BLOG #5: K-State Takes In Florence, Plays Third 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.

Sophomore Carlbe Ervin II
The team and I visited the Galleria and saw a very cool piece of art work by Michelangelo. The one piece everybody enjoyed was the statue of David. After we finished up there we began to walk through the city of Florence and stopped at places like the political square and the three biggest cathedrals in the world. We had free time after that where I did some shopping and, of course, some eating. Then everybody got their minds right for the game and we loaded up for a long trip Livorno, Italy to begin our match-up against the Italian Select. We had a great warm-up thanks to our new strength coach Ben O'Donnell and tipped off with our opponent. We got off to a slow start and Coach Weber turned up on us! The young second unit came into the game and went to work. They played great defense and scored lots of points. After halftime, Wes, Barry, Dean and I went to work mainly because we wanted the walk-ons to play the whole fourth quarter which they did and they finished the game off well. 

Assistant Coach Brad Korn
Today was an incredible opportunity to see and experience the historic city and arts of Florence, Italy. Our day started with a tour of the famous museum, Accademia Gallery, which hosts the original works of Michelangelo and most famously the Statue of David. The size and precision of the statutes was truly amazing. Most interestingly was fact that Michelangelo would leave his works "undone" never seeking perfection. When he did all that he felt he could he left his work imperfect, which also allowed for a person’s own interpretation and idea of the price. Our tour guide was very fluent in English which made the experience and tour of the rest of the city that much more enjoyable. After the tour of the city was time for relaxation, shopping for the guys, and some lunch on your own. Free time in Florence = $ spent! After pre-game meal it was time for our game versus Italy Select.