BLOG #10: The Cats Tour Chateau de Chillon; Play Final Game

Kansas State will get a jump start on its preparations for the 2016-17 men’s basketball season with a 10-day trip to Italy and Switzerland in mid-August during which it will play five games.

The Wildcats will depart on Monday, August 8 and return Friday, August 19 touring the Italian cities of Rome, Siena, Florence, Mestre, Venice, Verona and Lake Como as well as Vatican City before concluding the journey in Montreux, Lausanne and Lake Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to the cultural opportunities the tour will provide, the Wildcats will compete against various club, select and national teams, including LCC International University [August 10], BC Silute [August 11], Italian Select [August 13] the Kosovo National Team [August 16] and BBC Lausanne [August 18].

The NCAA permits teams to make an international trip once every four years and this will be the first by the men’s basketball team since Weber’s inaugural season of 2012 when it played four games in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Overall, this will be the program’s fifth trip outside the country, which includes excursions to Japan in 1981, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden in 1993 and Vancouver, British Columbia in 2004.

One player and a member of the staff each day will blog about their experiences in this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Freshman James Love III
Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland was one of the many stops we visited but also my favorite due to the fact it is the most beautiful sight I have ever come across from the clear blue waters to the quiet small city-like area. Waking up to tour Chateau de Chillon castle was one of the greatest things I've ever seen. I could only imagine how people were treated inside the castle and how the lifestyle was. All these great experiences led up to our great team win against BBC Lausanne. This win was great because everyone got to play in the game and I felt a great team bond. This experience as a freshman is something I will never forget and will carry with me for the rest of my life.
 
Video Coordinator Dustin Yoder
I woke up this last full day with another great breakfast at the hotel. Salami and cheese is quickly becoming my new favorite breakfast combination! Shoulders were on FIRE from getting the chance to go water tubing on Lake Geneva the previous day. It was such a cool experience. Other activities players and coaches participated in were paddle boarding, kayaking, wake boarding, and wake surfing... All with the Alps right on top of us. It was incredibly beautiful! 

Our day was spent at the Chateau de Chillon in Montreux. The castle's history dates all the way back to 1005. It gave us all the opportunity to be inside a real castle, like the ones depicted in movies and TV shows. The castle had everything, from old bedroom chambers to secret passages and dungeons. 

We finished the night with our final game. We had a great team meeting the night before with the prime focus being to end the trip on a positive note and to share the basketball. Kosovo's national team was very good, and did a lot of things that our guys haven't seen yet in this young season. They've been practicing together for over a year now and our guys just had a few weeks, so we wanted to get them refocused and ready to move on. The guys responded really well and beat the Defending Switzerland B-League champs handily. Something that continued to stand out in the game was great play from the freshmen, which was a staple of the entire trip. 

Overall the trip was life changing, amazing, and something I'll never forget. I want to thank the K-State family for giving us an opportunity to do something like this, and I can't wait for the season to come around so we can make you all proud!