LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – A few members of the Siena College men’s basketball team will be headed to Europe to play ball.
College basketball players and coaches are working hard during the off season to get ready for the 2014-2015 year.
Greg Manning is the assistant coach of the Siena basketball team during the regular season. But next week, he will get a glimpse into head coaching as he leads a team of college players in a basketball tournament in Europe.
“It gives me obviously a chance to be a head coach for a couple days, a couple games, so I’m really looking forward to that,” he said.
His nine-player roster includes Troy graduate Javion Ogunyemi and his Siena teammate Lavon Long.
“Javion and Lavon are two guys we are really going to count on next year and to have them come with us is great,” Manning said.
Manning feels the European style of team basketball will be something the players can use at Siena. In addition, they will be playing against pro teams which will give them an edge when they return to college.
“We are playing such high major league players that when I come back, I’ll be prepared,” Long said. “If not more prepared than other people.”
The team will play six games in ten days with stops in Brussels, London, Amsterdam and Paris. Manning has coached the team before overseas, but for guys like Long, this is a new experience.
“I’ve never been outside of the country aside from Canada, and I feel like it’s going to be a great experience for me,” he said. “I’m playing pro teams, and I’m seeing a new place, new style of things, so I’m equally excited.”
“The basketball part is great, but as far as experience for these young guys to see the world is even better,” Manning said.