Big 12 All-Star Team Leaves for Europe|
August 5, 1998
DALLAS, Texas - The Big 12 Conference All-Star Team, wrapping up three days of workouts, departed for an 11-day excursion to Europe on Wednesday afternoon.
The 11-player men's basketball team, led by Texas Tech head coach James Dickey, concluded three days of practice prior to a trip that will include six games in eight days. The team will arrive in London on Thursday.
"We've been impressed with the effort, enthusiasm and attitude of the players," Dickey said. "They are working hard and are excited to represent the Big 12 Conference and the United States."
The squad includes members of each Big 12 school, except Texas A&M, which is making its own foreign trip this summer. The first-ever Big 12 team includes Kansas center Eric Chenowith, Missouri guard Jeff Hafer, Nebraska center Venson Hamilton, Oklahoma point guard Michael Johnson, Baylor forward Jamie Kendrick, Texas center Chris Mihm, Iowa State forward Martin Rancik, Kansas State forward Shawn Rhodes, Oklahoma State guard Adrian Peterson, Colorado guard Kenny Price, and Texas Tech guard Rayford Young.
"All of these players are fantastic young men," Dickey said. "They are committed to winning basketball games. All of the teams we play are talented. We will have to have a tough mindset to be successful. We are playing three straight games twice. That's going to be very tough."
The team will begin action Friday night in Stevenage, England - a suburb of London - with the first of three games on consecutive days. The Big 12 All-Star team will face the England Select Team on Friday, the Manchester Giants on Saturday and the Derby Storm on Sunday.
"A lot of the teams we play will look unorthodox," Dickey said. "But the bottom line is, they can put the ball in the hole. We've got to be ready for that and pull together as a team."
The team will travel on Monday to Oostende, Belgium, to play one game against Sunair BBC on Tuesday, August 11. The All-Stars will then travel to Germany where they will battle Rhondorf Basket Wednesday, Aug. 12, and the Telekom Bonn Basket team on Thursday, Aug. 13. The trip will conclude in Paris before the team returns on Sunday, Aug. 16.
"We've got good balance and size," Dickey said. "We need to make sure we go over there and play good defense and rebound. In order to do that, we'll have to be aware of the different surroundings. We'll have to adjust to the travel and time changes, different foods and the officiating with the different rules of international basketball."
Player quotes following the August 5 practice
RAYFORD YOUNG (Texas Tech junior)
ON PLAYING WITH TEXAS TECH COACH JAMES DICKEY AND ALL THE NEW FACES - "It's kind of weird in a way. Even though I'm learning a lot of things, I'm not learning anything new as far as plays. I'm having fun playing for him right now."
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THE TRIP - "I hope to get more experience and get better. I want to learn more things from these players whether its physically or mentally. Most of all I want to gain more friends and have a nice time, and I'm sure I'll be able to do that."
JEFF HAFER (Missouri junior)
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THE TRIP - "I want to take the experience of a different kind of game, possibly a different level, and to see how I stack up with the different styles of play. I want to take back a better mindset and work things into my game and become a more complete player."