Big 12 Basketball All-Stars Arrive in England
Team works out Thursday, plays Friday
August 6, 1998
STEVENAGE, England - The Big 12 Conference All-Star Basketball Team, which arrived in England on Thursday morning, opens it six-game tour of Europe Friday night against the Stevenage Rebels All -Stars in the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Center .
The 11-man squad arrived at Gatawick airport near London Thursday morning after wrapping up three days of practice in Dallas. The team will play Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Stevenage and then play one game in Belgium and to in Germany before returning to the United States on Sunday, Aug. 16.
"I'm really happy with the way the players responded to the trip over," said Texas Tech head coach James Dickey, who led the team through a one-hour workout Thursday afternoon in the Arts and Leisure Center. "Certainly, you lose some sleep, but we feel like it's really important to get on the correct time here in England, get your body acclimated and get ready for the game tomorrow night."
The team arrived at 9:15 a.m. after the nine-hour flight from Dallas. The group took a bus tour through London before journeying thirty minutes to its England headquarters in Chestnut.
"The thing that I am concerned about on our part is fatigue," Dickey said. "Always, when your are fatigued, it shows up on the defensive end, you foul too much, give up too may easy baskets, you don't get loose balls and you don't rebound. For us to win, that's several keys. We want to be as sharp as we can, keep people fresh, play as hard as we can, rebound and play defense."
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.
Oklahoma State's Peterson, who helped lead the Cowboys back to the NCAA Tournament in 1998, will be relied on heavily for his outside shooting during the European tour. The 6-4 senior average 17.7 points last season for OSU.
"It's going pretty good so far, I think," Peterson said. "Everybody's tired. But, you see a lot of energy out here. Everybody is excited about playing these teams over here."
Peterson surpassed the 1,000-point mark last season and ranks 11th all-time at OSU with 1,265 points. He will attempt to become only the fourth Cowboy to average double figures in scoring for four consecutive seasons.
"This trip will give me some good experience," Peterson said. "Getting some good games in will help me going into the season. It will help all of our players throughout the season playing against older, more experience players."
K-State's Rhodes, one of five seniors on the All-Star team, average 11.2 points for the Wildcats last season. At 6-11, he will also help the Big 12 team with his play both inside and out.
"I expect them to play real tough," Rhodes said. "I've heard they play real physical ball over here. That's the main thing you've got to do, really box out good and control the boards."
The team will travel on Monday from Dover, England to Ostende, Belgium by ferry on the English Channel. The team will play one game against Sunair BBC on Tuesday, Aug. 11. The All-Stars will then travel to Germany where they will battle Rhondorf Basket Wednesday, Aug. 12 and the Telecom Bonn Basket team on Thursday, Aug. 13. The trip will conclude in Paris before the team returns on Sunday, Aug. 16.