BOULDER - The University of Colorado men's basketball team will travel across the Atlantic Ocean for a five-game, 10-day European trip that will take the Buffaloes to Paris (France), Antwerp (Belgium) and Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
CU will leave Denver International Airport (DIA) on Monday morning (Aug. 13) for a flight to Chicago, then land in Paris the following day at 9:25 a.m. local time (8 hours and 20 minutes later). All three European cities are eight hours ahead of mountain time.
"It will be a great opportunity for our team on a lot of different levels," said CU head coach Tad Boyle. "I think educationally, part of the education of these young men comes from outside the classroom just like it does from inside the classroom. To make a trip like this, for all of them, in their time here at the University of Colorado it will be a trip of a lifetime.
"Strategically we designed this trip for this year, knowing that we were going to have six incoming freshmen and seven incoming new players, and to blend them with the returners and the rest of the guys coming back which will really give us a jumpstart on the season."
It's the second time in history the CU men's basketball team will travel to Europe for an exhibition tour in the off-season. In 1997 from May 20-30, CU played teams from England and Germany achieving a 2-2 record. In September of 2006, CU travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia for three games (3-0 record).
"I'm excited to go because it's somewhere different in the world other than here, and it's going to be an awesome experience," said junior forward Shane Harris-Tunks, who is making his second visit to Paris (traveled with Team Australia in 2009). "Basketball wise, it's an opportunity to play with everyone on your team in different line ups and figure out where we are as a team."
The 2012-2013 Buffaloes lose three starters from a year ago, however gain another year of experience from junior forward Andre Roberson, and sophomores Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie. Six true freshmen also dot the roster, the third most of any men's basketball CU roster entering any new season.
While in Paris, the team will spend three nights and play a pair of games against AMW France Elite on Wednesday (Aug. 15, 7 p.m.; 11 a.m. MT) and Thursday (Aug. 16, 7 p.m.; 11 a.m. MT). Among the scheduled activities the team will experience will be a Paris city tour, including The Eiffel Tower, a Seine River Cruise and the Louvre Museum. The Louvre is one of the largest and most visited art museums in the world, where nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are housed.
Friday (Aug. 17) will be a travel day to Antwerp, Belgium. On the way to Antwerp, the team will stop in the capital city of Brussels for a tour, then on Saturday (Aug. 18, 8 p.m.; Noon, MT) will play game three of the tour against Optima Ghent in the city of Gent. On Sunday (August 19, 2 p.m.; 6 a.m. MT) the Buffs will play against Gembo BBC Borgerhout.
Following Sunday's game, CU will travel to Amsterdam and stay for three nights and play its final game on Monday (Aug. 20, 6 p.m.; 10 a.m. MT) against Rotterdam. Tuesday will be a full day of sight-seeing including a city tour, the Anne Frank House, and a canal cruise, closing with a BBQ Farewell Dinner before an eight-hour flight on Wednesday (Aug. 22) back to the States (Amsterdam-Chicago-Denver).
"I'm looking forward to the sights and going over there to try to enjoy the other half of the world - get a little taste of it," Roberson said. "(I'm) also looking to play the European style; it's going to be a lot different for us with the transition, different calls and regulations, but I feel we're very experienced overall and we'll get use to a different style of basketball."
Check back during the week with updates on the men's basketball team during their exciting trip across France, Belgium, and the Netherlands!
EUROPE GAME SCHEDULE
Game 1: Wed., August 15, 8:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. MT) vs. AMW France Elite ''Pro A'' All-Stars; Stade Pierre de Coubertin (Paris, France).
Game 2: Thu., August 16, 8:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. MT) vs. AMW France Elite ''Pro A'' All-Stars; Stade Pierre de Coubertin (Paris, France).
Game 3: Sat., August 18, 8 p.m. (Noon, MT) vs. Optima Ghent; Sportarena Tolhuis (Gent, Belgium).
Game 4: Sun., August 19, 2 p.m. (6 a.m. MT) vs. Gembo BBC Borgerhout; Sporthal Luisbekelaar, Borgerhout (Antwerp, Belgium).
Game 5: Mon., August 20, 7:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. MT) vs. Rotterdam Challengers; Topsportcentrum (Rotterdam, Netherlands).