For some Utah Utes players, their basketball season will continue this summer. As part of a globalization initiative that the Pac-12 Conference is supporting, the conference announced on Friday, May 23 that 13 total players from conference member schools will participate in an All-Star tour in China later this summer.
Utah Utes forward Jordan Loveridge, a product of West Jordan, will head up the Utes contingent going overseas that will also include head coach Larry Krystkowiak, guard Brandon Taylor and center Jeremy Olsen.
Loveridge, who will be a junior next season, averaged 15 points and seven rebounds en route to helping Utah reach the NIT Tournament. Taylor was the team’s third leading scorer, averaging 10 points and three assists per game. And Olsen averaged five points per contest for Utah.
As part of this tour, the 13-man Pac-12 squad will take on a Chinese university team and three teams from the premier professional league in China, the Chinese Basketball Association. Among those three teams will include the Shanghai Sharks--owned by NBA legend Yao Ming--as well as the Guangdong Southern Tigers.
While the task ahead of Loveridge and the rest of his Pac-12 All-Star teammates seems daunting there will be time for rest and relaxation for these student-athletes. They will also participate in youth basketball clinics and do a little sightseeing.
"It's an honor to have the chance to represent the University of Utah and the Pac-12 in China this summer," Krystkowiak stated in a press release. "This is a great educational experience for everyone involved and I can't wait to work with this select group of outstanding student-athletes."
The players selected for this all-star tour include Loveridge, Taylor, Olsen, Andrew Andrews of Washington, Bo Barnes of Arizona State, Malcolm Duvivier and Cheikh N’Diaye of Oregon State, Jacob Hazzard of Arizona, Xavier Johnson of Colorado, Nikola Jovanovic of USC, Davonte Lacy of Washington State, Roger Moute a Bidias of Cal and Schuyler Rimmer of Stanford.