Friday 1st April 2011

by monke

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 men’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.

“We were all in coach and we were packed in like sardines,” 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, “never sits still,” didn’t sleep the entire flight and was always moving.

According to Orton’s email, Carl Dynnesson, the Blue Hawks’ 6-foot-7, 320-pound center, and Destry Sterkel,  a 6-10, 340-pound center, told him “they hope China really likes them because they will not do the flight again.”

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?

“Brock was, and still is, shocked at everything that is going on,” Orton said.

Since arriving, Orton said the team has been continuously approached about the trip.

“The guys are also starting to realize that this is a trip of a lifetime,” he added. “The guys have been complimented numerous times about their behavior and how well they represent DSU. That is always great to hear.”

The team, who is 14 hours ahead of us in Dickinson, visits Tiananmen Square and the Olympic Village today and then takes a 2½-hour flight to Xi’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 DSU’s partner universities, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangling, China. The team is scheduled to return April 8.

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