News From Terre Haute, Indiana

College

September 21, 2013

Indiana State hoops trio enjoyed offseason overseas development trips

Sycamores Justin Gant, Manny Arop and Brandon Burnett made strides in team atmospheres

TERRE HAUTE — Anyone who has visited a foreign land knows how much it can enrich one’s life.

Indiana State men’s basketball players Manny Arop, Brandon Burnett and Justin Gant all learned that first-hand as each went on separate international trips this season.

What they also learned is that a trip overseas can help them on the basketball court as well.

Each Sycamore had a little bit of a different experience as they globe-trotted. Burnett, a sophomore in the upcoming season, took a “traditional” trip with a team of Midwestern-based players to Belgium, England and the Netherlands with a team representing the Global Sports Academy in August.

Gant, a junior, went to Ivory Coast in western Africa in July and August with Athletes In Action, an organization devoted to using basketball as a conduit for missionary work in the Christian faith.

Arop, a senior, had a double-dip of international experience as he played on the Canadian Men’s Development Team that participated in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia in July. Before the Canadians got to Russia, they played a series of exhibitions in China in June.

“All three of those guys had tremendous experiences and we have to thank a lot of people because it’ll be something they talk about the rest of their lives,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said.

Oh Canada ... Arop goes global

Once the spring semester ended at ISU, Arop hit the road for his country.

Arop’s family emigrated to Canada (specifically, Saskatchewan) when he was 9. His family came from war-torn Sudan via Kenya. Arop has dual citizenship in Sudan and Canada.

He has represented Canada before in its National Elite Development Academy. He played in the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina in 2008.

“I’ve been doing it since I was 17. Anytime I get an opportunity to represent Canada, it’s an honor. I was blessed to be able to be part of a good team that competed internationally,” Arop said.

The Canadian Developmental Team trained first in Portland, Ore. The idea was to get accustomed to one another, but Arop said that process was easy.

“We did a great job playing together. A lot of us knew each other growing up, whether we played AAU or in an international tournament together. It was a kind of reunion. It was fun,” Arop said.

Next was a trip to central China where several of the national teams headed to the World University Games — or Universiade, as its known worldwide — played a series of warm-up exhibitions. Arop’s Canadian served notice they’d be a force to be reckoned with in Kazan as they went 9-0, including several wins against the United States.

Upon arrival in Kazan — a central Russian city about 500 miles east of Moscow — the Canadians kept on winning.

Canada won its group, including a 94-85 victory over the United States. Canada advanced through the medal stage before it lost a semifinal match, 78-68 to Russia on its home floor. Canada then fell 87-74 to Serbia in the bronze medal game.

“It was great competition. We had some players who play at the highest level here and a lot of players who play in Canada. To be able to have two months of great competition in the summer? That’s a blessing,” Arop said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the gold.”

Arop didn’t say it, but also unfortunate was that Arop didn’t get consistent playing time. He came off the bench and didn’t play in a few of Canada’s games.

“He didn’t get the minutes he would’ve liked and he’s hungry. He was texting us and calling us about how excited he was to get back with his guys. He knows it was a great accomplishment, but it made him hungrier because of the playing time he got,” said Lansing, who also noted what an honor it was to have an international player on the roster.

As for the experience, Arop wouldn’t trade it. The World University Games are akin to the Olympics (ISU women’s track and field thrower Felisha Johnson and ISU men’s track and field hurdler Greggmar Swift also competed) and Arop enjoyed the interaction and the hospitality given in Kazan.

“It was a blast. The whole set-up was great. They had a village there and it was great to be around athletes from different countries and cultures. We saw some of the best athletes in the world. The city was so welcoming,” Arop said.

Gant in Africa

Gant, a Terre Haute native, didn’t necessarily have an international trip in mind in the offseason, but when a spot opened on the Athletes In Action team headed to the Ivory Coast, he jumped at it.

“I played AAU with [Wright State’s] Kendall Griffin. They had a forward spot open and Kendall told them about me. It seemed like an interesting opportunity. I always wanted to go on a mission trip, so when the opportunity came I was excited about it,” Gant said.

Gant raised money for the trip in a fundraiser at his church and in a public event at Terre Haute’s Buffalo Wild Wings. A team primarily comprised of Midwestern-based players made the 21-hour journey to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the largest city in the west African nation in late July.

Among those with the AIA team was former Indiana Pacer and CBS broadcaster Clark Kellogg. His son Nick, who plays at Ohio University, went on the trip.

Ivory Coast, or Cote d’Ivoire as it’s self-identified, is better off than some of its west African neighbors, but it’s still a developing country. It was a stark contrast to what Gant was used to in the United States.

