Natalie Cohlmeyer, a current PharmD student and member of Belmont University’s women’s basketball team from Evansville, Indiana, traveled with her teammates this summer to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as part of a sports evangelism trip. The team partnered with Brentwood Baptist Church for the endeavor, playing games at the 2016 Olympic basketball venue against three different teams including a Brazilian national team in the Bruins’ age group. The team won each contest handily.
“Going into it, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Cohlmeyer. “We went down to change those kids’ lives and it ended up changing ours.”
About 100 kids from the schools they had visited during the previous week traveled about two hours via a public bus to watch one of their games. “Those kids spent all their pocket change to come see us play,” said Cohlmeyer. “They were cheering for us in Portuguese and doing the wave throughout the entire game. You want to talk about a moving experience.”
On the last day of the 10-day trip, the team enjoyed some sightseeing, visiting Copacabana Beach, the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mt. Corcovado and Sugarloaf, a granite monolith with cable cars to its summit.
Cohlmeyer was featured in a story about the trip in her hometown newspaper, The Evansville Courier Press.