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Smith to Embark on One-Week Tour of Germany with Athletes in Action

July 18, 2007
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Anthony Smith will tour Germany with AIA in August.

Anthony Smith will tour Germany with AIA in August.

Liberty men's basketball player Anthony Smith will join eight other NCAA Division I basketball players for a one-week competitive tour against professional teams in Germany with Athletes in Action (AIA), a Christian-sports organization.

Smith (Jr., Plano, Texas) is the Flames' second leading returning scorer and as a sophomore, he averaged 11.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

The team will have a three-day training camp Aug. 9-11 at Valparaiso University before departing Aug. 12 for Berlin. The AIA team will play six games against German professional teams from Aug. 13-18 and return to the United States on Aug. 19. The goals of this tour are to provide a rich, cross-cultural experience for each team member and for team members to grow in their personal faith.

"Having the opportunity to play year round is always a benefit," said Liberty head men's basketball coach Ritchie McKay. "When you have a chance to play for Athletes in Action, you get the opportunity to not only compete at a high level, but also grow in your faith, be challenged and exhorted spiritually. "

Smith's team is one of 11 AIA men's and women's basketball teams touring internationally this summer. Joining the Liberty guard on the squad are Tweety Carter (Baylor), Dwight Thorne (Colorado), Stuart Creason (Colorado State), Trent Meacham (Illinois), Richard Semrau (Illinois), Chris Kramer (Purdue), Mitch Platt (Oregon) and Brandon McPherson (Valparaiso). Coaching the squad will be Tim Maloney, the associate head coach at UMass, and Jason Hawkins, an assistant coach at Valparaiso.

"This is going to be a great experience for me," said Smith. "Playing with this team is going to develop me in more ways than one. It will prepare me spiritually as well as get me ready for the upcoming season. I look forward to going overseas and playing with the group of guys Athletes in Action has assembled."

This summer, AIA is celebrating its 40th year as a Christian-sports organization. As of 2007, AIA is active in 75 countries, on nearly 125 United States college campuses and with 35 United States professional sports teams.

"AIA is a great organization which has made an impact on many lives," added McKay. "We are excited to hear what Anthony has to report when he returns."