The Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball team left our somewhat mild Decemeber temperatures for 80 and sunshine arriving in Hawaii on Thursday for two games in the Hawaii Classic this weekend. Northwest takes on St. Edwards on Saturday and Harding on Sunday.

“I want to see us handle distractions and compete at a high level,” Northwest coach Ben McCollum said. “We play two tough teams who are polar opposite of each other. St. Edwards get up and down and press you and Harding is a little more structured and more half court. It will be a great challenge for our guys. If you win the games the trip will be enjoyable.”

Junior Dillon Starzl, who played high school basketball at Kearney High School in Missouri, is one player who is making his first trip to Hawaii and he was excited about it Tuesday afternoon.

“It is going to be a great time,” he said. “I have never been there. It is going to be a great experience for the team and myself. Our main focus is to play the two games down there and then we will have our fun after we get the wins.”

Story courtesy of NW Missouri State Athletics.