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Day 10 - August 20 – Jordan Turner
Viva le France! I feel it’s safe to say that all of us on the Pacific Men’s Basketball team are undoubtedly grateful for the experience we have shared with each other in France these past 10 days. We all have much to be thankful for, particularly, I am thankful for the opportunity to play a game that allows me to travel around the world with a group of guys that I call my brothers. I am also grateful to go to a University that sees the value in allowing basketball to be used as a tool to open their student-athletes' eyes to the values, virtues, and cultures of nations, hereby strengthening our bond as people. As far as basketball is concerned, I believe the true value of this trip will reveal itself when we begin playing in November. Nothing compares to game time experience like game time experience, and that is exactly what we got in five games here. We experienced blowouts, close games, good play, bad play, adversity and triumph in these five games. These experiences not only prepare us for our regular season, but it immediately allows us to identify what holes we need to shore up as a team and individually. I believe this trip will allow us to hit the ground running when school starts. I would like to thank the great people of Paris, Lyon, Nice and Monaco for their wonderful hospitality. In addition, I would like to thank our tour guide Bryan, as well as our bus driver, Jos. This trip has been an experience that I am extremely blessed to be a part of, and that won’t be soon forgotten. Thanks again to everybody who helped make this trip a reality. Go Tigers!!
Day 9 - August 19 – Ross Rivera
Today, the last day of
the trip, was one of the best and one of the most relaxing days. I
woke up early to eat breakfast and then went to the beach to take a
dip and look at all the little fish in the Mediterranean Sea with
my teammates. It was refreshing since it has been so hot and humid
outside. Afterwards, I went to the top of the hotel to take in the
view of the beach for the last time and it was truly amazing. I
feel so lucky to have been able to come on this trip to see France.
It is an experience that I will never forget and the team bonding
that has been going on is great. I feel so much closer to teammates
than I did before and I am excited for this upcoming season.
Day 8 - August 18 - Travis Fulton
Today we had an early wakeup call at 8:15 am to eat some breakfast and get on our way to Monaco. We visited a perfume factory, the Prince of Monaco's Palace to watch the guard change and lastly to see the Monte Carlo casino. Monaco was full of amazing scenery. The changing of the guard change occurs at 11:55 am every day so we made sure we were there for that. It was pretty to watch these guards express their discipline. Our last stop at Monte Carlo was a site to see. Expensive cars here and there, this is where the high rollers of the world come to gamble their money.
Of course we kept in mind that we had a game this night and we made sure we capped this day off with a 40 point win.
Day 7 - August 17 - Lorenzo McCloud
Waking up from a win is always great to me and thinking about the win is a good way to start off the day. Friday began with an early breakfast in Lyon, France on the top floor of the hotel with a nice view. Next was a long five hour bus ride with a 45 minute rest stop. I believe I slept the whole way through. Some of my teammates watched the movie that was playing on the TV or listened to their head phones. I was woken up by all the noise on the bus. After the long bus ride, we arrived in Nice, France, which is a beautiful place. In our hotel room we have that little sink next to the toilet and I don't know how to use it or what it's for.The first day out we had time walk around site see on our own.We walked around, did some shopping at the stores and walked on the beach. It is a Nice beach and the weather is great. It kind of reminds me of Miami a little bit with the palm trees, but much better due to the certain kind of beaches they have (LOL). Tomorrow is a big game for us to finish strong and close out the the trip 3-2. I haven't played the last few games, but it seems like we're progressing from the first game we had. We are settling down more, not rushing as much, passing better, and gaining some inside presence. Its nice to see the potential we have this year to be great and have Coach T retire the right way with a championship season.
Sincerely Lorenzo McCloud, Thankful & Blessed
Day 6 - August 16 - Coordinator of Basketball Operations Joe Ford
BLESSED. The only word that can describe my feelings. God has blessed us with the opportunity to represent our University in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Waking up in Lyon is pure nirvana. It is a great change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Breakfast on the eighth floor of the Gorgeous Softiel Hotel was simply superb. It left me with feelings of true satisfaction. Next was the winery tour. This was an amazing experience, due to the fact that it enabled us not, to only learn about wine culture, but see a majestic country side. At the end of the tour, there was heated game of life-size Chess. Bobby Fischer wouldÊ¼ve been proud. Once we arrived back to the hotel, it was time to do some shopping. Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Being in the fashion capitol of the world, you have an array of great clothing stores to choose from. Needless to say, I think IÊ¼ll be looking very European in Stockton. Sounds like a great day, so far right? But, the best was still to come. Basketball. The reason were here was next. Tonight we played Terre Froide. Both teams came out of the gates fast with a 23-22 first quarter Pacific lead. Then from the start of the second quarter on, it was ALL Tigers. The headliners for the game were Sama Taku and Khalil Kelly. The pure athleticism that they possess over-powered the opposition. Sama had 19 points, while Khalil had 16. Tony Gill aka "Big Smooth" added 13 points with an array of skills that few possess for a man his size. Helping lead us to a 80-68 victory.
