For the second straight year, a group from Jordan Brand will travel to Europe -- this time to Vilnius, Lithuania -- for a two-day training camp with 40 of the top prospects in the world from March 4-9. Ten players will be selected as the Most Valuable Players from the camp and they will travel to the United States in April, along with six players from other regions of the world to compete in the second annual International Game as part of the Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday, April 18th 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.
Vilnius, Lithuania (March 5): When I left you last, I was wide-awake at 3 am. The positive to this? I was the first one in line for breakfast at 7 am. However, I am still awake 20 hours later writing my next daily blog at near midnight. For those keeping score, that is seven total hours of sleep (out of the last 54) since I left Phoenix on Tuesday morning. I actually feel great, but I cannot wait to close my eyes in a few minutes. I am watching The Family Guy on TV in the background ... not as funny in German.
Going back to breakfast this morning, there was a fantastic meal of croissants, meat, cheese, cereal, yogurt and fruit. I went back two extra times to the buffet. Did you see the ham sandwich from last night? I did feel a little guilty when a 6'5 guy sat at the table next to me with only a small glass of juice and a single hard-boiled egg. He missed out.
Since the rest of our team did not arrive in Vilnius until the afternoon, Marc and I spent the morning walking around Old Town taking some photos for the blog. Feel free to look through them below. The highlight of the walk? Having a guy stop to ask us directions in Lithuanian -- it marked the first time that I was pegged as a local and not an American tourist. A personal victory.
We finished off the day with a group dinner at the Helio Steakhouse, which was fantastic. I had a buffalo mozzarella salad, beef stroganoff (even though I ordered the beef sirloin and the waitress told me that I was wrong and had in fact ordered the stroganoff) and chocolate pana cotta. It hit the spot. The rest of our traveling party arrived from as far as Oregon and they were feeling the jet lag by the end of the meal. The one observation during dinner -- watching entire tables of diners get up to walk outside to smoke and then to return as a group. Repeat this multiple times.
Anyway, all of the top players in Europe arrive tomorrow for our training camp so we are excited to get everything started. We have the morning off to hopefully do a little more site-seeing and then we will be at the facility for player registration.