Team USA receives warm welcome in first practice


It was quite the scene on Tuesday night when Kansas University men's basketball players took the court for their first practice in Korea and were surrounded by hundreds of students from Gwangju High School.

The Jayhawks practiced on the local court and the students watched from the stands, cheering on nearly every made basket, going wild on dunks, and even applauding Frank Mason III's ball handling.

None by Bobby Nightengale

Before the Jayhawks took the court for the beginning of practice, coach Bill Self shot around and after missing his first few shots, he went on a little run of made baskets, much to the delight of the hometown crowd.

Most students left about 20 minutes into the practice, which started at 7 p.m. local time, but the ones that stayed were rewarded with selfies with any of the Team USA player they could stop.

None by Mike Yoder

Students weren't the only ones who wanted to catch a glimpse of the Jayhawks. The shuttle driver for photographer Mike Yoder and myself asked me who the best players were so he could take pictures with his camera. A local Korean TV station also showed up, interviewing some of the students and capturing video of the practice.

Near the end of practice, security guards went into the upper deck to watch Team USA, giving hearty applauses when Wayne Selden Jr. and Mason drove past defenders for reverse layups.

The next practice is at 10 a.m. tomorrow, but alas, students will be in school and likely unable to attend.


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