Sam Griesel isn’t the only college basketball player from Lincoln picking up international experience this summer.
In late July, former Lincoln High all-stater Jason Towery (now a senior at Missouri-St. Louis) and former East all-stater Jordan Janssen (now a sophomore at Wayne State) were part of an NCAA Division II all-star men’s team that spent a week in Brazil. They went 4-0 against some of the top club teams on top of experiencing educational, cultural and social aspects of Brazilian life.
Griesel, the former East Super-Stater who is now a sophomore at North Dakota State, played on Germany’s bronze medal team in the FIBA U-20 European Championships in Israel last month. His college team just completed a trip to Puerto Rico this past weekend.
“We couldn’t let Sam have all the fun this summer,” Janssen said, laughing. “I’ve never traveled internationally before, so it was certainly an eye-opening experience for me. I learned a lot about international basketball and about life in Brazil.”
The 6-foot-7 Janssen played center on the all-star team, and he said it took some adjusting to the more liberal international rules on goaltending and matching up against different-style centers.
“I was going against guys who were older and bigger than I was and pretty crafty,” said Janssen, a forward for Wayne State where he averaged 11.7 points and 8.4 rebounds last season as a freshman. “It was a lot of fun to compete against those guys.”
The team conducted a youth clinic in the city of Jundiai. They stayed near the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro and toured Christ the Redeemer statute, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Ipanema Beach and the Lapa Steps.
“It was neat to see all the stuff you see in movies,” Janssen said.
The trip also gave Janssen a chance to get know Towery, who was a senior all-stater for the Links when Janssen was a freshman at East.
“I knew of him (Towery) because he was a really good player, but with the age difference between us, I didn’t know him well,” Janssen said. “We’ve become really good friends now.”