Note: The Dickinson State men’s basketball team is in China until April 8. Throughout their trip, I’ll be receiving emails from head coach Ty Orton and writing updates on the blog about what they are doing.
The Dickinson State menâ€™s basketball team has made its way to China. The team left Dickinson at 7 a.m. Thursday and ended the very long day in Beijing.
They took a bus from Dickinson to Fargo, flew from Fargo to Chicago, had a two-hour layover and a 45-minute runway delay before the 14-hour flight from Chicago to Beijing began.
â€œWe were all in coach and we were packed in like sardines,â€ DSU head coach Ty Orton said in an email.
Orton said the flight was an interesting study in the behavior of each player and coach.
Assistant coach Mark Svagera, who stands about 6-foot-7 and according to Orton, â€œnever sits still,â€ didnâ€™t sleep the entire flight and was always moving.
According to Ortonâ€™s email, Carl Dynnesson, the Blue Hawksâ€™ 6-foot-7, 320-pound center, and Destry Sterkel, Â a 6-10, 340-pound center, told him â€œthey hope China really likes them because they will not do the flight again.â€
Senior center Derek Pauley and assistant coach Brandon Thomas, both 6-6, slept the entire way. Keep in mind, the team were flying coach.
As for freshman guard Brock Boos, who had never been on an airplane before Thursday?
â€œBrock was, and still is, shocked at everything that is going on,â€ Orton said.
Since arriving, Orton said the team has been continuously approached about the trip.
â€œThe guys are also starting to realize that this is a trip of a lifetime,â€ he added. â€œThe guys have been complimented numerous times about their behavior and how well they represent DSU. That is always great to hear.â€
The team, who is 14 hours ahead of us in Dickinson, visits Tiananmen Square and the Olympic Village today and then takes a 2Â½-hour flight to Xiâ€™an at 9 p.m.
The team is in China for 10 days representing the university on a friendship tour that includes two basketball games at one of DSUâ€™s partner universities, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangling, China. The team is scheduled to return April 8.