Advice for overseas basketball tours: Be aware, respectful

AP

Print Article

  • FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2017, file photo, UCLA head coach Steve Alford listens to questions during the Pac-12's NCAA college basketball media day, in San Francisco. Alford will sit the three players reportedly involved in a shoplifting incident in China for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. Alford, however, declined to address the issue further. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

  • 1

    FILE - At left, in a March 10, 2016, file photo, Aransas Pass high school basketball player Jalen Hill is shown during a state semifinal basketball game in San Antonio. At center, in a Jan. 16, 2017, file photo, Sierra Canyon's Cody Riley is shown during a high school basketball game in Springfield, Mass. At right, in a Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, LiAngelo Ball is shown in Los Angeles. Citing a person close to the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported that UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were involved in a shoplifting incident in China. UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford will sit the three players for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. (AP Photo/File)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2017, file photo, UCLA head coach Steve Alford listens to questions during the Pac-12's NCAA college basketball media day, in San Francisco. Alford will sit the three players reportedly involved in a shoplifting incident in China for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. Alford, however, declined to address the issue further. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

  • 1

    FILE - At left, in a March 10, 2016, file photo, Aransas Pass high school basketball player Jalen Hill is shown during a state semifinal basketball game in San Antonio. At center, in a Jan. 16, 2017, file photo, Sierra Canyon's Cody Riley is shown during a high school basketball game in Springfield, Mass. At right, in a Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, LiAngelo Ball is shown in Los Angeles. Citing a person close to the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported that UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were involved in a shoplifting incident in China. UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford will sit the three players for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. (AP Photo/File)

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Washington coach Mike Hopkins has taken multiple teams overseas with USA Basketball, coaching in Olympics, world championships and various events.

Each time a team goes on an international trip, the message is the same: Enjoy yourselves, but realize you're in a foreign country. The laws and culture are not the same as those in the United States, so be aware and respectful.

"When you're in a foreign country, different rules," Hopkins said. "You have to know the lay of the land because every country has different rules, different regulations and treat each case a lot differently."

The arrest of three UCLA players on shoplifting charges in China exemplifies the need to take such precautions.

The players, identified by The Los Angeles Times as Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball, were arrested for shoplifting ahead of their game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai.

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott has said UCLA is cooperating with local authorities after the basketball players were "involved in a situation" in China, with police being summoned to the team's hotel to investigate.

The NCAA does not provide behavior guidelines for teams going overseas, leaving it up to the conferences and schools.

The Pac-12, which has held games in China annually since 2015, provides teams with a detailed manual on all of the activities and schedule for the overseas trip, including a section on cultural etiquette, social issues, safety and other overseas travel information related to the foreign country. UCLA also provided a pre-trip orientation for the players, according to the Pac-12.

Washington was the first Pac-12 school to play in China, the game coming two years ago against Texas. Its players took classes on culture, language and rules before going.

"We live by a quote: 'It's not how you do anything, it's how you do everything,'" said Hopkins, who replaced Lorenzo Romar during the offseason. "If you make bad decisions off the court, you're probably going to make bad decisions on the court. Understanding that we're teaching these kids to be professionals. We don't just say professional basketball players. Professional people."

Most overseas trips have full schedules, loaded with practices, games, team activities, group sightseeing. But coaches also want the players to experience the new culture on their own, so they work in free time for them to explore.

The free times are when awareness of being in a foreign country becomes most vital for the players.

"You talk about it. You do, but all I can tell you is you can't be with them every second," said Tennessee coach Rick Barnes, whose team played in Europe this summer. "You're going to give them some free time. You'd like to think that somewhere along the line, someone's taught them that you don't take what's not yours. You hate to see it because of what we've gone through with basketball right now, but the fact is that's what we are, we've got to continue to educate in everything that we do."

Driving it home is not always easy. The players are typically 18 to 22 years old, excited to be in a new country and unfamiliar of their surroundings. Something they might do in the U.S. without thinking about could be frowned upon or even illegal in a foreign country.

There's also the issue of safety, perhaps from wandering into a bad area of town or ending up in a place they're not supposed to be.

"We have a good bunch of guys, but we did remind them at various times during the trip to be aware of their surroundings," said Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, whose team played in Spain and Italy this summer. "You want them to have some free time, so we're not going to be around them the whole time and want them to be aware of what's around them."

___

AP Sports Writers Tim Booth in Seattle and Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, contributed to this story.

___

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

Print Article

Read More Sports

PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lake City wins a tight one

November 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — Lake City beat Sandpoint for the second time in 11 days Tuesday night. But this one was nothing like the Timberwolves’ 29-point victory at Sandpoint. The visiting Bulldogs fell behi...

Comments

Read More

ELLIOTT: Holiday hoops, just not around home

November 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press There’s nothing like college basketball for the holidays, especially over Thanksgiving weekend. Just don’t expect to see it here locally at least. IN THE first time in a few years, neither the No...

Comments

Read More

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Cierra Dvorak, North Idaho College

November 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Cierra Dvorak North Idaho College Dvorak, a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, had 24 points, eight assists and seven steals for the Cardinals in a 90-77 win over Bellevue College on Sunday at Rolly Willi...

Comments

Read More

Youth Sports Nov. 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press CROSS COUNTRY NIXC runners shine: USA Track and Field held its Junior Olympic Pacific Northwest XC Championships at Woodland Park in Seattle last Saturday. The Pacific Northwest Region is compris...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2017 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X