“It was definitely a culture shock. There’s a lot of things that go on we’re not used to. It was cool to meet with people over there and see the different world views they have and how they live their lives,” Gant said.

The language difference — Ivory Coast is a former French colony and Abidjan is the third-largest French-speaking city in the world — was one of the biggest barriers, but Gant enjoyed the competition. AIA played against teams from Congo, Tunisia and Cape Verde.

“We played against guys who were a lot older and experienced. Tunisia was well-coached and had some big guys. There were different styles and some different rules, so it was interesting to see how we did against that,” Gant said.

Of course, the missionary aspect of the trip was also an emphasis for AIA’s players.

“With Athletes In Action, they share their faith along with playing basketball. Justin had a tremendous experience,” Lansing said.

Burnett to Europe

Burnett is hoping to earn some more minutes in ISU’s rotation in the upcoming season. So the chance to get game time was something he jumped at.

The Global Sports Academy team was Midwest-based. Evansville’s Ryan Sawvell and Purdue’s Te’ron Johnson were Burnett’s teammates on the trip. Most of the games on the trip played were in Belgium, and in all of the major Belgian cities, but games were also played in Holland (Amsterdam) and London.

Burnett said they had time to sightsee. Usually, sightseeing would take place in the morning with games in the evening.

“[Europe] was a different, but I liked it, I liked it a lot. It’s a lot more relaxed. People are a lot more worried about their governments,” Burnett said.

Global Sports Academy played five games and went 4-1 primarily against Belgian teams International rules were used.

Statistics were not kept, but Burnett admitted that he didn’t have a lot of respect for European basketball before the trip, but the experience changed his mind.

“Their style of play is great. I gained a lot more respect for the players over there. They play hard. I used to look down on them, but now I have a lot of respect for them,” Burnett said.

As for his improving game, seeing the game in a different way is what Burnett thought benefited him most.

“It just gives you a different style of play. You see the court different to get your teammates open. It helped in a lot of aspects,” Burnett said.

Lansing reinforced Burnett’s decision to go to Europe as he has seen the Arizona native improve from last season.

“He didn’t get to play a lot last year, so for him to get game experience at any level is tremendous. He’s put in tons and tons of work. You can see the difference in him. It’s really going to help him get quality minutes for us,” Lansing said.

In the end, international trips are for personal enhancement, but the hope is that it also serves to make the players better for the Sycamores.

ISU had one of its first full-team workouts last week. Arop thinks the international trips will serve the Sycamores well.

“Everyone did a great job of developing their game. Gant went to Africa. Brandon went to Europe,” said Arop, who said the improvement wasn’t restricted to the jet-setters.

“J.O. was always in the gym. We had guys doing different things to improve their games. Everyone went and did something. You could see it in this first workout today that everyone got better and grew maturity-wise,” Arop added.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
College
  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • Metro: Former Miss Softball joins Purdue staff

    Terre Haute North graduate Megan Ciolli Bartlett, the state’s 2001 Miss Softball and a two-time All-American at Notre Dame, is joining the Purdue coaching staff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

  • ReedUK.jpg A.J. Reed makes it 5 for 5 in college baseball awards with Golden Spikes Award

    When it came down to it, college baseball’s electors agreed that there was no award Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed didn’t deserve for his remarkable 2014 season at Kentucky.
    Reed was selected Thursday as the 2014 Golden Spikes Award winner, given annually to the top amateur player in the nation by USA Baseball, making Reed a unanimous pick as the national player of the year.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • MVC to shift women's basketball tournament to Moline, Ill.

    The Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament will move 90 miles farther from Terre Haute beginning in 2016, the league announced Thursday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Metro: ISU-IU football game to be on ESPNEWS

    Indiana University announced Wednesday that the season opening game between Indiana State and IU will be played at noon on Sept. 30.

    July 16, 2014

  • Riley 10s go 4-1, place second in state tourney

    Riley’s 10-and-under all-star team finished as runner-up over the weekend at the Cal Ripken baseball Central Indiana tournament.

    July 14, 2014

  • Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team

    Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.

    July 11, 2014

  • odum.jpg Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play

    Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018

    Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.

    July 9, 2014

  • mundy.jpg College report: Former Patriot runner Mundy is ‘proud to be a Hoosier’

    After redshirting the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year, Chanli Mundy was eager to do one thing recently as she prepared to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Eugene, Oregon. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is being able to wear an IU uniform,” she said last week prior to making her cross-country trip.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers

    Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.

