BRISTOL, Tenn. – In May, King University Head Women's Basketball Coach Josh Thompson and Tornado student-athlete Kori West traveled to Poland with Athletes in Action. The duo spent 10 days overseas following a training camp in Ohio. While in Poland, the duo helped run camps and spread the word of Jesus Christ in various ways, including testimonials.
"The Poland trip was such a great experience in so many ways," Thompson said. "It was awesome to see how the team came together and how they helped each other grow in their character and in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The Polish people were so welcoming and Poland is a beautiful country."
The trip started in Dayton, Ohio with a training camp that concluded with a game against the inmates at the prison in Dayton. Then it was time to travel to Poland as their first stop was in Warsaw where they played a game against the local university before traveling to Tarnòw.
"We went to different schools and played in front of the kids, and we would pull a kid from the crowd and teach them different techniques," West said. "At the end, we held a camp for older kids with stations, and my station was post moves. The second half of the day was condition and teamwork. That was the best part, going to the schools and working with the kids. They treated us like NBA stars."
The team spent four days in Tarnòw, and while there they visited elementary schools and had an hour of basketball activities with the students. Each day one player would share their testimony with the students.
"There is so much history there to take in, and as a group, it was great to play the games and interact with the people from Poland," continued Thompson. "We spent a lot of time with children in their schools and also in the camp that we helped run. I think we planted a lot of seeds in the hearts of the people through being able to share about what Christ has done in each of our lives. I know that God will use that for His glory."
Outside of visiting the schools, the group took in some history as they visited the Auschwitz and the historical buildings in downtown Tarnòw. They also visited Krakow, the oldest city in Poland, and the only city that wasn't demolished in World War II.
"The Athletes in Action staff did an amazing job of organizing and running our tour," Thompson finished. "The discipleship that went on was incredible and I know that God is using them in a great way through what they are doing."
Following their days in Tarnòw, the group was on the move again, back to Warsaw where they held a camp in conjunction with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). There were 40 kids that participated in camp each morning and afternoon.
"The trip will help me basketball wise," West said. "The style was a lot more aggressive and playing with Division I players and players from other schools changes the way you play. Along with that communication is big, communication with the gospel and communication with my teammates."