Globe-Trotting Jayhawks to Face Tough Competition Overseas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Basketball provides many memorable moments for coaches and student-athletes alike. From winning big games and breaking records to walking through the Campanile to graduation, sports open the door to all kinds of opportunities. This month, Kansas women’s basketball will get to experience another opportunity provided through basketball.
From Aug. 8-18, the KU team and staff will embark on a 10-day tour through France and Switzerland, as the Jayhawks will play four games against foreign teams. The tough competition in various cities throughout the tour will challenge KU on the court in preparation for the 2016-17 season. Although the teams Kansas will face are new to the coaches and team, Schneider knows that the competition will make his team better with each game.
“The competition is going to be good,” said head coach Brandon Schneider. “There are some foreign trips you take where the competition is not very strong, but I believe that the tour we are on, especially the two teams in Paris, are pretty good. I’ve talked to some coaches from the Big Ten or SEC that have done this tour before and they have either gotten beat or just barely came out with a win.”
While in Europe, Kansas will see a new look to the game that many have played or coached for quite some time. KU will adhere to FIBA rues while competing in France and Switzerland, something that Schneider is looking forward to.
“I think it’ll be fun and I am not concerned about it at all,” said Schneider on playing with FIBA rules. “It’ll be a much faster game with a 24-second shot clock. I really like the shot clock resetting to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound, I think that speeds up the game. The eight second back court, all of that gives the offense the advantage in some regard, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Basketball aside, Schneider is excited to see how this experience overseas helps his squad grow on and off the hardwood.
“The opportunity to build team chemistry on the court, but most importantly off the court,” Schneider said about the advantages of the tour. “When you’re talking about the travel for an extended time, whether you are on planes, buses, in hotels or doing the tourist things, I think that is going to be a really cool experience.”
For many of the student-athletes this will be their first trip to Europe or overseas, but they aren’t the only ones grateful for the once in a lifetime opportunity. The tour will also be a first for Schneider, who couldn’t thank the Hardwood Club enough for making the trip a possibility.
“To have the generosity of so many people who contributed and made this possible for us is really incredible,” said Schneider. “This is really part of the educational experience of being a student-athlete and it means the world to us. Of course, we like the practices and the ability to go over there and play four games, but the memories that the players and staff will have at the end of traveling are going to last a lifetime.”
Kansas women’s basketball fans can follow the Jayhawks’ 10-day tour on KUAthletics.com with daily blogs, video and photos from the student-athletes.
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