Gore, Bradford, Smits to Embark on Athletes in Action Tour


Continuing a long-standing partnership, the Valparaiso University men’s basketball program will send associate head coach Luke Gore and current Crusaders Micah Bradford and Derrik Smits on an Athletes in Action tour to the Czech Republic and Poland – a trip which begins May 23. Gore will serve as head coach for the 10-player team.


“Excitement is the best way to describe the feeling about our upcoming trip to Europe,” said Gore. “Being able to bring Micah and Derrik, along with such fine men from other great programs across the country, is thrilling. My main goal for the trip is that the team has a great experience, where they will grow as men and as basketball players.”


Valpo men’s basketball players have traveled around the world on AIA tours, as counting Bradford and Smits, 13 different Crusaders have spent time on an AIA tour over the last decade. Over that same span, members of the Crusader coaching staff have gone on five tours as well. For Gore, this will be his third trip with AIA, as he previously traveled to West Africa in 2008 and Egypt in 2003.


The team departs from the United States on May 23 and will hold a training camp in Prague, Czech Republic on May 24-27. They will take on the U20 Czech Republic team on the 28th and 29th before flying to Warsaw, Poland on the 30th. The squad will spend two days speaking in high schools and putting on clinics before traveling to the city of Bialystok to play three games versus the Belarus national team June 2-4.


The goals of the tour are to provide a rich cross-cultural experience for each team member, an opportunity to compete internationally, and for team members to grow in their personal faith. For more information on Athletes in Action, a Christian sports organization, visit AIABasketball.com.


“AIA is an important part of my life and my development as a husband, father, coach, and Christian,” said Gore. “It is such a wonderful organization which has not only helped many athletes from a wide variety of sports, but also coaches.”