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The NewSLU

SLU Sports Clubs Welcome All Skill Levels

The basketball club is now playing at a new venue in Tetuan
Members+of+the+SLU+Madrid+soccer+club+pose+for+a+portrait+at+the+start+of+the+2023+season.
Tristan Kirkland
Members of the SLU Madrid soccer club pose for a portrait at the start of the 2023 season.

SLU Madrid’s basketball club is back in session at a new indoor court in Madrid’s Tetuan neighborhood. The club is open to everyone, SLU students or not, and provides an hour to play three-on-three basketball.

The club meets every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pabellón Antonio Díaz Miguel, near metro stop Ventilla.

“The important thing is to be active, regardless of the level,” said club supervisor Cesar Rioja as he stretches out his calf post-game. “Even if it is just here playing in half court it helps the mind as much as the body.”

Rioja in his day played for Estudiantes as well as the Spanish national team. Rioja is a 6’6″ swingman who still shows his pedigree in the half-court games. On a recent afternoon, he found freshman Will Haverman with a perfectly-timed, behind-the-back pass for an easy layup.

In other sports news, Bilikeños and Bilikeñas of all skill levels are welcome to soccer — or football, as students from outside the US will quickly say that it should be called —  on Saturdays from 3-6 p.m. at Parque Santander. Students are welcome as well to cheer on the team, which plays on weekly at pitches around the city. Their home ground is Parque Santander.

“Its a great environment,” the socer coach said. “All the students have a good attitude and help each other, so it makes it easier as a coach because the higher level students help the lower level ones. Their help makes the lower-level players improve quickly, which makes every Saturday’s games competitive.”

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