Oct. 27, 2011
BEAUMONT, Texas -
The Lamar University women's basketball team will celebrate International Student Appreciation Day on Tuesday.
"We definitely appreciate our international students and student-athletes," Lamar women's basketball coach Larry Tidwell said. "They make a difference at Lamar both on and off the playing field."
The Lady Cardinals have five international players on this season's squad: Francesca Bellatin (Peru), Chantelle Brockett (Australia), Mary Kovtun (Ukraine), Kalis Loyd (Sweden) and Ria Pateraki (Greece).
In the past, the Lady Cardinals have had players from New Zealand, Jamaica, Latvia, Lebanon, Serbia, France and Trinidad and Tobago.
"Their contributions have been priceless in developing our program into a consistent winner, while their passion for the sport has been inspirational," Tidwell said.
The only Lamar women's basketball player to ever play in the Olympics was Tamara Abalde, who represented Spain at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Lamar University has more than 500 international students on campus, representing more than 50 countries. This semester, 48 international student-athletes represent Lamar in sports ranging from basketball to tennis.
"We are very fortunate to have such first class young men and women venture to Lamar and complete their education," Tidwell said. "Their strong presence in the academic and athletic arena has brought great honor to our university. Also, Lamar `s international student services is second to none, with director Audra Gerlach doing a superlative job in developing the students to become active, productive, and collaborative within the university community.
"Likewise, our faculty has many outstanding professors with international heritage and they enhance the knowledge of the various cultures around the world."
To celebrate International Student Day, the Lady Cardinals will give away red, white and blue beads to all international students at Tuesday's exhibition basketball doubleheader at the Montagne Center. International students just have to contact a women's basketball staff member at Tuesday's game.
Lamar will host St. Mary's University at 5 p.m., followed by the men's team taking on St. Gregory's at 7 p.m. All Lamar students are admitted free with a valid ID.