More on the Blue Hawks in China

The Dickinson State basketball team poses with the Northwest A&F team, as well as numerous coaches and officials, including DSU President Dr. Richard McCallum.

Here’s a quick update on the Dickinson State men’s basketball team’s trip to China according to an e-mail from head coach Ty Orton.

On its second day, the team visited Tiananmen Square and ate “unique foods” in the alley food shops nearby. Needless to say, senior Nathan Lebsock and freshman Zach Edward didn’t enjoy their fish and brains combo meal.

Everywhere the players go, they have been asked to take numerous photos “This adds 15 to 20 minutes of extra time at every place we venture to. The people are impressed with the size of our guys and that they happen to play basketball,” Orton said.

On their third and fourth days, the Blue Hawks spent time at Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangling and played in two basketball games. “The tour was fun and very informative for the players and coaches,” Orton said.

The teams first game was played in front of 4,000 students who Orton said took off a national holiday to stay and watch the game. Orton said he was told the university turned away more than 8,000 students who wanted to watch the game in the packed facility. “The game was a great success and everyone involved enjoyed the experience,” he said.

Sophomore Matt Lee was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Blue Hawks won 82-67.

The team played in game with mixed teams on their fourth day.

On the fifth day, yesterday, Orton said the team was having trouble finding an Internet connection or cellphone reception.

View more team photos on their Flickr page.

The Dickinson State men's basketball team poses in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

DSU basketball team makes it to China

Note: The Dickinson State men’s basketball team is in China until April 8. Throughout their trip, I’ll be receiving emails from head coach Ty Orton and writing updates on the blog about what they are doing.

The Dickinson State men’s basketball team has made its way to China. The team left Dickinson at 7 a.m. Thursday and ended the very long day in Beijing.

They took a bus from Dickinson to Fargo, flew from Fargo to Chicago, had a two-hour layover and a 45-minute runway delay before the 14-hour flight from Chicago to Beijing began.

“We were all in coach and we were packed in like sardines,” DSU head coach Ty Orton said in an email.

Orton said the flight was an interesting study in the behavior of each player and coach.

Assistant coach Mark Svagera, who stands about 6-foot-7 and according to Orton, “never sits still,” didn’t sleep the entire flight and was always moving.

According to Orton’s email, Carl Dynnesson, the Blue Hawks’ 6-foot-7, 320-pound center, and Destry Sterkel,  a 6-10, 340-pound center, told him “they hope China really likes them because they will not do the flight again.”

Senior center Derek Pauley and assistant coach Brandon Thomas, both 6-6, slept the entire way. Keep in mind, the team were flying coach.

As for freshman guard Brock Boos, who had never been on an airplane before Thursday?

“Brock was, and still is, shocked at everything that is going on,” Orton said.

Since arriving, Orton said the team has been continuously approached about the trip.

“The guys are also starting to realize that this is a trip of a lifetime,” he added. “The guys have been complimented numerous times about their behavior and how well they represent DSU. That is always great to hear.”

The team, who is 14 hours ahead of us in Dickinson, visits Tiananmen Square and the Olympic Village today and then takes a 2½-hour flight to Xi’an at 9 p.m.

The team is in China for 10 days representing the university on a friendship tour that includes two basketball games at one of DSU’s partner universities, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangling, China. The team is scheduled to return April 8.