Heading to the Land Down Under
Aug. 4, 2006
Bloomington, Ind. - For Indiana's Roderick Wilmont, the summer has been all about basketball, working on his game and bonding with the team. He'll wrap up the summer with the experience of a lifetime as he travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Aug. 4 for a few days of practice before heading to Australia with the Big Ten Foreign Tour team for a four-game stint in the land down under on Aug. 8-18.
To prepare for his visit, he's been talking to teammate and native Australian Ben Allen about what he can expect.
"It'll be my first time going to Australia. It's an honor to represent Indiana, and I'm going to go down there and have fun," Wilmont said. "I know a couple of the guys that are pretty good on the team. We only have a couple days to feel each other out, but we've all played basketball for a while. Hopefully we can just share the basketball experience and make it fun."
For Wilmont, the trip to Australia is the culmination of countless off-season workouts with his teammates. The Miramar, Fla., native said that this has been the most productive summer of his college career.
"We get to play every day, feel each other out, and that's what we need. It's the first time that's happened (during the summer) since I've been here," Wilmont said.
He has bonded with his teammates off the court as well.
"We've done a lot as a team," Wilmont said. "We have Playstation night, and go bowling. Guys always get together now, and it's all together as a team. I think that's going to help us in the long run."
In addition to the preparation with his teammates, Wilmont has been focusing on different aspects of his game, most notably, his ball handling skills.
"I still shoot a lot, but my main focus this summer was my technique, especially my ball handling to tune up my game," Wilmont said. "When the season comes around I'll probably be on the gun a lot more, just like how I was last season."
He and his teammates have also been hitting the weight room. Wilmont claims he's gained about 10 pounds this summer. He says all of his teammates will benefit from strength and conditioning coach Jeff Watkinson's off-season program.
Although he is excited about the experience of going to Australia and playing with some of the best players in the league, he is also looking ahead to his final season as a Hoosier.
"I think (the trip) will help me a little bit, playing with guys who are pretty good too. But when we get back, it's about our grind and getting ready for the season. It's going to be a tough year and we just need to get ready."
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