tour Info!

12 06 2012

Our 2012 Athletes in Action Bulgaria Basketball Tour has begun! To follow along with us over the next three weeks, please check our blog for this year’s tour: http://athletesinactionbulgaria2012.wordpress.com/


Thank You

30 06 2011

Thank you to all of you who have helped make this trip possible, both from Bulgaria and America.

In the coming days, we plan to put some video links here so you can capture yet another view from our trip.


The Last Few Days

30 06 2011

The Athletes in Action Bulgaria basketball team has completed its three week tour of the United States.  The various participants have dispersed from Chicago to various places in America or Bulgaria, where they reside.

The past few days of our trip included some special opportunities once again.  We were able to play a game against a Chicago All-star team at Marshall High School in inner city Chicago.  Marshall High School has one of the strongest basketball programs in the history of Chicago.  Coach Dorothy Gaters, the women’s basketball coach at Marshall, is one of the most successful coaches in the United States.  She recently coached at the McDonald’s All-America game in front of a sell-out crowd at the United Center.  She helped organize our game at Marshall.

The incredible athleticism of the Chicago All-star team surprised our tired AIA Bulgaria team early in the game, leaving us trailing by 20 points at the half.   However, in the second half, and what was our last half of basketball for this trip, our guys really rallied, pulled together, and played hard to the end, turning the game back to only a 4 point difference with a couple of minutes left to play.  Because we were playing at a local high school, there was no shot-clock for the game and this turned out to be an advantage late in the game when the Chicago team was able to hold the ball.  The Chicago All-stars, lead by a player who played with the Harlem Globetrotters, defeated our AIA Bulgaria team by a score of 83-75.

AIA Bulgaria was lead by Kiro Raikov’s 21 points and 3 steals.  Milen Dimitrov also played an outstanding game, scoring 15 points and getting 4 rebounds.  Stanislav Vaklinov and Niki Varbanov added 9 and 8 to this contest.

So many people in America helped to support this great group of Bulgarians who gathered to represent Bulgaria and AIA well.  Hopefully, there can be more opportunities in the future for Bulgarians to experience some of the cultural differences in America, while enjoying some solid basketball along the way.

Wednesday June 29th- Last Day!

29 06 2011

Wednesday June 29th, 2011

Today is our last day in America and travel day. We had a great morning of team time and sharing together. We watched a wonderful slideshow of photos from the trip, ate lunch and took off for the airport.

It has been a tremendously special trip and we have all grown and been humbled. So many people did so much for us and made this truly an amazing experience.

Tuesday June 28th- Last full day together!

29 06 2011

Tuesday June 28th, 2011

Today we got started at the Orchard Church with a team time. We were able to hear from a couple of people from the church before hearing a deeper message from Scott Lothery-Execurive Pastor at Orchard Church.

After some lunch, we were treated to excellent chocolate molten cake desserts at Chili’s. And to our surprise, on TV was a Bulgarian tennis player competing in Wimbledon that we cheered for.

On our next adventure, we were treated to a tour of the United Center. It was really special to see the locker that Michael Jordan used and be in the arena that the Chicago Bulls play.

We finished up with another team time, then a meal at the Old Country Buffet with host families and friends.

Monday June 27th- Game Day

27 06 2011

Monday June 27th, 2011

Another great day in Chicago. We started by eating our hearts out at the Old Country Buffet. Then we went downtown for our final game of the trip at legendary, Marshall High School.

It was a tough game with many runs that saw the former Marshall players win down the stretch.

We then had food and fellowship before a team time and heading back to our host families.

Sunday June 26th- Another special day together!

26 06 2011

Sunday June 26th, 2011

Today was another special day.  We all began the day by attending church with our host families.  We then had a special day at Busse Forest Park.

There were over 200 Bulgarians gathered at the park to eat and enjoy each other.  We ate some Bulgarian specialties- kebabcheta, lutanitsa, and kufte and played some popular Bulgarian sports- volleyball, futbol and more.

After a team time, we went to another campus of the Orchard church called Itasca.  There we were again treated to a great meal and fellowship.  We had some great food provided by “Sweet Baby Ray’s,” and then joined up with our host families again for the night.