The Doane men's basketball team is rolling through Nebraska, checking off towns on its 93-county, five-day tour.
Along the way, they are drawing crowds, building the team bonds that form when 40 players pile into four vans, and gaining some national media attention.
"Barnstorming is a lost art..." an ESPN College Basketball Nation reporter wrote. "But Doane College -- an NAIA school in Crete, Neb., from a small town about 15 miles from Lincoln -- is carrying on the tradition."
"...The key question is: Why? Why travel around Nebraska for a week? Why uproot your entire team so close to the start of the school year? Simple: exposure. Doane says it is hoping to "bring awareness of the NAIA Champions of Character program, promote Doane Basketball, generate a team-building atmosphere and create a fun and competitive environment."
"Now you've heard of Doane College Tigers from Crete, Neb.," the writer ends. "The tour hasn't even started yet, but I think we can already call it a success. Barnstorming lives."
The team is putting on miles and building momentum. Their tour made NBC Sports' "College Basketball Talk." A radio station played a song in their honor. They played to a nearly full gym at Fairbury at 8:45 a.m. Coaches and players sent tweets about the school picture in the gym in Shickley; how Sandy Creek came out in full force to watch.
Players and coaches are divided among four vans, bisecting the state, now rolling through central and western Nebraska.
In a selected town in each county they play a 15-minute game between an orange squad and a black squad. The games take place at the local school if it works, otherwise at city parks, community buildings or other places where one could play a pick-up game. In shooting drills and a 5-on-5 game, coaches track shooting percentages and win/loss records. They'll determine the overall winner between teams once they return to Crete.
Teams meet together in Benkelman Aug. 31, Norfolk on Sept. 2 and return to Crete at 5 p.m. Sept. 3.
Tour schedule with dates, locations and approximate times
GROUP ONE GROUP TWO)
Alma (4:30-4:50 pm) Curtis (5:10-5:30 pm)
Cambridge (5:50-6:10 pm) Hayes Center (6:30-6:50 pm)
McCook (6:40-7:00 pm) Benkelman (6:50 pm MST)
Culbertson (7:20-7:40 pm)
Benkelman (7:30-7:50 pm MST)
Wauneta (8:45-9:05 am MST) North Platte (10:00-10:20 am)
Grant (9:55-10:15 am MST) Stapleton (10:55-11:15 am)
Ogallala (10:45-11:05 am MST) Tryon (11:45-12:05 pm)
Chappell (11:50-12:10 pm MST) Arthur (12:05-12:25 pm MST)
Sidney (12:40-1:00 pm MST) Oshkosh (1:35-1:55 pm MST)
Kimball (1:40-2:00 pm MST) Bayard (3:00-3:20 pm MST)
Harrisburg (2:35-2:55 pm MST) Alliance (4:10-4:30 pm MST)
Scottsbluff (3:35-3:55 pm MST) Hyannis (5:30-5:50 pm MST)
Harrison (5:00-5:20 pm MST) Mullen (6:35-6:55 pm MST)
Chadron (6:25-6:45 pm MST) Thedford (8:25-8:45 pm)
Gordon (8:35-8:55 pm MST)
Valentine (10:30-10:50 am) Dunning (8:30-8:50 am)
Springview (11:50-12:10 pm) Broken Bow (9:30-9:50 am)
Long Pine (12:40-1:00 pm) Taylor (10:30-10:50 am)
Bassett (1:15-1:35 pm) Burwell (11:10-11:30 am)
Naper (2:45-3:05 pm) Ord (11-50-12:10 pm)
O'Neill (4:15-5:35 pm) Greeley (12:40-1:00 pm)
Creighton (6:30-6:50 pm) Bartlett (1:30-1:50 pm)
Pierce (7:25-7:45 pm) Elgin (2:25-2:45 pm)
Norfolk (8:05 pm) St. Edward (3:25-3:45 pm)
Fullerton (4:15-4:35 pm)
Central City (5:00-5:20 pm)
Stromsburg (5:50-6:15 pm)
Columbus (6:55-7:15 pm)
Norfolk (8:15-8:35 pm)
Wayne (8:35-8:55 am) Stanton (9:20-9:40 am)
Laurel (9:15-9:35 am) West Point (10:20-10:40 am)
Wakefield (10:10-10:30 am) Howells (11:10-11:30 am)
Homer (11:10-11:30 am) David City (12:20-12:40 pm)
Pender (12:00-12:20 pm) Wahoo (1:20-1:40 pm)
Oakland (12:55-1:15 pm) Fremont (2:10-2:30 pm)
Blair (1:50-2:10 pm) Millard (3:10-3:30 pm)
Papillion (2:55-3:15 pm) Crete (5:00-5:20 pm)
Crete (5:00 pm)