FAIRBORN — Recent Wright State University graduate Mark Hughes was selected by the United States Basketball Association (USBA) to play on Team USA U22 for an international tournament that toured China from June 10 – 26. Countries that participated included USA, China, Lithuania and Poland. The team stopped in four cities throughout China: Wanzhoe, Dazhou, Shangluo and Jiangyin.
“It was a great experience and I would have never visited China if it was not for this tour,” Hughes said. “I was excited about the opportunity to play against a higher level of competition in front of other countries and scouts.”
The USBA selected players across the country who completed their eligibility at the NCAA collegiate level this past season to play in 10 games of international competition.
“I am very appreciative of Coach (Kenny) Tripp for selecting me to represent our country and Wright State University during the foreign tour,” Hughes said.
Hughes started nine of the 10 games played on the tour averaging 9.6 points, three rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 46.8 percent from the floor. The two-time All-Horizon League Defensive Team member lead the team in minutes played, because of his defensive effort.
“Mark was a valuable player for our basketball team, we asked him to defend the best player of our opponent each game and he rose to the challenge.” Tripp said. “He was a versatile guard for us who could play multiple positions. We felt that our best chance to win was when Mark was on the floor.”
International game experience brought new challenges to Hughes, who played four years for the Raiders and was a member of the winningest class (88 wins) in school history.
“There was an adjustment period in the first couple of games, because the game was very physical and the shot clock was much shorter. The game was so much faster.” Hughes said. “The tour gave me a taste of what to expect as I look towards my first season playing overseas. I have a better understanding of how the game is different. Some of my teammates have played overseas and in the NBA G-League, so I learned from them what it will be like as I make the next step in my career.”
Hughes plans to sign with a team overseas for the upcoming season as he looks to continue his basketball career. He graduated from Wright State in May with a degree in Sports Science.
This is the third consecutive year that the men’s basketball team has had a member of the team take a foreign tour. Former player Grant Benzinger also visited China during the summer of 2017 and senior Bill Wampler toured Brazil last summer.
Story and photo provided by Wright State University Athletics (wsuraiders.com).