    July 7, 2014

  • Terre Haute's A.J. Reed joins Manziel as an SEC Athlete of Year

    University of Kentucky baseball star A.J. Reed of Terre Haute and Florida softball standout Hannah Rogers have been named 2013-14 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year, according to a voting by the league’s athletics directors.
    “A.J. and Hannah are true examples of outstanding student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday. “They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics, and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence, have been successful in their endeavors. They are fine representatives of their universities and this conference.”

    July 1, 2014

  • SPT063014 loyd .jpg A new era: ‘Bittersweet day’ as Loyd takes over for ailing Shaw as Rose-Hulman men’s basketball coach

    Rose-Hulman President James Conwell couldn’t have been more accurate Monday afternoon when he called it “a bittersweet day” for his school.

    June 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Reed adds two-way award to collection

    Seeking to become the third unanimous national Player of the Year in Southeastern Conference history, Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed has been named winner of the 2014 John Olerud Award, given annually to the nation’s top two-way player, according to an announcement Friday from the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

    June 27, 2014

  • Metro: ISU’s Wise starts out well in USATF championships

    Indiana State sprinter Katie Wise advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters as she ran 11.42 seconds in the opening heat of the event Thursday evening at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

    June 27, 2014

  • SPT021914ISUMBB odum.jpg ISU's Odum talks about agreeing to play for Pacers' summer-league team

    No team selected him in the two-round NBA draft Thursday night, but Terre Haute native and four-year Indiana State basketball standout Jake Odum agreed Friday to play for the Indiana Pacers’ summer-league squad next month.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • SPT 030914 ODUM FILE.jpg Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever

    First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.

    June 25, 2014 6 Photos

  • Metro roundup: Odum to work out with Lakers

    Terre Haute native and former Indiana State guard Jake Odum will have two more workouts before next Thursday’s NBA Draft. Odum will work out with the Los Angeles Lakers today. Odum will have a second workout with the Orlando Magic next week before the draft.

    June 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Terre Haute’s Reed earns 4th national honor

    Recent University of Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has been named National Player of the Year and first-team All-America, according to an announcement made Wednesday afternoon by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

    June 18, 2014

  • NCAA Championships At_Pear.jpg Swift breaks ISU hurdles record, takes fourth place at NCAAs

    Senior Greggmar Swift broke the school record in the 110 meter hurdles, as Indiana State picked up two All-Americans in the final day of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Swift’s five points in the event gave the men’s team five points for the meet and a 44th place finish in the nation. The women got 3 points from Mary Theisen in the shot put to place 51st in the nation.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.J. Reed chosen as 28th Dick Howser Trophy recipient

    University of Kentucky junior pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed, who enjoyed possibly the greatest individual season in UK history in 2014, is the 28th recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations, as college baseball’s Player of the Year.
    The presentation was made Saturday during a national news conference at TD Ameritrade Park, site of the 2014 College World Series.
     

    June 14, 2014

  • SPT061214 ISUMBB parker.jpg New ISU coach Parker makes first impression

    Indiana State assistant coach Terry Parker hasn’t had too much time to make a first impression.
    Officially hired in late April, but identified as Dave Ragland’s replacement on Greg Lansing’s staff long before that, there haven’t been many team activities for Parker to take part in since he joined ISU’s staff from Utah Valley.

    June 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Greggmar Swift advances to NCAA hurdles final

    Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to highlight Indiana State’s performances during day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.

    June 13, 2014

  • SPT 112313 NCAA 01MASCARI.jpg Terre Haute's Mascari earns All-American finish in 10,000 meters

    Indiana State sophomore John Mascari finished 11th in the NCAA Championships in the 10,000-meter run Wednesday night at historic Hayward Field.

    June 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reed signs with Astros

    A.J. Reed’s Wednesday was already pretty good when he was named Baseball America’s College Player of the Year in the morning. In the afternoon, it got even better for the Terre Haute native. The Houston Astros, who drafted Reed with the first pick of the second round in last week’s Major League Baseball draft, announced that they had agreed to a deal with Reed. According to several sources, Reed signed his deal for $1.35 million.

    June 11, 2014

  • Metro sports: Cassell wins Lawrence County title

    Chris Cassell put together two rounds of 4-under-par 68 for a two-shot victory for his first Albright Motors Lawrence County Open championship on Sunday.

    June 9, 2014

  • Pair of Sycamores selected in Major League Baseball draft

    Two Indiana State baseball players were chosen in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft Saturday.
    Senior shortstop Tyler Wampler, a 2010 graduate of West Vigo High School, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round (519th overall) and junior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went to the San Diego Padres in the 27th round (807th overall).

    June 7, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity