Lay up!

VGUES Basketball in Vladivostok

Published: December 31, 2012

VGUES Basketball Team/Баскетбольная Команда ВГУЭС
ВГУЭС – ул. Гогола, д. 41
Usually 8 – 10 pm

One thing to which many Americans, raised on fantasies of Superbowl rings and World Series pennants, may have trouble adjusting when in Vladivostok is the sheer lack of familiar sporting events. Especially if one lacks as a TV (as most do if you’re living in the dormitories as I do), this can be a very real source of dismay for the sporty foreigner. Luckily, there is a solution, one that I came across not too long ago: VGUES has its own basketball team!

Now of course there are some citywide soccer events (although it is no secret that Vladivostok’s home team is terrible!) and also some hockey games, but these are often at pretty far away stadiums, and are almost always extremely cold: the soccer games because they are largely played outdoors and the hockey games because they are inevitably played at an ice rink. Besides, nothing strikes at the heart of an American sportsman like basketball, a sport that, for all intents and purposes, we consider our own.

Thus I would recommend that you, like me, start going to some college games! If you happened to be stationed at VGUES, you can see the home team play on a fairly regular basis in the sports hall that is actually about two steps away from the international office and is therefore equally close to the dorms. By Russian standards, VGUES actually fields a pretty good team (they have won several championships in recent years), and the play is often rather aggressive and foul-filled, so there is lots to cheer about and get excited over in the course of a game. Now this is not to say that one should go in with the expectation that what you will be watching is anything akin to NCAA matches; basketball is not the nurtured and developed sport in Russia that it is in the US, and thus really only professional regional teams play at a very high level. However, if you are looking to have some fun, make some friends among the crowd, and/or show your school spirit by supporting the team, these games are the perfect platform!

Home games are usually at night, starting at around 8 pm, and are a great diversion if you want to avoid that pesky Russian homework that most American students have piling up as the semester gets under way!

About the author

Jordan Bryant

Jordan Bryant is a recent graduate of Harvard University (Go Crimson!), who specialized in both Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Classics. In order to deepen her knowledge of the Russian language and study the culture from a perspective different than the ones she had already experienced in the "two capitals", she has journeyed to Vladivostok, which is on the other side of the country! After she returns from Russia, she hopes to matriculate into law school and work in the field of international corporate law in Eastern Europe.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar: $10,000 to Study Abroad

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