2k8 International Tour, Day 8: Athens

From February 21st through March 3rd, a group from Jordan Brand will travel to Europe to select 12 players for the inaugural International Game as part of the Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday, April 19th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The following is a blog and daily photo gallery from Kevin Foley, who will be along for the trip.

Athens (March 1): Despite only a few hours of sleep last night from packing more player bags, I popped right out of bed at 6 am to catch up on some emails before heading down to breakfast.  I am starting to realize that it is going to be a very tough transition back to Phoenix, Arizona on Monday -- but it's not like I am really on European time anyway.  I went down to breakfast ... and can I just say that I could eat a Greek breakfast seven days of the week?  The food is just so incredibly fresh.

The Athens camp began first thing in the morning with Tim Grover taking the court at Athens College.  It is always great to see such incredible athletes push themselves to their limits during his conditioning workout.  The players are not used to such challenges and Tim uses so many different drills that break them down.  It is a very humbling way to begin camp -- two hours without shooting a basketball and they are dripping with sweat.

During our lunch break, we went down the road to an amazing Greek-Italian restaurant.  We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  I had an incredible Greek salad with feta cheese, followed by chicken souvlaki.  It could not have been any better.

The afternoon and evening sessions followed with the same type of intensity as the morning.  The players really competed hard for the chance to go to New York City.  The kids represent nine different countries at this camp.

On the way home from the gym, our staff bus came across a demonstration in the heart of Athens.  All of a sudden we noticed police in riot gear on one side of the street and massive protestors on the other side.  It is not the best feeling in the world to be in the middle of these two groups when you have no idea what will happen.  Suddenly the protestors start to chant louder and move in different directions.  You hear the words from someone that is never good -- "the protestors are putting on their masks."  However, nothing ended up happening and as our bus was stuck in the middle of all the action, the demonstration started to break up.  Always a fun way to end a night though!

Tomorrow is the final full day of our tour.  We finish up with the team tournament and all-star game in the morning and hopefully some site-seeing around Athens in the afternoon.  Until then, good night!

The hallways at the Fresh Hotel