In a truly David and Goliath moment, the small Veritas Collegiate Academy basketball team defeated a much larger team from Beijing.
The Veritas Collegiate Academy boys’ basketball team had a phenomenal year and ended the season 16-1 in conference play and 4-0 in post-season play, winning the Hampton Roads Athletic Conference championship against a talented Beach Breakers.
As a team, the character of the Veritas Spartans out-shined their skills, both on and off the court, and impressed the Veritas partner school in Beijing. As a result, Coach Dale Rucker and the team were invited to China, representing Veritas Collegiate Academy and the City of Chesapeake.
The trip from April 13-21 was part of a goodwill tour of the Chinese capital. There, the team attended classes on an international campus and toured numerous historical and cultural sites, including excursions to The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City and The Imperial Palace.
Additionally, under the guidance of Coach Rucker, the team hosted a series of drill-based clinics for Chinese students, which focused on improving a player’s skill on the court and more importantly, building character and confidence off the court.
The team’s toughest game was against the #1 ranked high school team in Beijing, which is also ranked #4 in all of China. The Veritas team was only able to take six players on the trip, and this added to the challenge of the game. The Zhongguancun team had 20 members and had players that were six inches taller than the tallest Spartan.
Veritas Headmaster Sean Elgut said, “It would have been very easy for our players to get intimidated by the large team, but they kept their composure.” Coach Dale Rucker and the Spartans were able to win 46-45 in a highly competitive game.
In the end, the game was part of a goodwill tour, and while the competition was fierce, the teams were able to interact with each other and pose for pictures after the game.
The trip was a chance of a lifetime to experience the world outside of their community, as well as experience a different culture. Many of these young men had never been outside of Hampton Roads, let alone even boarded an airplane.
Veritas was founded with a vision to graduate young men and women leaders, who think clearly and listen carefully, as well as reason persuasively and articulate precisely. The goodwill tour to Beijing opened their eyes to greater possibilities and provided the team with a vision that is greater than their current life experiences.