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Summer travel blog: Jordan Tyson and the Georgia State Panthers arrive in Madrid

Jordan Tyson tries to balance the thrill of the experience with focusing on the task at hand.

Georgia State athletics

This summer, Mid-Major Madness is teaming up with schools across the country as they travel overseas to compete against elite competition and soak up the culture. Student-athletes will blog their experiences for us via written posts, photos, video, and just about anything else they want.

Our first submission comes from Georgia State senior forward Jordan Tyson, live from Madrid...

MADRID — Just landed in Madrid at 8:30 a.m. this morning (CEST), or about 2:30 a.m. Eastern time back home in Atlanta. The flight from Atlanta to Madrid was about eight hours long. Can’t complain however. It was one of the biggest planes I’ve ever been on in my life. Plus, they served us three meals, including snacks, throughout the duration. We don’t have any international players on our team (excluding Josh Linder, who likes to brag about how he was born in Japan), so none of us has any extensive experience overseas. This is without a doubt a lot of people’s first time to Spain and a lot of people in the program’s first time outside of America.

Our first stop is Madrid, then Barcelona, where we will be playing three exhibition games against some pro teams over here. More than anything, I am excited about the competition. How many people can say they’ve played basketball in another country before, let alone Spain? I’m getting pumped up just writing about it. I know my teammates feel the same way.

Nine out of the 11 or 12 players on our team are home grown in Georgia, while myself, another guy on our team, and our head coach are from Ohio (GREATEST state ever). This will be the fourth country that I’ve been to thanks to basketball. The others include China, Croatia, and the Dominican Republic. Myself and the rest of my teammates are very blessed to have this opportunity. I mean, an all-expenses paid for trip to Spain thanks to a game! It doesn’t get better than that. It excites me to think about how much further basketball can take me if I stay committed to the process.

As I write this, we are on the bus headed to practice, which is about 45 minutes away from our hotel (basketball never stops). Looking forward to getting a feel for the floor and the balls as we prepare to compete against some pro-level guys. While all of this is fun and without a doubt a joyful experience, we are still focused on the task at hand. WIN!!! If anything, that’s the main thing our head coach, Ron Hunter, has implanted in our minds. We are a winning program, and we take pride in the way we go about the process of that winning. So whether we are in Spain or back at home in Atlanta, our mind is focused on preparing for the opponent we have to face soon.

We will be taking lots of pictures and soaking up and enjoying every moment while we are here. Hopefully, basketball or no basketball, this isn’t the last time I’ll be traveling overseas. But we’ll leave that in the future’s hands! I’ll also be sure to keep you guys posted on what’s going on with us during the trip!