Slam dunk into International Students Week

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Spurs offer discounts, free food for international students at Nov. 14 game.

By Rachel Cooper

The San Antonio Spurs, a team known for recruiting foreign players, will host International Students Night for the game against the Miami Heat at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the AT&T Center on the first day of International Students Week.

“This year we’re focusing on getting students who have never been to San Antonio the opportunity to experience, possibly, their very first Spurs game in a really, really cool way,” group sales representative Jean-Pierre “JP” Sanchez said.

There are 204 international students at this college and 379 in the district, said Patricia Garza, coordinator of international recruitment and students services.

This is the second year the Spurs have had International Students Night, Sanchez said.

Last year international students from the Alamo Colleges were not able to participate because of short notice, Garza said.

Tickets are going fast, so “the sooner you get your order in, the better it is,” Sanchez said.

They are expecting 200-300 international students at the game, he said.

Tickets are $28 or $43.

“It’s a good price and, you know, they get to go out and see them practice,” Garza said.

Tickets are discounted and will include a food voucher for a hot dog, chips and small drink.

Regular tickets range from $13 at the top of the balcony to $648 charter-level seats.

The first 300 international students who buy tickets will have a spot for a courtside experience and watch the players warm up before the game, Sanchez said.

Students should get there early; the doors open for them at 5:30, he said.

At the end of the game the international students will head to the court and each student can shoot a free throw, he said.

“Spurs, we pride ourselves ’cause we’re the first real NBA franchise to look overseas,” he said, referring to the roster’s international flair.

The Spurs players who are international are Manu Ginobli from Argentina, Tony Parker from France, Patty Mills from Australia, Davis Bertans from Latvia, Pau Gasol from Spain and Nicolas Laprovittola from Argentina.

The NBA is becoming global by doing more games in London and China, he said.

Getting international students to the game helps that movement, he said.

There was a $101-million renovation done last summer at the AT&T Center.

They improved Wi-Fi, lighting, and every seat is brand-new as of last year.

The jumbotron is now 30 by 20 feet.

There will be a new opening intro for the game when they announce the players, he said.

Not only will there be international students from the Alamo Colleges but from within the city as well, Garza said.

“It would be a great time to see other students from other places.”

International students will be coming from UT-Austin, St. Mary’s and The University of the Incarnate Word, Sanchez said.

In a lot of countries soccer is the main sport, so attending a basketball game is a great opportunity for the students, Garza said.

It’s still exciting for longtime fans, too.

“I was born and raised in San Antonio, and every time I sit on the court I get a little giddy inside,” Sanchez said.

“One of the great things about San Antonio is that we are very much proud of our Spurs, and it makes it a unique experience,” Garza said.

To buy tickets for International Students Night, email the international students office for the link at



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