Aug. 8, 1997

Big Ten Men's All-Star Basketball Team Tours Europe

PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The 1997 Big Ten Men's All-Star basketball team departs for a 12-day tour through Europe on August 7. The All-Star team, led by Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, will play seven games against teams from England, France, Belgium and Germany. Izzo, who recently wrapped up his second season with the Spartans, will guide the Conference's select team on its eighth foreign tour. The tour is sponsored by ESPN Regional Television Sports and the Big Ten Conference.

The All-Stars will arrive in London, England on Friday, August 8. The squad will play its first three games in Stevenage, England, against teams from the top professional league in England. The first game will tip-off Friday night against the Derby Storm. The following night, the team suits up against the Sheffield Sharks. The All-Stars wrap-up play in England Sunday evening verses the London Leopards. The Leopards are the 1997 league champions and National Trophy winners. Following a day off, the All-Stars resume action against a team to be announced in Paris, France on August 12. On August 14-17, the All-Stars will compete in the 1997 Flanders Basketball Tournament in Wevelgem-Moorsele, Belgium. Game one will be against the 1997 Belgium club champions, the Charleroi Basketball Club. The second tournament game for the All-Stars is against the Rhondorf Basketball Club of Germany on August 15. Rhondorf made it to the 1997 German Final Four. The All-Stars wrap up the tour in the tournament final round against a team to be determined on August 17. While touring, the team will enjoy sightseeing in London, Paris and surrounding areas.

The 1997 Big Ten All-Star team features one player from each Big Ten school, with the exception of Michigan State and Northwestern, which have two representatives and Illinois, who was unable to send a student-athlete on this year's tour. This year's squad will be led by senior standout Ryan Bowen from Iowa. Bowen earned a third-team all-Big Ten selection from the media and honorable-mention honors from the coaches. Other notable players include Indiana guard Michael Lewis, Michigan forward/guard Jerod Ward, Ohio State guard NeShaun Coleman and Wisconsin guard Duany Duany.

Last year, the All-Stars compiled a 4-2 mark while touring Italy under the tutelage of Purdue's head coach Gene Keady. Previous tours have visited Argentina, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Sweden and Finland. In the seven previous tours, the Big Ten owns a 65-18 record.

1997 Foreign Tour Schedule

Date Opponent Site Aug. 8 Derby Storm Stevenage, Italy Aug. 9 Sheffield Sharks Stevenage, Italy Aug. 10 London Leopards Stevenage, Italy Aug. 12 TBA Paris, France Aug. 14 Charleroi Basketball Club of Belgium* Wevelgem-Moorsele, Belgium Aug. 15 Rhondorf Basketball Club of Germany* Wevelgem-Moorsele, Belgium Aug. 17 TBA* Wevelgem-Moorsele, Belgium * 1997 Flanders Basketball Tournament