Virginia Commonwealth University
 

VCU men's basketball coach Shaka Smart visits Global Education Office's International Café

Richmond, VA (April 24, 2013) — VCU Men's Basketball head coach Shaka Smart made a surprise guest appearance to a group of more than 100 VCU students from around the world last week. The visit was part of Global Education Office's International Café.

Coach Smart hailed the diversity of VCU's campus and advantage that it gives students. "When we walk around campus, we're bound to run into people from different places, different backgrounds, and different walks of life. And I think that's real life," he said. "VCU is such a diverse place; it's one of the best things about the university--it makes us who we are."

Smart also discussed the importance of appreciating different cultures and languages, citing the recent opportunity that the VCU men's basketball team had to visit Italy. "Not knowing the language, the team had to learn different ways to communicate," he said. "It was a unique learning experience for them; one they will never forget."

The visit was also a learning experience for the students at the café. "Many of our international students come from countries where sports are not a big part of the collegiate life," said Pam Haney, student engagement coordinator for the Global Education Office. "This opportunity to meet Coach Smart in person is a culturally educational experience for them."

Now in its eleventh year, the International Café is a bi-weekly gathering that offers the opportunity for VCU's international and domestic students to meet and socialize, as well as enjoy special programming related to student life at VCU.