Men's Basketball

SMU Basketball - Tour d' Africa


It Begins


DAKAR, Senegal (SMU) --- The SMU men's basketball team arrived in Dakar, Senegal, about 4:40 a.m. The first order of business, check into the hotel Savanah and get some sleep. Then lunch at 1 p.m., a little sight seeing and off to practice at Marius N'Diaye Stadium, which is the national stadium. The travels in and around Dakar included a drive by the Chamber of Commerce, the Presidential Palace, fishing areas and local vendors. The Mustangs finished the day with a team dinner.

The travel party you will see during the trip: Head Coach Matt Doherty, Professor Josephine Ryan (instructor Peoples of Africa), Dr. Vicki Hill (Director of the A-LEC), Associate Head Coach Milton Barnes, Assistant Coach Steve Lutz, Assistant Coach Malcolm Farmer, Trainer Zach McLeese, Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Chronister, sophomore Papa Dia, junior Bamba Fall, junior Mouhammad Faye, sophomore Ryan Harp, sophomore Tomasz Kwiatkowski, sophomore Alex Malone, freshman Robert Nyakundi, sophomore Mike Walker, 2007-08 co-captain Jon Killen and 2007-08 co-captain Derrick Roberts.

The photo gallery above includes pictures from the hotel Savanah, lunch, travelling around Dakar, practice at Marius N'Diaye Stadium and dinner at La Fourchette. Enjoy!!

Tuesday is a trip to Goree Island (Door of no return) where the slaves were kept before being shipped to the Americas. Tuesday evening, the Mustangs will face the Senegalese National Team at Marius N'Diaye Stadium.

Blog - May 26
Head Coach Matt Doherty

"That's just the way it is......"

Sounds like Bruce Hornsby's famous song......

We got into our rooms and settled in at approximately 7am today.......slept for about 5 hours and had lunch at approximately 1pm. Practice followed at approximately 3pm. Dinner was supposed to be at approximately 7:30, which turned into 8:30pm.

Notice the word "approximately" is used a lot in the above paragraph.

The culture in Senegal is laid back and on top of that the streets are crowded with pedestrians. Therefore, getting anywhere and doing anything on time is not likely to happen. This can be tough for us Type A's who want to control the world. However, we have adjusted accordingly. It is probably good for the soul from time to time to give up control.

First impressions of Senegal:
-  Crowded streets - people walk everywhere, some run everywhere and then there are those that ride in and on the buses. Yes, I said "on buses". Young men are often seen hanging from the backs of overcrowded buses. People, people and more people.
-  Poverty - there are a lot of poor people in Dakar, the country's capitol. It is sad to see the streets lined with people who are in need of many things. Many people are selling small items to make some money. Items include, peanuts, cell phone SIM cards, clothing, art work.....people are always walking up to you trying to sell something. They are a persistent group, too.
-  Hospitality - our hosts are awesome. Some of the nicest people you will meet. They have gone out of their way to make this a special trip for us.
-  The beautiful coast - Dakar is on the water with a terrific view of the ocean and Goree Island. The view reminds me of San Francisco and Alcatraz.
-  Food - it is all about the food!!!! We have had two meals and Senegal is two for two! We ate at a terrific restaurant called La Fourchette tonight. I had a great local fish, rice and greens beans.
-  We are fortunate - what we have in the United States is terrific. We are blessed with many good things and we need to realize that. We should be less wasteful. Buy things we need and don't waste the things we buy. Many people here would die, and have died, trying to get a better life like we have in America.

Tomorrow we tour Goree Island and the "Door of No Return". This is where the slaves were housed before they were shipped off to North and South America. This will be a tremendous education for all to see. Then we play the Senegal National Team in the evening.

Pony Up!
Coach Doh

May 18-24 - Preparation - Class & Practice
May 25 - Dallas to Dakar, Senegal
May 26 - First Practice
May 27 - Visit Goree Island
May 27 - Game 1 (Senegalese Nat. Team)
May 28 - Trip to St. Louis (Bamba/Papa's Home)
May 29 - Clinic 1: at SEEDS Academy
May 30 - Dakar to Johannesburg, South Africa
May 31 - Clinic 2: Vodacom Mandeville Indoor Centre
May 31 - Tour Pretoria (capital of S. Africa)
June 1 - Game 3: vs. South African National Team
June 2 - Tour Soweto
June 2 - Visit Lesedi Cultural Village
June 3 - Safari at Pilanesburg Nat. Park
June 4 - Game 4: South African Club Team
June 5 - Johannesburg, South Africa to Dallas

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