I would like to give a thank you from the bottom of my heart to the people of France for being, so welcoming and caring. This has allowed us to enjoy our experience that much more and for that we are truly grateful. So, In the words of Ice Cube “Today was a good day”.
Day 5 - August 15 - Assistant Coach Adam Jacobsen
Today we woke up & ate a great breakfast of chocolate croissants. Then we packed the bus and bid a fond farewell to Paris. It was a beautiful city - ooh la la. Our bus driver Jos did an outstanding job getting us to Lyon - it is a lovely city. We had time to walk around for a bit, along the Rhone river. Our hotel is very nice & modern for Europe. Pascal the President of West Lyon basket club - gave us a wonderful summary of Lyon & France basketball on the way to the game. We got an 82-72 win at Ouest Lyon - with some good performances by Andrew Bock (18 points), Sama Taku (14 points) and Khalil Kelley (13 points). It was a physical game with a lot of foul calls, with a lot of players in foul trouble. The rules are different in international play & have caused us a few difficulties (turnovers & fouls). It is so special to be able to experience France with our team.
Day 4 - August 14 - Assistant Coach Calvin Byrd
The day started with a group of us hitting the Metro at 7:45am to head to the Eiffel Tower to beat the lines. I know there was a group of players that also went but didn't go early enough and had to wait in a long line. It was an unbelievable view of the whole city. After, my wife Jodie, Joe Ford and I went to the Musse Rodin to take in some awesome art and since we are leaving Paris tomorrow, we also had to do a little shopping for souvenirs. Game time was at was 7pm against Vanves and the Tigers did what I expected and responded from last night. We started off slow then took a 12 point lead in the 2nd half but couldn't overcome their hot three-point shooting and lost a one point game.
Day 3 - August 13 - Associate Head Coach Ron Verlin
Excitement and enthusiasm was the mood of the day. This morning started off with our players doing an amazing race competition, a race to the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and back to the hotel. The winners were Sama Taku, Marcus Duran, Tony Gill and Travis Fulton by a narrow margin of 57 seconds. Then it was back to hotel for a short rest and a 45 minute bus ride to Tremblay to the home club of former Pacific great Guillaume Yango. The game did not go so well today, we really struggled taking care of the ball and adjusting to international play. In fact, it was only the second loss in our international tour history. We followed up the game with a very nice dinner hosted by the Tremblay Club team. We'll be back in action Tuesday - ready to start fast and finish strong.
Day 2 - August 12 - Rodrigo DeSouza
Today I had one of the best experiences of my life! The Palace of Versailles was amazing! For me to be able to see and feel the history behind those walls was incredible. I have been in a castle in Brazil before so I had some idea of how it would be. But as soon I got to the castle, I was shocked with the beauty and art that the whole castle had. With so much gold, art and detail, it made this castle one the most memorable places that I will never forget. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to come to France and go to the places that I always saw and dreamed to visit one day. We are only in the second day in France and I have been able to see so much already. I can't wait to visit other places but the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles will for sure be two of the most memorable places I have been so far in my life.
Day 1 - August 11 - Markus Duran
Just landed in Paris!! The flight was great and there were a lot of good movies to choose from. Overall it was a smooth flight with no problems. Our big men were seated at exit rows, which made their flight more enjoyable. The food on the plane was good and filling. After landing, we noticed immediately how pretty and well kept the city was. Our anticipation of the trip began to rise with all the excitement to see a city that not one of us had ever seen before. A couple of the highlights of the first day were a visit to the Arc de Triomphe and a boat tour that took us right next to the Eiffel Tower. We are ready to start the year off with some great basketball here in France that we are definitely going to bring back with us to the states! With five games ahead of us the anticipation awaits in the next couple days!!