K-State to compete in Brazil during August trip

By Jelani Yancey

The Kansas State men’s basketball team will get a jump start on preparations for the 2012-13 season with a 10-day trip to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Aug 8-17.

The NCAA allows teams to make a foreign trip once every four years, but this will be the first by the men’s basketball team since playing four games in and around Vancouver, British Columbia in October 2004. 

Overall, this will be the program’s fourth trip outside the country, which includes excursions to Japan in 1981 and Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden in 1993.  The team anticipates playing four games against Brazilian club teams.

“We are all excited about taking the team to Brazil in August,” K-State head coach Bruce Weber said in a release.  “It’s a great opportunity for us to come together and learn more about each other especially since this is the coaching staff’s first year.  With such an experienced team coming back, we really want to take advantage of this trip.”

K-State will spend its first three days (Aug. 9-11) in Sao Paulo, which at just more than 11 million people is the largest city in Brazil and the largest in the southern hemisphere. The Wildcats will play their first game on Friday, Aug. 10 against the Mogi das Cruzes Club team before a tilt with the Sao Jose dos Campos Club team on Saturday, Aug. 11.

The squad will then spend its last five days (Aug. 12-16) in Rio de Janiero, the country’s second-largest city (about 6 million people) and site of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The team’s final two games will be against the Pingdamonhangaba Club team on Sunday, Aug.12 and the Tijuca Sports Club on Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Sao Paulo is around four hours south of Rio and both are on the southeast coast.  The team will also visit various attractions in the two cities, including Sugarloaf Mountain, Ipanema Beach and Christ the Redeemer Statue.

In addition to travel and competition, K-State will hold 10 on-campus practice sessions prior to the trip that Weber hopes to spread out between the months of June, July and August. The team is already taking advantage of a new NCAA rule that allows coaches to work with players two hours a week in the summer.

Weber’s team returns 13 lettermen, including seven players with starting experience, in 2012-13.  The group is headlined by two-time All-Big 12 performer Rodney McGruder and fellow Big 12 All-Defensive Team member Jordan Henriquez.  K-State made its fourth appearance in the NCAA tournament in the last five seasons in 2011-12, as the Wildcats posted a 22-11 overall record and earned a tie for fifth place in the Big 12 with a 10-8 mark.  It was the school’s sixth consecutive 20-win season and sixth straight trip to the postseason.

Season-ticket holders could begin renewing their accounts on Monday online at or by calling the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-(800)-221-CATS, while renewal invoices and season-ticket pricing brochures will be mailed to season-ticket holders this next Monday.  Season-ticket holders will have until Aug. 15 to arrange payment and retain their seats for the 2012-13 season.

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