Aug. 21, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - Don't tell Quannas White that basketball is a winter sport. The 6-1 University of Oklahoma point guard helped his team to a 31-5 record last year and a trip to the Final Four. Basketball consumed much of his time from October through March.
But while many collegiate basketball players hang up their competitive sneakers for several months following the season , White has been working out all summer and recently completed a tour of Scandinavia with the Big 12 All-Stars. Under the tutelage of Baylor head coach and former OU mentor Dave Bliss, White and 11 other conference representatives compiled a perfect 6-0 record against teams from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. All told, the tour lasted 11 days and the team returned to the United States Aug. 16. White says it was a great experience.
"I had a great time," said White, who averaged 7.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, a team-high 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals over the six games. "All the guys on the team were cool and we got to do some fun things, see some cool sights."
Included in the fun was an overnight cruise from Oslo, Norway to Denmark, a trip to a Danish amusement park and a visit to a sunken ship in Stockholm, Sweden.
"The sunken ship was beautiful," began White, "but I got seasick on the overnight cruise to Denmark."
Luckily, White recovered and didn't miss any game action. In fact, the New Orleans native started in four of the six games, more than any other Big 12 player.
White, who said he hung out mostly with Baylor's Lawrence Roberts and Texas Tech's Will Chavis during the trip, claimed the competition was good, but not spectacular.
"The players there were okay and I think I improved my game a little bit, but I've been working out the entire summer on my own in Norman and New Orleans, as well. That's probably where I've made the most improvement."
The combination of personal workouts and six games with the Big 12 All-Stars should give White an edge once preseason conditioning starts in September. The point guard says he's in good shape, despite the fact he loaded up on fast food in Scandinavia.
"The food was crazy over there," said White. "The breakfast was awful. The first day I ordered eggs at our hotel and they don't cook them like we do. From then on it was McDonald's and Burger King for me. The value meals were expensive - like $11 each - but I was scared to eat anything else."
White said he is glad to be back home, but he doesn't think he'll be dining at any fast food joints in the near future.
"I'm pretty sure I'll wait awhile for that," he said.
One thing White won't have to wait long for is the basketball season. The Sooners' first practice is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12 and the senior is anxious to get back on the road to the Final Four. This year, March Madness will culminate in his own back yard - the Louisiana Superdome.
While White claims his trip to Scandinavia was a fabulous experience, there's little doubt he'd trade it for another shot at a national title. He could share that experience with family and friends.