BURGESS, SMART HEAD TO COLORADO SPRINGS THIS WEEK
RICHMOND, Va. – A list of popular summer destinations usually include Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, the Outer Banks, Florida, Disney World or Disney Land, basically anywhere with a beach in close proximity.
Colorado Springs, however, is not on that list, but that's exactly where rising senior Bradford Burgess and Head Coach Shaka Smart of the VCU Men's Basketball program will be heading later this week for the USA Basketball Men's World University Games Training Camp.
"It's going to be a lot of fun to be able to compete against the best college players in the country on a daily basis," Burgess said. "I know that not many people get the opportunity to represent their country and I'm definitely looking forward to it."
Burgess, who is currently at home in Richmond getting ready for the 2011-12 campaign, will head out to Colorado on Friday. Smart, who is out on the recruiting trail looking for future Rams, will also arrive at the USA Basketball Training Facility on Friday, July 29.
"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to be around some of the best coaches and players in the country," Smart said. "The most important thing for me is that it gives me a great chance to accompany Brad on his journey."
There will be four training sessions over the weekend, beginning on Friday night at 5 p.m. MDT (7 p.m. EST).
Following a 9 a.m. MDT session on Sunday morning, the 22 players will be cut down to 12 for the final World University Games roster. Team training will begin immediately with a 4:30 p.m. practice scheduled on Sunday.
"I'm going out there to do work and give it all I have," Burgess said. "I really want to make the most of this opportunity and that's going to take me playing at the top of my game all training camp long."
The 12-man roster will then practice all week under the supervision of the Head Coach Matt Painter of Purdue. Smart will be on the sideline assisting Painter all week long.
"It's really cool that I'm going to have Coach Smart out there with me," Burgess said. "I know that we're both really looking forward to getting out there and getting to work."
The squad would depart Colorado Springs on Monday, August 8th for the World University Games in Shenzhen, China.
Preliminary games are slated to run through August 18th with the medal rounds scheduled to run through Monday, August 22nd.
Burgess is one of just five players from non-BCS conferences on the training camp roster. Tu Holloway of Xavier, Greg Mangano of Yale, Orlando Johnson of UC Santa Barbara and C.J. McCollum of Lehigh are the other players from non-BCS programs.