XENIA, Ohio – Charleston Southern sophomore Phlandrous Fleming Jr. will represent the United States at the FISU/Pan Am Games in Brazil from July 19-30. Fleming is one of ten Division I basketball players joining Athletes in Action's USA Team for a trip that will include mission work in conjunction with Samaritan's Feet.
Fleming heads to Athletes in Action's (AIA) headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, Saturday for a five-day training camp before the squad leaves for Brazil along with a women's basketball team and men's and women's volleyball teams. Fleming and company will play five games in Sao Paolo, the Western Hemisphere's biggest city, against teams from North, Central and South America
Led by veteran AIA coach Morris Michalski, the group will conduct a compassionate aid event serving the poor of Sao Paolo, washing feet and outfitting children with new shoes. Clinics and camps will also be offered to the community.
Fleming follows Javis Howard and Christian Keeling as Bucs to participate in AIA. Howard traveled to the Philippines in 2015, while Keeling went to China last summer.
"I've never been out of the country before so I'm really excited to see another country and experience a new culture," Fleming said. "Christian told me to take a lot of pictures and just really enjoy it because it's a once in a lifetime type of deal."
"I'm gonna see a lot of things I haven't seen before, and be around people that love God and basketball," Fleming continued. "The training camp is going to be a good opportunity for us to get to know each other so I'm looking forward to seeing how we can bond as a team and make the most of our experience."
Fleming will be accompanied by teammates from programs across the country, including DePaul and Texas A&M. Michalski commented on what the student-athletes can expect.
"We truly expect the cultural exchange to be rich, the competition thrilling, and the experience even life-changing," he said. "Both victory in competition and victory beyond competition is our aim, and we pray that we will find both. Representing our country is a great honor!" 'Coach Mo' also added, "Great battles to fight, adventure to live, and opportunities for personal growth await us in Sao Paolo. We are going to build something special there in Brazil. Our men will make memories this summer that will last for a lifetime."
More about Athletes in Action: Athletes in Action is the sports branch of CRU. Its people coach life, send teams and host events. Dave Hannah, who desired to capitalize on society's great love of sports and utilize that platform given to athletes to reach the world for Jesus Christ, founded AIA in 1966. AIA's reach includes ministry to high school, college and professional athletes and coaches across a great number of sports globally. International competing teams partner with in-country staff and other mission organizations to resource compassionate, Christian ministry around the world. AIA champions faith, character and victory beyond competition. For the good of the game, the growth of its people, to the glory of God is their motivation.