A busy schedule awaits the UConn coaches and players before the Huskies take on Michigan State in the Armed Forces Classic (6 p.m., ESPN) Friday at Ramstein Air Base.
“We’ve just got to take care of our bodies, it’s a long trip,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said after a practice Monday that lasted about 90 minutes. “It’s about eight hours. Then we’ve got to get on the bus for about an hour and 30 [minutes] to get to the base. Both teams have to do it.”
The business part of the trip for the Huskies will be playing No. 14 Michigan State. After two exhibition victories, this one counts for real.
But in addition to the game, the Huskies have a busy itinerary on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday leading up to the game, which will be played at midnight in Germany. They will visit wounded warrior hospitals, take a flight in a C-130 plane, conduct a clinic for children on the base and have other interactions with airmen and airwomen.
An added bonus for UConn will be the homecoming for players Niels Giffey (Berlin), Enosch Wolf (Goetingen) and Leon Tolksdorf (Berlin). All will have family and friends at the game, as will R.J. Evans, who has a cousin living in Germany.
|Leon Tolksdorf, Enosch Wolf, Niels Giffey (Ken Davis)|
“I hope it will be a big-time learning experience [for the players],” Ollie said. “It puts life in perspective. It let’s them understand they have these liberties and freedoms because of our wonderful troops. . . . There are a lot of things they get and they have to understand they don’t get it just because of freedom. They get it by the hard work of other people, sacrificing their lives for us to live over here in a free country.”
UConn’s official travel party will include former coach Jim Calhoun, who will make his debut as a radio commentator for the game. Calhoun will join Joe D’Ambrosio on the broadcast for the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network. Calhoun will fill in for color commentator Wayne Norman, who will remain in Connecticut and join Bob Joyce in the radio broadcast of UConn’s football game against Pittsburgh Friday night at Rentschler Field.
UConn’s tentative itinerary is listed below. And in the video below Giffey, a junior swingman, talks about the trip back to Germany.
UCONN TENTATIVE SCHEDULE IN GERMANY
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
9:45 A.M. (Germany Time) -- - Arrival Frankfort International Airport
11 A.M. (Germany Time) --- UConn Basketball Team Study Hall on Bus (5 a.m. EST)
1:00 P.M. (Germany Time)----Arrival at Ramstein Air Base—(7:00 a.m.EST)
3:30 P.M. (Germany Time)---Depart Hotel for Landstuhl Wounded Warrior Hospital (9:30 a.m. EST)
3:30 p.m. (Germany Time)—30-Minute Bus Trip to Landstuhl Hospital (9:30-10:00 a.m. EST)
4:00 p.m. (Germany Time)—Coach and Two Players at Landstuhl Hospital—other players and coaches at USO Center for wounded warriors interaction (10:00 EST)
5:30 p.m. (Germany Time)—30-minute bus trip back to Ramstein Air Base (11:30 a.m. EST)
6:00 (Germany Time)---Air Force Wounded Warrior Center Visit-30 Minutes-On Base
8:00-10:00 P.M. (Germany Time)---UConn Practice/Base Fitness Center-(2:00-4:00 p.m. EST)
10:30 P.M. (Germany Time)---UConn Travel Party Dinner—(4:30 p.m.EST)
Thursday, November 8, 2012
11:30 A.M. (Germany Time) ---C-130 Flight ---Max 30 People (5:30 a.m. EST)
1:30-3:30 P.M. (Germany Time) --- UConn Basketball Team Study Hall (7:30-9:30 a.m. EST)
7:00 P.M. (Germany Time) ---Kids Clinic---100 Children From Base-(1:00 p.m. EST)
8:00-10:00 P.M. (Germany Time) ---UConn Practice/Fitness Center---Open Practice (2:00-4:00 p.m. EST)
8:30 P.M. (Germany Time)—Hangar 5 (Game Court) Walkthru With ESPN
Friday, November 9, 2012
11:00 A.M. (Germany Time)—Hangar 1-Appreciation Day-Team Meet With Airmen/Women (5:00 a.m. EST)
2:30-3:30 P.M. (Germany Time) --- UConn Practice on Game Court—(8:30-9:30 a.m. EST)
4:30-6:30 P.M. (Germany Time) --- UConn Basketball Team Study Hall (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST)
6:00-8:00 P.M. (Germany Time)--VIP Function at Officer’s Club—(12:00-2:00 p.m. EST)
12 midnight (Germany Time)--UConn vs. Michigan St. Armed Forces Classic--(6:00 p.m. EST)
Saturday, November 10, 2012
8:45 A.M. (Germany Time) --- UConn travel party depart Ramstein Air Base---(2:45 a.m. EST)
10:30 A.M. (Germany Time) ---Arrive Frankfort International Airport—(4:30 a.m. EST)
1:45 P.M. (Germany Time)--Depart Frankfort International Airport—(7:45 a.m. EST) Flight Time---9 Hours, 5 Minutes
4:50 P.M. (EST)---Arrive JFK Airport—New York
6:00-6:30 P.M. (EST) --- Buses Depart Kennedy Airport for Storrs
9:00-9:30 P.M. (EST) ---Arrive UConn Campus in Storrs, CT