Broncos Take in Basque Culture
May 2, 2017

BOISE, Idaho - In one week, Boise State women's soccer will be on its way across the world. Last month, the team was able to get a world away right in Downtown Boise, thanks to an educational visit to the Basque Block.

The Broncos participated in a Basque immersion program at the Boise Basque Museum and Cultural Center, in preparation for their foreign tour to Spain and the Basque Country (May 9-18). The student-athletes and staff were led through a three-hour course by Argia Beristain, an adjunct professor in Boise State's basque studies program. Beristain focused on the history of the Basque region, Boise's place in the westward migration and traditional sports and games while touring the museum, the boarding house and the fronton.

"They hear about the Basque here in our local community and now they get to go to the motherland themselves," said Beristain. "We couldn't be more excited to have ambassadors like the women's soccer team to go there on our behalf."

Chief among the focal points of the lesson was Athletic Club Bilbao. The professional soccer organization in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, is comprised exclusively of Basque players. Beristain referred to the club as the Basque national team.

Boise State assistant coach, and Boise native, Maite Zabala played one season for the women's side at Athletic Club Bilbao. The Broncos are scheduled to face the team in one of their games on the trip.

"I'm so much more excited because I feel like I understand so much more of what I'm going into," said rising senior Sarah Taylor. "The highlight was probably learning about Bilbao and their team and their team culture."

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