Nov. 24, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Ala. -
After a 3,535-mile trek and more than eight hours on an airplane, the Northern Illinois men's basketball team arrived in Anchorage, Ala., late Monday afternoon, and will embark on its first-ever appearance in one of college basketball's most storied pre-season tournaments, the Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 26-29).
The Huskies departed the Convocation Center at 6 a.m. Monday morning, and bussed to Chicago O'Hare Airport for their initial flight to Minneapolis, Minn. After a short layover, the team boarded a full-capacity aircraft to Anchorage, a five-hour and 30-minute flight.
After exiting the plane in Anchorage, the team was greeted by a group of local high school cheerleaders, who held up signs in support of NIU and the Great Alaska Shootout. The team and attending staff was given a short tour of the city on the bus ride from the airport to the hotel, where a reindeer named "Star" was spotted, one of the trip's early highlights.
The team then checked into the hotel, and left for a one-hour practice at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Alaska-Anchorage. All games in the Great Alaska Shootout will be played at Sullivan Arena, an off-campus facility.
All three of the Northern Illinois men's basketball team's games in the 2008 Great Alaska Shootout will be available via a live video stream. Alaska-Anchorage is offering a "Splash Zone" package, which includes an all-tournament subscription for $19.95 or single-session usage for $9.95 per day.
Sophomore center Sean Kowal, along with Alaska native and NIU director of basketball operations Scott Stevens, will be providing online blogs for fans to follow the Huskies' trip to Alaska. Stay tuned to NIUHuskies.com for more details.