Tiger Diary: Missouri begins 10-day European trek in Amsterdam

The Missouri men's basketball team is on a 10-day jaunt through Europe and we've enlisted two of their players -- point guard Phil Pressey and UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi -- to give us their thoughts throughout the trip. We'll just call it Tiger Diary because, well, it's simple. Here's the first entry: 

Missouri In Europe

Day 1 - Amsterdam

Phil Pressey (@philpressey)

Phil PresseyIt's been a long day of travel, but we just got our first real sleep, so I want to recap our day as we get ready for our first game later tonight.

It's funny being a basketball player and walking through an airport or a city. People think you are famous. There is a big group of you, you are all dressed in travel suits and you have tall guys like Alex (Oriakhi), Tony (Criswell) and Stef (Jankovic). We just try to explain to them that we are college students and basketball players from America and they don't really understand. We could tell them we are Chris Paul or Allen Iverson and they might believe us. ... But it has been a lot of fun so far and everyone here is really nice and interested in talking to you.

It was nice in the Airport in St. Louis. Fans came up and were so nice and so appreciative. It made us all feel good and it's fun to talk with the fans and take pictures.

The flight was long, but we had some decent entertainment. We had movies and games, but most everyone tried to sleep. It was a long flight, about seven hours and you basically lose a night of sleep, so it was a struggle to stay awake that first day. We got through it, so the jet lag is about done.

Once we landed we had a tour and stopped to get something to eat. The food is different over here. I guess I should say it just tastes a little different (than back home), but you have to eat because you need it to play well. I am going to try a few local places to eat, just to give it a shot.The transportation is different here. Most people ride bikes. They have bike lanes here right on the sidewalk and it's easy to walk into the wrong spot and about get hit. They go about 100 mph ... Maybe I should say kilometers since that's what they use here.

I think this will be a very educational experience for Alex. I joked with him earlier that he is on his official visit to Europe ... He didn't find it funny, but we all laughed.

This morning we went to the Anne Frank House. Talk about eye-opening. She lived in that tiny house/attic for two years. She was a little kid and couldn't go out and play or spend time with friends and to walk those same steps and be in the same room was humbling for all of us. 

We are now about to catch some rest before tonight's game. We drive about 90 minutes to get to the game, so we have pre-game dinner soon and then it's game time. We'll write about our first game tomorrow, along with more of our tours, etc.

Alex Oriakhi (@aoriakhi42)

Alex OriakhiHello from Amsterdam! What a long trip. It was a long day of flying and traveling, but it was great to get here. Once we arrived I couldn't believe how American this city was. So many different cultures and personalities in one city. ... It reminds me of a major city in the United States, diverse and lots of noise.

After we landed we went on a three-hour tour and saw the windmills, how those wooden clogs are made and how cheese is made here. It was a good way to wake up after that long flight and just stretch your legs.

We got to the hotel early and a few of our rooms weren't ready yet. We were early, so it wasn't their fault, but they opened a meeting room for us and some guys napped for about 30 minutes on the floor and others just walked around the area. Once we got to the room we walked around and saw different parts of the city. Some guys went shopping and others wanted to go see the Red Light District. It was early in the day so I can only imagine what it is like at night.

The hotel is nice, but small. The beds are tiny. I think Phil Pressey was the lead designer and is getting back at everyone. My legs hang off the edge of the bed. I think they are twin beds (at best).

Last night we went to a team dinner at a good Italian restaurant. I had lamb steak and potatoes. After dinner we had about an hour to go walk around, but everyone was back at the hotel early. We were all so tired and we have our first game tonight, so we are ready to get started.

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