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Europe trip a thrill for Pikiell, Stony Brook

Seawolves head coach Steve Pikiell, left, and senior

Seawolves head coach Steve Pikiell, left, and senior forward Danny Carter pose outside of Windsor Castle in England. Carter is from Windsor. (Aug. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: Stony Brook

When I first got to Stony Brook seven years ago, taking a team to Europe seemed unrealistic. But we’ve built a program here and we’ve taken some major steps that have brought us close to where we want to be. And so I’m glad we have had the opportunity to do it with this team this season.

The trip was more than we could have hoped for. We had no troubles getting in and out of the countries; we had great weather; we saw some great historical sites; and we played good basketball. This was a great start to the year, and I hope we only continue that when practice starts in October and the season starts in November.

There are a lot of people that I need to thank for helping throughout the process of this trip. Thanks to our senior staff, Jim Fiore, Donna Woodruff and Matt Larsen, for supporting this trip.

I want to thank my staff Jay Young, Dan Rickard, Lamar Chapman and Ricky Lucas for organizing the trip. They did a fantastic job and they are a great group to work with.

Thank you, Ben Scheffler and the entire Basketball Travelers group for helping set up the trip by organizing the teams, hotels and bus rides. Ben was a terrific host while on the trip.

I want to thank all the teams for hosting us. The folks at Killester, UCD Marian, Midnight Madness, Milton Keynes and Charenton were more than hospitable to us, and it was an honor to play against them.

I want to thank all the bus drivers, tour guides, hotel managers and restaurant managers who helped us throughout the trip. They were invaluable.

And I especially want to thank the staff at Newsday for giving us this space to share our experiences. This was a unique trip for Stony Brook University, and I’m thrilled that we were able to share with it a great amount of people.

I hope everyone looks forward to the upcoming season. We can’t wait for Nov. 11 at Indiana to come.

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