Participating in his third international trip, Forester men’s basketball player and rising junior Aram Arslanian is looking to bring new skills and lessons learned back to Lake Forest from his experience overseas. Arslanian began competing on the Armenian National Basketball Team on June 17 and will transition to compete on the U20 National Team on July 20 through July 24. By the end of his trip, Arslanian will have competed in Armenia, Lebanon, Denmark, and Bulgaria, rounding out a diverse and exciting athletic and cultural experience.
While away, Arslanian will participate in a total of four games with the Armenian National Team, which consists of other highly experienced athletes from Armenia. After, he will compete in six more games with the U20 National Team, which is made up of slightly younger, but equally as talented athletes representing their home country. When asked about the level of competition, Arslanian said, “Both teams should be successful and compete well throughout the trip.” Arslanian was selected to play for the Armenian National Team two years in a row, and this is his third year competing on the U20 National Team.
When the trip began, Arslanian noted that obvious language barriers were the largest challenge at hand, but that they were able to work around that with translators. Aside from the language barrier, “another major challenge was the lack of preparation time before the trip. We practiced together for a week and then were thrown into the court together against teams who have spent years playing alongside one another” commented Arslanian.
While playing against intense competition is difficult, Arslanian expects to learn the most from his seasoned teammates. “Since the Armenian National Team is made up of older and more experienced athletes, watching them has been and will continue to be a great learning opportunity for me as an athlete,” said Arslanian. He has also valued the opportunity to play for a large crowd from Lebanon who traveled to cheer for the team in the stands, to highlight just a few of the positive athletic points of his trip thus far.
Off the court, Arslanian looks forward to spending time with his family who live in Lebanon and also to have the opportunity to tour historical monuments and locations throughout the trip.
Once arriving back to the United States, Arslanian plans to use the skills and knowledge to contribute to the men’s basketball team as they begin prepping for the 2018-2019 season.
The Armenian National Team finished 1-3 and also advanced to the second round of the European 2021 Qualifying round. He looks forward to continuing play with the U20 National Team in the forthcoming weeks. Be sure to tune into these games as they will be played live on YouTube.