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OSU Men's Basketball Team Headed To Spain

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Coach Travis Ford announces Oklahoma State men's basketball team to play 10-day international tour in Spain. Coach Travis Ford announces Oklahoma State men's basketball team to play 10-day international tour in Spain.
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma State is going to warm up for the basketball season in a way it never has before.

The OSU men's basketball squad will travel to Spain this August for a 10-day foreign basketball tour. OSU coach Travis Ford announced the plans on Saturday.

OSU will play five games against international competition prior to the 2012-13 regular season.

"We're excited to take advantage of this opportunity," Ford said in a press release. "This provides us with a terrific chance to improve as a basketball team. It gives us an extra 10 days of practicing and preparing for games, which will put us ahead of the curve once the season starts.

"It is also a wonderful opportunity for the guys on our team to visit a different culture in another part of the world, and learn a little in the process. It will serve as an educational experience as well, while giving our guys a chance to bond and build even better team chemistry."

This will be the first foreign tour that the Cowboy basketball team has taken but not the first it has attempted. In 1995, former coach Eddie Sutton scheduled a to participate in the R. William Jones Cup in Taiwan, but because of scheduling, the players were not allowed to travel, resulting in a makeshift Big Eight All-Star team making the trip.

Oklahoma State's current crop of players is excited for the opportunity.

"For me, this will be a new experience," sophomore forward Michael Cobbins said. "It's a great opportunity to do something different with our basketball team. It will also give us a chance to go up against some other competition before basketball season starts. I'll also spend my birthday over there, so that will be different. I'm looking forward to seeing a different part of the world. As far as the team is concerned, it will give us a chance to bring in the newcomers and bond with the guys who have been here for the last couple of years."

Sophomore guard Brian Williams echoed the sentiment.

"This is an excellent opportunity to build team chemistry," Williams said. "We've got a lot of chemistry with the core players, but it will be nice to get the new players in and see what we can get out of them. As far as traveling overseas, I expect it to be tough, but it will bring us closer together and let us bond better as a team. We will only have each other overseas."

The NCAA gives teams the opportunity to traveling outside the U.S. to face international competition once every four years. The trip is being fully funded by private donations raised by the men's basketball program.

The Cowboys will leave Stillwater on Aug. 8, first heading to Barcelona, Spain, for four nights. The first opponent on the schedule is the Dutch U20 national team on Aug. 10. The following day OSU will play CB Cornella, a professional team from the Barcelona area. On Aug. 12, OSU will again face the Dutch U20 team.

The Cowboys will spend the remainder of the trip on Grand Canary Island. Their first game will be against a Canarias Basketball Academy alumni team on Aug. 15., before facing the Canary Islands Select team on Aug. 17.

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