Spartan Men’s Basketball Team Visits Rome

The Spartan men's basketball team is visiting Rome to sharpen their game by playing Italian college-age and professional teams (photos courtesy of Raymond Barbour).

Center Matt Ballard and guard Keith Shamburger shared their thoughts before the team’s trip to Rome. Read the full story on

Ballard and Shamburger are two of the Spartans’ three returning starters from the 2011 team that recorded San Jose State’s first winning season since 1994 and advanced to post-season tournament play.

As of August 8, the Spartans had three games scheduled during their nine-day Italian tour: two games in Rome and one in Latina, Italy, 40 miles south of Rome.

“We are eagerly anticipating our trip to Italy. Our preparations have gone well, and we look forward to some exciting competition. It will be a privilege to compete against AB Latina, a franchise that has achieved considerable success in Italian professional basketball. Latina has routinely defeated American College teams through the years,” said San Jose State head coach George Nessman.

“We also get the great experience of competing against LottoMatica’s U20 team. LottoMatica, Virtus-Roma is literally one of the top clubs in Europe let alone Italy. In facing their U20 team, we will be competing against some of the best college-age basketball players in the country.”

The Spartans departed for Rome Aug. 13 and return Aug. 22.