Given all of his travels this summer, Jordan Bachynski must feel like he’s been to China and back.
Oh wait. He has.
And he’s on his way back.
Bachynski and his Sun Devils teammates left Thursday for a 10-day tour of China, where they will play three games, one against a university team and two against Chinese Basketball Association teams.
“I don’t think the food is going to change much; that might be on the down side,” he said of his return to the Asian country.
Back in June, Bachynski spent 15 days in China, playing nine games (in six different cities) with the Canadian Development National Team.
His efforts in China earned him a spot on the Canadian national team that competed in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia
“It was like a mini-Olympics. It was great,” he said.
Bachynski though did not bring home a medal.
“That was really tough,” he said.
Canada lost to Serbia in the bronze medal game on the heels of a defeat against Russia in the semi-finals.
Canada, however, did beat the U.S., 94-85, which according to Bachynski “was huge for our team.”
Overall, the experience “was a lot of fun. It was really cool to see all the different countries and to play that style of basketball,” he said. “It opened my eyes a lot, not only in basketball but in life as well.”
“We were in an athlete’s village so it was all really nice inside the village, but then when you went outside in the surrounding city, it was all really impoverished. It made me grateful I live where I do.”
On the court, Bachynski, who set a Pac-12 season record for blocks with 120 in 2012-13, wouldn’t change his international game experience for anything.
“That’s the tough thing about summer is it’s all on your own and it’s all, either pickup basketball or shots on your own. Whereas, I was really fortunate, I got coaching for days on end,” he said. “It really helped just with my confidence, with expanding my game, with opening my eyes to different styles of play and to playing with different kinds of guys. I loved every minute of it.”
Bachynski, going into his senior season, said he hopes to show a more face-up game as opposed to being strictly a back-to-the-basket post player. He knows how important this final year is.
“I look to Carrick (Felix). Everyone knows his story,” he said. “No one had him on their draft boards at the beginning of the season and at the end, he went (to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the) 33rd pick. I’m looking to him as an example on what you can do in the offseason. He was a hard worker. He worked every day. He was first in, last out. He’s a big example to me.”
Bachynski believes he’s logged upwards of 80 hours on planes in the past two months, all worth it of course.
“Summer is time to work,” he said. “This, I think, has been the best work for me. I’m ready to get back on the court.”
The one negative with all the summer travel: No frequent flyer miles.
“It sucks,” Bachynski said. “We’ve been flying with all different airlines. There hasn’t been one airline that’s been in common. Had we flown — I don’t know Delta or whatever — all the way, I’d have all the free miles right now.”