Aug 22, 2013
Tennessee basketball player Josh Richardson returned to Knoxville Monday after a weeklong trip to Jamaica as part of an Athlete in Action team of collegians.
The AIA squad posted a 3-2 record during its tour. Richardson, a rising junior guard for the Vols, averaged 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.6 assists per game.
The AIA team was initially scheduled to tour the Dominican Republic, but the destination was changed to Jamaica a few weeks before the trip.
"It was a great trip for growth in more ways than one," Richardson said. "It was fun to be around a group full of strong believers. I really, really enjoyed it. As far as the basketball part of it, I focused on trying to work on my moves off the dribble, getting to the rim and finishing strong."
The Athletes in Action team began its tour with a lopsided 101-41 win over the Kingston Collegiate All-Stars Aug. 12. The Americans followed that effort with a 68-45 victory over the Jamaican Professional Basketball League All-Stars one day later. Richardson went 3-for-5 from the field in that contest, scoring six points and logging three steals.
Then on Aug. 14, Richardson and his AIA teammates defeated the JPBL All-Stars once more, this time by a score of 88-56.
Off to a 3-0 start, AIA then traveled from Kingston to Montego Bay on its off day before capping its tour with a pair of games against the Jamaican National Team, which featured several former NBA players.
In the first meeting between the squads, Richardson led AIA with 24 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He went 3-for-4 from 3-point range and also totaled five rebounds and four steals. There were some score-keeping disputes throughout the contest, which the Jamaican National Team eventually won 77-74.
In the final game of its goodwill tour, AIA dropped a heartbreaker to the Jamaican National Team 90-82, in overtime Aug. 18.
"It was great experience getting to play against guys like Patrick Ewing Jr., Samardo Samuels and Durand Scott," Richardson said of the Jamaican National Team.
Athletes in Action is a global pioneer, innovator and servant leader in sport ministry. Since 1966, AIA has committed to sharing a victory beyond competition that is found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This was the second straight year that Richardson took part in an Athletes in Action exhibition tour. Last summer, the Edmond, Okla., native accompanied a similar team of American collegians to Germany and Poland.
Tennessee assistant coach Kent Williams was selected in 2010 to serve as head coach for a team of Division I student-athletes during an AIA summer tour of Poland. His squad finished the tour undefeated.