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NIU's Threloff heading to Europe to play ball

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 8:35 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:43 p.m. CST
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(Danielle Guerra – dguerra@shawmedia.com)
Northern Illinois Univerisity baseketball player Jordan Threloff, a DeKalb native, will be playing on a Global Sports Academy basketball team that will visit Belgium, England, the Netherlands and Germany, playing against various European competition next month.

DeKALB – Jordan Threloff knew Patrick Baldwin from his days being recruited out of DeKalb High School.

Years later, the relationship the two built came into play once again.

Baldwin, an assistant under Chris Collins at Northwestern, was a Loyola assistant when Threloff was looking at where he'd play his college ball.

The 2010 DeKalb grad signed with Illinois State out of high school before transferring to Northern Illinois after the 2013 season. But he'll be playing for Baldwin after all.

Every year, Global Sports Academy takes teams made up of college players overseas to play against European teams and take part in community service. Baldwin coaches one of this year's teams, and contacted NIU assistant Jon Borovich about Threloff's availability.

Threloff jumped at the opportunity.

"Basically what they are, is they'll do community service while they're over there, and also take the student-athletes and show them different cultures around the world and show them that it's not just about the United States," Threloff said Thursday, "and there's this big, vast place with all these amazing different cultures."

From Aug. 11 to 19, Threloff's team will visit Belgium, England, The Netherlands and Germany, playing against various European competition.

Being a student-athlete, the players are not allowed to have their trips paid for, so Threloff has been doing his best to raise money. Those interested in donating to his cause can do so at www.gofundme.com/bpymbg.

"I've really been talking to a lot of people and a lot of friends and a lot of family, and they've been doing everything they can," Threloff said.

Threloff, who averaged 9.2 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies as a junior this past season, played in a tournament in Cancun, Mexico, while he was at Illinois State, and the team also went to Montreal one summer, but he never has been to Europe and is looking forward to seeing another part of the world.

He's not exactly sure what the competition will be like, but knows the rest of the squads will be gunning for his team.

"Obviously, because we're going to have USA on our chests, they're going to be coming at us and they're going to want to beat us, because USA has proven to be the most dominant in the world," Threloff said. "I just hope to go out there and represent NIU well, and represent the United States well."

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