It’ll be a great experience. I don’t really know what to expect. So it’ll be fun to get over there and get started and just get to compete. —Jordan Loveridge
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah will be well-represented when the Pac-12 sends an all-star basketball team to China next month.
Head coach Larry Krystkowiak and his staff, along with players Jordan Loveridge, Jeremy Olsen and Brandon Taylor, are among a contingent headed overseas as part of the conference’s “Globalization Initiative.” They’re slated to play a Chinese university all-star team, as well as squads from the Chinese Basketball Association, including the Shanghai Sharks (owned by eight-time NBA all-star Yao Ming), and the defending regular-season champion Guangdong Southern Tigers, who are led by Yi Jianlian. He played for Krystkowiak with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks in 2007-08.
The Pac-12 all-star team is also scheduled to participate in various youth clinics. Visits to historical sites and landmarks are also planned.
“It’s a great opportunity whenever you can use the sport to see parts of the world,” said Krystkowiak, who noted that he was able to do so when he played college basketball.
It provides lifetime memories for everyone, he added.
“It’ll be a great experience,” Loveridge said. “I don’t really know what to expect. So it’ll be fun to get over there and get started and just get to compete.”
Loveridge, Olsen and Taylor are joined on the roster by Andrew Andrews, Washington (G, 6-2, 195, Soph.); Bo Barnes, Arizona State (G-F, 6-4, 195, Jr.); Malcolm Duvivier, Oregon State (G, 6-2, 205, Fr.); Jacob Hazzard, Arizona (G, 6-0, 160, Soph.); Xavier Johnson, Colorado (F, 6-7, 220, Soph.); Nikola Jovanovic, USC (F, 6-10, 215, Fr.); DaVonté Lacy, Washington State (G, 6-4, 215, Jr.); Roger Moute a Bidias, California (F, 6-7, 200, Jr.); Cheikh N'diaye, Oregon State (C, 7-0, 230, Fr.); and Schuyler Rimmer, Stanford (C, 6-10, 255, Fr.).
“We all have different abilities and talents and it’ll be fun to see how we all mesh together,” Olsen said.
Pre-tour practices are set for Aug. 7-9 in San Francisco. The team is set to spend approximately 10 days in China.
“I’m really excited about it. It’s kind of one of those things that’s like a once in a lifetime kind of deal,” Taylor said. “We get an opportunity to represent our league and go out to China and compete against their teams and stuff like that. So it’s an exciting feeling for sure.”