July 6, 2006
PARK RIDGE, IL – The Big Ten Conference announced today that 12 student-athletes have been selected to participate on its 2006 Women’s Basketball Foreign Tour, which will travel to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, July 18-28. The squad, which includes players from all 11 conference institutions, will play four games over 11 days, while taking in some of the breathtaking sights that all three countries have to offer.
This summer’s roster is highlighted by a pair of former Big Ten Freshman of the Year honorees in upcoming Iowa sophomore Megan Skouby (2006) and Purdue senior Katie Gearlds (2004). A consensus first-team All-Conference selection last year, Gearlds will bring leadership to a squad boasting just three additional seniors in Indiana’s Leah Enterline, Michigan State’s Rene Haynes and Northwestern’s A.J. Glasauer. Gearlds led all Foreign Tour members with 15.0 points per game last year, which ranked eighth in the conference, and was followed by Skouby (14.3) in 10th and Glasauer (11.1) in 20th. In her first season with the Hawkeyes, Skouby was fourth in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (.551) and was named second-team All-Conference by the media and was a third-team selection by the coaches. She was also honored on the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team, joining fellow Foreign Tour teammates Lori Bjork of Illinois and Penn State`s Brianne O’Rourke.
Bjork’s teammate, Erin McCarthy will also represent the Fighting Illini – the lone team with two players. The Illinois sophomore-to-be will be joined in the post by Michigan sophomore center Stephany Skrba and 6-4 forward Danielle Ward of Wisconsin. Last season, Ward ranked 14th in the conference with 5.7 rebounds per game to go along with her scoring average of 10.2. Completing the roster are junior forwards Leslie Knight of Minnesota and Ohio State’s Tamarah Riley, a member of the two-time defending Big Ten champions.
Illinois’ Theresa Grentz will serve as head coach of the Big Ten Foreign Tour team, after completing her 32nd year overall and 11th at Illinois last season. During the 2005-06 campaign, she became the 10th Division I coach to reach 650 victories in her career and directed the Fighting Illini to a 16-15 record, marking the ninth time in the last 10 seasons that the Orange and Blue have ended the year above the .500 mark.
Upon arriving in Copenhagen, Denmark on Wednesday (July 19), the Foreign Tour members will stop at the Round Tower overlooking the city and visit Tivoli, one of the world’s oldest amusement park which was founded in 1843. Prior to an evening game against the Danish U-18 ballclub in Horsholm on Thursday (July 20), the Tour will walk along the Nyhavn, a 300-yard picturesque canal surrounded by sidewalk cafes and tour the Rosenborg Castle as well. Following a morning of sightseeing and biking, the Tour will compete against Horsholm in its host city on Friday (July 21). The Big Ten squad will stay in Horsholm for the first part of Saturday (July 22), battling the Copenhagen All Stars in the afternoon before busing to Malmo, Sweden. Once in Malmo, the Tour will spend Sunday (July 23) walking the landscape of the Swedish town. The Tour then departs for Oslo, Norway on Monday (July 24) where it will take in sights such as the King’s House, Domkirke Cathedral, Akershus Fortress and Holmenkollen Ski Jump over the next three days. The Big Ten squad concludes its competition slate on Wednesday against Oslo/Akershus BBC. After spending four days in Oslo, the team will board the Crown of Scandinavia cruise ship Thursday (July 27) night, which will take them back to Copenhagen for their departure on Friday (July 28).
Last year, the Big Ten Foreign Tour squad completed its fourth-consecutive undefeated trip as it went 5-0 in Belgium and the Netherlands. The team has won 19 straight contests and has gone 51-18 (.739) since the inception of the Tour in 1992, which has been held annually except for 2003.
For updated results during the Foreign Tour, visit bigten.org.
The Big Ten Foreign Tour Team will depart from Chicago at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, and will return back to Chicago at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 28.