Friday, November 26, 1999

Xavier's menu not just hoops

Sampling exotic fare fills players' free time

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANCHORAGE, Alaska — David West was looking forward to calling home and telling his mother that he had eaten a mooseburger.

        Typically a meat-pork-chicken guy, the Xavier freshman got adventurous Tuesday when the Musketeers were treated to a home-cooked spread of local food. It included moose sausage, fresh halibut dip, grilled salmon and caribou in a crock pot.

        “I like to eat plain,” West said a day before Xavier faced Louisville late Thursday night in the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout. “I tried moose, caribou. That was probably my first and last time. It tastes like a tender roast beef or something, but I couldn't eat much because I knew what it was.

        “It was a real good chance to relax a little bit and get some Alaska in us. It was fun.”

        Xavier practiced at Wasilla High School, about 45 minutes outside Anchorage and roughly a mile or so from the Iditarod's second starting point.

        There are six Anchorage high schools and three in the outlying region that each year are paired with teams in the Great Alaska Shootout (one school sits out).

        Wasilla, which last year paired with Iowa State, drew the Musketeers. So XU practiced there, then was invited to a meal in the school's main lobby. Players and coaches sat with students, school officials and parents who helped prepare the food (they also killed and caught it all).

        Coach Skip Prosser, ever mindful of the basketball portion of this trip, was glad his players had the opportunity to mix with local people and experience the food.

        The team tried to line up an opportunity for the players to go dog-sledding Wednesday morning, but it didn't work out. “I think college is about learning things,” Prosser said.


Xavier Stories
Xavier 81, Louisville 79
Kansas 88, Georgia 78
- Xavier's menu not just hoops
Great Alaska Shootout Web site

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