A bunch of Princeton basketball players are busy juggling the NCAA Tournament with mid-semester exams this week.
Tigers star Devin Cannady has less stress this semester because he took a summer trip to Tanzania.
Cannady, a sophomore shooting guard, spent eight weeks in the eastern African nation with 14 other Princeton students as part of a university study-abroad program.
Cannady fulfilled his language requirement by learning Swahili, taught some English classes and helped out an an orphanage about 10 hours a week.
“I was blessed to have the opportunity to go over there and do two semesters of studying and prepare myself,” Cannady said Wednesday as he prepared for Thursday’s game against Notre Dame at KeyBank Center. “The whole reason for me going was to lighten my schedule for my sophomore spring. The goal at the beginning of the year was make this tournament, and so in terms of mid-terms I have a little lighter load.”
One of Cannady’s revelations in Tanzania was discovering inexpensive and healthy food choices. A big lunch cost $1.50. He enjoyed seeing wildlife in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. He even found time to play some basketball, taking a 90-minute bus ride to the nearest courts. It didn’t take long to realize he was a long way from his Indiana home.
"It started when I flew into Dubai and you see that city and say this is not Mishawaka,” Cannady said of his hometown, which is just 6 miles from South Bend, Ind. “There are no corn fields. When I got to Tanzania and landed there, just seeing the lifestyle is a complete culture shock. I don’t like calling countries Third World countries, but it’s definitely developing - the road system, you just see poverty a lot of places. That’s the biggest thing.”
Cannady plans to go to Vietnam this summer as part of another study-abroad program.
While Notre Dame is on semester break, Princeton’s players still are grinding on academics this week.
Tigers senior Spencer Weisz had a mid-term exam at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“This is normal for us,” said coach Mitch Henderson. “I think we have close to 20 mid-terms this week between the team. This morning I got down – we have two rooms in the hotel and one is for studying – and half the team is there at 8 a.m. This is what we do.”