Big 12 All-Star Men's Basketball Team Set for Foreign Tour|
June 8, 1998
DALLAS - Great balance in size and scoring highlight the Big 12's first ever 12-member men's basketball all-star team which will tour Europe in August 1998.
Under the direction of Texas Tech head coach James Dickey, the Big 12 All-Star Team consists of six players who were named all-conference in 1997-98 by either Associated Press or by the league coaches.
Size should not be a problem as five of the all-stars are listed at 6-9 or taller, including two 7-0 student-athletes, Kansas' Eric Chenowith and Texas' Chris Mihm. Scoring could take the same role as seven players on the squad averaged 11.2 points or higher during the 1997-98 season.
"To be able to give these young men a chance to represent the Big 12 and the country will be something they will remember forever," said Big 12 Interim Commissioner Dave Martin. "This is an opportunity for these student-athletes to have a first-class trip while playing some exciting basketball."
The Big 12 all-stars will report to Dallas August 3 and practice for three days prior to its journey overseas August 5. The team will participate in one tournament and play seven games while touring London, Paris, and Belgium until its return August 16.
"We have an outstanding group of student-athletes who will be very competitive overseas," Dickey said. "We are looking forward to the opportunity of representing the Big 12 and the United States in this tour. We want to make this a special trip that these men will always remember."
Included in the group is 1997-98 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Kenny Price of Colorado. The senior led the Buffs in scoring last season with a 14.5 average and was honorable mention all-conference and a member of the league's all-newcomer squad. Price led the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage (42.1) and three-point field goals made (3.3) in his first season at Colorado.
Like Price, Oklahoma State senior Adrian Peterson is another all-star who led his team in scoring in 1997-98. Peterson's 17.7 points per game average was eighth among the Big 12 leaders for last season, and he was ninth in field goal percentage (46.2) in being named second-team All-Big 12. Peterson was also a member of the Big 12's All-Underrated team in 1997-98 as voted on by a media panel.
Nebraska senior center Venson Hamilton should provide plenty of support in the middle. The honorable mention all-league upcoming senior led the Big 12 with 16 double-doubles (points-rebounds) last season in averaging 11.2 points and 9.8 rebounds (second in the conference). With Texas A&M not having representation due to its own summer foreign tour, which will be at the same approximate time of the Big 12 tour, under new head coach Melvin Watkins, Texas Tech has two members on the Big 12 All-Star Team in senior Stan Bonewitz and junior Rayford Young. The guard tandem combined for 8.5 assists and 28.3 points per game last season. Bonewitz is on pace to become Texas Tech's all-time three-point leader while Young joined Peterson as a member of the all-underrated team last year.
Texas' Mihm, an honorable mention all-conference and academic all-league selection, led the Big 12 freshmen in rebounding with an 8.0 average in 1997-98. He also paced the rookie class in blocked shots with a 2.9 average. Chenowith averaged 1.6 blocks per game in his first season at Kansas and also had a 5.9 scoring and 4.9 rebounding mean. Both Mihm and Chenowith were named to the five-man Big 12 All-Freshman team for 1997-98.
Kansas State's Shawn Rhodes has ranked among the top three Wildcats in scoring the past two seasons, including second last year with an 11.2 average. A three-time academic all-conference selection, Rhodes is an inside-outside threat at 6-11 and hitting 36 percent from three-point range last season.
Oklahoma senior Michael Johnson led the Sooners, seventh in the Big 12, with a 4.3 assist average last season while scoring 7.1 points per contest. Baylor junior Jamie Kendrick started 15 games in 1997-98 averaging 7.1 points over the Big 12 conference game schedule.
Missouri junior Jeff Hafer started 23 games last year for Missouri averaging 5.8 points. The guard was second on the Tiger team with a 2.2 assist average in 1997-98.
Being from Bratislave, Slovakia, Iowa State sophomore Martin Rancik brings international experience to the Big 12's all-star team. Rancik, 6-9, averaged 5.7 points his freshman season for Tim Floyd's Cyclones.
At the request of the Big 12 coaches, the tour has been organized by Big 12 Basketball Consultant Bill Foster to further develop conference student-athletes. Foster said it is the conference's plan to conduct a foreign basketball tour with a women's all-star team in summer 1999.