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Forbes turning team over to assistants on Euro trip

Joe Avento • Aug 6, 2019 at 11:53 PM

JOHNSON CITY — When the East Tennessee State men’s basketball team begins playing games on its European trip next week, the players won’t hear much from head coach Steve Forbes.

He’s turning the team over to his assistants.

The Bucs are scheduled to play three games, and each of Forbes’ three assistants will get one game as head coach.

“I’ll be there, but it’s a long year,” Forbes said. “They don’t need to hear me yelling and screaming. This gives those guys a chance to be a head coach.”

Jason Shay, BJ McKie and Brooks Savage will each get a shot at running the team.

“I talked to several coaching colleagues of mine that have done that,” Forbes said. “These guys deserve the opportunity. It gives them a little more ownership of the deal. I’m looking forward to them getting that opportunity.”

The Bucs leave Friday for a tour that has them playing against Pilzen in the Czech Republic on Monday, and two games in Budapest, against Valsa Academy on Wednesday and Ujpest-Megyeri Tigers on Monday, Aug. 19.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Bucs point guard Isaiah Tisdale said. “I’m just excited to fly and see the water out of the plane. I’m excited to experience different cultures.

“Before I came here, I asked Coach Forbes if we’re going on a foreign trip. He said we’re going on a legit foreign trip. He wasn’t kidding at all. Hopefully we’ll build a lot of chemistry. We’ll definitely have a good time and just enjoy life in a whole different part of the world. Some of our goals are to play overseas, so this will be a good experience of what it’s like over there.”

The team got 10 extra days of practice to prepare for the trip and it’s given some of the new players — like Joe Hugley, a graduate transfer from Central Connecticut State — a chance to fit in quicker.

“That’s important,” Hugley said. “We’ve had a couple of practices a day. Seeing how the guys play, knowing some of the plays we’re going to run through the year, it’s been good.

“I’ve been a couple places and it’s a little different, but I’m catching on pretty well.”

The Bucs will be gone 12 days and, in addition to the three games, there will be plenty of sightseeing. The itinerary also has the team visiting Munich, Prague, Salzburg and Vienna.

One of the stops will be the Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich.

“I think this trip is more of a cultural, educational experience for them,” Forbes said. “They get to see a part of the world they’ve never seen before. I think a lot of them will end up playing in that area over there. They get to see it and see how they fit in.”

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