2k8 International Tour: Heading Back

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.

Travel Day  (March 3): It is not easy going to bed at midnight and getting up at 3:30 at the end of this 12-day European trip.  Fortunately everyone managed to get up on time and we boarded the bus to the airport.  The next thing I knew, we were at the airport unloading the bus.  We found out that our flight was delayed two hours -- not a big deal for me since I had a 5-hour layover in Frankfurt, but it forced some of our Nike folks who were heading to Portland on alternate routes.  The first leg of the trip (from Athens to Frankfurt) was absolutely beautiful.  We took off from the airport and the view of the city was just spectacular.

The flight home also gave me a chance to reflect on a lot of things with the tour.  I don't think I have ever laughed as much as I did in a two-week period and I owe a lot of that to our Jordan crew --  Ilona, Micha, Reham, Ron, Mike, Raphael, Ganon, Tim, Marin, Susan, and our film crew of Kofi, Brook, Kelly, Marcus and Dallas.  Plus all of the country managers and local Nike representatives.  From walking through the mud in a Lithuanian forest when our car got stuck, to a team dinner at a beautiful family restaurant in Rome, to standing at the Acropolis overlooking Athens, there were some lasting memories off the basketball court.   On the hardwood, we were able to connect with 100 of the top kids in Europe and show them training techniques that can help them have successful careers.  As Raphael put it in the closing press conference, here we were at camps with upwards of twelve different countries being represented at some -- however, the kids were able to put aside cultural and political differences and just play basketball.  It is an experience that I will always remember for the rest of my life and I hope to be a part of the the Jordan tours in the future.  Thank you for following along over the last two-weeks.   We can't wait to see everyone at the Jordan Brand Classic in New York City on April 19th to put the final touch on this tour.

Checking in at the airport in Athens