K-State likely postponing summer trip to Europe
When Bruce Weber originally arranged for the Kansas State men’s basketball team to take a trip to Europe for a string of exhibition games this summer, the timing felt perfect.
The Wildcats are bringing in a large recruiting class of at least five freshmen and one transfer. Weber wanted to introduce them to K-State’s returning players and then have them spend valuable time together on a foreign excursion that teams are permitted to take once every four years. It sounded like an ideal way to get a head start on the 2020-21 college basketball season.
As good as that all sounds, the trip will likely be postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is probably a longshot,” Weber said in a phone interview. “It’s disappointing, because we thought it would be a perfect year with a lot of new guys coming. We have just got to deal with it the best we can.”
K-State was supposed to travel to Germany, Denmark and Norway over the summer, allowing the Wildcats to do a little sightseeing and play five exhibition games against foreign competition.
But those plans are almost certainly going to change as sports across the world are on hold and international travel is restricted.
It’s unclear when or if KState basketball players will be permitted on campus for summer practices at the team’s training facility.
International travel is also currently banned or limited to
only essential travelers in many countries.
“We have been talking with a (travel agent) for about a month about it,” Weber said. “I called him when this stuff started in Italy. We were supposed to head to Denmark, Norway and Germany and there was nothing there.
But Germany has a lot of cases and the other countries are getting it. It has spread everywhere.
“I haven’t canceled it yet. We are looking into some alternatives, even Canada, but now the borders are closed there, so it’s not looking good.”
Weber grasps the severity of the situation, so he won’t complain if the Wildcats ultimately have to adjust their summer plans. Before the Big 12 Tournament canceled the final three rounds of its basketball tournament earlier this month, Weber said he understood the reasoning.
He went so far as to say “I don’t want to die” from overexposure to others.
Assuming things calm down by the time summer 2021 rolls around, Weber said the Wildcats will most likely postpone their next foreign trip until then.
“It would have been a nice trip this summer,” Weber said. “If we can’t go, we will push it back to next year. That will be fine, because we will have quite a few guys that will be returning.”