Men's Basketball Team Readies For Mexican Adventure

Aug. 12, 2003

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The Siena College men's basketball team is in for the experience of a lifetime. On Sunday, August 17, the Saints will depart for Mexico City, Mexico, the world's third largest city, beginning a 10-day expedition that will wind them through the ruins of ancient civilizations to the modern day paradise of the Mayan Riviera. The journey, featuring five games against international competition, concludes with a six-day stay in Canucun.

"Everyone is extremely excited about the trip," Head Coach Rob Lanier said at the annual high-end donor reception at the College Tuesday evening. "We (are in the midst of) ten days of practice in preparation for the trip, which will give us a great opportunity to get back on the court and work on some of the things we think will help us improve." All players who were eligible to play on last season's team, including redshirt Freshman David Ryan, will be able to play in Mexico. "I am pleased with the condition everyone came back in and think this trip will really go a long way towards helping us in preparation for next season," he added.

The NCAA permits institutions to take a foreign trip over the summer once every four years. The last time the Siena men's basketball team traveled abroad was the summer of 1994 when they took a 10-day tour of England.

"Usually, teams take advantage of the foreign trip when they think they have a chance to be pretty good," Lanier said. "We have 10 guys returning from last year's team (which won 21 games and advanced to the Second Round of the NIT), and while we aren't making any predictions, we thought this would be a good time to go."

The Saints will depart Loudonville at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning when they will board a bus for JFK Airport where they will connect with a direct flight to Mexico City. While in the Mexican capital, the Saints will play two games, against: Poly Rob (Monday, August 18- 8 p.m.) and National University (Tuesday August 19th- 8 p.m.). The trip also includes a tour of the nearby Mayan Ruins (Tuesday) and the pyramids (Wednesday). Thursday, the 21st, the 18-member travel party will board a two-hour flight for Cancun where they will play the remaining three games on their slate.

Friday the Saints will play the University of LaSalle, Saturday Cahuameros de Quintana Roo and Sunday the Belize National Team. The remainder of the trip will allow for some R & R and team bonding, before the Saints return home on Wednesday, August 27.

The official Siena athletic website, SienaSaints.com, will be the main source of information for fans throughout the 10-day odyssey. Each member of the team will write a journal entry detailing their experience and the Siena sports information office will provide game recaps as well as photos and daily summaries.

Those making the trip include: Players: Jamal Jackson, David Ryan, Austin Andrews, Paul Williams, Tommy Mitchell, Antoine Jordan, Michael Haddix, Justin Miller, Gary Holle and Brent Sniezyk . Coaches: Rob Lanier, Rob Jackson, Steve Seymour and Neil Berkman . Trainer: Rebecca Farnsworth . Manager: John Phelps . Sports Information Director: Jason Rich .