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    Blogging From Belgium

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    Northwestern assistant coach Pat Baldwin as well as NU redshirt junior JerShon Cobb and redshirt freshman Sanjay Lumpkin are currently touring in Belgium with a Global Sports Academy team. The U.S. squad posted 78-72 victory over Leuven SALB Belgian in its first exhibition game Saturday in Leuven. Lumpkin was a standout on the defensive end, posting seven rebounds and a pair of steals. Cobb battled foul trouble throughout the contest but hit back-to-back jumpers in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. The team's next game is slated for 3 p.m. local time Sunday in Gent.


    Lumpkin checks in with this blog entry on the team's experience so far.


    The flight from Chicago to Brussels was pretty long but I had an exit row which made it easier for me. After we landed, we got our passports stamped and we loaded the bus to Mechelen where our hotel was located. I tried to take as many pictures as I could to take everything in. We arrived at the hotel a few hours before practice. Coach Baldwin gave us the option to take a nap or walk around the town for a little bit.  


    The following day, Coach Baldwin and the team put on a clinic for the Belgian Federation of Coaches at the Pitzemburg Arena. We focused primarily on the defensive end, which allowed me to tune up my defensive game. After the clinic, we boarded the bus and headed to Brussels. It was great to see a lot of the monuments and the really cool architecture. We saw where the King and Queen of Belgium live. We even caught the tail end of some weddings that were held in Brussels Square.


    The highlight of our trip into Brussels Square was getting our hands on some Belgian waffles. Belgium is known for its waffles and the entire team made a beeline to one of the waffle stands. It tasted even better because it cost only 1 Euro or a little over $1. We walked around for a while and took pictures with many tourists. It was cool to have so many people want to take pictures with us. Many thought we were in the NBA.  


    Afterwards, we loaded back on the bus. I took a power nap before we stopped for some more sightseeing. We caught a glimpse of the Atomium. The Atomium is a symbol of the 1958 World Exposition which was held in Belgium. We also saw the Koekelberg which is the largest church in Belgium.  

    JerShon Cobb and Sanjay Lumpkin


    We arrived at the arena around 7 p.m. The first thing I noticed was how confusing the court appeared. The court was littered with the lines for volleyball, handball and other sport they play there. It was great playing against international competition and the different set of rules. They use a 24-second shot clock, 8 seconds to get the ball across half court and they have a wider lane like the NBA.  


    The Leuven team we played against was very tall and had a couple of 18-year-old kids who were pretty good. I had never seen so many ballscreens in my life. It was a really good game and we had to work for everything. It was a five-point game after the first three quarters before we pulled away in the fourth quarter. I am very happy we are 1-0 and picked up the "W."


    After the game, we had dinner in the arena's club area before we headed back to our hotel in Mechelen. I thought I was going to be tired but I felt completely fine. I stayed up for a little bit before calling it a night.


    We spreken later nog af. In Flemish this phrase means "We'll speak to each other later!"

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