In Rome with University Officials, Villanova’s Jay Wright Gifts Autographed Basketball to Pope

Image via the Vatican Media.

Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright met with Pope Francis during his visit to Italy where he presented the Holy Father with a basketball autographed by members of his national championship team, writes Diane Mastrull for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wright was visiting Rome this weekend with Villanova’s president, Rev. Peter Donohue, and university trustees for the spring board meeting. The visit included a trip to the Vatican, which included an audience with the pontiff.

Pope Francis addressed the delegation in Clementine Hall. He referred to Villanova University’s Augustinian roots and remarked on its obligation to “address the complex ethical and cultural challenges raised by the epochal changes affecting our world today.”

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He said that he hopes “Villanova University will persevere in its efforts to communicate the intellectual, spiritual, and moral values that will enable young people to participate wisely and responsibly in the great debates shaping the future of our society.”

Pope Francis, who is famous for his love of sports, accepted the basketball with a big smile.

Read more about the Villanova contingent’s visit to Rome in the Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.

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