CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — Trinity boys basketball is eyeing their 19th district championship Tuesday night, and the Shamrocks feature a pair of players who crossed an ocean to compete for a title.
“To be honest it wasn’t easy at the beginning, I was home sick all the time,” Trinity senior forward Adelphe Cisse said.
That’s natural when you’re six thousand miles from home.
“I started to make friends, especially when I started to play basketball,” Cisse said. “Right now I think it’s easier for me to like keep up with everything.”
Adelphe Cisse has had to make adjustments. The Republic of Congo native came to Camp Hill last April, but he hasn’t been alone in the culture shock.
His Trinity basketball teammate Mike Bednostin hails from Ukraine, and together they’ve helped guide the Shamrocks to their 25th district title appearance. Beyond basketball, Trinity has made them comfortable.
“It’s a great people around, it’s a great community,” Bednostin said. “The coaches, the teachers, the staff, I really enjoy the people who are taking care of me, my host family, all my friends, they’re good people.”
“It’s awesome just getting their perspective from the other countries they came from,” senior guard Trey Weiand said. “It’s honestly a really good experience just getting to know them and getting close with them through the sport of basketball that’s why I love it.”
That basketball bond has given them a family away from family.
“My teammates? I mean they are like my brothers right now,” Cisse said.
“Just some brothers,” sophomore guard Owen Schlager said. “We just have great chemistry on and off the court you can see that and we just get to know each other better and better every day.”
That chemistry has made the 19-2 shamrocks must see basketball.
“Every game is like a whole bunch of people around and it’s crazy to see because I never had to play on this big stage,” Bednostin said.
Cisse does have experience in some of those big moments.
“I played in my home country, I mean I was young but I played with my senior team,” Cisse said. “I think I was still a sophomore and I went to the state championship and we went to the semifinal but we lost.”
But on Tuesday night he expects a different result.
“We’re gonna win this.”