Gustavus Basketball and Going GlobalSpencer Swanson '25 joined other American Division III players on a summer tour of Brazil.
Posted on September 14th, 2023 by

Spencer Swanson '25 throws one down on a Brazilian opponent during the Team USA summer tour.

Any college basketball player is going to spend their summers on the courts. Not too many of them get to work on their game in Brazil.

Gustie Spencer Swanson ’25, a forward on the men’s basketball squad, was one of nine Division III players from all over the United States who got to tour the South American country in July, playing against Brazilian pros and meeting the locals. The tour was organized by USA Sports Tours & Events and also included a nine-player women’s team. “[The organization] reached out to Coach [Justin] DeGrood in January or February, looking for players, and invited me to join the tour,” said Swanson, whose summer teammates included two Hamline players. 

The U.S. team played four games across nine days in multiple cities. The first contest was in a large, packed arena in Sao Paulo, where fans greeted the players like stars. “It was incredible how loud it was, and after the game we actually took pictures and signed autographs for about 45 minutes,” Swanson said. “It was pretty insane.”

After leaving Sao Paulo the team traveled to Rio for three games—and some requisite beach visits. “We spent a lot of time on the beach just experiencing the culture, because the beaches there are right downtown,” said Swanson, a Business Management major. The Rio leg also included the tour’s highlight, a one-day basketball academy with local youth players. “It was for less fortunate kids, and we put on a basketball clinic for them and spent some time getting to know them, which was really cool,” Swanson said.

This was Swanson’s first time traveling outside the U.S., but it won’t be his last; the Gustie men’s team will tour and play throughout Italy in spring 2024, as international jaunts are included in our men’s and women’s program every several years. “We’re fortunate to be able to do that,” Swanson said, “and that tour will be another cool and memorable one.”



Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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