GW hopes its "international flavor" becomes advantage

Raleigh, NC (WUSA) -- Washington, D.C. is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, so it is only fitting that one of its basketball teams is too. Out of the 13 guys on George Washington's roster, five of them are from foreign countries a unique scenario that's created a special bond

"I think the chemistry it's amazing - not just the international kids, but the American guys," says Patricio Garino, a sophomore forward for George Washignton, who's from Argentina. "They just came along with us with no complaints, nothing. we're just all a big family."

"They bring a different flavor to the squad and that's why we're very successful; because even with five international players on the team, we still have a great bond," says Maurice Creek, a senior guard from Oxon Hill, Maryland.

"It's been a great experience for me getting to know these guys and know their cultures. It's something that we want to keep as one of our recruiting tools," adds George Washington Head Coach Mike Lonergan.

GW's international flavor was the deciding factor for many of these players to come to D.C. Miguel Cartagena is a freshman from Puerto Rico.

"With them having many international players over here, that definitely helps cause you know you are not going to feel so uncomfortable," says Cartagena.

Sophomore Kevin Larsen is from Denmark.

"I knew that other international players went here and succeeded, so I felt like I could do the same," says Larsen.

For some of these guys the NCAA tournament is just as foreign. However, after getting their first taste, they can't imagine being anywhere else.

"Ever since I saw my first NCAA game, I wanted to be here, so I'm just happy I'm here," adds Larsen. "Now I'm just going to enjoy the moment."

"I've followed it ever since I lived here," says Nemanja Mikic, a senior from Serbia.

And now that he's in in?

"It's crazy. I can't believe it."


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