NORTH LIBERTY — No Iowa player is more excited for this August’s overseas trip than incoming junior Gabe Olaseni.
Olaseni, a 6-foot-10 center, hails from London. He will get to play three times in his hometown in front of his family, friends and former coaches. He estimates about 100 of his entourage will attend those games.
“It’s pretty cool,” Olaseni said Sunday at the Prime Time League. “The coaches didn’t have to do that. They could have went anywhere in the world, and they decided to come to London. That’s pretty cool. They knew my parents hadn’t been over for a game yet.”
College programs get to take a foreign trip every four years, and this is Coach Fran McCaffery’s first with the Iowa program. In 2009, the team played three games in Greece and Italy. This year, the Hawkeyes will play six games, including others in France.
The trip’s details were a surprise to Olaseni.
“(Coach McCaffery) just said it in passing like it really didn’t mean anything,” Olaseni said. “One day I was over at his house and his wife actually mentioned it to me that he wanted to go to London. I was like, ‘OK.’ I didn’t brush it off, but it was in the back of my mind.
“He told me the exact date, and it became real.”
Olaseni then surprised his mother with the news.
“I didn’t tell my mom until I went back a few weeks ago,” he said. “She thought I was coming back the following May, and I told her before I left I was coming back in August. She was pretty happy about that.”
Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff led with 29 points. Zach McCabe added 27. Other scorers include Anthony Clemmons 25, Olaseni 25, Adam Woodbury 23, Peter Jok 22, Mike Gesell 21 and Kyle Meyer 9.
Iowa’s Devyn Marble and Aaron White did not play Sunday. They are traveling Monday to Colorado Springs to try out for the U.S. national team for next month’s World University Games in Russia.
Guard Josh Oglesby did not play after suffering a finger injury last month. Forward Melsahn Basabe is not competing in the Prime Time League this summer.
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